Gasp! The Bible and the Word Homosexual
Picture this: it's 1946, and the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible is hitting the shelves. For the first time in history, the word "homosexual" appears in the Good Book. And did it cause a stir!
First of all, let's be clear. The translation of the Greek words "arsenokoitai" and "malakoi" as "homosexual" wasn't and isn’t exactly a laughing matter, then and now. The use of this term has had some pretty serious implications for our LGBT+ community over the years and the variety of controversies it has caused. The use of the term "homosexual" in the Bible has, unfortunately, been used to a great degree to justify discrimination and persecution against LGBTQIA+ community members and allies, our family. It has been used as a weapon to condemn and exclude those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender.
A Quick Journey Back in Time
To this day, it is still being debated about what these two Greek words actually meant, and whether or not the Bible was really condemning same-sex relationships. To make matters even more complicated, it turns out that "arsenokoitai" is a compound word made up of "arsen" (male) and "koitai" (bed). Could those words be any more cryptic or general? So, it comes as no surprise that the term can be used negatively to discriminate, segregate, and spread hate.
Ever-Evolving in Modern Times
Some translations of the Bible are starting to use more inclusive language when it comes to these two words. The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translates "arsenokoitai" to be a little less ambiguous than "homosexual." Additionally, it is argued that the word "malakoi" referred to a wide range of behaviors and was not necessarily limited or exclusive to same-sex relationships. But, here’s the thing. The Bible should not be used to justify discrimination against LGBT+ individuals. The Bible should be read in its historical and cultural context and modern interpretations should be based on research and the experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals. As translations of the Bible and languages continue to evolve, it is important to approach the text with an open mind and a commitment to inclusivity and social justice. So, with all that said, we should all just take a deep breath and remember that love is love, no matter what language we speak.
Be the Bold, the Beautiful, the Fierce, and Loving Person That You Are!
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