Themiškevē ‘iššâis an act that is punished identically to other acts that are clearly incestuous. Therefore, the likely meaning of miškevē ‘iššârefers more to incestuous male-male rape as opposed to all erotic, same-sex relationships.

Reading this in context with Paul’s writings is interesting.

In the New Testament Paul condemns Hellenic practices relating to various types of prostitution, generally with underage or slave partners. He condemns both male and female purchasers of such services regardless of the type of service purchased.

(Earlier translations had this as Paul condemning homosexuals).

Thom Wayment’s Study Bible updates the English in the New Testament and identifies errors in translation

There is not a similar condemnation of the victims of human trafficking. (Note that Paul is not alone in condemnation of Hellenic practices —they are also condemned in contemporary writings and satires of his time).

Which makes me wonder if we have lost focus by not paying attention to the Biblical condemnation of extortion rather than focusing on sexuality.

This need to avoid extortion and exploitation is especially true since extortionate behavior is condemned in the Doctrine and Covenants.

20 And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.

D&C 59:20 //
Modern slavery
  • What do you think we gain from modern translations?
  • “Hellenic practices” might better be phrased as the ancient equivalent of celebrity culture. Are you surprised that it existed in Paul’s world?
  • What other modern translations have you found surprising?
  • Is there an excuse for extortionate treatment of the earth or of other people?