Presentation on theme: "A Look at Mt 8:5-13 and Lk 7:1-10. Last week we began looking at what it means to rightly divide the word of truth as taught in 2 Tim 2:15 We made the."— Presentation transcript:
A Look at Mt 8:5-13 and Lk 7:1-10
Last week we began looking at what it means to rightly divide the word of truth as taught in 2 Tim 2:15 We made the point that if there was a way to rightly divide the Word of Truth there must also be a way to incorrectly divide/interpret it I made mention that I would be sharing a teaching from WouldJesusdiscriminate.org and a lesson entitled Jesus affirmed a Gay Couple as an example of what it looks like to mishandle Gods Word The main question being asked in this article was, Is it possible the Pais referred to in Matthew 8:5-13 and Lk 7:1-10 was the Roman Centurions male lover?
We then went through the various points the author tried to use to prove this to be the case This morning I would like to share with you what I believe God intended for us to get from this account and not what this person with an agenda has to say It is of great interest to note, it was almost impossible to find any other examples of people trying to prove this proposition
As I was doing my research, I came across an article entitled Christ affirms a gay couple. We are aware that Singapore had a heated debate on s 344A Penal Code. The pro gay camp questioned Dr Theo the NMP whether she was, I quote stupid, Christian or both Unquote. In Luke 7:2, the Greek Word used to describe the servant or slave was entimos doulos or honored servant.Doulos means servant/slave whilst entimos means honored / valued/ precious. Elsewhere in the entire Matthew passage, as well as the passage in Luke, the wordpais was used for servant. Pais could be used to refer to either young son or servant.
In the words of the pro gay author : I quote Lukes account rules out the possibility the sick person was the centurions son; his use of doulos makes clear this was a slave. However, Luke also takes care to indicate this was no ordinary slave. The word entimos means honored. This was an honored slave (entimos doulos) who was his masters pais. Taken together, the three Greek words preclude the possibility the sick person was either the centurions son or an ordinary slave, leaving only one viable option he was his masters male lover. Unquote.
In the world view of the gay author, since the slave is an honored slave, he must be the centurions gay lover. He cannot understand that a God fearing man would give honor to slaves. He cannot accept that Christians treat servants, even slaves as humans made in the image of God. To the perverted mind of the gay author, if a slave is treasured, it must be because the centurion made the slave his male lover and not otherwise. It is perverse logic to infer that entimos meaning precious/ highly valued/ honored/ precious servant must ineluctably refer to a male lover. In Philippians 2:29, the Philippians are to hold men like Epaphroditus inentimos in high regard. Paul was not asking the recipients to regard Epaphroditus as a male lover.
Other examples of entimos can be found below: 1 Pet 2:4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 1 Pet 2:6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame. (quote from Is 28:16) Lk 14:8 When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; In all the usage of entimos in the New Testament, one cannot readentimos as referring to young male lover. My conclusion, Is the gay author stupid, anti-Christian or both? He is not putting Gods word into practice. Hes attempting to meet God on his own terms, on shifting sand. I can only pray that God gives him the gift of faith and a contrite heart.
Michaelson is not the first to suggest that the person in question here be understood as the Roman Centurions homosexual servant rather than just servant, although it is a minority opinion. And he is correct that in some instances pais was used to describe the junior partner in a homosexual relationship But that is not what it means here nor the rest of the New Testament. The Greek noun pais is used in the New Testament 24 times and has a range of meanings that include adolescent, child and servant. In the LXX (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) it appears numerous times and it always refers to a servant. There are no occurrences of the term anywhere in the Bible that can be interpreted a referring to the junior partner in a homosexual relationship. With that in mind, we might be better off translating pais as servant here, which Michaelson favors
Michaelson acknowledges that in Lukes version of the story the person in question is first called a slave in 7:2 (doulos) while the Centurion calls him a pais He suggests that this distinction is important by which I assume he is suggesting that perhaps Luke got the terminology wrong but the Centurion got it correct But Luke is writing all of this and would have been aware of the two terms which can in fact be used as synonyms. (See the first chapter in my Slavery Metaphors)
A better explanation for the difference in terminology in Luke might be that Matthew and Luke had a common source that identified the person in question as a pais, which could be taken as either child or servant. Matthew decided to leave the whole scene ambiguous by not introducing it with an explanation that the centurion had a sick slave (doulos). If you read Matthews version substituting child for servant (with the exception of 8:9 where the word is doulos) the story could just as easily be about the centurions son and not his servant (Hagner alludes to this in his commentary, p. 204) Luke, on the other hand, recognized the ambiguity in the story engendered by pais, and decided to clear it up by calling the person in question a slave (doulos) because that is who Luke thought he was Had Luke not made that addition in 7:2 both stories could be read as the healing of the centurions child.
It is true that pais could be used as a term of endearment for slaves. As bad as slavery was/is there were those cases when a slave and master did become close But that does not automatically translate into homosexuality For instance, we have a copy of a letter sent by Augustus to one Stephanos of Laodicea In the letter Augustus says you know how fond I am of my Zoilos. This Zoilos was a former slave of Augustus who apparently became very close with the emperor. But no one is suggesting that the two were lovers in a same-sex relationship Zoilos was apparently very valuable to Augustus and the emperor developed affection for him The problem is that Michaelson has invested too much in the meaning of pais
While it can be used to refer to the junior partner in a homosexual relationship, this would be the only such instance anywhere in the New Testament As I pointed out, it is a somewhat ambiguous term. Nonetheless, I do think servant here is probably the best interpretation of pais, even though it could be child Simply assuming that this term means that the servant was the Centurions same-sex partner has no standing. There is not enough evidence We cannot assume that because the centurion had some affection for the servant that they were, therefore, sexually involved We also cannot assume that just because the centurion implores Jesus to heal the servant that he feels anything for the servant
We know nothing about this slave and what role he fulfilled But if he was a slave that managed the centurions house well and was in danger of dying, the centurion might have asked Jesus to heal him so that he didnt lose his financial investment as well as a good manager I am not saying this is the case, but this scenario is just as likely if not more so than suggesting that the two were somehow sexually involved. But in the end we dont have enough evidence to spin either situation and the terminology is too ambiguous Michaelson reaches for this story to provide a way for gays and lesbians who are struggling with same-sex marriage as a religious act I commend him for thinking through this topic and have voiced my own desire that the church actively engage the topic But I dont think the story of the centurions servant does that for him. It is a story about a servant and a master and we know nothing about how they interacted with one another in the bedroom or out
The "lexical game" is what I refer to when a person takes the various definitions of a word, finds the one they like best, and essentially ignores the context or use of the word in the individual passage While πα ς is indeed the word used here in Matthew's account of the faithful centurion, it is not the only time the word is used in the Gospels. Some other times the exact form of πα ς is found: In Matthew 12:38, in reference to Christ In Matthew 17:18, in reference to the young man whom Christ expelled a mute demon from for the boy's father In Luke 2:43, in which it talks of "the boy Jesus" staying behind in Jerusalem In Luke 8:54, in reference to the young girl whom Christ raises from the dead In John 4:51, in reference to the nobleman's child rising at Christ's command
As we can see here, there are at least five other references to πα ς outside of the faithful Centurion story, and none of them deal, within the context, of a young homosexual lover Some of them are obviously not speaking of a sexual connotation (such as Matt 12:38 and Luke 2:43) while others are not speaking about sexual connotations given the context (such as Matt 17:18 or Luke 8:54) Does the word even mean a "young homosexual lover"? I'm sure in some parts of ancient Greece it might have been written to refer to such a person, but the question is whether or not it could be understood here
Some comments from various concordances and lexicons regarding the word: child, maiden, servant, young man. - Perhaps from paio; a boy (as often beaten with impunity), or (by analogy), a girl, and (genitive case) a child; specially, a slave or servant (especially a minister to a king; and by eminence to God) -- child, maid(-en), (man) servant, son, young man. [Strong's Exhaustive Concordance] Definition - a child, boy, youth [NAS Exhaustive Concordance] Definition: (a) a male child, boy, (b) a male slave, servant; thus: a servant of God, especially as a title of the Messiah, (c) a female child, girl. [biblos.com] The Greek term here is πα ς (pais), often used of a slave who was regarded with some degree of affection, possibly a personal servant... [from the NET notes on Matthew 8:6] As we can see, most basic Biblical sources point to it referring to a young man or "boy." John Gill and A.T. Robertson likewise say that the word πα ς is used here in reference simply to a youth, with no sexual connotations
The author of the quoted article states that there is "implication" in Luke 7:2, as it says the Centurion "had much love for" his πα ς However, this is just one translation - in fact, I couldn't find a translation that bore those exact words. The closest translation that comes to it is the KJV with "who was dear unto him." The Greek word used in Luke 7:2 which the author translates as "have much love for" is actually ντιμος, which means "to regard or value highly." Many translations - such as the NASB, NIV, NRSV and ESV - translate the word in Luke 7:2 in such a manner Various cases of the word are used across the New Testament, including 1 Peter 2:4 and 6, Luke 14:8, and Philippians 2:29. A quick examination of the context of all these passages will show that it does not refer to the kind of eros love which the article's author is trying to promote
When the passage says that the Centurion had much ντιμος for his servant, it meant that the Centurion had much respect and care for those who worked under him - not that the Centurion had any kind of sexual interest in him One notable factor about Luke 7:2 that those who make the πα ς argument seem to miss is that Luke has the Centurion refer to the boy as δο λος. He then uses πα ς in verse 7 in reference to the same person. What does this mean? That δο λος and πα ς are being used interchangeably (as some Greek words often are), and therefore the true context of πα ς is a young male servant...not a young homosexual concubine All in all, there are no homosexual connotations in this passage. Anyone who argues so is either playing lexical games or reading too much into the text
I personally believe the gay "Christian" apologetics will be something the Bible believing Church will need to be prepared to contend with, because the issue of homosexuality is only going to become more heated in our society during the years to come The one thing currently going in favor for Christians, however, is that the revisionist arguments put forth by gay "Christians" in an attempt to twist the Bible to allow a homosexual lifestyle are not too sophisticated Their arguments are not built upon any meaningful exegesis of the biblical text, but around the re-defining of certain original language words and re-inserting them back into the narrative or doctrinal passage in order to make the text teach something utterly foreign to what the original writer intended
There are two questions we'd like to ask homosexuals before we leave this point First, if God is interested in ridding the world of "homophobia", as they imply, then why didn't the Son of God clearly expose the relationship between the Centurion and his servant as being homosexual and acceptable in the light of day instead of leaving it in a closet where you need special "gay glasses" and "phantasy" to see it? Doesn't this make Jesus the author of confusion here (I Cor. 14:33)? Second, why did Jesus tell the adulteress in John eight to stop having unmarried sex with men, as you say he did ("sin no more"), and not tell this Centurion to stop having unmarried sex with a boy? Wouldn't Jesus' acceptance of a male homosexual fornicator over a female heterosexual adulterer make him a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34)?
Lev 18:21-22, 20:13 Rom 1:26-27 1 Tim 1:8-10 1 Cor 6:9-10 Gen 19:5; Judges 19:22 (deal with rape) Jude 1:7
The answer is very clear This account is meant to show an example of tremendous faith, even from someone you might not expect and some who you believe will be saved, may not Christ Himself tells us this in His own words Mt 8:10-13; Lk 7:9
I believe over the last two weeks we have seen two very different interpretations to the same passages of scripture I believe this reinforces what Paul said to Timothy that we need to study the Word of God often that we may rightly divide it or as some translations read handle it aright If we are not conscious of what the Bible teaches we run the risk of not knowing the Truth for ourselves or not being able to defend the Truth from the many false teachers that were said would come and pervert it