A scholarly response on what the Hebrew and Aramaic Bible says concerning LGBTI people.
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Greek, Latin & KJV Deception
The Greek Bible has an obvious bias against gay men, which is not present in the Aramaic Bible. Because of this bias, the Greek translation of the Old Testament (Septuaginta) and the Greek New Testament are not a reliable interpretation of other anti-gay verses where the translator(s) may have been ignorant or just outright lied in their translation. The following paragraphs will give some examples.
Proverbs 18:8 reads: "Fear casts down the slothful; and the souls of the effeminate shall hunger."(Septuaginta). The translator(s) obviously lied in their translation of this verse. The Masoretic Hebrew text literally says this: “The words of a talebearer are like morsels, they go down into the inner chambers of the belly.” The New Living Translation interprets this verse not literally, but it does cover the meaning of the verse. It says: “What dainty morsels rumors are – but they sink deep into one’s heart.”
1 Chronicles 27:32 reads “And Jonathan, the uncle of David, was a counselor, an intelligent man…” (Septuaginta). The Greek text has the words ho patradelfos here, which literally means: “the father’s brother” or “the uncle from the father’s side.” Jonathan was clearly not Saul’s brother because he was Saul’s son. According to both the Greek and Aramaic translations of the Hebrew word dod, this word only means “uncle and beloved.” Since Jonathan was not the uncle of David, the Hebrew must read like the Aramaic translation which says: “And Jonathan, the beloved of David, was a counselor, a man who is intelligent…”
1 Kings 20:3 reads: [The messenger(s) said] "Thus says Ben Hadad, 'Your silver and your gold are mine, and your wives and your [handsome] sons are [also] mine.' " (3rd Kingdoms 21:3 Septuaginta). The LXX is missing the word "handsome" in this text. Perhaps because it shows Ben Hadad's bisexuality. The original Hebrew text, Aramaic Targum and the Peshitta Old Testament all have the word "handsome" in this verse. Jerome also saw that Hebrew word there when he translated from the Hebrew into Latin; in his Vulgate (4th Cent.) Translation. He, however, translated the last part of this statement as "... your BEST sons are mine."
The Aramaic word m'ḥab-le was translated as ma-la-koi in the Greek NT. Ma-la-koi (plural) is translated as effeminate in the (KJV) and as homosexuals in the (Gideons Bible). Elsewhere in the New Testament, malakos (singular) is translated as “soft” (Mt. 11:8 [2x] & Lk. 7:25 [1x]), as in “soft” clothing. Most likely, the Greek translator meant for the word malakoi to mean people that are “licentious,” “loose,” “wanting in self-control,” “unrestrained,” and / or effeminate. Those meanings would match how that word was translated in the Latin Vulgate as molles (plural). The Hebrew New Testament translation by The Bible Society in Israel (copyright 1991) agreed more with the prior meanings, and interpreted malakoi to mean “workers of desire.” Malakos (singular) also means: “delicate,” “gentle,” “weak,” and “cowardly.”
Apparently the Greek language doesn’t have a word that means “corrupt ones.” Though it does have the verb phtheiro “to corrupt” or its composite spelling diaphtheiro “to corrupt thoroughly.” The above verb spellings were conjugated and used in the Greek Old Testament when the Hebrew text has the word “corrupt” in the text. It would have been better for the Greek translator to have made up a new Greek word meaning “corrupt ones” from either of those verb roots. Otherwise to have translated the Aramaic word m’ḥab-le as anomon “lawless ones.” The root word anomos “lawless” also being one of the translations for the word “corrupt” in the Hebrew Bible. At Isaiah 1:4, the Hebrew text calls Israel “corrupt children,” while the Greek translation of that verse calls Israel “lawless children.”
Defining malakoi to mean people who are “lacking in self control” or “unrestrained” doesn’t match the Aramaic word, meaning “the corrupt ones.” Someone doesn’t need to be corrupt to be “voluptuous” or “indulgent.” Additionally, malakoi can, and has been construed to mean “effeminate ones.”
This Greek translator who assumed the Christian name shouldn’t have translated the Aramaic word by using a misleading Greek word. His interpretation was so misleading that Christian believers have interpreted malakoi to mean “effeminate ones” (i.e. the passive partners in homosexual intercourse), while the following word, arsenokoitai, has been interpreted as “homosexuals who take the active role.” Thus I believe the translator was deceptive in his translation. He found a context that talked about certain people who wouldn’t enter God’s Kingdom; so he decided to not translate the correct meaning for the Aramaic word. He wanted to make sure his bias and hatred for gay people were put into the Bible to deceive others and give them justification to discriminate against them. This same thing happened when the Hebrew word Qede-shim was translated as “effeminate” (Latin) or sodomites (KJV). Qedeshim means “pagan ministers and/or male prostitutes.” Qedeshim was a good candidate for the Church to translate biasly as “effeminates or sodomites” because then they could use those scriptures to discriminate against gay people.
St. Jerome translated the Hebrew word qa-desh as scortator “whoremonger, fornicator” one time at Deuteronomy 23:17, which reads: “There shall be no whore among the daughters of Israel, nor whoremonger among the sons of Israel.” He also translated the word qa-desh as effeminati “effeminate (sing.)” two times at 1st Kings 14:24; 22:46. Qa-desh’s plural form of qede-shim was translated as effeminatos “the effeminate (pl.)” two times at 1st Kings 15:12 and Job 36:14. (Job 36:14) from the Latin text reads: “Their soul shall die in a storm, and their life among the effeminate.”
The Hebrew word qa-desh means both “a pagan minister and male prostitute” Based on St. Jerome’s translation, he at least clearly knew that the word qa-desh in its strictest sense did not mean a “homosexual or effeminate.” One would wonder why he did not translate the other verses where qa-desh appears as scortator. It appears he had a personal bias or was perhaps compelled somehow.
“There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.” (Deut. 23:17 KJV). The KJV translators chose to translate the word qa-desh as “sodomite” here. This is clearly a biased translation because they knew that the feminine form of qa-desh is qede-shah, which also appears in this verse. They translated qede-shah as “harlot, whore” in the Old Testament. Harlot is a synonym for a female prostitute. So if qede-shah means “a female prostitute,” then qa-desh would mean the opposite – “a male prostitute.” The KJV translators lied and constructed the word “sodomite” from the word “Sodom” to ensure an anti-homosexual interpretation of the Sodom and Gomorrah story.
“They die in youth, and their life is among the unclean.” (Job 36:14 KJV). The KJV translators lied in their translation of the Hebrew word qede-shim here. Qede-shim is the plural of the Hebrew word qa-desh (a cult prostitute) which is the same word in Deuteronomy 23:17 discussed above. It does not mean “the unclean.” That verse in Hebrew should read: “Their soul dies in their youth, and their life is like those among the cult prostitutes.” The NIV translated this verse as: “They die in their youth, among male prostitutes of the shrines.”
“Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful;” (Romans 1:31 KJV) and “Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers…” (2 Tim. 3:3 KJV). The Greek word astorgos means “unloving” (NKJV) or “without affection.” The KJV translators added the word “natural” in their translation. This is very deceptive because at 2 Timothy, they have Paul saying that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves…without natural affection…” (2 Tim. 3:1-3). Honest-hearted Christians have been led astray by their translation and have interpreted this verse to mean homosexual love in agreement with how astorgos was forged to say at Romans 1:31. James Strong and/or Liddel and Scott define astorgos to mean “hard-hearted towards kindred,” “heartless" and "cruel.” However, the source Aramaic doesn’t carry the meaning of “hard hearted towards kindred.” The Aramaic text says la ḥub-ba (Lit. “without the love” or “unloving,” “heartless”). The Greek translator meant “unloving, heartless” which is an obvious meaning for astorgos.
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived…, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,” (1 Cor. 6:9 KJV). The KJV translators translated the word arsenokoitai as “abusers of themselves with mankind.” Since this composite word is a translation of the Aramaic text, it is from the words arsenorarsenoi (man or men) and koitazo (to make to lie down, rape). It literally means: "those who make a man (men) to lie down." And hence means: "rapers ofa man (men)" or "those who rape a man (men)."
Interestingly, the Aramaic word shach-bay is in the pael form; which can give this verb the causative or active sense. It is however a better way to show that the root word shchow has the "rape" meaning. Hence the Aramaic text literally condemns "those who make men to lie down" or "those who rape men."
As a translator myself, I know I have to be painstakingly honest, especially since I’m translating God’s word. No man sleeping with another man would consider the act “abuse.” So the translators lied and were biased in their translation even if they believed this word referred to men lying with men. They didn’t translate the word arsenokoitai with its literal meaning from the words that they believed it was derived from. They thought the last part was from the word koite "bed or euphemistically "to lie with.".
1st Note: The verb koitazo is listed in Liddell & Scott's Greek - English Lexicon but rarely appears in the Greek Old Testament (Deut. 6:7; Jer. 33:12 [LXX Jer. 40:12]; Dan. 4:12 ; Song 1:7; etc.). That Lexicon gives its meaning as: "to cause to lie down, put to bed, etc." It's not too hard to see that this word has a good and a bad meaning; similar to Aramaic.
2nd Note: Greek verbs that end in azo or izo generally only have a causative meaning. A few examples are: hagiazo - "to make holy, sanctify," anabibazo - "to cause to go up, draw (haul) up," and aixmalotizo - "to make captive, bring into captivity." Hebrew and Aramaic also have words that start with only a Piel / Pael causative meaning. They don't have a QAL (Simple Active Stem meaning). Koitazo is however unique in that it has both a causative and a non-causative meaning. Context determines it's meaning. If the statement doesn't make sense with the "simple active" meaning, then the causative meaning is meant. The noun koite "bed (i.e. something laid upon)" is from the verb koitazo "to lie down." Nouns are made from verbs in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. I don't know why Liddell & Scott puts that koitazo is from (koite). That isn't correct from what I know.
The ending part -azo is often dropped when constructing nouns from these verbs. If available, a person could have technically chosen the noun ending of -es or -os to personify this verb type for a male person. However, Paul only had the choice of giving his composite word the -es ending when in the singular. That suffix has the -ai ending when in the plural. The -os and -e endings were already taken and used for the words koitos "bed, resting-place" and koite "bed" (Liddell & Scott). Thus, a singular verbal noun composed of "manor men" and "to cause to lie down, rape" would most naturally be pronounced arsenokoites.
3rd Note: James Strong and other scholars were likely unaware of this rare Biblical word and hence James Strong lists the last part of the singular word arsenokoites as being from the word koite (bed, oreuphemistically: lying with); since there is a "t" sound.
4th Note: The "o" after the hypothetical word arsen "man" doesn't mean the composer of this composite word considered the first part of arsenokoitai as meaning "men." Since the word "man" doesn't end in "-on" like most masculine Greek nouns in their accusative (object) form, the framer of arsenokoitai would have just naturally added an "o" after the hypothetical word arsen "man," when combining it with the verb "to make to lie down, rape." A composer did the same thing with the word alektorophonia "rooster-crowing, the third night-watch" (Mk. 13:35). The first noun alektor "rooster, cock" doesn't end in "-os" or "-on," so the "o" sound was added between the next word phonia "crowing, sounding, uttering."