By Paul M. Zehr
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Additional info for 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus
It appears several times in the early church fathers (D. F. Wright: 128-46). BDAG defines arsenokoitēs as a male who engages in sexual activity with a person of his own sex (135). Jerome D. Quinn and William C. Wacker hold that it is not limited to an older man having sex with a younger man (a pederast), but includes consenting adult males having sexual relationships with each other (88, 100-1). According to Robert A. Gagnon, the larger New Testament theology of human sexuality (cf. Rom 1:24-27) suggests that the term cannot be limited to abusive homosexual activity but applies to all same-sex intercourse (327).
During and after the reign of Constantine (AD 306-337), it became easier for the church to ignore the moral imperatives of discipleship. Except for a few ascetics, less emphasis was given to holy living. Early in the fifth century, Pelagius expressed concern about the standard of moral life in the church. He reacted to the influence of Manichaeism and its interpretation of Romans 5:12 regarding the effect of Adam’s sin upon the human race. Pelagius said there is no hereditary transmission of sin through reproduction but humans sin voluntarily by following Adam’s example.
To counteract the effect of these unhealthy teachings in the church, Timothy is instructed to teach sound (healthy) doctrine and moral behavior that conforms to the truth of the gospel. Timothy is charged with responsibility to correct present church leaders and to choose new leaders who show godly character traits (1 Tim 1:18-20; 3:1-13; 5:17-25). Paul calls for upright moral character for bishops, deacons, and elders. Qualities desired in church leaders are character traits and Paul does not specify the duties, liturgical responsibilities, or hierarchical roles later attached to these offices in 1 Clement (ca.
1 & 2 Timothy, Titus by Paul M. Zehr