The Bible and Homosexuality
Only Church Tradition Condemns Homosexuality Not The Bible
The word homosexuality didn't even exist until 1869? The word first appeared in Germany to describe the theory that from birth some people are predisposed toward persons of the
same sex. Since the biblical languages (Hebrew and Greek) had no words for heterosexual or homosexual, it is anachronistic and misleading when homosexual is used to translate a
biblical text. It is wrong to proclaim the biblical view of homosexuality since there is none. This violates the integrity of the individual texts and the biblical witness as a whole. Each
reference to what is today homosexuality must be read in the light of the particular literary, cultural, and historic contexts of any particular passage.
If Jesus ever said anything about homosexuality, it is not recorded in the Bible, even mistranslated. He did, however, speak extensively on God's unconditional love. Yet instead of
dwelling on biblical love, Christians have historically been more concerned with obscure passages of Leviticus codes and Paul's misunderstood comments in Romans. Instead of
focusing on the incredible injustice and hatred demonstrated by Christians and others, tying to deny homosexuals even basic civil rights, people appear more concerned with the
specific homosexual acts between consenting adults who naturally have a God given homosexual orientation. As James B. Nelson notes, the Bible clearly advocates a "love ethic"
rather than a "sex ethic."
Detailed Biblical Study of Homosexuality
Traditional Church teaching falsely misuses the Bible to judge the homosexual lifestyle. True Biblical theology begins not with Church tradition and dogma but with the biblical texts
themselves. Biblical theology seeks to understand how the biblical authors expressed themselves in the Koine Greek of the time (not as expanded by later modern greek meanings), in
terms of their culture. Only with this understanding is it legitimate to define biblical sexual ethics of the New Testament and find implications for today.
There is little said in the bible about homosexuality because it was no big deal! It occupied a prominent and respected position in most Greek and Roman cities at all levels of society
and among a substantial part of the population. There are only 4 scriptures that are taken to say anything about homosexuality; the Leviticus laws, I Cor 6:9, Romans 1:26-27, and the
story of Sodom and Gomorrah - and none address loving, consenting homosexual acts as we know them today.
There are over 600 individual "laws" in the Levitical code, the breaking of anyone of which would make the sinner unclean and unacceptable to God. According to Leviticus it is an
abomination to eat pork, or shell fish or to eat without first cleansing your hands. The law is no longer in effect except by some ultra orthodox Jewish denominations and its purpose
was to show that man could never follow it. The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah likewise have nothing to do with homosexuality but with breaking the rule of hospitality to strangers and
it also is addressing the practice of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah of using orgiastic sex as religious worship to false Gods.
I Cor 6:9, no way refers to homosexuality. The original Greek word often quoted as sexual immorality, Paul used was "porneia" which means "a harlot for hire". In Corinth in the
temples of Venus, the principal deity of Corinth, where Christians went to worship, a thousand public prostitutes were kept at public expense to glorify and act as surrogates for the
fertility Gods. This sex with the pagan Gods is what Paul was talking about - fornication is an admitted mistranslation and has nothing to do with gays or singles sex. This rendering
reflected the bias of the translators rather than an accurate translation of Paul's words to a culture of 2000 years ago worshipping pagan sex gods.
Romans 1:26-27 mentions homosexual acts performed by people who are clearly described as heterosexual. The men in the New Testament patriarchal culture exerted dominance not
only over women, but over younger males as well. The nature of homosexual acts in the Bible are so very different from what we know as homosexuality today that the passages have
no application to today's homosexuality. Alleged references to homosexuality in I Corinthians and I Timothy are the inventions of anti-gay translators. They are not in the original
For Serious Biblical Research - Resources
"Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality"
John Boswell is professor of history at Yale and the winner of the 1981 American Book Award For History among other things. Boswell's 400 page book is renowned as being the most
comprehensive study and is the result of ten years of research. Boswell's extensive study cites from over 100 other scholars works. Paul Robinson of The New York Times Book Review,
says of the book "John Boswell restores one's faith in scholarship...His knowledge of the relevant scholarly literature is remarkable, and his book displays the sweep and control that
one finds only in the work of a major historian. Newsweek in its review said "An astonishing work of scholarship that ranges with ease over fourteen centuries, almost as many
languages..." Boswell goes on for 60 pages just on lexicography, texts and translations. He takes the biblical language very seriously. Boswell is a prize winning, respected historian.
"The New Testament and Homosexuality"
Robin Scroggs, Prof of New Testament at Union Theological Seminary is a serious theologian and is favorable reviewed by many theologians. He is a married heterosexual. He also
cites other theological professors that read his manuscripts and the final book is a combination of much insight from many Christian theologians. Scroggs, includes cites from Boswell
"What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality"
Daniel Helminiask, PH.D., was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1967 and is incardinated in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. From 1981-1985 was Assoc. Prof for Systematic Theology at
Oblate School of Theology and earlier completed his Ph.D. in systematic theology at Boston College and Andover Newton Theological School. He currently is a pastoral counselor and
a Fellow of the Amer Assn of Pastoral Counselors and has authored many books and articles. He concludes the Bible says absolutely nothing about homosexuality being sinful when
you examine the actual Hebrew/Greek texts.
Sources Used:"In God's Image - Christian Witness to the Need For Gay/Lesbian Equality in the Eyes of the Church" By Robert Warren Cromey, Rector, Trinity Episcopal Church; "In
The Courts Of The Lord" by James Ferry (Crossroad $22.95); "Stranger At The Gate" by Mel White (Simon & Schuster $23.00); "Is The Homosexual My Neighbor?" by Latha
Dawson Scanzoni (Harper $12.00)