How better to rework my question over at C.SE, which I reproduce below, so that I may get one other authoritative interpretation other than the plain reading of the text? I would like the authoritative interpretation from BH, if one can be found.

The following scriptural verses and its plain reading were presented in my answer to What is the biblical argument that homosexual attraction is sinful (as opposed to just lust)

I believe the answer if in Trial and Temptation James 1:12-18 (RSVCE), the relevant parts being vv. 12-15:

12 Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one; 14 but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.

It is not sin until v. 15:

15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin[.]

Before then it is a a temptation for them, a trial that scripture calls to them to endure.

What other authoritative interpretations are there other than the one provided by the plain reading of the text?

Please note that only ONE other authoritative interpretation is needed to answer this question.

  • 1
    1) What do you mean by 'authoritative'? 2) We stick to the 'plain meaning' of the text here in its original context, not as interpreted by later religious groups - if that's not what you're looking for, you should probably look elswhere; 3) Be sure to read our site distinctives.
    – Dan
    Dec 8, 2014 at 19:53
  • 3
    But to ask it here, you would simply ask, "What does this text mean?" Then give the text. If you're looking for a theology of sin and culpability, this is not the place.
    – Dan
    Dec 8, 2014 at 19:54
  • @majnemɪzdæn Thank you! You have been very helpful.
    – FMS
    Dec 8, 2014 at 19:58

1 Answer 1


You've got some potentially interesting dots to connect, but (I would suggest) associating this with SSA is a pointless distraction -- or worse than pointless, as it introduces a "red herring" (i.e., logically misleading).

It seems to me that James 1:15 is the could be the essence of a question, in something like these terms:

The metaphor of 'birth' is used in James 1:15 to elaborate the process of temptation, and points to a moment when 'desire' becomes 'sin'. But this leaves the relationship of inclination and act otherwise undefined. What, then, is the relationship between them?

Even that is a bit inadequate, and includes some questionable assumptions. But as further "dots" that might inform a biblical response, one could include:

Each one of those texts, each in a different way, "problematizes" the sin/desire connection -- or so it seems to me.

I don't know how much help this is in framing your question. But @majnemɪzdæn's comment is the BH.SE bottom line. :)

  • Thank you for your help. Leaving aside SSA and focusing only the text, there is no way going around v. 15 which tells us when sin comes to be.
    – FMS
    Dec 8, 2014 at 21:44

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