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QUESTION: Hello, I would like to ask about two ancient greek words.

κοίταις and κοῖται. They appear in the Greek New Testament of the Bible. My question is, are these masculine or feminine words? Also, how does one determine whether they are masculine or feminine? Also, does the gender of the word determine who it is addressed to? For example, is a feminine word addressed to females? Thank you

ANSWER: Hello,

The ancient Greek words  κοίταις and κοῖται are two cases of the same feminine noun κοίτη (nominative case) which belongs to the 1st feminine declension.

In fact, κοίταις is the dative plural of κοίτη, while κοῖται is the nominative plural of the same feminine noun κοίτη.

As for how one  can determine whether a noun is  masculine or feminine,  you need  only to  look up the word in the ancient Greek dictionary where the entry  is followed by the article ἡ, if the noun is feminine; by the article ὁ , if the noun is masculine; and by the article τό, if the noun is neuter.
For example: δῆμος, ὁ (masculine); δημοκρατία, ἡ (feminine); ἔθνος, τό (neuter).

As you can see, the gender of a noun  is not determined by the person it is addressed to, so that  a feminine noun is not addressed to females or a masculine noun is not addressed to males and a neuter noun is not addressed to things.

Anyway, in ancient Greek,  which is an inflected language with three declensions, five cases (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative) and many adjectives, pronouns, verbs and conjugations, the gender of  the adjectives or the pronouns can be determined by the noun they refer to, as in e.g.“ great democracy” (ἡ μεγάλη  δημοκρατία ) where the adjective “great” (μεγάλη )must be in the feminine as it refers to the feminine noun δημοκρατία (democracy).

Best regards,

Note that κοίτη  literally means: “marriage-bed”, “act of going to bed”, but also “sexual connexion” and in bad sense “lasciviousness”.
See for example the Greek Old Testament, Numbers 5:20: εἰ δὲ σὺ παραβέβηκας ὕπανδρος οὖσα, ἢ μεμίανσαι καὶ ἔδωκέ τις τὴν κοίτην αὐτοῦ ἐν σοί, πλὴν τοῦ ἀνδρός σου meaning “But if being a married woman thou hast transgressed, or been polluted, and any one has lain with thee, beside thy husband…”.

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QUESTION: In the New Testament word "arsenokoitai"(κοῖται) and "arsenokoitais" (κοίταις), we can therefore with certainty say that it does refer to a male who lies (koite) with a male, not a female correct? Because the noun (arseno) is masculine?

We can with certainty say that  the nominative singular  ἀρσενοκοίτης ( arsenokoítēs, masculine noun, 1st declension) or ἀρρενοκοίτης (arrenokoítēs, masculine noun, 1st declension ), whose nominative plural and dative plural are  just ἀρσενοκοῖται (arsenokoîtai) and ἀρσενοκοίταις (arsenokoítais) respectively, refers to a male who lies  with a male, for both ἀρσενοκοίτης (arsenokoítēs, nominative masculine)and ἀρρενοκοίτης (arrenokoítēs, nominative masculine)are composed of the adjective ἄρσην (arsēn, genitive “arsenos”) / ἄρρην (arrēn, genitive "arrenos") just meaning “male”.

In short, the nominative singular ἀρσενοκοίτης/ ἀρρενοκοίτης means:”homosexual” referring to one who lies with a male (see 1 Ep.Cor.6:9 “οὔτε πόρνοι οὔτε εἰδωλολάτραι οὔτε μοιχοὶ οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται ….βασιλείαν θεοῦ κληρονομήσουσιν “ meaning “Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals…...will inherit the Kingdom of God”), though some scholars say that it can also mean “one who lies with a male as with a female”.

Best regards,



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I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning ANCIENT GREEK. So, do not ask me please questions regarding MODERN GREEK as it is different from Ancient Greek either in spelling/meaning or in pronunciation.


Over 25 years teaching experience.

I received my Ph.D in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy) and my thesis was about ancient Greek drama (Aeschylus).

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