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Thank you again for all your help. As I'm sure you're aware, a controversial word in the NT is arsenokoitai. My question is based on trying to understand it. In it's current form, is it certain that this noun must be male? Or can the noun be female as well?

I am not sure about that, but I ask why is it controversial? Who questions the meaning? I assume it has to be understood according to its cultural context. The word was made up to refer to men who sleep with men (in a homosexual meaning).

For example in Cor. I 6,9-3 / 10-1 there are nouns of negative meaning where male "evil-doers" are mentioned. The nouns are undoubtedly masculine in grammatical gender, whereas the natural gender has to be questioned according to the cultural context. For example, did female thieves or heathens exist? If yes, they will nevertheless be implied via the masculine ending, because not all of these words form easily a female counterpart (i.e. they are not always nomina mobilia, as said previously).

But for the word ἀρρενοκοίται it is clear that it is about men who sleep with men, and not married women who sleep with (other) men. Those are called μοιχαλίδες.

Now, theoretically/philosophically speaking:

As the word "κοίτη" (=bed) isn't attested as the corresponding feminine form of "κοίτης" (=sleeper, literally "lay down"), we cannot propose that it refers to women. In this first declension there is another example of the classical word "ὁ ταμίας" (male cashier) and "ἡ ταμία" (female cashier). But their plural would have the same endings; i.e. only the article would make clear what gender we are talking about.

So, by following this example we can assume/imagine that the plural κοίται is able due to its inflectional endings to behave like a feminine noun. You'd only need to show it with an article or a feminine adjective, pronoun etc.

Finally, it is possible to play with language and construct a word that means "female sleeper" according to the exemplarity of other words. In this case, κοίτης would become feminine as κοῖτις (3rd declension) and - theoretically - mean a female sleeper. Keep in mind, that the word exists already and means "small box for women's jewellery", but this kind of approach touches philosophical discussions and exhausts the linguistic code in language use.

Hope you enjoy my readings. Have a nice evening.



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Michael Barkas


I provide assistance in linguistic, literary topics of Greek and Latin covering, thus, the following fields: translation, grammar, syntax, vocabulary, etymology, morphology, semantics and interpretations etc.


Studies: University of the Aegean, Dept Rhodes Friedrich Wilhelm Universitšt Bonn

Magister Artium (Archeology/Linguistics) Bachelor (Latin/English/Greek)

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