1Cor 12:23: SEX OR BEAUTY?

Jay Anthony Adkins Jadkins26438 at cs.com
Mon Sep 17 06:04:02 EDT 2001

Dear Ward,

At present I admit toward leaning your way in understanding this verse.  I
just wanted to point out that what you saw as an interpretive problem on
my part was not quite fair as my understanding of the terms did not come
from either commentaries or other translations.  Right or wrong my
understanding was based on the following:

ASCHMWN, ON... freq. of someth. that is not openly done, displayed, or
discussed in reserved society because it is considered ‘shameful,
unpresentable, indecent', or ‘unmentionable', opp. EUASCHMWN).  The word
is applied esp. to sexual matters in ...; LXX Gen 34:7, Dt 24:1;... Hence
TA A. (it is prob. unnecessary to supply MELH) the unpresentable parts
i.e. those that elicit special modesty, genitalia 1 Cor 12:23.    BDAG

ASCHMWN, ON... unpresentable (TA A.  private bodily parts 1Co 12:23 )   

Indeed, I asked; "Have I misunderstood the meaning of other terms?"  All I
knew was that as I understood the terms and grammar, it did not make

Your understanding does seem to agree with Louw & Nida which says;
79.16 ASCHMWN, ON: pertaining to being unattractive or unseemly -
`unattractive, ugly, unpresentable. . . . `the parts of our body ... which
are not presentable' or `... which are unattractive' 1Cor 12:23.

Since it appears BDAG is wrong in this instance, it does bring up another
question about the use of lexicons mentioned in another post.  When
someone is struggling to understand a verse from the text, even knowing
that at points BDAG is better than Louw & Nida or the reverse as here, it
is at best difficult to sort through all the options without assistance. 
So thanks to all that have replied to my question both on and off list. 
It is nice to have a place to go to for help.

  Sola Gratia,
         Jay Adkins
Always Under Grace!

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