This work is an extended and modified version of my edits of a Conservapedia article[1].

The interpretive conflict regarding homosexuality[2] and the Bible is a relatively recent phenomenon, between two fundamentally different positions and interpretive foundations. Historical/traditional scholarship evidences that the Bible contains laws which prohibit homosex (same gender sexual relations; also referred to as homoeroticism or homogenital relations), and which are as universal and immutable as laws against illicit heterosexual partners are shown to be (or even more so), as belonging in the same class. In addition, the necessary positive sanction of marriage, which is provided explicitly for opposite genders, is nowhere established for homosexual unions.

Pro-homosex polemicists have responded to this problem by asserting all the injunctions against homosex are culture or contextually bound and do not universally apply today, and or that the Bible is not inspired of God and provides no transcendent universal sexual ethic. In addition, advocates of homosex often propose or assert that homosexuality or perhaps same-sex marriage can be seen in many close relationships between heterosexual persons in the Bible.

Those within the former camp see the attempts by pro-homosex polemicists as unwarranted, "revolutionary and revisionist",[3] with homsexuality misinterpretations being a manifestation of the efforts made from the beginning (Gn. 3:1-5) to both negate what God has commanded in the Bible, as well as to otherwise drastically misconstrue Biblical meanings, sometimes by sophisticated forms of sophistry. Those within the latter camp often charge the former with ignorance, and or being motivated by homophobia[4][5]

This article deals with the phenomenon of pro-homosexual polemics in the light of traditional/historical Biblical exegesis, that of the explanation of a text, based upon proven principals of hermeneutics,[6] or rules of interpretation.

Interpretive Foundation

Abundant evidence exists which manifests that the revisionist school of homosexual apologetics operates out a radically different exegetical basis than which enduring historical Biblical scholarship has evidenced as a whole, and which sees such revisionism as foundationally faulty and aberrant. (Psa 11:2-3).[7][8] As Lionel Windsor observes, the fundamental contention is about hermeneutics, about the interpretation and use of Scripture, in which two views are basically manifest.[9]

Traditional/historical position

Those who hold to the traditional position of unconditional prohibition of homoeroticism usually work from a strong adherence to the theological foundation of Divine Biblical inspiration and infallibility, in which God, as the author of Holy Scripture, made His will for man evident and to be obeyed, especially as concerning basic doctrines and laws on attitude and behavior. This position holds that proper exegesis requires the consistent use of proven rules of interpretation hermeneutics, and that such confirms the transcendent relevancy of the Bible, and that it's moral laws are immutable. Rather than every man doing that which is right according to his judgment, (Dt. 12:8; Jdg. 17:6) man is to be subject to the holy, just and good laws of God, (Rm. 7:12) which are to His benefit when obeyed, and to man's detriment when forsaken. (Dt. 28) In so seeking to live by every word of God, (Mt. 4:4) it becomes evident that a basic literalistic approach to Biblical exegesis is required, so that while interpretations are understood within the context of their respective literary genres, a wide range of metaphorical meanings of the historical narratives are disallowed. By such exegesis, historically Christian theologians overall have also seen the laws of God manifested as within different categories, basically those of immutable transcendent laws, out of which cultural applications are made, and ceremonial laws, which were typological of Christ and His working under the New Covenant. (Colossians 2:16,17; Hebrews 9:10)[10]

In regards to the issue of sexual union, this historical or traditional position, especially as substantiated by conservative Christians, holds that the Bible establishes and consistently confirms that only the women was created from man and for man, as his uniquely compatible and complementary paracletal "helpmeet". And that only this joining of two opposites halves is shown to be what God designed and decreed to make man (for those who so choose to marry) sexually complete, and which no other physical creation could fulfill. (Gn. 2:18-24; Mt. 19:4-6; 1Cor. 11:9; Eph. 5:31) And which purposefully created physical and positional complementary distinctions (1Cor. 11:1-12) precludes fulfillment by same gender unions. In addition, the explicit and abundant evidenced for the establishment of marriage for heterosexuals, by which sexual union is sanctified by God, is seen to stand in stark contrast to the lack of any establishment of marriage between "homosexuals". This conspicuous absence is not found to be constrained by cultural considerations, but rather is due to homosexual relations being foundationally contrary to the aforementioned foundational design and decrees of God.[11]

In addition, and consistent with the understanding that God made basic doctrines and laws for human behavior evident and to be obeyed, the laws and principals concerning human sexual partners are seen as moral, universal and transcendent from the time of their institution, and directly applicable to today's cultural contexts. In examining such, it is evidenced that from the beginning all sexual relations outside marriage were and are consistently categorized as fornication. (1Cor. 7:2). And in contrast to heterosexual unions, in the places where homoerotic relations are most explicitly dealt with (Lv. 18:22; 20:13; Rm. 1:26,27) they are only condemned, with this condemnation also being universal in scope, and not restricted to certain cultural, behavioral or motivational conditions.[12][13][14][15]

German theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg stated, "[T]he biblical statements on this subject merely represent the negative corollary to the Bible's positive views on the creational purpose of men and women in their sexuality."[16]

The final report of the Baptist Union of Western Australia (BUWA) Task Force on Human Sexuality concludes that while all mankind is prone to sin, “the Bible is clear that sin involves choice, and it unequivocally condemns homosexual behavior as sin.”[17][1]

Evangelical Bible scholar Greg Bahnsen[18] sums up the position of traditional Biblical exegesis in stating, "God’s verdict on homosexuality is inescapably clear. His law is a precise interpretation of the sexual order of creation for fallen man, rendering again His intention and direction for sexual relations. When members of the same sex (homo-sexual) practice intercourse with each other...they violate God’s basic creation order in a vile and abominable fashion."[19] In P. Michael Ukleja's summation, “Only towering cynicism can pretend that there is any doubt about what the Scriptures say about homosexuality. The Bible has not even the slightest hint of ambiguity about what is permitted or forbidden in this aspect of sexual conduct."[20] Calvin Smith concludes, "the weak revisionist exegetical arguments, together with far more convincing traditionalist rebuttals, have led me to affirm the traditional view more firmly than ever.[21]

Revisionist/pro-homosex position

Those who seek to find support for sanctioned homoeroticism in Scripture typically view the Bible as a book that allows a much broader range of interpretation and denial of Biblical commands and their immutability, and many evidence that they allow a vast range of metaphorical interpretation within historical narratives. Fundamentally, such revisionists overall typically express a denial of the Bible as the ultimate authority on morals, viewing it more as the expression of a prescientific (ignorant) age, with its laws, in particular as regards homoerotic relations, being culture bound, and categorized as non-applicable for today. While some primary prohomoex scholars do confess that it appears, "Wherever the Bible clearly seems to refer to homosexual activity, we must recognize a judgment of condemnation",[22] or that "It might seem that only a series of verbal pyrotechnics could eliminate the seemingly obvious reference to homosexuality in Romans 1,[23] yet they contend that aggravating circumstances or other aspects provide reasons why injunctions against homosex cannot apply to "loving, monogamous homosexual relationships." Much effort is expended in seeking to relegate Biblical injunctions against homosex (sometimes referred to as "clobber passages") to only a formal cultic context, or only pertaining to pederasty, or to heterosexuals acting contrary to the orientation, while on the other hand they usually profess to see homosexuality within most any close heterosexual relationship in the Bible. In addition, while contending about what the Bible says, few pro-homosex writers believe that the Bible is Divinely inspired, and some use pagan stories and their interpretation of them to favor the practice they seek to justify, expecting that Israel would be like their pagan neighbors in this. The lack of any established sanction for homosex in the Bible is often explained as being the result of editing by homophobic editors,[24], and by deeming that writers of holy writ were too ignorant on the subject of homosexuality for their censure of it to be valid.[25]

More radical in this regard is Professor Walter Wink, who states "I have long insisted that the issue is one of hermeneutics, and that efforts to twist the text to mean what it clearly does not say are deplorable. Simply put, the Bible is negative toward same-sex behavior, and there is no getting around it." And that "Paul wouldn't accept [a loving homosexual] relationship for a minute." However, he and similar revisionists view the Bible as offering no coherent sexual ethic for today, especially as regards homoeroticism, which teaching Wink terms “interpretative quicksand”. Instead, he joins others in asserting that people possess a right to sex that can supercede Biblical laws, and essentially proposes that sexual ethics are best determined by one's own subjective understanding of Christian love.[26] While few pro homosexual writers concede with Wink that the Bible is contrary to same sex behavior, virtually all reject any Biblical censure of it. Author Robin Scroggs states, “Biblical judgments against homosexuality are not relevant to today’s debate.”[27] William M. Kent, a member of the committee assigned by United Methodists to study homosexuality, explicitly denied the inspiration of any anti-homosex passages in the Bible, and their application today. Gary David Comstock, Protestant chaplain at Wesleyan University, termed it "dangerous" to fail to condemn the apostle Paul's condemnation of homosex, and advocated removing such from the canon.[28] Episcopalian professor L. William Countryman contends, “The gospel allows no rule against the following, in and of themselves: . .. bestiality, polygamy, homosexual acts,” or “pornography.”[29] Christine E. Gudorf flatly denies that the Bible is the primary authority for Christian ethics.[30] Bishop (Ret.) John Shelby Spong denies all miracles, including the virgin conception and literal bodily resurrection of Christ, as well as the Divine inspiration of Scripture, and denies that there are any moral absolutes[31]

In response, conservative scholars and writers have evidenced that such positions are contrary to demonstrable sound exegesis, with pro-homosex polemics being a manifest example of those are even now "handling word of God deceitfully", (2Cor. 4:2) with the resultant inversion of Biblical morality by revisionists effectively negating immutable moral laws of the Bible, in favor of a love that can actually rejoice in iniquity. (cf. 1Cor. 13:6)[32] Those who make reliance upon one's own inclinations as the basis for morality are seen as manifesting a form of idolatry, that of making man the ultimate arbiter of what is right, whereas rather than the almighty. (Num. 15:19; cf. Dt. 12:8; Jdg. 17:6,25; Is. 5:21; Jer. 17:9) The basic injunctions against male homosexual partners are held to have been penned under the inspiration of God, and which transcends human wisdom, (cf. Dt. 12:8; Jdg. 17:6; Prov. 12:15; Mt.4:4)), rather than God ordaining morality according to majority vote.[33] It is shown that certain hermeneutics and logic employed by pro-homosex apologists could also effectively work to disallow the immutability of most any moral command (as most had "aggravating circumstances" in their establishment, and or do not address motive), and the Bible itself as a moral authority. One tradiionalist comments, "Like the harlot whose covetousness constrained her to assent to the destruction of a child rather than let her opposing claimant have it (1Ki. 3), the end result of pro-homosex polemics is seen as effectively negating the authority of the very source they seek to claim for their own.[34] This effect may be understood as a desired one, as being consistent with a homosexual agenda[35], and a form of homosexual historical revisionism.

Dr. Albert Mohler[36] describes pro-homsex polemics as contending that “either the biblical texts do not proscribe homosexuality...or the texts do proscribe homosexuality, but are oppressive, heterosexist, and patriarchal in themselves, and thus must be rejected or radically re-interpreted in order to remove the scandal of oppression.” He goes on to conclude that, “The passages are not merely re-interpreted in light of clear historical-grammatical exegesis - - they are subverted and denied by implication and direct assault.”[37]

Pastor Joseph P. Gudel notes, "It is extremely revealing to note that almost every pro-gay group within the church shares one thing in common: they reject the Bible as being fully the Word of God...Likewise, the many pro-homosexual books that have come out almost all reject - or even ridicule - the church's historic stance on the inspiration and authority of Scripture."[38]

Alex D. Montoya[39] prefaces his essay on the subject by stating,

“Developments in the secular society in its acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle have put pressure on the evangelical church to respond in some way. Homosexual spokespersons have advocated varying principles of interpretation to prove from the Bible the legitimacy of their lifestyle. They have resorted to either subjectivism, historic-scientific evolving of society, or cultural biases of the Biblical writers to find biblical backing for their position. Scripture condemns homosexuality is such passages as Genesis 19; Lev 18:22; 20:13; Rom 1:18-32; 1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10; 2 Pet 2:7; and Jude 7. The true biblical teaching on the subject requires the church to condemn the sin of homosexuality, convert the homosexual, confront erroneous teaching, and cleanse itself. The church must be careful not to adopt the customs of the world.”[40]

Principal Sources

Sources of pro homosexual interpretations are abundant,[41] such as Derrick Sherwin Bailey,[42] former Jesuit priest John J. McNeill,[43] Robin Scroggs,[44] Episcoplian Professor L. William Countryman,[45] Roman Catholic priest Daniel Helminiak,[46] and lesser know writers who usually reiterate their polemics. The revisionist scholar who is primarily noted for first advancing their novel view (1955), was the Anglican priest Derrick Sherwin Bailey. In addition to him, perhaps the primary source for most of the main pro homosexual polemics represented here is John Eastburn Boswell. Born in Boston in 1947, and educated at Harvard, he was later made a full professor at Yale, where he founded the Lesbian and Gay Studies Center. Though he was described as a devout Roman Catholic, Boswell was an openly announced homosexual. He wrote a number of books seeking to negate Biblical injunctions against homosexuality and to justify it, with one of his last books being, "Dante and the Sodomites" (1994). Boswell died of complications from AIDS on December 24, 1994, at age 47.

It is noted that most of the pro-homosex polemicists (charged with "turning the grace of God into lasciviousness": Jude 1:4[47]) are by souls who yet profess to be Christians. Conservatives see such as a manifestation of that which the apostle Paul foretold, "Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." (Acts 20:30)

Among evangelical responses to the above, the foremost contributor is Robert A. J. Gagnon,[48] ("The Bible and Homosexual Practice") though he is not a full Biblical fundamentalist, and holds to the JEDP theory[49] as do most of his adversaries. Adding to his numerous and extensive reproofs of pro homosexual claims[50] is Thomas E Schmidt[51] ("Straight and Narrow?"), James B. de Young [52] (Homosexuality: Contemporary Claims Examined in Light of the Bible and Other Ancient Literature and Law), David E. Malick[53] (Condemnation of Homosexuality in Romans 1:26-27, and in 1 Corinthians 6:9), Guenther Haas[54] ("Hermeneutical issues in the use of the Bible to justify the acceptance of homosexual practice), Dave Miller Ph.D. (“Sodom—Inhospitality or Homosexuality?"), apologist James Patrick Holding[55] ("Were David and Jonathan Gay Lovers?"), and other apologists.[56]

Terms Defined

Semantical debate still exists regarding the term "homosexuality." The word "homosexual" itself is a relatively recent one, with it's first know occurrence apparently being in an 1869 pamphlet in the German language, and attributed to native Austrian Karl-Maria Kertbeny. This word is understood to have entered English via a translation of Krafft-Ebing’s "Psychopathia Sexualis". Homo in Latin means "man", but in Greek it means "same", while the word "sexual" is from a late Latin word. This Greek and Latin hybrid annoyed H. Havelock Ellis, author of “Studies in Psychology” (1897) who protested, Homosexual is a barbarously hybrid word, and I claim no responsibility for it.”[57]

This term, which was used within the field of personality taxonomy, and which could be used to denote any same gender environment, eventually came to be used almost exclusively in regards to same sex attraction and it's activity. This use is as yet unsatisfactory, as such use lacks the distinction between nonsexual homosexual social activity, denoted by the term "homosociality," versus same gender love, "homophilia," and which may be romantic, and that of homoeroticism, MSM ((clinically for male sex with men), denoting homosexual erotic activity, that of same gender sexual relations. The term "homosex" (as in man sex) is more rarely used. As most of this article deals with the sexual practice of homosexuals, the term same gender relations or homoeroticism is usually used. Sodomy might normally have been used, but this term (in the KJV, which is used herein) originally defined a male temple prostitute engagingly in homoeroticism.

Genesis: the Unique Union of Man and Women

The Biblical texts which are primarily the subject of homoerotic revisionism fall into two categories; those which prohibit or condemn homoeroticism, in principal or by precept, and those into which sanction for it is alleged. It is seen fitting[58](Gn. 3:1-5) that these attempts begin in Genesis, in seeking to disallow what is termed the complementarian position, for which many reasons are listed for the traditional positionas to why "from the very beginning of the Bible we see that there is only one proper type of marriage: The union of a man and a woman."[59]

(Gen 2:18-24) "And the LORD God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. {19} And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. {20} And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. {21} And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; {22} And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. {23} And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. {24} Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."'

In dealing with Gn. 1:27 and 2:18-24, efforts are made by pro homosexual apologists to negate the uniqueness of God's choice to join man and women together, in order to read into Scripture an allowance for marriage between same genders (which, by implication, may be seen to also include animals). While the Bible only evidences explicit and consistent Biblical declarations of who is joined in marriage, this being heterosexuals, proponents of homoeroticism contend that a “man with man” sexual union can be valid. In attempting to negate the exclusivity of Gn. 2:24, the assertion is made by some proponents of homoeroticism that the joining of only opposite genders would be expected with an empty planet in need of population, and that this does not exclude same gender unions, as procreation is longer a primary need for the human race.[60][61] Countryman supposes that the Genesis 2:24 passage "can equally well be read simply as an etiological story, telling how the institution of marriage came into being."

In response, the context of Gn. 2:18-23 is invoked as showing that it was only after other created beings were found unsuitable for Adam that the women was created. "The lonely Adam is provided not with a second Adam, but with Eve. She is the helper who corresponds to him. She is the one with whom he can relate in total intimacy and become one flesh.[62]

Donald D. Binder also responds, "Absent entirely from his [Countryman's] discussion, is the point that Jesus himself did not interpret the passage etiologically, but normatively (Mark 10:5-9, Matt 19:4-6), providing an ethical basis for the institution of monogamous, heterosexual marriage in the subsequent teachings of the Church[63]

Hilborn states,

...the complementarity of woman and man is more than simply physical. Genesis 1:27 emphasizes that God created human beings in His own image - male and female together. The context shows that this divine image is expressed in a relationship which may be sexual, but which is also spiritual, emotional and psychological.[64]

Welch states that marriage is in essence, "a covenant of companionship that is ordained by God. It is the bringing together as one flesh two people who are truly 'fit' for each other." And that in contrast, "Homosexual acts and homosexual desire, by either male or female, are a violation of this creation ordinance and are thus sinful."[65]

In addition, the Lord Jesus is shown to distinctly affirm the Genesis union of opposite gender union in Matthew 19:

(Mat 19:4-6) "And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and 'mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."'

Gaiser adds that the legal materials in Genesis established boundaries for life as actually lived "outside the garden",[66] and here in the New Testament Jesus references both Gn. 1:27 and 2:14, with the what of “what therefore God hath joined together” in Mt. 19:6 being distinctly stated as being the union of the male with his female counterpart. It is therefore seen that it is only this union which is established and consistently confirmed and exampled in Scripture as having been sexually joined together by God. "It was the women, not another man, that was created out of Adam's side to be at his side, being created from part of man to be uniquely joined together with man sexually, in marriage."[67] As Keil and Delitzsch state, “The woman was created, not of dust of the earth, but from a rib of Adam, because she was formed for an inseparable unity and fellowship of life with the man, and the mode of her creation was to lay the actual foundation for the moral ordinance of marriage." [68]

Robert J. Gagnon argues

Genesis 2:18-24 portrays an originally binary human split down the side into two sexually differentiated counterparts. Clearly, marriage is imaged as a reconstitution, into “one flesh,” of the two constituent parts, male and female, that were the products of the splitting. One’s sexual “other half” can only be a person of the other sex. Men and women are complementary sexual beings whose (re-)merger brings about sexual wholeness in the sphere of erotic interaction.[69]

The text states four times that the woman was “taken from” the “human” (adam, thereafter referred to as an ish or man), underscoring that woman, not another man, is the missing sexual “complement” or “counterpart” to man (so the Hebrew term negdo, which stresses both human similarity, “corresponding to him,” and sexual difference, “opposite him”). Within the story line man and woman may (re-)unite into “one flesh” precisely because together they reconstitute the sexual whole.[70]

The traditional position thus sees that the physical compatibility of the male/female union, with her unique procreational ability, itself stands in clear contrast to same gender unions,[71] and the procreational aspect is what Judaism's traditional opposition to homosexuality is primarily based upon.[72] To suppose that the Designer created man to be sexually joined with one of his own, and with the life giving seed being deposited into the orifice of man designed only for waste to come out, is itself seen to be a supreme insult to God and His power, and His precepts.[73] Yet it is also held that relegating the purpose of opposite gender marriage to being simply for procreation is untenable, as what Scripture reveals is that God also uniquely created the women in order to fill the need of man being alone, "that in addition to procreation, there is a unitive function of sexuality that has to do with fulfilling our need for companionship".[74] This joining is seen as God's declared means of creating sanctioned sexual “oneness,” which other created beings could not fill (Gn. 2:18-20), to the glory of God.

The Song of Solomon is sometimes invoked as revealing that the women is uniquely designed to be man's compatible and complementary mate in more ways than just for procreation.[75] (cf. Prov. 5:15-19) In addition, the sanctity of sex within marriage but apart from emphasis upon procreation also seen as being indicated in the New Testament, where celibate singleness is esteemed (1Cor. 7:7,8,24-43), and marriage between man and women is presented as the primary alternative to fornication, with conjugal relations being enjoined due to what their marriage union entails (1Cor. 7:1-5), with the marriage bed being undefiled. (Heb. 13:4) Jewish tradition also recognizes the importance of marital love and companionship. [76]

In addition, the transcendent exclusivity of marriage being between male and female is seen as being throughout the Bible, in which whenever God gives instructions for sexual bonding it is always between opposite genders - even between animals, as seen in Noah's pairing (Gn. 7:9). The only marriages in the Bible are between man and women, with the Hebrew and Greek words for wife never denoting a male. In contrast to the abundant confirmation of God's sanction for heterosexual relations, it is pointed out that in all of the Bible there exists no establishment of any homosexual marriage by the people of God. “Indeed, every narrative, law, proverb, exhortation, metaphor, and piece of poetry in the Hebrew Bible having anything to do with sexual relations presupposes a male-female prerequisite.”[77]

Jame B. De Young,[78] in “Homosexuality,” writes, “The creation of humans as male and female (Gn. 1) and the heterosexual union that constitutes marriage (Gn. 2) lie at the at the basis of the rest of Scripture and its comments about sexuality and marriage. A proper understanding of, and submission to, the record of Creation will guide the inquirer to the truth about homosexuality and heterosexuality. Genesis 1 — 3 clearly is foundational to other Bible texts.”

In response to the need for a marriage precedent, pro homosexual proponents attempt to make Jonathan and David's covenant a marriage, (see David and Jonathan) to which it is responded that covenants were common in in the Old Testament (the word occurs 285 times) and Jonathan and David made 3 of them, and there is nothing in the description of their relationship that establishes such, or sex. It is also contended that same gender marriage must be allowed since there is no explicit command prohibiting it. In response, it is stated that this polemic possesses the same amount of legitimacy as saying that marriage between man and certain animals is allowed, as these also are not explicitly forbidden. Under traditional exegesis, homosex marriage does needs to be explicitly forbidden, as God clearly specifies, and consistently confirms who is joined together in marriage, and unconditionally prohibits men laying with men as with women (Lv. 18:22), which “cleaving” is intractably part of God's description of marriage.[67]

1 Corinthians 11

"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." (1Cor 11:3)

An additional argument by pro homosexual writers, in regard to the foundational union of the male and female, is one which asserts that the injunctions against homoeroticism are based upon outdated male headship. "Increasing numbers of scholars— influenced by the sexual deconstruction of M. Foucault and by the feminist critique of biblical sexuality—freely acknowledge a biblical condemnation of homosexuality, but dismiss this condemnation on the ground that it is an arbitrary expression of an obsolete patriarchalism. Since, they maintain, power creates truth, new power structures will create new sexual mores based on mutuality.[79]

Opposing this is the traditionalist's argument[67] that from the beginning, God is the author of male headship, and maintains it without abrogation in the New Testament. (Gn. 3:16; 1Tim. 2:12,13) 1 Cor 11:1-16 is a primary text in this regard, in response to which a modern argument contends that this positional distinction (not simply its expression) is culturally caused. This is traditionally dealt with by contextually showing that this distinction is based upon the creational, ontological distinction between man and the women, in which the man is the head of the women, like as the Father is the head of the Son, and Christ is the head of the church.[80]

In addition, it is evidenced that, while positional distinctions themselves do not require opposite genders, the reason for the headship of the male over the women is presented as being directly due to her being created from the man, "For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man." (1Cor 11:8) The next verse explicitly stated that it was the women who was created for the man: "Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man." (v.9)

This statement of purpose is seen to hearken back to Gn. 2:18-24, in which, after making it apparent that no other earthly creation was fitting, the women was created out of to be man's “helpmeet”, that, as is uniquely abundantly manifest throughout the Bible, by design and decree she is his uniquely compatible and complementary mate in marriage, in more ways than only the procreative aspect. "It is only in the heterosexual union of marriage that we find the fulfillment of God's intended order, both procreative and unitive."[81] The mutual interdependence of the women and the man is next seen in vs. 11-12

In the light of these additional texts, to join man with man is further understood as being contrary to the sanctified union in marriage between man and women, in which opposite and uniquely compatible genders hold distinctive yet complimentary roles due to their creational differences, both in position and purpose.

Baker's states,

From the beginning it is acknowledged that humankind is created in two genders that together bear God's image (Gen 1:27) and together constitute a unity of flesh (Gen 2:24). The reaffirmation of these two notions in key New Testament passages on sexuality (Matt 19:1-12; 1 Cor 7:12-20) demonstrates the continuity and importance of sexual differentiation in the construction of a normative biblical sexuality. More simply put, humankind is created to find human completion only in the (marital) union of two sexes.[82]

Celibacy, Polygamy, and Procreation

Some pro homosexual revisionists see the complementarian position as one that makes single persons less human,[83][84] while the conservative response is basically that what sexual union in marriage enables and sanctifies is sexual completeness, but that this is not required of all under the New Testament, and may be sacrificially forsaken, but which requires sexual abstinence. Gagnon states, "First, to assert that male and female are two incomplete parts of a sexual whole is not the same as saying that all people must marry if they are to be whole persons. It is to say, rather, that if a person chooses to engage in sexual activity, that person always and only does so in his or her particularity as one part of a two-faceted sexual whole, as male or as female. Men and women have inherent integrity in their respective sexes: Men are wholly male and women are wholly female. They are not half-male and half-female, respectively (which, again, is the unfortunate logic of same-sex sexual bonds) The image in Gen 2:21-24 of a woman being formed from what is pulled from the man/human illustrates the point that the missing element from one sex is not another of the same sex but rather one from the only other sex."

It is also understood that as plant and animal food was specifically provided for man as his normal sustenance,(Gn. 9:2-6) but may be abstained from (1Cor. 7:5; 2Cor. 6:5) - if only for a time due to necessity - so sex can be abstained from for a time, and marriage permanently if one so chooses. But to engage in sexual relations contrary to the sanctified means for such (marriage), or to be joined in marriage with an unlawful partner, is seen to have less justification than cannibalism.

In support of the traditional position it is additionally argued that the exhortation to celibacy in singleness (1Cor 7:7,8,25-35) is shown to be based upon the spiritual nature of the believers relationship with Christ and His kingdom and the attention it is worthy of, and (if only partly) due to "the present distress", (v. 26) and perhaps a sense of imminent trials,[85] but which in no way abrogates the restriction of sexual relations to being only between opposite genders in marriage.

Proponents of homoeroticism also argue that the allowance of polygamous marriages in the Old Testament (even concubines were wives: Gn. 25:1; cf. 1Ch. 1:32; Gn. 30:4; cf. Gn. 35:22; 2Sam. 16:21, 22, cf. 2Sam. 20:3) indicates a departure from the Genesis model, and thus sets a precedent that would allow same sex relations and marriages.[86] In response, it is pointed out that there is no structural change here, as while union with more than one wife was allowed, and the New Testament restores that to the original of one wife, (Gn. 2:24; Mt. 19:5 Eph. 5:22-6:2)[87][88][89] yet even an excess of wives is manifest as keeping with the creational design and directive in which the women was created for the man, with polygamy only differing from the Genesis model which Jesus affirmed in the number of female wives (as in too much of a good thing: Prv. 18:22), not their gender.

McNeill[90] and others attempt to force marriage under the New Testament to include homosexuals due to its lower priority upon procreation. However, conservative Christians in particular see the Bible explicitly honoring romantic and erotic love between a man and his female spouse in places such as the Song of Solomon (cf. Prov. 5:15-19), and otherwise revealing the marriage bond as being far more than for procreation, with the women's uniqueness as the helpmeet of the man transcending that aspect (although the complementary aspect relative to procreation is held as important by conservative Jews and Christians, and which itself excludes same sex unions).[91]

In additional support of the traditional position, it is argued that while under the New Covenant physical procreation is not seen as having the priority evidenced in the Old Testament, yet not only is the unique union of man and women in marriage (alone) affirmed, but rather than long term sexual abstinence in marriage being promoted (or sex only as part of procreation), regular benevolent conjugal relations are actually enjoined, which are based upon to the depth of the ordained marriage union (1Cor. 7:3-5; Heb. 13:4).

Gal. 3:28 is used in homosexual argumentation, to negate the ontological argument against homomarriage.[92] Countering this is historical exegesis, which evidences that while all believers are spiritually one in Christ regardless of sexual and racial distinctions, and in the spiritual age to come even sexual unions will not exist between the elect, (Mt. 22:30; Lk. 20:34-36) yet it is also evident that this spiritual oneness does not negate positional/functional differences, (Heb. 13:17) including those based upon creational distinctions (1Cor. 11:1-3; Eph. 5:22-25; 1Pt. 3:1-7) or the effects of the Fall. (1Tim. 2:9-15)[93][94] And that essential spiritual equality does not abrogate basic moral laws, including those against unlawful sexual partners, and the specifications of who is to be joined in marriage, which are seen as upheld in the New Testament.

Eunuchs and Exegesis

(Mt. 19:9-12) "And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. {10} His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. {11} But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. {12} For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."

The traditional position sees Jesus referring to three ways in which men become eunuchs. From the Jewish perspective the first would be those who were born without the ability to procreate, exhibiting a mutilation of human nature,[95] and possibly those who were asexual. The second were those who likewise could not procreate due to men making them that way. Mathew is writing to the Jews, and these eunuchs may find their Old Testament reference in Dt. 23:1, where such persons were forbidden from (at least) the Temple service. (cf. Lv. 21:17-24) The second means is also confirmed in Isaiah 39:7, which foretells some Israelites being made eunuchs by the Babylonians, as part of Israel's punishment.

The last case of eunuchs are those who purposely choose to be single and celibate, as referred to in 1 Cor. 7:7,32-35, in order to better attend to the things that most directly pertain to the kingdom of God. Among the Essenes it is believed there were examples of this.[96] But celibacy within marriage is actually forbidden in 1Cor. 7:5. (Note: The early church leader Origen castrated himself, literally following Matthew 19:12, perhaps to remove any hint of scandal as he taught young women their catechism. He later came to see his action as ill-advised and not to be taken as an example.)[97]

However, here some of the more extreme pro homosexual revisionists, postulate or assert that at least some some of the eunuchs in the Bible, and those which Jesus referred to in Mt. 19:12, were natural born homosexuals, and controvert “all cannot receive this saying” (v. 11) to refer to the uniqueness of the male/female union of Gn. 2, and thus conclude, “Jesus did not prohibit same sex marriage for born eunuchs”, asserting they are “exempt from the Adam and Eve style, heterosexual marriage paradigm”. Then, enlisting 1Cor. 1:8,9, and subjecting Scripture to man's wisdom (stating abstinence is unreasonable), the pro homosexual apologist reasons that marriage must be allowed for them [98]

In favor of the traditional position, it is understood that the Hebrew word for "eunuch" can also refer to such men as the officer of Pharaoh who was married, or an officer over men of war.[99] (Gn. 39:1ff; 2King. 25:19) Countering this, while some traditionalists allow that sometimes eunuchs who were considered to have been born that way could procreate,[100][101] and of which some, in pagan nations, may have been sexually active homosexuals,[102] and not simply asexual, yet they establish that Israel was not to be like other nations, (Lv. 18:24,27) and Jesus, the the Jews and the apostles the O.T. moral laws upheld the O.T. moral laws (Jesus did modify an interpretation to make bring it back to its original stringency). As Gagnon notes, not only in Scripture but every extant "piece of evidence that we have about Jewish views of same-sex intercourse in the Second Temple period and beyond is unremittingly hostile to such behavior.[103][104]

Using established means of exegesis, it is argued that the untenable nature of the pro homosexual argument is evident from the beginning and throughout.

Mt. 19:3-12 reveals Jesus restoring the original standard for marriage, referencing back to it's institution in Gn. 2, and in which He affirms that the “what” of “what therefore God hath joined together” is the unique union of one man for one women for life, except that the fornication clause may negate it's permanence, but which clause itself reaffirms that sex outside marriage is sin (cf. 1Cor. 7:2). Hearing the narrowness of the original standard, the disciples react that it is not good to get married. Jesus response is in recognition of the validity this statement, insofar as not all men can receive (or submit) to the disciples expressed conclusion, but only those to whom it is given, whom Jesus calls eunuchs, which refers to both physical and spiritual ones. This perfectly correlates to what the Holy Spirit establishes under the New Covenant, in which “every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that” in 1Cor. 7:7, in context referring to being either married or single and celibate. "Although marriage was normally expected of Jewish people, Jesus here acknowledged the value of a single life that includes abstinence, without making celibacy the norm for Christians."[105]

The pro homosexual polemic controverts this, asserting that what Jesus was referencing to (“this saying”) was the kind of marriage, that being between male and female, to negate it's exclusivity as a type, when instead Jesus was referring to the disciple's conclusion which had become the issue in response to the permanence of marriage, that being single was to be preferred.

The homosexual polemic next proposes that the advocation of marriage due to intense longing in 1Cor. 7:9 must also sanction same gender marriage, but fully consistent with all other teaching on marriage, it is only the male and female who can be joined in marriage here, and not to anyone or anything contrary to what God has joined, nor to unscripturally separate what He has joined. Sinful man may desire many things, but only that which is lawful may be sought. It is evidenced that the sanction of marriage here does not abrogate the Biblical restrictions on marrying near kin, or another man's wife, or an animal, no matter how much one may long to do so, or between same genders. 1Cor. 7 also further establishes that “eunuchs” are those who are single and celibate. It is also argued that simply desiring sex is not the real issue in 1Cor. 7:9, and celibacy can also be chosen by persons who could be married if they so choose, and have as much or more drive than others, as like the passionate Paul, they can keep their body under subjection (1Cor. 9:27) as they seek and serve the LORD, who Himself was single and was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15).

While same gender marriage cannot be established in the Bible, another polemic employed by some pro homosexual writers who equate eunuchs with homosexuals, is one which asserts that since that Jesus did not say that eunuchs must be celibate, then the door to homosexual marriage is open (some may even assert that they need not be married). However, in addition to countering the hermeneutic that subjects the validity of all morality to whether Jesus explicitly mentioned it or prohibited it, the Bible only evidences that eunuchs (Mt. 19:10) would be of those who would choose celibacy, while only Genesis type marriage is once again confirmed. (1Cor. 7:1-7,32-38) The homosexual argument here can be seen to have a validity similar to saying that since God never commanded that man cannot marry animals, then this may be a option. Or that as consensual (agreed to before hand) cannibalism is not explicitly forbidden, then it might be practiced. Certain texts such as Gn. 49:27; Est 9:24 cf. Jer. 15:3 might even possibly be contrived to approve such by extreme revisionists. While cannibalism may be seen as allowable by some in life or death circumstances, which sex is not, yet it could never be allowed as a practice, as it is contrary in principal to what God established, as is homoeroticism, for which the Bible does not even provide any type of conditional sanction. (using another law of purpose, God establishes in Gn. 9:3 and elsewhere that man's need for food (sustenance) was to be fulfilled by plants and animals, which is the only manner of feeding we see sanctioned in Scripture. This itself serves as a basis to eliminate a diet of the flesh of man - no matter how much one might crave it - though cannibalism is not explicitly forbidden.)

The specious nature of the pro homosexual argument is overall seen when one considers the manner of Biblical evidence needed for the radical new marriage they suppose is sanctioned. When the Bible does indeed establish what is approved basic moral behavior, or abrogate a major restriction on behavior, or modifies it, then that is made clear. Food laws and the physical sacrificial system are manifest examples, while treatment of slaves (which is not in the same class of laws as sex partners, or other basic moral laws) is further ameliorated, changes which pro homosexuals can only dream would be said regarding homoeroticism. Instead, laws regarding illicit sex partners are abundantly upheld, including the consistent explicit condemnation of homosex, while heterosexual marriage is strengthened, with opposite genders being distinctly stated as regards what God joined. All this precludes any need for an explicit statement, such as “eunuchs are not to be married”, and instead, such an explicit statement and clear example sanctioning same sex marriage is what the pro-homosex polemic critically needs, but such cannot be seen or derived.[106]

An additional argument used in seeking to negate the exclusivity of opposite gender marriage is to assert that different types of marriage are allowed in Scripture, such as polygamy and concubines (a type of an economical wife, but a wife nonetheless). In response, it is pointed out that these were types of the original union, and actually stand as an argument against same gender marriage, as all manifest cases of sanctioned marriage are between male and female counterparts, even though Solomon had multitudes of the latter. In Mt. 19:3-8, Jesus revealed that in the Old Testament God allowed a degree of broadness as regards the number of wives and the permanence of it, in condescension to their carnality, yet in bringing it back to it's original standard Jesus distinctly stated it was male and female which God joined together.

Additionally, Acts 8:26-40 is invoked as showing that eunuchs could be saved through repentance and faith in the LORD Jesus, and such required repentance from all forms of fornication. In contrast, in the Old Testament being made a eunuch was demeaning, while under the New Covenant no amoral physical aspect excludes one from being part of the kingdom. But practicing immoral behavior does, as it denies the faith, and thus the redeemed included those were formerly “effeminate” (1Cor. 6:9-11).

In conclusion, pro homosexual writers argue that sanction for a radical new concept of marriage can be derived from the words of Jesus and Paul, while traditional exegesis evidences that Scripture nowhere attests to such, and that instead the LORD reaffirmed the original unique union of opposite genders, in restoring the permanence of that bound. And that those who do not marry are considered eunuchs, able to be single, and required to be celibate, as the LORD as well as His apostle Paul were. (1Cor. 7:7,8)

Proclivity and permission polemic

The prior homosexual argument relates to one that posits that some men are born homosexual, and thus marriage must be allowed for them.[107] The premise for this is both unproven,[108] and it's logic is untenable. No sound evidence exists to prove that homosexuals were born that way, though this may be possible, and certainly one individual may be more prone to one type of sin that another. However, this is irrelevant as the Biblical fact is that all mankind is born with a proclivity to sin, but this in no way justifies acting it out. (Romans 6, 7; 1John 2:6). Every day men must resist sexual desire if it would be immoral as contrary the Creator's laws, which are good and necessary. (Rm. 7:12) The logical end of the homosexual argument is that all innate proclivity to sin justifies acting it out, but God told Cain that he could resist sin. (Gn. 4:7), and commands us to resist sin and overcome it, and shows us how.[109](Rm. 8; 12)

It also may be postulated that if wasting of seed is the real reason for prohibitions against homosex, then the Bible would have also explicitly addressed spilling of semen by self sexual stimulation, often called onanism by Orthodox Judaism, relating it to the Divine execution of Onan (Gn. 38:4-10) for coitus interruptus. However, Onan's most evident sin appears to be his selfishness and disobedience in refusing to raise up seed to his brother, which requirement would later become codified in Mosaic law (Dt. 25:5-10). The Talmud has a passage (b. Niddah 13b) which links self stimulation and pederasty together as violations of marriage. The issue of man's seed of copulation going out from him is addressed in Lv. 15:16, but the manner is not evident, and for which the penalty was being unclean until the evening. While some disagree, self sexual release is usually held by conservative Bible believers as being contrary in principle to precepts concerning sexual joining, (1Cor. 7:2; 1Thes. 4:4) lust, (Mt. 5:8) and temperance, (1Cor. 9:7) and included in prohibitions against sexual uncleanness, as well as for testimony sake.(Eph. 5:3; 1Cor. 10:31,32)[110][111] But as this would likely have been more the occasion of wasting seed than male homosex, then explicit regulations would be expected if wasting the seed were the reason for laws against the latter.


In summary, traditional exegesis of Gn. 1:27,27; 2:18-24 with its relevance texts, evidences that the warranted essential basis for the injunctions against homosex is that it is intrinsically contrary to the union God has established for man. All marriage in Scripture is based upon it's foundation in Genesis, in which God purposely created two different genders to be joined in a uniquely complementary and compatible sexual union, for procreational and non procreational sex, with distinctive positions patterned after the Divine order, which are also supremely designed for certain functions of their non-erotic union. In contrast to homosexual attempts at eisegesis (2Pet. 3:16) nowhere is same sex marriage evident or sanctioned, in principal or by precept. Rather, to join Adam (man) with one of his own (or an animal), is manifestly radically contrary to what God has specifically and transcendentally ordained, by both design and decree, and is maintained in principle and by precept. This conclusion may be summed up as "What therefore God has placed (sexually) asunder, let no man join together."

Genesis 19

This story begins earlier in Genesis 13, in which Abraham and his nephew Lot have too many livestock for their present land, and Abraham, seeking peace, offers Lot the first choice as to what land he shall choose. Lot sees and chooses the then verdant plain of Sodom, but the text provides the sober note, "But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly." (Gen 13:13). Further on in chapter 18, the LORD and two angels visit Abraham in the plains of Mamre, appearing as men, with the two angels being sent on a mission of investigation and judgment to Sodom. Understanding the nature of judgment, Abraham most reverently intercedes for Lot and his kin, and is assured by God that even if there remains at little as 10 righteous souls in the city then God will not destroy it. The verdict of the investigation of the "very grievous" (or heavy) sin of Sodom is revealed in what happens to the angels appearing as men.

Gn. 18: "And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; {21} I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. {22} And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD."

Gn. 19: "And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; {2} And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. {3} And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.

{4} But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: {5} And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. {6} And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, {7} And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. {8} Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. {9} And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. {10} But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. {11} And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

{12} And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: {13} For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it."

The issue here is not simply that forced manner of sexual relations is what is best evidenced, but also the perverse homosexual nature of it, which defines the practice from whence the term "sodomy" was derived, and accentuates the Sodomites worthiness of judgment. Gordon J Wenham states, "...undoubtedly the homosexual intentions of the inhabitants of Sodom adds a special piquancy to their crime. In the eyes of the writer of Genesis and his readers it showed that they fully deserve to be described as 'wicked, great sinners before the LORD' (13:13) and that the consequent total overthrow of their city was quite to be expected."[112] Jewish Ethics and Halakhah For Our Time (2002), comments, “The paradigmatic instance of such aberrant behavior is found in the demand of the men of Sodom to “know” the men visiting Lot, the nephew of Abraham, thus lending their name to the practice of “sodomy” (homosexuality)[113]

This story evidences for traditionalists that the most notable physical sin of Sodom had to do with homoerotic relations,[114][115] and which “filthy” lifestyle resulted in Sodom becoming the foremost example of the judgment of God, and a warning to “those that after should live ungodly” (Pet. 2:6), while pro-homosex apologists most typically seek to disallow that the "very grievous" sin of Sodom here had anything to do with homoeroticism. Instead, they seek to attribute it to simply being "inhospitality.”[116] An exception to such is the notable pro homosexual scholar Robin Scroggs, who confesses he finds it “difficult to deny the sexual intent of the Sodomites”, and states he believes “the traditional interpretation to be correct.”[117] Conservative apologist James Holding states, "I know of no evidence for the claim that Lot violated a custom by not getting permission to have a guest."[118] While Sodom certainly manifested “inhospitality,” it is the specific expression of it which is the issue.

Grammatical contentions

Two words focused upon in the attempt to remove homosexual abuse from Gn. 19 are men as in "the men of Sodom", and "know" as in know them, which the men demanded Lot allow them to do regarding his guests. The first assertion is that the word for men used in Genesis 19:4, "'ĕnôsh" (Strong, #582), is not gender specific, but simply indicates mortals or people, and instead the word îysh (or eesh) (Strong, #376), would have been used in Gn. 19:4 if it specifically meant men.[119] Actually, Gn. 19:4 does state both "the men of Sodom" and "all the people", but the use of enosh need not exclude the men from being the more particular subject, as 'ĕnôsh is often used elsewhere where the subjects are specifically male (Gn. 6:4; 17:27; 26:7; 34:7; 43:15-18,24,33; Ex. 2:13; Josh. 2:2-5, etc.), and is sometimes used in distinction to women (Ex. 35:22; Dt. 31:12; Jdg. 9:51; Neh. 8:3), as well as for all the references to the angels in this chapter (Gn. 18:2,16,22; Gn. 19:5,8,10-12,16). The word 'ĕnôsh is often used to denote man in plurality, including both men and women (Josh. 8:25) and when men only are indicated (Jdg. 8:17; 2Sam 11:17; 2 Ki. 10:6; 6:30; 8:17), and in such places as Josh. 8:14 for all the people when men in particular are preeminent (in such Biblical times, it was the men who did the actually fighting and were usually targeted for killing). As for “Iyish” [H376] this word is most often for singular males, but it is not necessarily always gender specific (Ex. 11:7; 16:18; Jer. 51:43; Hos. 11:9, etc.), and can also denote what would seem to be a mixed multitude (Num. 9:10; Josh. 10:21). Another word is 'âdâm (H120), which is used for mankind in general (Gn. 6:1; 2Ch. 6:18,30; Job 7:20), but it also is not gender specific (Ex. 4:11; 8:17,18; 9:9,10,19,22; 30:32; 33:20) The Hebrew word which is strictly gender specific is zâkâr (H2145), and is used in such cases as Gn. 7:10 and Lv. 18:22; 20:13 in specific use, but it is not the only word used to denote a crowd of men. Also, the word used for people ("‛am," H5971) in Gn. 19:4, as in "all the people from every quarter", can be used when it would apply to males in particular, as in Gn. 26:10.

Therefore, while 'ĕnôsh may often denote a multitude of people irrespective of gender, yet as it is used in cases where men are clearly the subject, it's use in Gn. 19:4 to denote men as the particular subject cannot be disallowed. In the continuing context, Lot goes outside and entreats his brethren (a word ('âch, H251) that most often denotes males), saying, "I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly", and proceeds to offer them his two daughters "which have not known man" (v. 8). This they refuse, and they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door." But the men ('ĕnôsh) angels rescue him (vs. 4-11). Lot's address and the nature of his appeal and their violent reaction best indicates men in particular.

The next word in contention is the Hebrew word yâda‛ (H3045), for know, in "that we may know them", and "I have two daughters which have not known man". (Gn. 19:5-8) This word is more critical as to determining the particular nature of the inhospitality of Sodom. To those familiar with the Biblical use of yâda‛ as a primary verb to sexually know a human, the meaning is clear enough, but homosexual apologists contend that since yâda‛ is used over 940 times to denote non-sexual knowing, then it's use here only denotes interrogation, albeit of a violent nature.[120] However, while forced sex is mentioned elsewhere (2 Sam. 13:1-14), violent interrogation itself is not evident in the Scriptures, and yâda‛ is never used to denote gaining information by such means, unless Jdg. 19:25 (the parallel account to Gn. 19) is made to convey such, but interrogation is hardly conveyed by “they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning”. (Jdg. 19:25). Even the use of yâda‛ to denote gaining non-sexual personal knowledge by close contact with another person is exceedingly rare. (Gn. 45:1) But yâda‛ is clearly used 14 times in the Old Testament, in addition to Gn. 19:4, and an equivalent word 2 times in the New, to denote knowing someone sexually: Gn. 4:1,17,25; 24:16; 38:26 (premarital); Num. 31:17,18,35; Jdg. 11:39; 19:25; 21:11,12; 1Sam. 1:19; 1Ki. 1:4; cf. Mt. 1:25; Lk. 1:34. Another likely instance of such, and of a non-consensual homosexual act, is in Gn. 9:20-27 (v. 24).[121]

The Bible, as in many languages and cultures, makes abundant use of euphemisms for sex, such as "know" or "lie with" or "uncover the nakedness of" or "go in into", etc. Ancient languages which also used this allegorical use of “know” included Egyptian, Akkadian, and Ugaritic, as well as Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopic, and Greek The Egyptian equivalent is "rh" and the Ugaritic is "yd." Both may mean " to know sexually" in certain contexts. The Aramaic yeda has the same breadth of meaning as the Hebrew.[122] Hebrew scholars defining 'know' as used in Genesis 19:5, used terminology like 'sexual perversion'[123] 'homosexual intercourse',[124] and 'crimes against nature'.[125][126]

Additionally, Lot's offer of his two daughters who “have known [yâda'] man” (Lot had married ones also, not with him) to the Sodomites in response to their demanded to “known” his guests, in the light of the Biblical use of yâda' in sexual descriptions, especially narratives, this best indicates that Lot was offering substitute bodies for them to know sexually, rather than being sacrificed in pagan idolatry, as some homosexual apologists usually assert. The latter position is untenable in the light of the response of the men to the same offer in the parallel story in Judges 19. However, Bailey cannot see any sexual connection between Lot's offer and the Sodomites demand to know the men, and pro-homosexual author Boswell thinks it was a tempting, but hasty bribe,[127] and Scroggs sees the traditional interpretation of Gn. 19 being correct. As one traditional commentator states, “In narrative literature of this sort it would be very unlikely to use one verb with two different meanings so close together unless the author made the difference quite obvious. In both verses 5 and 8 "yada" should be translated "to have sexual intercourse with." The context does not lend itself to any other credible interpretation.” [128][2]

Another revisionist argument is that the less ambiguous word shakhabh (H7901) would have been used instead of the word "yâda if sexual knowing was meant,[129] and which is countered by evidence that shakhabh even more often means sleep or rest rather than sex, while (again) "yâda is used instead of shakhabh to gain sexual knowledge 13 times in the Old Testament Bible, besides the disputed verses in Gn. 19, consistent with the extensive use of euphemisms in the Bible.

In their quest to render yâda to be non-sexual, some revisionists point to the Greek Septuagint translation which renders yâda' in Gen 19:5 as synginomai, which could mean to become acquainted, while v. 8 translates yâda' as ginosko ("know), which is clearly sexual in that verse. Besides problems with the Septuagint[130] and the incongruity of the men of Sodom merely wanting to get acquainted with the strangers, that synginomai can have a sexual meaning is evidenced by Gen 39:10, in which synginomai is used to refer to Joseph's refusal to sleep with the wife of Potiphar. It also occurs in three places in the Apocrypha (Judith 12:16; Susanna 11, 39), with all conveying a sexual meaning. Among secular sources, synginomai is used to denote a sexual meaning in Xenophon's "Anabasis" 1.212, Plato's Republic 329c (5th to 4th century B.C.), and, among others, in writings of Epidaurus (4th cenury B.C), which indicates that the translators of the Septuagint knew of the use of the term for sexual meanings, which use preceded their translation.[131]

It is noteworthy that pro-homosex polemicists who disallow a sexual meaning here are often not reluctant to read homosex or a homosexual relationship into stories such as Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan, Daniel and Ashpenaz, the centurion and his servant, Jesus and John, and (some) Elijah and the son of the widow of Zarephath, and even resort to asserting that Paul was a repressed homosexual, while even more extreme examples can be seen.

As yâda is often used as a verb to refer to sex narratives, but in forbidding illicit sex, another attempt is made to disallow homosex in Gn. 19 based upon the absence of yâda when the Bible mentions homosexual acts (in Lv. 18:22; 20:13; 23:17).[132] However, this argument fails, as it would also disallow yâda from denoting premarital sex, (Gn. 38:26) or forced sex, (Jdg. 19:25) which, like Gn. 19, is described in narratives by using the euphemism yâda, but when proscribed as a sin, it uses the euphemism “lie/lay” (Dt. 22:25-29). None of the laws against illicit sex use yâda.

Judges 19

In this episode, beginning in Jdg. 19:1, a Levite (who is no model of virtue himself) is traveling back home after fetching his departed concubine (a wife: Jdg. 20:4; Gn. 30:4; 35:22; 2Sam. 16:21, 22), who played the whore against him and ran away. On his way back, and finding no one that would receive him in a strange city (Gibeah), he is taken in by an old man, a resident of the town. No sooner had they eaten, then "certain sons of Belial" came and demanded of the old man, "Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know [yada] him" (v. 22). Like unto Lot, the host beseeches them “do not so wickedly” (v. 23), adding, “do not this folly”, and then offers his own virgin daughter and the Levite's concubine to them to “humble, saying "unto this man do not so vile a thing." At first it appears they refused, hoping for the man, but being given the concubine by the man, "they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go."

Some homosexual apologists sometimes contend that this abuse also was non-sexual, and that they only wanted to kill the man by violent interrogation, but here again, that the crowd's desire to "know" the guest(s) was sexual is best indicated by the context and language. The only two choices for the manner of “knowing” are that the men wanted to non-sexually interrogate the men, or that they desired to know them sexually, both being in a violent way that could or would lead to death. Again, rather than the word “know” (yâda‛) meaning gaining intimate personal knowledge by interrogation, it is clearly used is many places for gaining sexual knowledge by physical intimacy, as shown under the Gn. 19 section. And as there, the offer of virgins by the resident host (who like Lot, would know what his fellow countrymen were after) is best understood as an offer of substitute bodies for immediate gratification by sex, even if it was abusively. This is in contrast to the idea that the offer of the women was for a pagan sacrifice, which is contrary to their response and th fact that the men of the city were Benjaminites (19:14; 20:4; cf. Josh. 18:24; 21:17). The Levite did fear they would kill him (Jdg. 20:5), and the concubine did die, but not until after they “knew her, and abused her” and let her go (vs. 25-28). The Levite further stated that they “forced” (KJV) her, that she was dead (Jdg. 20:5). He then states that they “committed lewdness and folly (same word as vile) in Israel" (Jdg. 20:6).

Grammatically, the Hebrew word used for humble (“‛ânâh” , H6031), as in “humble ye them” (19:24), usually means afflict, but it is also often used for humbling someone sexually (Gn. 34:2; Ex. 22:10,11; Dt. 21:14; 22:21,24;29;. 2Sam.13:12,14,32), while “folly” and "vile", as in “do not this folly”, and “do not so vile a thing” (Jdg. 19:23,24), are from the same Hebrew word (“nebâlâh,” H5039), which is mostly used in sexual sense when referring to a specific sin of action (Gn. 34:7; Dt. 22:21;. 2Sam.13:12; Jer. 29:23). Likewise, “lewdness” (“zimmâh/zammâh,” H2154), as in “they have committed lewdness and folly in Israel” (20:6), is used more in a sexual sense than for any other type of sin (Lv. 18:17; 19:29; 20:14; Jer. 3:27; Ezek. 16:43,58; 22:11; 23:21,27,29,3544,,48). “Abused” (“‛âlal,” H5953) as in “they knew her and abused her all the night” (v. 25) offers no other precise meaning other here than what the context indicates.

Taken together, it is most evident that the abuse the women suffered was violently sexual, and which best defines the type of “knowing that “certain sons of Belial” (a term used for fornicators in 1Sam. 2:12, cf. v.22) sought to have, and which would result in death. And which serves to define the manner of “knowing” which was sought in Gn. 19. The only real difference between this and Gn. 19 is that these men finally took the substitute offer of the women (which was also sin). And though both Gn. 19 and Jdg. 19 specifically show homosexual rape itself to be sin, it was not simply the manner in which they sought relations (such as the women suffered) that was called vile, but the homosexual aspect of it. Even pro-homosex author Robin Scroggs also concurs that in Jdg. 19 "the verb [yada] almost surely refers to a sexual desire for homosexual rape", and that the traditional interpretation of Gn. 19 is correct.[133]

Finally, that the sin of Sodom was attempted homosexual rape hardly needs any of the above for confirmation, as Jude 7 clearly tells us that not only was Sodom and company given to fornication, but that this included a perverse kind.

Jude 1:7

Jude is a book dealing with the manifestations and consequences of spiritual and moral declension, in contrast to the purity and power of the holy love of God. Verse 7 come after examples of men and angels who went backwards in rebellion against God, and suffered certain judgment. Jude then declares,

"Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." (KJV)

Here, it is explicitly stated that not only Sodom but also Gomorrha and the cities about them in like manner “gave themselves over to fornication.” with a specific form of it being the culmination of such surrender to sensuality. The Greek (which the New Testament was written in) word from which the emphasized phrase comes from, is “ekporneuō” (G1608), and is only Biblically used here, but it is a combination of “ek,” denoting motion, as in “giving themselves,” and “porneuō,” meaning fornication. Ekporneuō also occurs in the Septuagint to denote whoredom in Genesis 38:24 and Exodus 34:15. The verb ekporneuo refers to sexual immorality with the preposition ek explaining that it means that "they gave themselves up fully, without reserve, thoroughly, out and out, utterly."[134]

In response, most homosexual apologists propose or contend that as the word for “strange” basically means “another,” “other,” “altered” or even “next,” then the meaning is unclear, and if the the condemnation of Sodom was sexual, then it is likely that it was because women sought to commit fornication with “other than human” angels,,[135] perhaps referring to Genesis 6 and or the apocryphal book of Enoch.

However, it is reasoned that if the “sons of God” in Gn. 6 are fallen angels, or if Enochian legends are being alluded to,[136] then it is about them going after the daughters of men, not the other way around. And that if homosex advocates would give the Book of Enoch more veracity above the portion which Jude uses,[137] then its condemnation of "sodomitic" sex (10:3; 34:1 [138] indicates that homosex was the prevalent physical sin of Sodom. As Jude connects the judgment of Sodom with their going after strange flesh, then the connection to Gn. 19 is intimated. Additional evidence indicative of Jude 7 and 2 Peter 2:6-7,10 possessing a homoerotic dimension is found in the nearest parallels in early extra Biblical Jewish texts: Philo of Alexandria (Abraham 133-41; Questions on Genesis 4.37), Josephus (Antiquities 1.194-95, 200-201; Jewish War 4.483-5; 5.566) and the Testament of Naphtali (3:4).[139]

As for “other,” as in “strange flesh,” the Greek for the phrase, “strange flesh” is “heteros” and “sarx,” with the former basically meaning “other/another,” while “sarx” denotes the nature of man, or (once) a class of laws from God which deal with earthly matters as washings (Heb. 9:10). Together it can refer to "outside the moral law",[140] or perverse, as in (Template:Bibleverse; Template:Bibleverse) and contextually, rebellion has been the underlying issue. Dave Miller states this pertains to the indulgence of passions that are “contrary to nature” (Barnes, 1949, p. 393)—“a departure from the laws of nature in the impurities practiced” (Salmond, 1950, 22:7).[141]

Some assert that Jude is referring to the Sodomites seeking sex with angels,[142] but that is further militated against by the fact that the fornication was an ongoing and regional issue, not simply isolated to Sodom,[143] and extraordinarily so, that of a homosexual nature,[144][145] "out of the order of nature."[146] No distinction is indicated that only Sodom was going after strange flesh. Genesis 18 reveals that the angels appearance as men was in order to find out whether the cry of Sodomy was true, and it is certain that this cry was not that of seeking sex with angels. In addition, in Gn. 19 it is highly unlikely that the Sodomites knew that the men were angels.[147] Gagnon contends, "Not only is it not required by the wording of the Greek text that ekporneusasai (“having committed sexual immorality”) refer exclusively to copulation with angels, there are also at least six indications that ekporneusasai alludes, at least in part, to attempted male-male intercourse.[148] Taken together, it is unreasonable to hold that that the particular primary physical sin of Sodom, leading to their destruction, was not sexual, while the most warranted understanding is that it was widespread regional fornication, including that of a most perverse manner, that of men seeking to sexually “know” men, albeit unknowingly it was with angels, and but which attempt positively confirmed the investigation of their grievous sin.

Ezekiel 16:49 and inhospitality texts

A final attempt by homosexual apologists to disallow the most particular sin of Sodom from being sexual is to assert that other summations of the iniquity of Sodom do not mention sexual sin but shows it to be inhospitality to strangers,[149] for which cause they invoke Ezek 16:49: "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy." However, widespread promotion of sensuality and homoeroticism in particular, tends to be a product of and concomitant with, pride, abundance of food, idleness, and selfishness. And as will be shown, Sodom is associated more for sexual sins than with inhospitality or any other physical type of sin. But first we should notice that while verse 49 states overall sins, the next verse He states, "And they [Sodomites] were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good." The word for “abomination” here is tô‛êbah, and (contrary to many homosexual assertions) it is not the word often used for ritual uncleanness, but is often used for sexual sin (Lv.18:22; 26-27,29,30; 20:13; Dt. 23:18; 24:4 1Ki. 14:24; Ezek. 22:11; 33:26), including in this chapter (vs. 22, 58). And that the context in this chapter is that of fornication by Israel, and while the Hebrew is sparse in vs. 47-48, contextually the LORD was comparing Israel with Sodom (even calling it “thy sister”), and yet revealing that Israel was different, not in the sense that Sodom's physical sins were different, or those of Samaria, but that the Israelites went beyond them in scope and degree, and by idolatry violated their covenant with God and thus faced certain judgment. Thus Sodom is once again listed in connection with sexual sins.[150]

Sins to which Sodom is linked to elsewhere include,

  1. adultery and lies (Jer. 23:14);
  2. unrepentance (Mt. 11:20-24; Mk. 6:11, 12);
  3. careless living (Lk. 17:29);
  4. shameless sinning (Is. 3:9);
  5. and overall “filthy conversation” (G766), which means sexual sins (lasciviousness: 2Pet. 2:7; cf. Mk. 7:22; 2Co_12:21; Eph. 4:19; 1Pet. 4:3; Jud_1:4; or wantonness: Rm. 13:13, 2Pe_2:18).

In regards to this, homosexual apologists also claim Jesus did not invoke Sodom as an warning to cities because they were merely generally inhospitable, rather He foretold that cities which would not repent would be judged more severely than Sodom (Mt. 10:14; 11:20-24), as that was the cause behind their specific “inhospitality” toward His disciples, who “went out, and preached that men should repent” (Mk. 6:11,12), which rejection Biblically was and is the ultimate sin of damnation.

Jewish Ethics and Halakhah For Our Time (2002), confirms, “The paradigmatic instance of such aberrant behavior is found in the demand of the men of Sodom to “know” the men visiting Lot, the nephew of Abraham, thus lending their name to the practice of “sodomy” (homosexuality) (Cf. Genesis Rabbah 50:5, on Gen. 9:22 ff. More generally see M.Kasher, Torah Shlemah, vol. 3 to Gen 19:5.)[151]

Extra Biblical historical sources

These sources do not have the authority of the Bible, and are of varying historical value, but for textual and cultural reasons they can be relevant. These references include historians, extra Biblical books (apocryphal and pseudepigraphical) and Jewish commentary, as well as the Quran. Excluding the latter source, some reference is sometime made to these in prohomsex polemics, to which traditionalists such as James B. De Young respond.[152]


Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo (20 BC - 50 AD) described the inhabitants of Sodom,

"As men, being unable to bear discreetly a satiety of these things, get restive like cattle, and become stiff-necked, and discard the laws of nature, pursuing a great and intemperate indulgence of gluttony, and drinking, and unlawful connections; for not only did they go mad after other women, and defile the marriage bed of others, but also those who were men lusted after one another, doing unseemly things, and not regarding or respecting their common nature, and though eager for children, they were convicted by having only an abortive offspring; but the conviction produced no advantage, since they were overcome by violent desire; and so by degrees, the men became accustomed to be treated like women, and in this way engendered among themselves the disease of females, and intolerable evil; for they not only, as to effeminacy and delicacy, became like women in their persons, but they also made their souls most ignoble, corrupting in this way the whole race of men, as far as depended on them" [133-34; ET Jonge 422-23] (The Sodom tradition in Romans Biblical Theology Bulletin, Spring, 2004 by Philip F. Esler).

In summarizing the Genesis 19 account, the Jewish historian Josephus stated: “About this time the Sodomites grew proud, on account of their riches and great wealth; they became unjust towards men, and impious towards God, in so much that they did not call to mind the advantages they received from him: they hated strangers, and abused themselves with Sodomitical practices” “Now when the Sodomites saw the young men to be of beautiful countenances, and this to an extraordinary degree, and that they took up their lodgings with Lot, they resolved themselves to enjoy these beautiful boys by force and violence” (Antiquities 1.11.1 — circa A.D. 96).


The apocryphal Testament of Benjamin, part of Books of Twelve Patriarchs (circa 2nd century BC) warned in regard to Sodom,

"that ye shall commit fornication with the fornication of Sodom," (Concerning a Pure Mind, 9:1)[153]

Anther book within the same collection, the Testament of Naphtali, states,

"But ye shall not be so, my children, recognizing in the firmament, in the earth, and in the sea, and in all created things, the Lord who made all things, that ye become not as Sodom, which changed the order of nature." (3.5.)[154]

The Book of the Secrets of Enoch (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch, warned:

"And those men said to me: This place, O Enoch, is prepared for those who dishonour God, who on earth practise sin against nature, which is child-corruption after the sodomitic fashion, magic-making, enchantments and devilish witchcrafts, and who boast of their wicked deeds, stealing, lies, calumnies, envy, rancour, fornication, murder, ...." (10:4; in J recension Ch. I.118); Late 1st cent. AD.)[155]

The Old Testament apocrypha, Testament of Isaac. Probably originally from Egyptian Judaism, but shows pronounced Christian elements. "The angel said to me, 'Look at the bottom to observe those whom you see at the lowest depth. They are the ones who have committed the sin of Sodom; truly, they were due a drastic punishment." (5.27. Ch. I.909; Second century AD) [156]


The "Pirke de Rabbi Eliezer" compilation of the Mishnah, portrays the sin of Sodom as being crass inhospitality, including that of fencing in the top of trees so that even birds could not eat of their fruit.

The Babylonian Talmud (which contains many odd fables) also does not explicitly mention sexual sins in regards to Sodom, but attributes cruelty and greed to it, including that if one cut off the ear of his neighbor's donkey, they would order, “Give it to him until it grows again.” — Sanhedrin 109b

However, it also clearly condemns homoeroticism:

“He Who commits sodomy with a male or a beast, and a woman that commits bestiality are stoned. — Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 54a Soncino 1961 Edition, page 367

Several texts in the Midrashic literature written in the early Christian centuries, such as Beresheth Rabbah 26:5 commenting on Genesis 6:2, also asserted that God is patient with all sins except fornication, and which included homoeroticism.

The Quran

The Quran (circa 600 A.D.) references many Biblical characters and stories, though usually with distortions and or additions[157] (likely due to Muhammad's own illiteracy and that of others, and contact with religious factions who added to the Scriptures), and thus it is of limited value in affirming Biblical truth. But it often does contain key aspects of notable stories seen in the Bible, and in four different Suras it records the sin of Sodom to be homosex.

"(We also sent) Lut (as a messenger): behold, He said to his people, "Do ye do what is shameful though ye see (its iniquity)? Would ye really approach men in your lusts rather than women? Nay, ye are a people (grossly) ignorant!" (SURA 27:54,55: YUSUFALI)

"And his people came unto him, running towards him - and before then they used to commit abominations - He said: O my people! Here are my daughters! They are purer for you. Beware of Allah, and degrade me not in (the person of) my guests. Is there not among you any upright man? They said: Well thou knowest that we have no right to thy daughters, and well thou knowest what we want." (SURA 1I: 78,79: PICKTHAL)

"The folk of Lot denied the messengers (of Allah),... What! Of all creatures do ye come unto the males, And leave the wives your Lord created for you? Nay, but ye are froward folk." (SURA 26.160: PICKTHAL:)

"And (remember) Lut: behold, he said to his people: "Ye do commit lewdness, such as no people in Creation (ever) committed before you. Do ye indeed approach men, and cut off the highway?- and practise wickedness (even) in your councils?" But his people gave no answer but this: they said: "Bring us the Wrath of Allah if thou tellest the truth." (SURA 29:28,29: YUSUFALI)


An examination of both grammar and context in Gn. 19 best indicates a homoerotic intent on the part of the Sodomites. The sexual connotation in this story is further evidenced in the parallel story of the Levite and his concubine in Judge 19, whom men of Belial “knew” and abused all the night.[158] To this is added the confirmation in the Book of Jude that Sodom's most notable physical sin was fornication, culminating in a perverse kind. While prohomsex polemicists attempt to render this as referring to Sodomites knowingly seeking sex with angels, Jude 1:7 reveals that fornication was a regional issue which preceded the angelic visit, and Gn. 18:20-22 indicates that Sodom was practicing their damnable sin prior to the arrival of Lot's angelic guests. In addition, it is most unlikely that the Sodomites knew then what manner of men his guests were (or that they would go after angels if they did), until the angels smote them with blindness and pulled Lot inside and shut the door. This would have been impossible for ordinary men, and the Sodomites would then have realized that the men whom they sought were no ordinary men.

Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13

(Lev 18:22) "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." (Lev 20:13) "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

While many pro-homosex polemicists admit that sexual moral codes are transcultural and transhistorical, attempts are made to find grammatical, categorical, cultural and motivational aspects that would disallow the injunctions which prohibit homosexual relations, and perhaps all such injunctions. These attempts here, as others, manifest a foundational position on the Bible contrary to its own statements relative to both its Divine inspiration and transcendent coherent moral relevance and authority. As stated by prohomsex author Richard Hasbany,

"Here again, two interpretive foundations are opposed, that of traditional Judaism which holds that the law of God as understood through the Talmudic literature is immutable, and ultimately higher than man's full comprehension (Ps. 40:5; 92:5), and those who hold that present Western values should influence man's moral interpretation of the Bible."[159] (cf. Dt. 12:8)

Universal, Cultural and Ceremonial laws

(See also Leviticus 18)

In approaching these arguments, it is necessary to understand that in traditional Christian doctrine the Bible is recognized as evidencing three types of laws: moral, civil/judicial, and ceremonial/ritual.[160][161] (Col. 2:14-17; Heb. 9:10; Gal. 4:10) Bahnsen points out that the early third century church document Didascalia Apostolorum clearly distinguished between the Decalogue and the temporary ceremonies. [162]

Within the first category are those which deal with basic human actions and heart attitudes which are directly applicable to mankind in general. Idolatry is the first command, (Ex. 20:2,3) and whatever holds our ultimate allegiance, or is our ultimate object of affect or source of security is our god, at least at that time,(Dt. 10:20; Ezek. 6:9; 14:3-7; 20:16; Rm. 6:16; 14:4; 1Cor. 10:31; 16:22) and all willful sin against what one knows God has ordained is idolatry. (Rm. 6:16) Also within this first category are moral laws which deal with mans behavior toward others which likewise transcend historical and cultural boundaries, such as honoring parents, unjust killing, illicit sexual unions, etc. as seen in the 10 Commandments.

Civil laws and judicial penalties (judgments) which are based upon foundational moral laws. Both the judgments and certain aspects of laws are often culture specific, yet what they enjoin is usually literally applicable to all cultures and times, by way of modification in accordance with the principal behind them, though some controversy exists regarding details of such. (Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen, For Whom Was God's Law Intended?) (Moses' Law for Modern Government)

The final category is that of ceremonial laws, which mainly deal with practices which are not inherently moral, and which the New Testament reveals were typological, serving as physical examples of Christ and realities realized under the promised (Jer. 31:31-34) New Covenant instituted in Christ's blood (Lk. 22:20; Heb. 9:16). These consist of laws on sacrifices, the liturgical calendar, diet and washings (Lv. 1-16,25; Is. 53; Jn. 1:29; 1Pt. 1:18,19; Col. 2:16,17; Heb. 4:3; 9:10; 10:1-22; Gal. 4:10).

In contrast to ceremonial laws, the New Testament is seen explicitly reincorporating many basic moral commands of the Mosaic code into the New Covenant code,[163] upholding basic universal moral laws by type and often individually.[164] Unlawful sex between outlawed partners or outside marriage is particularly abundantly prohibited in the N.T. (Mat. 5:32; 15:19; 19:9; Mk. 7:21; Jn. 8:41; Acts 15:20; 15:29; 21:25; Rom. 1:29; 1Co_5:1; 1Co. 6:9,13, 18; 7:2; 2Co. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1Ths. 4:3; Heb. 12:16; 13:4; 1Pet. 4:3; Rev. 9:21; 14:8, 17:2, 4; 18:3; 19:2) The prohibitions against homosexual relations are seen to clearly fit in this category by type, and are condemned in the New Testament where they are explicitly mentioned in Romans 1:24-27. In contrast, accompaniments such as simply where to worship or eat would only be contextually wrong. (1Cor. 8,10) Gudel concludes,

The Holiness Code contained different types of commands. Some were related to dietary regulations or to ceremonial cleanliness, and these have been done away with in the New Testament (Col. 2:16-17; Rom. 14:1-3). Others, though, were moral codes, and as such are timeless. Thus incest, child sacrifice, homosexuality, bestiality, adultery, and the like, are still abominations before God.[165]

Grammatical, categorical and cultural polemics

Tōʻēḇā and zimmâh

Boswell and most other polemicists promoting homoeroticism contend that the Hebrew word tōʻēḇā, usually translated abomination as in Lv. 18:22, seldom refers to something intrinsically evil, like rape or theft,... but something which is ritually unclean for Jews, like eating pork or printing marks on one's flesh, or against mixed fabrics. Helminiak for instance, claims that tōʻēḇā, means "dirty" or "impure" and that this therefore supports his revisionist position.[166][167]

Instead, Boswell asserts that the the Hebrew word zimmâh would have been used if the prohibitions of Lv. 18:22; was not a mere form of "ethnic contamination,",[168] like laws against unclean foods, or that of strange haircuts.

Rather than prohibiting same gender sex in general like other laws against illicit partners, Boswell and like revisionists generally assert that these Levitical injunctions against homosex (and even all the sins of Lv. 18 and 20) were only given to make Israel distinctive (“team colors”), and only prohibit pagan temple prostitution. Or that they were concerned with the wasting of reproductive seed,[169][170][171] though even pro-homosex author Scroggs thinks these latter ideas are conjecture which is best not to speculate about.[172]

However, in support of the traditional position, examination of the use of tōʻēḇā in the original language text reveals that it is not used in Leviticus for dietary violations, and is only used 2 or 3 times elsewhere to refer to such things as abominable for Israel (versus the Egyptians), and in contrast, tōʻēḇā is the word most often used for abomination in reference to grave moral sins, including those which are unmistakably universally sinful. Collectively it is used for all the sins of Lv. 18 + 20. As idolatry is the mother of all sins, tōʻēḇā can be directly used for such. (Dt. 32:16)[173]

The word, which, when used, always denotes ceremonial abominations is sheqets (Lev. 7:21; 11:10-13,20,23,41,42; Is. 66:17; Ezek. 8:10), and then shâqats, from which it is derived, which itself is only used in Leviticus for dietary violations, (Lev. 11:11,13,43; 20:25) and a "cursed thing in Dt. 7:26, and an abhorred cry in Prv. 22:24.

As for zimmâh, when used sexually, it is another word, used less frequently, to describe the vile nature of many clearly universally sins which are also categorized as tōʻēḇā.` (Lv. 18:17; 19:29; Jer. 13:27; Ezek. 22:11: adultery=tōʻēḇā, incest=zimmâh ) An examination of the use of these words reveals that the absence of zimmâh in relation to a sexual sin cannot necessarily negate the intrinsic evil of it's nature, while sins which tōʻēḇā refers to include such.

Majority of specific sins which are said to be tōʻēḇā

  • 1. idolatry or idols (Dt. 7:25,26; 13, 2Kg. 21:2-7; 23:13; 2Chr. 33:2,3; Is. 44:19)
  • 2. empty, vain worship (Is. 1:13)
  • 3. witchcraft; occultism (Dt. 18:9-12)
  • 4. illicit sex (Ezek. 16:22,58; 22:11; 33:26)
  • 5. remarrying divorced women (Dt. 24:2-4)
  • 6. marriage with unbelievers (Ezra 9:1,2)
  • 7. male homosexual and (collectively) heterosexual immorality (Lv. 18:22; 18:27-30; 20:13)
  • 8. temple prostitution (1Kg. 14:24; 21:2,11)
  • 9. offerings from the above (Dt. 23:18)
  • 10. cross-dressing (Dt. 22:5)
  • 11. child sacrifice to idols (2Ki. 16:3; Jer. 32:35)
  • 12. cheating in the market by using rigged weights (Dt. 25:13-19, Prov. 11:1)
  • 13. dishonesty (Prov. 12:22)
  • 14. dietary violations (Dt. 14:3; Jer. 16:18)
  • 15. stealing, murder, and adultery, breaking covenants, (Jer. 7:10),
  • 16. violent robbery, murder, oppressing the poor and needy, etc. (Ezek. 18:10-13)
  • 17. bringing unbelievers into the holy sanctuary of God, and forsaking the holy charge (Ezek. 44:78)

Recourse to the Septuagint

Boswell and Helminiak look to the Greek LXX (Septuagint), an interpretive work of many Greek translators, for support here, arguing that its use of βδέλυγμα (bdelygma or bdelugma) in translating tōʻēḇā in Lv. 18:22 and other places,[174] indicates that the Leviticus passage should be interpreted as a violation of ceremonial impurity. They further postulate that a Greek word, anomia,[175] would likely be used if it were a violation of moral law[176][177] In support of the traditional position, James B. De Young and others show the inconsistency of this argument in the light of more extensive research, and that the use of arsenokoitai in 1 Cor 6:9-10 and 1 Tim 1:10 (to which this polemic is related), works to evidence that the Levitical injunctions were not simply targeting temple sex, but (at least male) homosex in general.[178][179][180][181]

That Hellenistic Jewish translators of the LXX (for whom all the Levitical laws were always to be literally obeyed, if possible) used both bdelygma and derivatives mainly for specific violations of the Holiness Code, while giving it a broader use in wisdom and literature, (Prov. 11:1,20; 12:22; 15:8; 15:9,26; 16:12; 20:23; 21:27; 27:20; 29:27); including using for cheating in the market under Moasic law (Dt. 25:13-190 However, traditionalists point out that only part of the holiness code is ceremonial, and that by type Lv. 18:22 belongs within the moral category.[182]

The Hebrew word sheqets, when it occurs in the original language text (the Masoretic), is used exclusively for dietary laws, or (once) for touching that which is unclean. Likewise shâqats is only used for diet in Leviticus, while tōʻēḇā is primarily used for moral abominations. The LXX does not always translate those words consistently, as comparison shows,[183] such as using βδέλυγμά for sheqets in Lev. 11:10,13,23 (dietary), and for tô‛êbah in Dt. 24:4 (morally illicit marriage).

There are variants of βδέλυγμα/bdelygma which do only occur as denoting ceremonial abomination/s, (βδελύγματος/bdelugmatov in Lev 7:21; Βδελύξεσθε/bdelucesqe in Lev. 11:11b and Lev. 11:13a; βδελύξητε/bdeluchte in Lev 11:43; βδελύξετε/bdelucete in Lev. 20:25) The LXX uses different four variations of bdelugma in Lv. 18 for abomination/abominations/abominable: βδέλυγμα, (bdelugma) (Lv. 18:22) βδελύγματα, (bdelugmata) (Lv. 18:27) βδελυγμάτων, (bdelugmatwn) (Lv. 18:26; 18:29) Ἐβδελυγμένων (ebdelugmenwn) (Lev. 18:30) with versus 26,27,29,30 collectively condemning as abomination all the forbidden practices of Lv. 18. It is certain that laws against illicit sex partners, of which Lv. 18 almost entirely consists, or against child sacrifice, were in no way seen as part of ceremonial law under the New Testament.

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia comments,

Three distinct Hebrew words are rendered in the English Bible by “abomination,” or “abominable thing,” referring (except in Gen_43:32; Gen_46:34) to things or practices abhorrent to Yahweh, and opposed to the ritual or moral requirements of His religion. It would be well if these words could be distinguished in translation, as they denote different degrees of abhorrence or loathsomeness.

As regards anomia, 24 Hebrew words are variously rendered by this, and while anomia is a word that describes violations of law, it is most always used in a general sense, often like the Hebrew word ‛âvôn, and is rarely used to specify a particular sin, which in contrast is often the case with tōʻēḇā in the Torah. Yet anomia is used in many verses where tōʻēḇā later occurs in the Hebrew, and which iniquity is usually of a moral nature, such as illicit sex partners. (Eze. 8:6,9,13,17; 12:16; 16:2,47,51,58; 18:13,24; 20:4; 22:2; 23:36) As it is normally used in a general sense, when anomia is used in passages as Lv. 16:21; Is. 53:5, anomia is referring to all the transgressions of Israel, not simply those in the moral class. Yet in passages such as Lev. 22:16 it refers to things which Boswell and most traditionalists classify as mere ceremonial purity. Likewise, Boswell classifies idolatry, such as making idols to worship, or offering one's child as a literal sacrifice to a false god (Jer. 32:35; Boswell cites 2Ki. 16:3), as merely being part of ceremonial laws of separation, rather than being practices which are universally and immutably evil and forbidden, which the whole of the Bible testifies to. (1Cor. 10:20,21; Rv. 14:11) Likewise, in contrast to pro-homosex proponents, traditional exegesis manifests that homosex is not a corruption of a practice such as eating, for whereas the latter is contextually sanctioned, the sanctioned context for homosexual relations is (conspicuously) never established. As right worship is seen as being established by having the God of the Bible as its object, so likewise sanctified sexual relations is also established by the same manner of traditional exegesis as being between eligible opposite genders, while homosex is revealed as a consequence of making God into an image of one's own liking, formal or informal. (Rm. 1)


Another attempt to relegate Lv. 18:22 and 20:13 to a unique cultic context is one that strives to attach a radical significance to the use of zakhar [H2145], which is the Hebrew word normally translated male/males throughout the OT, or the lesser used word for such, zekhur [H2138], by noting that in 90% of the occurrences it signifies those who have a special sacred significance (newborn sons, circumcised males, Levites, soldiers, sacrificial animals, returning exiles, etc.). By which he concludes that this signifies that the Levitical injunctions against homosex only pertains to sex with priests![184]

However, this conclusion derived from the use of zakhar/zekhur within special classes of creatures is shown to be unwarranted, when one realizes that all Israelite males fell into a special class of people, while zakhar/zekhur are strictly gender specific words which are used most often to differentiate between male and females in general, and that is the only special significance it provides, and therefore it is used for those in special classes of people. The reason for their most prevalent use being within special classes of males is simply because that is most often the subject, from sacrificed animals to Jews returning from exile (part of his list). While zakhar is used for the descendants of Levi, (Lv. 6:18,29) it is also used for Adam, (Gn. 1:27) and in contrast with Eve, (Gn. 5:2) and for all the men of Shechem, (Gn. 34:22,24,25) for Midianite males, (Num. 31:7,17,18,35; Jdg. 21:11) for idolatrous male images, (Ezek. 16:17) for male men of Manasseh, (Josh. 17:2) for slain male Edomites (1Ki. 11:15) for male children, (Lv. 12:2; Is. 66:7; Jer. 20:15) for fearful men, (Jer. 30:6) for circumscribed males, (Gn. 17:23), and for all the men of Israel, (Num. 1:2), as does zekhur (Ex. 23:17; Dt. 16:16) and for male enemies (Dt. 20:13) or male children (Ex. 34:23). This is a case of a distinction which makes no difference in what the Levitical injunctions apply to. Moreover, in no place in Scripture are these words used to distinctly signify pagan male priests; in fact the common word for men ('îysh [H376]) is used for such. (Jdg 6:28,30; 1Ki 18:22)

Other grammatical and categorical attempts

Others contend or postulate that the grammar in Lv. 18:22 and 20:13 indicates only a prohibition of actual male intercourse, and only condemns the active party, not the passive one, with procreation being causative of the injunction, and or being due to the need for male dominance, but not forbidding lesbian eroticism.[185] Or that it only targets coercive male intercourse[186]

The focus here is on the words, îysh (man) shâkab (lieth) êth (with) zâkâr (mankind) mishkâb (lieth) 'ishshâh nâshîym (women), with mishkâb, usually meaning bed, being restricted to only intercourse. And while that specific action (cf. Num. 31:17–18,35; Judges 21:11–12) is prohibited, yet to restrict "the "bed of love" (Ezek. 23:17; cf. 7:17) to only actual intercourse would appear to be too narrow. It is inconceivable that euphemisms such as "uncover the nakedness, or "lieth with" (shâkab, ‛im, which term occurs 160 times, and with one exception (Hos. 2:18) is always used for sex, or for dying), only forbid adulterous or incestuous intercourse while allowing all else, even if they may be seen as a lesser degree of eroticism. Though the sin of Reuben was that he went up to his father's bed (Gn. 49:4) inferring adultery/incest with his mother, certainly lesser forms of eroticism would not be sanctioned. Gagnon concludes that the idea that ancient Israel would have accepted other aspects of male with male erotic sex is preposterous, which apparently even Johnson is compelled to admit.[187][188]

As regards the idea that only the active partner is targeted in 18:22, as is seen in such places as Dt. 22:22-27, simply because the man is specified does not mean the recipient is not culpable, but a distinction is made in jurisprudence when the latter is not. In contrast, in Lv. 20:13 both parties are presented as culpable. Likewise in verses before and after 20:13 the male is specified though it addresses a consensual act (Lv. 20:10-12,14)

As for procreation being the cause of the prohibition against homosex, this presupposes that is the sole or determining basis for the foundational premise which 18:22 is based upon, that of the design and decrees which uniquely join opposite genders in marriage. And that the lack of need for procreation negates marriage as being uniquely sanctioned for opposite genders. However, the Bible in its entirety evidences as that the complementary union transcends simply procreation, and that even when that is not a critical issue then sex is enjoined only between male and female. While in no place is marriage afforded between same genders.

Nor can male dominance, even if it was the cause for 18:22, disallow it or warrant the inclusion of a radical new sanctioned union between two males, as is it God, not society, that established the headship of the male, and this functional distinction is an intrinsic part of his unique union with the women, based upon creational distinctions (Gn. 1Cor. 11) which exclude same gender marriage.

The issue of lesbian sexual relations is related to the preceding, as the Levitical prohibitions only describe male homosex. Yet to presuppose that the like does not apply to same gender sexual unions lacks any Scriptural warrant, as such are also contrary in principal to the union of opposite genders originally established and uniquely affirmed throughout Scripture, with no principal or precept affording the contrary. In addition, though a phrase like "women lying with women with womenkind" is not specified in the Old Testament, commands and texts which are given to the male ('îysh) in Lv. 20:13 also can include women, such as in Lv. 20:9; Is. 53:6,11; Jer. 11:8; 16:12; 18:12. Most likely sexual relations between females was not a known or at all a prevalent practice then, and thus did not warrant a specific injunction. However, under the New Covenant, both male and female consensual homosex is condemned, as being contrary to the creational design of God, and ordained normality, and thus is a manifestation of idolatry.

Seeing the universal nature of the other laws against illicit partners, some seek to create a categorical division between Lv. 18:20, which prohibits adultery, and the next verse, which forbids child sacrifice to Molech, which is supposed to render the next law (v. 22) as only forbidding homosex in that type of idolatrous context. However, as most hold v. 19 to be ceremonial (sex during menstruation), this same logic would relegate adultery to that category. In addition, only Molech in v. 21 is culture specific, while being universally applicable otherwise.

Another attempt by pro-homosex proponents is to assign a radical significance to (what is stated to be) only one prescription for the death penalty for homosex, in contrast to most of the other sins of Lv. 20 being repeated elsewhere, mainly in Dt. 27:15-26. Upon which basis they restrict Lv. 18:22 to only prohibiting male temple homosex[189](Dt. 23:17)[190]

The error of this argument is multiple, in that

  • 1. the sentence of death for homosex is essentially listed twice (collectively with all laws in Lv. 18:29, and specifically in 20:13), while elsewhere death is not mandated for some forms of incest (Lev 18:12,14,16,18; Lv. 20:19,20,21) In addition, it is doubtful that cursed in Dt. 27 always denotes death, (Dt. 28:19ff Gn. 9:25) which would further negate disparities between reiterative quantities. Conversely, if cursed does always denote death, then it increases the number of moral offenses for which death is apparently assigned only once (Dt. 27:17,18). Or twice, as all infractions of the law of Moses would be capital sins. (Dt. 27:26)
  • 2.No certain conclusion can be arrived at as to what category a law belongs based upon the number of times the death penalty is mentioned for it. Some forms of incest have no Capital punishment individually mandated for them, nor do all violations of the ten commandments, while the death penalty for breaking the sabbath, which most pro-homosex advocates would categorize as ceremonial, is thrice mentioned (Ex. 31:14,15; 35:2; Num.16:32-36)[191] (The sin for which death is most mentioned is unholy presumption, that of approaching holy things which only sanctified Levites were allowed to do, and for which there are eight occurrences of the capital penalty being attached to it, (Num. 1:51; 3:10,38; 4:20; 18:3,7,15,22) with three examples of this consequence. (1Sam. 6:19; 1Chr. 13:9,10; cf. 2Chr. 26:16-20) But which examples indicate capital punishment was always death by supernatural execution, as it was for unjustly afflicting a widow or fatherless child: Ex. 22:22-24)
  • 3. The number of repetitions of the death penalty for a sin is not a consistent criteria by which its severity is determined. According to the principal behind Gal. 3:19, the greater the need, when the law was being given, for Israel to be deterred by a law and its capital offenses, then the more likely it should be expected to be reiterated in the recorded Mosaic code. Cannibalism is not even specifically outlawed, but like homosex, and perhaps even less unconditionally wrong, it is contrary to foundational law. (Gn. 9:2,3) Likewise, Gagnon notes, "The only form of consensual sexual behavior that was regarded by ancient Israel, early Judaism, and early Christianity as more egregious than same-sex intercourse was bestiality. It is no accident that bestiality receives even less attention in the Bible than same-sex intercourse—it is mentioned only in Exod 22:19; Lev 18:23 and 20:15-16; and Deut 27:21[192]
  • 4. The phrase, put to death or similar explicit phrase is used for manifestly moral sins, (Ex. 21:29; Lev.20:2,6,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,27; 24:16,17; Dt. 17:6; 13:5,9; 17:12; 21:21) sometimes in combination with cut off (Lv. 18:29; 20:17), and only for the most serious ceremonial sins (Ex. 35:2; Num. 1:51), while "cut off" is used by itself for most of the ceremonial sins Exo 12:15; 30:33; Lev 7:20,21,25,27; 17:3-4; 19:8,13; 20:18; 22:3; 23:29; Num 9:13; 15:30-31)[193]
  • 5. Homsex is not only included with other capital sins, but is seen as distinguished as a first-tier sexual offense in Lev 20:10-16, along with adultery, incest with one's stepmother or daughter-in-law, and bestiality. As such, it is distinguished from lesser capital sexual offenses in 20:17-21.[194]
  • 6. Lv. 18:22 is contrary in type to mere ceremonial/typological laws, such as deal with ritual cleansing, while restricting it only to the specific religious application of Dt. 23:17 ignores the distinction made between the two, and that the foundation for the religiously targeted law is based upon the general command of Lv. 18:22. And which itself is based upon foundational design and decrees. In the end this attempt is as erroneous as limiting the like general prohibition against prostitution in Lv. 19:29 only to a religious context.
  • 7. It is duplicitous for prohomsoex polemicists to assert more repetitions of the death penalty are expected if it were inherently sinful, while seeking to justify homosex despite the utter absence of the establishment of homosexual marriage, in stark and consistent contrast to heterosexual relations, and which in reality is what would be most expected if it were not universally and immutably condemned.

Psychologically based polemics

An even more imaginative psychologically based argument on Lv. 20:13 is advanced by Rabbi Arthur Waskow, who renders that to only forbid male with male intercourse when they pretend one is a women, and or that this verse is really mandating a parallel set of institutions for dealing with male with male sex.[195] That this is a egregious example of "wresting" of Scriptures (cf. 2Pet. 3:16) should be obvious, but such is evidenced elsewhere in pro-homosex apologetics. In no place do emotions or imaginations, motives or mental attitude play a part in the prohibitions of sex with illicit partners, whereas when it does within laws regarding marriage (Dt. 24:3; Num. 6:12-31) or killing (Dt. 19:11,12) then it is made explicit. Likewise, the idea that a fundamental prohibition against male homosex, which is manifestly contrary to what God has sanctioned and established by design and decree, is somehow mandating a like means of sanction for it, is seen as utterly without warrant. And that is makes a mockery of the Bible as a coherent authority for even basic human behavior.

Nor is it indicated that "as he lieth with a woman" is making a distinction between an effeminate versus masculine internal disposition of the partner. Rather the simile and euphemism serves to identify the sexual nature (intercourse) of laying down, and would distinguish it from simply sharing the same real estate to lay down on, as with women.

Dt. 23:17,18: Sodomites

"There shall be no whore [qedêshâh] of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite [qâdêsh] of the sons of Israel. {18} Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God."

Rather than this passage being the specifically religious application of the general Levitical injunctions against homosex, those who favor that practice usually contend that the former is what Lv. 18:22; 20:13 only refers to. The key word at issue here is qâdêsh [H6945], the basic meaning of which is sacred, contextually referring to temple prostitute, which the translators of the King James Version rendered as "sodomite", due to its perceived denotation of men whose manner of sex was like that of dogs.[196]

Keil and Delitzsch comment that "the price of a dog” is not the price paid for the sale of a dog, but is a figurative expression used to denote the gains of the kadesh, who was called κίναιδος by the Greeks, and received his name from the dog-like manner in which the male kadesh debased himself.[197]

Boswell states that the LXX uses six different words to translate qâdêsh, once mistranslating the gender, (1Ki. 15:12) and seeks to disallow Dt. 23:17,18 from meaning male homosexual prostitutes, as pagan fertility rites would include male/female prostitutional couplings.[198] Scroggs is also adverse to the use of the word "sodomite" here, and thinks that Dt. 13:17,18 likely refers to cultic prostitution by both genders, but that the LXX indicates a prohibition against secular male homosexual prostitutes, which is how the Palestinian Targum renders it, making prostitution the real offense.[199]

Young, who deals extensively with pertinent linguistic and historical/cultural aspects here, and the language of LXX in particular,[200] points out the problems of Boswell relegating Lv. 18:22 and 20:13 to cultic temple homosex, as well as denying that Dt. 20:13 refers to homosexual temple prostitution. In the Hebrew qâdêsh is masculine here, and v. 18 references this qâdêsh as a "dog," a description also found in Mespotamian texts.[201] In the Bible the term "dog" is used metaphorically and twice literally in various but usually unpscified derogatory ways. (Psa. 22:16; Prov. 26:11; Isa. 56:10; 56:11; Mat. 7:6; Phil. 3:2; 2Pet. 2:22; Rev. 22:15) Its general meaning is that of an immoral person(s), and as the Gentiles overall illustrated the immorality that Israel was to avoid, so the term "dog" was often applied to them. (Mt. 15:22-28) Likewise, Christians sometimes applied the term to morally unclean unbelievers, perhaps even equating the Judaizers with such. (Phil. 3:2,3). Historically, most scholars who have commented on the verse opinion that this term is derogatory.

Young and others also reference evidence that homosex and religious temple prostitution existed throughout many ancient societies, including the Ancient Near East, and in many centuries. According the the historian Eusebius, Constantine destroyed a temple in which certain priests were, "men who are women, not men, denying the dignity of nature. Wenham states, "in that homosexual male prostitution was well established in the ancient orient, it is not surprising that there are a number of laws [in Mespotamian texts] aimed at this particular phenomenon and its associated practices."[202]

The Bible further indicates such a practice in 1Ki. 14:24; 15:12; 22:46 and 2Ki. 23:7, with the last referring to them having houses by the temple of Israel, out of which they could practice their craft in times of Israel's spiritual and moral declension. An additional reference to qâdêsh is in Job 36:14, which refers those that "die in youth, and their life is among the unclean [qâdêsh]" (KJV), which could easily refer to those who engage in regular promiscuous homosexual activity. James B. De Young concludes that "both historical-comparative and linguistic-contextual studies show that the Hebrew qâdês used in Deuteronomy 23:17-18 bears both religious and sexual overtones."</ref> Young, ibid. p. 133</ref>

The issue then becomes that which Boswell and company originally argue, which is that the Levitical laws against male homosex only pertain to a cultic context. However, this requires relegating only one of many laws against illicit sex to a cultic context, when the language and structure is general, and disallows a categorical significance for a second but distinctively religious injunction against homosex, which all prohomsex efforts to warrant such come critically short. In addition, if only the prostitutional or idolatrous aspect is wrong, it would postulate that physical ceremonial temple sex is contextually allowable, rather than such ceremonial sex always being an expression of idolatry. Yet Scripture offer no support for this, must less for ceremonial homosex, despite specious attempts by certain authors. Nor does the Bible provided the sanction of homosex marriage, which it desperately requires, considering the depth of the exclusivity of the male/female union consistently established in the Bible, which homosex intrinsically opposes.

The choice of the word Sodomite to denote homosexual prostitutes is itself fitting, as often words both come from and or are translated into terms that denote what they are associated with. The name Sodom itself means burnt, evidently referring to the judgment of the city, while the word harlot (KJV) is thought to be derived from a European girl, named Arlotta (or Arletta, also known as Arlette, Herlève and Herleva) who fornicated with Robert, duke of Normandy, and to whom William The Conqueror is believed to have been born[203][204] Likewise homosexuals themselves have appropriated "gay and "queer" to refer to themselves.


Young, among others, concludes that on the basis of linguistic study, context and history, the "reinterpretation" of modern critics has strayed too far and and is fairly termed revolutionary and revisionist."[205] The following summation, while not exhaustive, provides reasons for the position that no grammatical, categorical, cultural or motivation argument warrants relegating the Levitical injunctions against homosex to merely being prohibitory of idolatrous temple homosex, or belonging to the class of ceremonial laws (which are not the same), or are only motive-specific, but that instead they are universal and immutable. As Hilborn states,

the homosexual acts here "are deemed wrong not simply because pagan Caananites indulged in them, but because God has pronounced them wrong as such.[206]

  • 1. The reasons why literal obedience to ceremonial laws is not enjoined now is based upon like evidence for why the laws against homosex are upheld. While the New Testament defines the class of laws which were ceremonial/typological, it even more abundantly upholds laws against illicit sexual partners as a class. While literal obedience to the former is not mandated under the New Covenant, sex with illicit partners and any possible mention of homosex only finds unconditional condemnation therein.
  • 2. The injunctions against homosex are based upon creational, not cultural differences, as is manifest by design and decrees, and are upheld in principle and by precepts, in which only the women is created for the man, with purposeful complementary physical, functional, and positional distinctions. Which, as decreed, only opposite opposite gender unions between humans could fulfill, in marriage. (Gn. 2:18-24; 1Cor. 11:3-15)
  • 3. All sex outside marriage is classed as fornication, and outlawed marriage partners are determined by a violation of marriage bond (adultery), or of nearness of kin (incest), or of nearness of kind (homosex), as well as being other than humankind (bestiality). These prohibitions are based upon what God has joined together, (Mt. 19:4-6), which incest being added later, and upheld in the N.T. (1Cor. 5:1) showing a progression toward greater strictness, not lesser.
  • 4. Motive (love, hate, consensuality) does not play a part in determining the forbiddance of homosex,[207]</ref>Thomas E. Schmidt, Straight & Narrow? p. 90</ref> nor whether sex outside marriage or with any unlawful partner is valid in either Testament, in contrast with sexual legislation which stipulates such, (Dt. 22:13; 24:3; Num. 35:20; Dt. 22:23-29). Neither the mention of such or lack of mention of motive establishes a factor which may sanctify an otherwise illicit union (adultery, incest etc, and all fornications are unequivocally sinful: cf. Gn. 34; Mk. 7:21-23).
  • 5. Lv. 18:22 finds no abrogation elsewhere, nor is the Biblical context (marriage) established in which the practice of homosex is sanctified, as is explicitly provided for heterosexual relations, but which provision is likewise absent for illicit unions such as adultery and bestiality. Nor does the allowance or the use of polygamy, concubines or Levirate marriage set a precedent for homosexual marriage, as the only variance with the Genesis original is in the number of times a man takes a wife, not the gender of the wife, which is clearly manifest
  • 6. The issue of sexual unions (with valid partners) is dealt with from the beginning to the end of the Bible as part of moral separation (Gn. 20; 26; 34; 38; Rv. 21:8; 22:15), whereas ceremonial violations are different by nature than moral offenses, being basically that of defilement by touching, tasting, or handling unclean things, including diseased persons (Col. 2:21), and do not deal with sex except insofar as contact with including blood or semen is involved, (Lv. 15:24,33). Ritually “uncleanness” is not in view in 18:22, anymore than it is for sex with an illicit partner in adultery or incest or in bestiality. Rather, any form of fornication makes one morally defiled. (Lv. 18:24; Mk. 7:21-23)
  • 7. Attempts to relegate 18:22 and 20:13 to only temple idolatry are unwarranted, as the grammar of Lv. 18:22 is universal, and entirely consistent with other transcultural immutable commands given here which forbid sex with the spouse of another, or near kin, that of the flesh of one's own flesh. Homosex is structurally similar, that of sex with an illicit partner, one's own gender.[208] To restrict v. 22 to only targeting male temple prostitution is unwarranted, like as doing the same to Lv. 19:29 would be.
  • 8. When homosex or illicit heterosexual sex as a formal part of idolatrous activity is possibly targeted, then the context makes that evident (Dt. 23:17,18), (“with dogs” likely referring to the manner of homosex relations). The historical fact is that in Canaanite culture, homosexuality was practiced as both a religious rite and a personal perversion...Israel's pagan neighbours knew both secular and sacred homosexuality."[209] Others argue that these texts do not even refer to Canaanite cultic practices[210]
  • 9. While types of laws are grouped often together, ancient laws codes are not strict categories of laws. The attempt to negate the universality and transcendence v. 22 due to the culturally specific aspect of v. 21 (child sacrifice to Molech) fails, as that law is not restricted to child sacrifice to only one specific idol, and cannot be relegated to merely being ceremonial. Rather, it is based upon foundational moral law (Gn. 9:5,6; Ex. 20:2; 34:15) and is literally applicable in principal and by modification to all cultures and times. In addition, consistent with the hermeneutic behind their categorical argument, v.19 (intercourse during menstruation, which is more akin to ceremonial law) would disallow the intrinsic sinfulness of the next verse (adultery).
  • 10. While the sentence of death for homosex is listed twice (collectively in Lv. 18:29, and specifically in 20:13), (and which is only prescribed once for some moral sins, if "cursed" does or does not mandate death in Dt. 27), yet there is no radical significance to the lack of more mandates for the death penalty for homosex that would lessen its severity, contrary to pro-homosex statements[211] Rather according to the principal behind Gal. 3:19, the more likelihood of a capital transgression occurring then the more likely the reiteration of its prohibition and penalty. Thus the absence of a law against cannibalism, and sparse mention of some other sins. The duplicity of prohomsoex polemicists here is manifested by their assertion that more repetitions of the death penalty would be expected if it were inherently sinful, while it is the establishment of homosex marriage that is what would be most expected, but which is no where established, in stark contrast to the that which God originally and consistently decreed.
  • 11. As Lv. 18:22 is substantially evidenced as being based upon foundational design and decree, just as the forbiddance of bestiality is in the next verse is, in principal its application is not restricted to only male homosex but same gender sex as well. Male sex with another male represents an illicit partner, contrary to all Biblical marriages, just as Molech represents an illicit object of worship, contrary to all statements relative to such, and the respective injunctions against both are universal based upon inherent qualities which disallow the forbidden functions. The injunctions against homosex physically parallel laws against idolatry. The latter forbids worship of and spiritual union with an illicit god, which is not created to be such, or able to truly be as God. The former forbids union with a same gender object of sexual union, which was not created for that purpose, or able to truly fulfill their God designed and decreed union.
  • 12. The forbiddance of idolatry is itself a universal and immutable command, which is manifest not only in formal worship of idols, but by any deliberate act contrary to the laws of God (Mt. 6:24; Rm. 6:16). Homosex by nature, not simply context, is an expression of idolatry, not simply an abuse by it.
  • 13. Restricting the Levitical laws (or others) prohibiting male homosex to a idolatrous religious context would postulate that physical ceremonial temple sex is contextually allowable (if Judaized or Christianized), rather than ceremonial sex always being an expression of idolatry. Yet Scripture offer no support for this, must less for ceremonial homosex, despite specious attempts by certain authors.
  • 14. Male homosex is classified as a first tier offense requiring the death penalty, that stipulates that they shall “be put to death”, which wording is used for other grave sins (though the penalties may require Israel's theocracy), and not for ceremonial/purity laws, except for unholy presumption, and for breaking the Sabbath, the gravest of such. The term usually used by itself for punishment for ritual purity offenses by Israel, such as dietary violations, (Lv. 7:21,25,27) is “cut off” though it is used in combination which "put to death" for grave moral sins, such as in Lv. 18:29 for all the sins of that chapter.
  • 15. Hermeneutics are employed by those seeking to negate the Levitical injunctions, which, if applied consistently, would effectively disallow a coherent sexual ethic in the Bible, yet the laws on sexual partners are presented as universal commands and reiterated as a class, and in a way that presumes they can be understood and obeyed by all, without being open to a vast degree of interpretation which effectively allows them to be negated.
  • 16. Lev. 18:22 is “part of an interconnected Old Testament witness.” “There is no evidence to suggest that ancient Israelite society, acting in fidelity to Yahweh, would ever have approved of any form of homosexual practice.”[212]
  • 17. Ceremonial violations are stated to “be an abomination [sheqets] unto you” (Lv. 11:10), male homosex is stated to be tô‛êbah itself (Lv. 18:22), as other illicit sex sins are, (vs. 27,29,30), and contrary to prohomsex arguments concerning tô‛êbah, that is the word most translated as “abomination” to denote grave moral offenses of universal sins, and is rarely used for ceremonial offenses. (Note: idolatry does it not stop with graven images.)
  • 18. Attempts to extrapolate other linguistic differences in favor of the pro-homosex position critically fall short. Zakhar (mankind) in Lv. 18:22 and 20:13 only distinguishes between genders, and does not signify idolatrous priests are targeted here, while mishkâb (lieth) is a metaphor for sexual intercourse, using the place or manner in which it usually takes place, (Ezek. 23:17) And as 20:13 shows, both are guilty.
  • 19. Both the Greek LXX and the Hebrew condemn homosexual behavior. Young concludes that on the basis of linguistic study (particularly the LXX in his work), context and history, the "reinterpretation" of modern critics has strayed too far and and is fairly termed revolutionary and revisionist."[213]
  • 20. Lv. 18:22 is appropriated by the New Testament. The term arsenokoitai (“men who lie with a male”) in 1 Corinthians 6:9 is formulated from the Septuagint translation of Lev 18:22 and 20:13, which refers to not ‘lying’ (koite) with a ‘male’ (arsen). Paul’s critique of homosexual relations in Romans 1:24-27 also echoes Lev 18 and 20 by using two terms that appear in Septuagint translation of these chapters: akatharsia (“uncleanness, impurity” in Romans 1:24 and Lev 18:19; 20:21, 25) and aschemosune (“indecency, indecent exposure” in Rom 1:27 and twenty-four times in Lev 18:6-19; 20:11, 17-21).[214]

Bailey, while seeking to justify homosex, stated, "It is hardly open to doubt that both the laws in Leviticus relate to ordinary homosexual acts between men, and not to ritual or other acts performed in the name of religion."[215]

Joseph P. Gudel states, Letha Scanzoni and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott assert that "consistency and fairness would seem to dictate that if the Israelite Holiness Code is to be invoked against twentieth-century homosexuals, it should likewise be invoked against such common practices as eating rare steak, wearing mixed fabrics, and having marital intercourse during the menstrual period." Much effort need not be expended answering these objections. First, God did not condemn certain behavior for the Israelites only because Israel was to be kept separate from Canaanite practice. Otherwise, if the Canaanites did not practice child sacrifice and bestiality, would these then have been all right for the Israelites? Of course not! Having sexual relations with an animal and killing one's child are inherently wrong and evil, even when they are not related to pagan worship; they are abominations before God. And yet, these specific prohibitions also are listed in this passage, both immediately before and after the condemnation of homosexuality (Lev. 18:21-23).[216]

Silence of Jesus argument on homosexuality

An argument presented by many pro-homosexual writers contends that the absence of any specific censure of homosexual relations by Jesus, along with his emphasis upon love, works to disallow any Biblical prohibitions against homosexual relations]. It is also asserted that this allows sanction of such, as long as it is consistent with love, though that is left to be defined rather subjectively.[217][218][219] Walter Wink is one whose emphasis upon this is most pronounced, and who much depends upon the upon the hermeneutic (principal of interpretation) behind it, as he concedes that, "Simply put, the Bible is negative toward same-sex behavior, and there is no getting around it." and that "Paul wouldn't accept a [loving] homosexual] relationship for a minute." But he advocates that while sexual conventions are necessary, we are, "in the name of love", to "choose for ourselves what is right," which he states Jesus meant in Luke 12:57.[220][221]

Traditional scholars and writers respond by exposing the spurious nature of the hermeneutics involved with this strategy.

Consistent with the principal of Galatians 3:19, Jesus silence is understood as being expected due to the extreme unlikelihood that homosexual relations would have been a prevalent problem among the Jews whom Jesus came to first minister to,[222] nor would incest have been, and that Jesus clearly upheld Old Testament moral laws,[223] and highly esteemed John the Baptist who rebuked Herod for an incestuous marriage. (Mk. 6:18; cf. Lv. 18:16; 20:21) Robert A. J. Gagnon asks, "shall we claim that Jesus had weaker convictions about bestiality and incest [than marriage] on the grounds that he said not a word about these subjects?"[224]

It is also pointed out that determining what is moral based upon whether Jesus explicitly condemned it could also sanction the practice of consensual incest, pedophilia, bestiality, or even cannibalism.

Similarly, it is argued that while love must be the motive, that by itself does not determine the validity of an action, and by using the "love justifies" hermeneutic, one could easily justify consensual premarital fornication, polyamory, wife swapping and prostitution, among other sins. And which seems to be goal of writers such as Walter Wink, who denies that that there any absolute sexual precepts universally valid in every time and place.[225][226]

It is also seen that rather than allowing love to serve as such a subjective basis for morality, the commandment sometimes invoked to support homosexual relations, "thou shalt shall love thy neighbor as thyself", (Lv. 19:18) is placed after and before laws which detail how we are basically to do so, and which unequivocally forbids and penalizes homosexual relations.

It is also seen that while Jesus did not specify every expression of sin, He dealt with the foundational issue behind them, and their primary expressions. In the Gospel of Mark 7:20-23, Jesus declares that sin begins in the heart, and the iniquities that come out of the heart including fornications, which being plural, includes all sexual relations outside marriage, as well as adultery.

In all His teaching, rather than abrogating moral law, Jesus is shown to intensify such, such as instituting stricter requirements for marriage, based upon its original establishment. [227][228][229] In so doing, He specified the male and female martial union as being what constitutes the "what" of "what God therefore God hath joined together". (Mt. 19:4-6; cf. Gn. 1:26,27; 2:18-24).

Hilborn states that Jesus "condemnations of porneia or 'sexual immorality' in Matt 15:19 and Mark 7:21 would almost definitely have been meant, and been taken, to include homoerotic sexual activity. Certainly, as Michael Saltlow has shown, such activity was typically condemned by the rabbis of the time whenever they considered it. Having said this, at least following the exile, there is very little evidence of, or extant comment on, such activity among Jewish men - so Jesus' not mentioning it in specific terms is hardly surprising. [230]

Gagnon also states,

It is not mere coincidence that when Jesus dealt with an issue of sexual behavior in Mark 10:2-12 he cited the same two texts from Genesis, 1:27 and 2:24, that lie behind Paul’s critique of homosexual practice. Jesus adopted a “back-to-creation” model of sexuality. He treated Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 as normative and prescriptive for the church (Mark 10:6-9). In contending for the indissolubility of marriage, Jesus clearly presupposed the one explicit prerequisite in Gen 1:27 and 2:24; namely, that there be a male and female, man and woman, to effect the “one flesh” reunion.[231]

In addition, Jesus also promised further inspired revelation, under which laws against sexual sins (in particular) are clearly upheld as a class. (Rm. 1:29; 2:22; 13:9, 1Co. 5:1; 6:13, 8; 7:2, 2Co. 12:21, Gal. 5:19, Eph. 5:3, Col. 3:5, 1Th. 4:3, Jam. 2:11; Rev. 2:22 21:25; 9:21; 14:8; 17:2,4; 18:3; 19:2)

Some contend that Jesus (and Paul) categorized sexual sin to be merely ceremonially unclean in Mark 7:23, though it is evidenced there, and under the New Covenant, that such refers to moral uncleanness. (1Cor. 3:17; 1Tim. 1:10; Jude 1:8; Ja. 3:6; Rv. 21:27) In addition, while Wink invokes Luke 12:57 as advocating a subjective judgment which does not to be bound by Biblical injunctions against illicit sexual partners, this text does not relate to moral laws, but eschatology, and even then it contextually indicates a lack of judgment due to a result of souls not taking the Scriptures and Jesus authority seriously.[232]

The traditional response thus understands Jesus upheld the moral law which also forbids homosexual relations, and that contrasting the laws of God such as define marriage and sexual partners with love is a false dichotomy. D. J. Atkinson states that such manifests,

a misconception of the relationship between love and law in the Bible. The Biblical understanding of the nature of love is always related to the description or expression of God's character in Himself on the one hand, and the character of life appropriate to the people of God, on the other hand.[233]

Romans 1

See Romans 1

1Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10

1Co 6:10 "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, [malakos] nor abusers of themselves with mankind, [arsenokoitai] Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

1Ti 1:9,10 "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, [arsenokoitai] for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;"

The controversy here focuses upon two obscure words, malakos (soft) and arsenokoitai (male beds), which pro-homosex advocates have much labored with to disallow them as referring to homosexuals or homosex in general, and which attempts and their nature can be best seen in traditionalist responses.[234][235][236][237][238][239][240]

Scroggs perceives arsenokoitai as referring to pederasty. Boswell believed that it referred to “active male prostitutes. . . . capable of the active role with either men or women”[241]

Wright questions both Boswell’s arguments and his linguistic abilities, and notes that Boswell is almost the only one taking this position.[242]

Guenther Haas states,

As noted in D.F. Wright's response to Boswell's explanation of the Greek term, it is much more likely that this compound term developed under the direct influence of the two parts of the compound used in Lev. 18:22 and 20:13. Wright repeats this point in his review of Scroggs' book. The significance of this is that Paul's usage of arsenokoites is informed by the two passages of Leviticus, which are certainly not confined to pederasty. Wright drives the point home with two pointed questions:[243]

If Paul had wanted to condemn (a kind) of pederasty, why did he not use one of the several Greek words or phrases for it current in Hellenistic Jewish writings [e.g., paidophthoreseis]? Why did he (create or) adopt a (relatively) new, certainly unusual term inspired by a Levitical prohibition and therefore one which prima facie has a broader meaning than pederasty?[244]

Scroggs knew that the coined term arsenokoitai Paul used in 1 Cor. 6:9 for “abusers of themselves with mankind” was made up of two parts found in Lev. 18:22 and 20:13, and believes the compound word is a literal translation of the Hebrew term mishkav zakur ("bed with a male" as with a women: Lv. 20:13). But he believes, without providing any sources, that the rabbis used this term in their condemnations of pederasty, to which application Scroggs restricts it, though as seen together in Lv. 20:13 no such restriction (to pederasty) is made. However, the Bible distinguishes between men and young men when needed, while even though some sources do use arsenokoitai to censure pederasty, it presumes much to hold that such a general term can be restricted to simply one form of homosex. Rather, it is far more conceivable that Paul is condemning both in Romans. Moreover, the culpability of both persons is shown by the penalties against the condemned practice, evidencing this condemnation was not simply directed against a victim/perpetrator case, but a consensual practice.

Gagnon also sees that arsenokoitai is formed from the Greek words for “lying” (koite) and “male” (arsen) which appear in the Greek Septuagint translation of the Levitical prohibitions of men “lying with a male” in Lv. 18:22; 20:13), but that it intentionally applies to the same absolute Levitical prohibitions against male-male intercourse. Among other reasons he gives for this is that "the rabbis used the corresponding Hebrew abstract expression mishkav zakur, “lying of/with a male,” drawn from the Hebrew texts of Lev 18:22 and 20:13, to denote male-male intercourse in the broadest sense." And that "the appearance of arsenokoitai in 1 Tim 1:10 makes the link to the Mosaic law explicit, since the list of vices of which arsenokoitai is a part are said to be derived from “the law.” [245]

James B. DeYoung states,

ARSENOKOITAI (lit. "male beds") does not occur prior to Paul because Paul likely coined it as he coined other terms. He almost certainly derived it from two words that occur together in the LXX of Lv. 20:13 (aresenos koiten) "whoever shall lie with a male a bed as a women"). This suggests that Paul had in mind the prohibition of adult homosexuality in Leviticus. Support for this position comes from the list of vices in 1Cor. 6:9-11 and 1Tim. 1:10, which correspond, even in word order, to the 10 commandments. In both lists, Paul adds "homosexuals" to adulterers in expanding the range of prohibited sex, as he does with other commands.[246]

Calvin Smith adds,

Wright has highlighted a major problem here. If Paul simply borrowed an existing vice list referring to very general sexual vices, including widespread and very general forms of pederasty, how can Scroggs then suggest Paul is identifying a very precise form of this vice?[247] A number of other exegetes concur. .... example, malakos could mean `call-boy', or something similar, and both words together could be referring to the active and passive roles in the homosexual act (thus malakos would be the male But Malick argues the terms clearly mean more than this, that linguistically they cannot be limited to this understanding alone (other traditionalists agree).[248].

Michael Ukleja also has identified these terms in several examples of classical Greek literature, which clearly refer to homosexuals.[249]

Gagnon concludes, "the term arsenokoitai is not restricted to homosexual prostitution. Boswell was clearly wrong. Robin Scroggs back in 1983[250] acknowledged these two points, though Scroggs himself was wrong in other ways."[251]

Postulations or assertions of approved homosex

In addition to seeking to disallow laws or condemnation against homoeroticism, pro homosex advocates speculate or assert that homosexual relationships and likely homosex between virtuous persons is seen and sanctioned in the Bible. The interpretive foundation[252] here, consistent with other prohomsex polemics which precede it, is one that depends upon conspiratorial theory, in which the homosex which proponents mine the Bible to find was covered up[253], in due to homophobia, and also requires other solutions which effectively deny the Divine inspiration and authority of the Bible they seek to invoke on their behalf. An additional necessary basis for their speculations or assertions is that, rather being morally distinct from surrounding pagan culture, honorable Israelis would engage in homosex behavior like as they.

Ruth and Naomi

"And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother's house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me. {9} The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept."

"And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. {15} And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. {16} And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:" (Ruth 1:8-9; 14-16)

The context here is that of a family, of Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, who flee from a famine in the land of Israel, and go to sojourn in Moab, Rth_1:1, Rth_1:2. Here his two sons marry; and, in the space of ten years, both their father and they die, Rth_1:3-6. Naomi sets out on her return to her own country, accompanied by her daughters-in-law Orpah and Ruth; whom she endeavors to persuade to return to their own people, Rth_1:7-13. Orpah returns, but Ruth accompanies her mother-in-law, Rth_1:14-18. They arrive at Beth-lehem, the former residence of Naomi, in the time of the barley harvest, Rth_1:19-22. Naomi was taken notice of there by her old friends and acquaintance, to whom she related her present circumstances. (Ruth 1:19)[254][255]

Thomas Horner Horner sees the oriental customary displays of affection as well expressions of commitment and close family relationship, and also pagan homosex in surrounding cultures, and spends much time speculating that Ruth and Naomi were engaged in a homosexual relationship, and infers it would have involved eroticism.

Horner[256] and others also see the love of God for man being erotic and supporting homosex,[257] and that that the Tree of Knowledge may be associated with sex, and expects Israelite women would do as the Greeks did, as he infers that it was unlikely that Old Testament women, being "inventive" and having free time, would not become sexual involved with each other.[258]

Greenberg, while seeing no hint of an erotic bond in this story, sees the word cleave in Ruth 1:14, and the similarity of Ruth's forceful language in expressing the willingness to stay, as indicating an "erotic pull."[259]

In contrast, neither Jewish or traditional Christian scholars have seen this account as evidencing anything more than platonic love, expressed within the context of a more expressive culture, which many are today.[260]

The depth and language of Ruth's commitment in expressing her decision to stay may be indeed likened to marriage commitment, but the Bible substantiates that love and commitment itself is not marriage, and that faith in God and commitment such as Ruth expressed is akin to what Jesus required of His disciples, (Lk. 9:57-62; 14:33; Jn. 21:18,19) and which they expressed to Him (Mk. 10:28; 14:31; Jn. 11:16), who would never leave them (Mt. 28:20) In contrast, when marriage is in view then the Bible makes it evident, with descriptions and elements[261][262]which set it in contrast to platonic commitments.[263] As Gagnon notes, "Sexual bonds have their own distinct set of requirements".[264]

Relative to that distinction, the Bible provides no sanction for sexual relations outside marriage, nor of celibacy within marriage if able, (Prov. 5:15-19; 1Cor. 7:2-5) and the story here lacks the phrases that the Bible elsewhere uses to describe sexual relations. In addition, out of the many euphemisms used for such ("know/knew/known, "in unto her", "bed of love" "lay with her") only the Hebrew word dâbaq (cleave) occurs here, but as with multitude other single words, it requires context for its meaning. In its sixty occurrences in the old Testament, dâbaq is only used sexually three times, with a clear description denoting such a use. (Gn. 2:24; 34:3; 1Ki. 11:2) Moreover, if dâbaq is held as being sexual in 1:14, then it could also be held as such in Ruth 2:8,21,28, which, along with the proposed homosex perception of Ruth and Naomi, would render her utterly contrary to the virtuous women Boaz declares her to be. (Ruth 3:11) It may also be considered that if Naomi was married to Ruth, then she would not only be committing incest, (Lv. 18:6,15; 20:13) but possibly adultery or polyandry when later marrying Boaz, further rendering any such idea untenable.

David and Jonathan

See David and Jonathan

Daniel and Ashpenaz

"Now God had brought Daniel into favour[H2617] and tender love[H7356] with the prince of the eunuchs." (Dan 1:9)

A far less popular attempt by a popular pro-homosex web writer,[265] is one which argues that the Hebrew words for favour and tender love, chesed v'rachamim, is more reasonably translated "mercy" and "physical love", rendering it that the eunuch "Ashpenaz showed mercy and engaged in physical love" with Daniel the eunuch. He deals with the problem of presumed[266] eunuchs engaging in sex by assuming that they were both castrated after puberty and also retained their sex drive.

However, grammatically the combination of the two Hebrews words used for favor and tender love is not exclusive to here, but are used many times elsewhere to describe the lovingkindness (KJV) of the LORD, as in Psa 25:6: “Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies[7356] and thy lovingkindnesses[2617],” or Psa 103:4: “....who crowneth thee with lovingkindness[2617] and tender mercies[7356].” (cf. Ps. 40:11; 51:1; 69:16; Ps. 103:4; Is. 63:7; Jer. 16:5; Lam. 3:22; Hos. 2:19; Zec. 7:9)

Moreover, in it's 42 occurrences the word for "tender love" almost always means mercies in the general sense, and is never used to describe strictly physical love, let alone in the erotic sense. Nor is it used as part of a reciprocal action, as between two persons engaging in such. The idea that it describes physical love might be derived from the fact that in a minority of times it denotes the womb, (Gen. 49:25, Prov. 30:16, Isa. 46:3, Eze. 20:26) yet the subject in such cases is not being physically loved. The context of Daniel 1:9 is that of other texts in which kindness and mercy is shown, and fits perfectly with the usual combination of chesed with v'rachamim, that of non erotic lovingkindness and mercies.

In addition, studies show that castration after the onset of puberty typically reduces sex drive considerably or altogether eliminates it.[267][268]

Finally, the pro-homosex polemic here is one which again not only requires reading oblique sexual meanings into words which do not warrant such, and in a Book which evidences no real problem conveying when sexual activity took place (with one exception: Gn. 9:20-24), but it imagines that a most righteous man would not only engage in homoeroticism which is explicitly condemned, but also do so in an unmarried state, which is always condemned.

Thus the assertion that Daniel 1:9 is more reasonably rendered as “mercy and engaged in physical love” is not reasonable, and is unwarranted, and demonstrates for traditionalists the extremes which pro-homosex polemicists can go to in attempting to force text into passages it does not belong in.

1 and 2 Kings

More Old Testament examples which are seen as extreme attempts to read homosex into Scripture where it is not warranted, are the stories of Elijah and Elisha raising dead boys to life, as well as the story of King Jehu inviting Jehonadab to join him in battle. Attempts to use these to favor homosex are fairly unique, but as Wikipedia and likely some others yet offer them as a viable possibilities, so they are included here.

In 1 Kings 17:1-24 is the story of Elijah raising a dead boy to life, and in 2 Kings 4:8-37 a similar story is recorded of Elisha, who through received Elijah a two-fold portion of the Holy Spirit, doing the same. In the first instance, Elijah, having told wicked King Ahab that (by the judgment of God) it would not rain until he said, was told by God to proceed to a widows women's residence, through whom God would sustain him during that time of drought. The women had a son, and was blessed with food due to her faith and obedience in this matter, but it came to pass after some time that the widow's son died. In response to the women's cry for her son, Elijah carried him up into a loft and laid him upon his own bed, and made earnest intercession to God. He then stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again. And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived". (Kg. 17: 19-22) He then returned the boy to his mother, who now had more assurance that Elijah was a man of God and a true prophet.

In the second instance, a man and his wife had made a "prophets chamber", thought to be a type of annexed room, used for the custom of housing strangers[269][270] at their house for the traveling prophet Elisha to stay in as needed. After a time Elisha sought to find out what he could do in response, with the answer being that the women was childless, and with an old her husband. Elisha then told her that she would shortly have a child, and which came to pass. The child grew, but one day cried to his father about his head, and shortly thereafter died on his mother's knees. The women herself then laid her child upon the bed of the prophet, and journeyed to where the prophet was staying. Upon perceiving his distress, Elisha told his servant Gehazi to lay his staff upon the face of the child, and which he went and did, but the child did not awaken. Elisha then went himself, and performed a resuscitation ritual (2Kg. 4:32-35), with the result being that "the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes." He then called for the grateful mother to take her son.

Koch[271] sees these as homoerotic, with the staff representing a reproductive organ and the sneezing of the boy meaning ejaculation. Traditionalists however, see such assertions as eisegetical extremism, being unwarranted on any ground. John Barclay Burns[272] call's Koch's conclusions "sheer fantasy", being a highly individualistic construction which is imposed on the text.

Besides the fact that Koch has an holy prophet engaging in premarital sex and pedophilia, which allowance is not shown to have any Scriptural basis, and is instead evidenced to be contrary to what is stated in this area, to be consistent with Koch's staff metaphor, Gehazi would have had to castrate Elisha first in order to first use the "staff." Elijah's raising of the dead boy also provides nothing viably erotic, which activity is something the Bible makes manifest elsewhere when it is such. While the resuscitation ritual would seem strange in today's world, many such acts were common in the ancient one, as we see by examples in Isaiah 20, Ezekiel 4, John 9:6. The context in both these stories is that of a holy prophet doing a miracle of mercy in raising the dead, not of having homosex. Jesus referenced Elijah's ministry to the widows as an example of showing mercy, (Lk. 4:25) and in Acts 20:10 the apostle Paul acted somewhat similar to the prophets in raising Eutychus up. Few if any other pro-homosex authors attempt to use these stories to favor their cause, and traditional exegesis manifest Kock's conclusions to without warrant, leaving them to be an example of an over-active homosexual imagination, and of such being forced into Scripture.

Another interpretation of Koch is that of 2 Kings 10:15-16, which he sees as a homosexual pick up. However, there is nothing erotic or homosexual in this story. In 2Kg. 9, Jehu was anointed king of Israel by Elisha, and is commanded to cut off all the house of wicked King Ahab, which he proceeds to do. On his mission to do so in Samaria, he meets with Jehonadab and inquires whether he has the same heart as him, and if so, to give him his hand. As he does so, therefore Jehu takes him with him to ride in his chariot.

The context quite obviously is that of a political alliance. Jehonadab is evidenced in the Bible as being an honorable man, and married, with children, (Jer. 35:6) and as such he would have assented to the destruction of the idolatrous family of Ahab, and thus he greeted Jehu. In response to Jehu's query as to his heart, Jonadab therefore gave Jehu his hand as a token of fellowship, as was a Biblical custom. (cf. Ezra 10:19; Ezek. 17:18; Gal. 2:9) For Jehu's part, Jehonadab's presence in the chariot would have likely given him favor among the people, and provide evident sanction to what he did.[273] The next verse proceeds to state that Jehu slew all that remained unto Ahab in Samaria, further showing that judgment of a wicked people was on Jehu's mind, not homosex. Here again, the idea that holy people would be engaged in homosex is seen to require imposing an external and wicked morality on the text, as well as an erotic imagination.

Jesus and the Centurion's servant

Another attempt to find sanction for homosex is one in which it is asserted that Jesus approved of a homosexual relationship between a Roman Centurion and his servant, in Matthew 8: 5-13; Lk. 7:1-10).

Jack Clark Robinson[274] and others pro homosexual writers[275] attempt to support this assertion, in which it is supposed that,

  • A. Since a slave had no rights, "why on earth should he refrain from sodomizing his houseboys?" (citing prohomosex author Eva Cantarella).
  • B. Centurions were not allowed to marry during their military service, and thus he assumes the ones Robinson mentions were homosexuals.
  • C. The word translated “servant” is the Greek word "pais", which can denote a boy, But it could refer to a fully adult male as black slaves were in America. And pais is sometimes used to "denote a complicated relationship of unusual intimacy in the New Testament".
  • D. In Acts 10:1–11:18, a presumably homosexual centurion was accepted into the Christian community, thus making it "unmistakably clear" that both Christ and the Holy Spirit opened the doors of the Christian community to homosexuals and their partners.

Countering this revisionist construct are traditionalist responses which lists multiple problems in the homosexual argument, concluding that while a centurion may have had liberty to sodomize servants, neither the grammar or the context provides evidence that Jesus was sanctioning a homoerotic relationship in occurring in this story.

  • 1. The question as to whether a marriage ban applied to centurions, or to what extent or for how long is a subject of contention. As Phang writes,

the survival and transmission of of Roman legal sources is highly problematic. It [the ban] is not found in the main collection of juristic excerpts before A.D. 240, or in Gaius' Institutes (c. 160) or in the Gnomon of the Idios Logos. There is no direct evidence as to what ranks where affected by the marriage ban. Cassius Dio 60:24:3 Herodian 3.8.5, Libanius Or. 2:39-40 refer to generic soldiers; there is no mention of higher-ranking officers such as Centurions and principales. It is certain that equestrian and senatorial officers were not included in the ban, which would have contravented the Augustan legislation promoting marriage of the upper orders.

There is no direct evidence about whether centurions who were affected by the marriage ban. Most modern authors have assumed that they were permitted legal marriage. (P. Meyer (1895) pp, 103-4; Renz (1976) 55, Chery, marriage of equestrain oficers (1997) p. 113) Allason (1989) p. 58, states that "Below the rank of centurions soldiers were forbidden by law to marry", with Hassall (1999; pp. 35-40), giving 35 as the age which centurions could marry. (The marriage of Roman soldiers (13 B.C.-A.D. 235), by Sara Elise Phang, pp. 129-133)

  • 2. In addition, to claim that the all centurions were homosexuals or the ones Robinson mentions is presumptuous. The Bible evidences that it makes noteworthy aspects of the subjects of interest manifest, as a study of even the individual recipients of healing will show, and if the Holy Spirit is showing homosexuality being favored, as Robinson asserts He is, then we can expect that this aspect would be included, as well as sanction for it being made evident, as with the case of heterosexuals. As the opposite is done for homoeroticism, promoters of such must resort to asserting that the Bible was much a work of "homophobic"" editors.
  • 3. The word word translated “servant”, "pais", most predominately means servant, someone in subjection, and sometimes refers to God's servant Jesus or David, and others (Mat. 12:18; 14:2; Luk. 1:54; 1:69; 7:7; 15:26; Act. 4:25) or child (Mat. 17:18, Luk. 2:43; 9:42; Act. 4:27,30) It is not used in a gender exclusive way, as it can refers to a female. (Luk. 8:51,54). Apart from Robinson's imagination, its use nowhere in Scripture denotes a complicated relationship of sexual intimacy, and its use in non-Biblical literature is exceedingly rare. What might be possible is that the "pais" here was a son (cf. Acts 3:13,26) of the centurion (through a maid servant wife), as is the case in the parallel story of John 4:46-53. (Fred Butler,; Gagnon, Did Jesus Approve of a Homosexual Couple in the Story of the Centurion at Capernaum?, though the "Q" document aspect is a theory)
  • 4. There is absolutely nothing in the story of Acts 10:1–11:18 that indicates the centurion there was a homosexual, and instead it indicates how men must resort to imagination force a text to say what they wish.

In addition to the presumption that centurions, and this one in particular, were not married, and that this meant he was engaging in homosex, other aspects render Robinson's rendition of this story untenable:

A. Robinson has Jesus sanctioning homosexual relationship's. However, Jesus is not seen overthrowing the moral law of the Old Testament, and instead He actually reinforced and expanded its depth, and in so doing He explicitly stated what constitutes the "what" of what God joined together, (Mt. 19:4-6; cf. Gn. 1:26,27; 2:18-24) and to suppose that Jesus actions support the sodomizing of a servant, or even that He would sanction any homosexual relationship without expressly making that evident, is absurdity. Laws regarding sexual partners are manifest in Scripture as belonging to the primary category of moral laws regarding man's relationship with each other, and are not simply part of civil legislation, and nowhere are these abrogated in the gospels or under the New Covenant. Instead such are often reiterated. (Mat. 5:32; 15:19; 19:9; Mk. 7:21; Jn. 8:41; Acts 15:20; 15:29; 21:25; Rom. 1:29; 1Co_5:1; 1Co. 6:9,13, 18; 7:2; 2Co. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1Ths. 4:3; Heb. 12:16; 13:4; 1Pet. 4:3; Rev. 9:21; 14:8, 17:2, 4; 18:3; 19:2)

B. Homosexual relations are condemned wherever they are explicitly dealt in the Bible, and to sanction a homosexual relationship would be a radical new revelation, even more so than making all food clean, which the New Testament makes clear did not apply to moral laws such as regarding sexual partners.

C. Robinson depends upon the theory that all centurion were forbidden to marry, and thus his construct has Jesus sanctioning sex outside marriage. + D. As homosexual relations were universally condemned by the Jews, and if what Robinson imagines was the case, then we can be sure that the adversaries of Jesus would have made this radical departure from the law a specifically manifest issue. However, this was never the case.

In summation, the heresy of Robinson and company evidences again that as the Bible offers absolutely nothing that manifests sanction for homosex and the necessary providence of marriage for it, and instead it explicitly condemns such, prohomosex polemicists are forced into reading sex into such passages as the one at issue here.

Jesus and John

The height of homosexual blasphemy and striving to force sex into passages it does not belong, is that which insolently portrays the LORD Jesus and the apostle John as being involved in a homosexual relationship. This is another case which manifests the unholy imagination of prohomosex authors, who see homosexuality wherever the Bible describes close brotherly or even Divine love, and into which they proceed to read western thought into ancient custom. Outside of its outrageous nature it barely warrants reproof, but for a response see "Was Jesus in a Sexual Relationship with the Beloved Disciple?",[3] by Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D. A brief response can also be seen by Patrick Holding, Does John 21:20 Show That Jesus Was Gay?[4]


Despite the many and often contradictory attempts to disallow the Biblical injunctions against homosex and to find sanction for it, the Bible consistently affirms that by design and decree only opposite genders are to be joined sexually, and that only in marriage, and its prohibitions of unlawful sexual partners transcends time and culture. As this is the evident teaching of the Scriptures of God, the homosexual apologist must resort to negating the Divine authority of the Bible, expressly or effectively, by asserting "homophobic" editors censored the texts which proponents of homosex long to see. Such prohomosex efforts often require linguistical leaps, in which certain words, if opposed to homosex, are disallowed from meaning what they most plainly declare, while others are said to mean what prohomosex polemicists seek them to say, though they are never used that way, or depend upon context and other descriptions in order to denote eroticism, as seen elsewhere in Scripture, but which are absent in the texts at issue, in addition to facing insurmountable theological problems. Moreover, in seeking to find sanction for homosex, a foreign morality is imposed upon texts, effectively requiring that Israel and Christians were to learn the way of the way of unbelievers (contra Jer. 10:4). There are certain additional prohomosex polemicists who concede that the Bible is unequivocally anti-homosex, but who disallow the Bible from being a coherent moral authority in sexual matters, as they seek to justify rebellion to God based upon how they feel.

See also

External links


  1. Homosexuality and biblical interpretation
  2. Homosexuality
  3. James B. De Young, Homosexuality p. 135
  4. Richard Hasbany, Homosexuality and Religion
  5. homophobia
  6. Hermeneutics - A Guide To Basic Bible Interpretation By Darryl M. Erkel
  7. Robert A. J. Gagnon, The Authority of Scripture in the 'Homosex' Debate"
  9. The Bible and Homosexuality The Current Debate, by Lionel Windsor (2005)
  10. The Authority Of God's Law Today, Greg L. Bahnsen
  11. The Bible and Homosexuality by J. Glenn Taylor (Assoc. Prof. Of to at Wycliff College. U. of Toronto
  12. Should We Support Gay Marriage? NO! Wolfhart Pannenberg
  13. Prof. Dr. Robert A. J. Gagnon
  14. Straight or Narrow? Sexuality from the Beginning, Thomas E.Schmidt
  16. One Flesh: Why Sodomy Can Never Depict the Relationship Between Christ and His Church, Agape Press
  17. Life News, October 1997. (Final Report of the Task Force on Human Sexuality, Baptist Union of Western Australia, July 1997)
  19. Bahnsen, Homosexuality: A Biblical View (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1978), p. 36.
  20. “Homosexuality and the Old Testament,” BSAC 140 (July 1983): 259.
  21. CONCLUDING REMARKS, Homosexuality Revisited in Light of the Current Climate
  22. McNeil, drawing from the word of Dutch scholar Herman van Spijker, referenced by By Stanley J. Grenz, Welcoming But Not Affirming, p. 83
  23. Scroggs, The New Testament and Homosexuality, p. 14
  24. B.A. Robinson Thomas Horner; Steven Greenberg
  25. Victor Paul Furnish, The Moral Teachings of Paul: Selected Issues (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1985), p. 85.
  26. Walter Wink, "To hell with gays" and "the Bible and homosexuality"
  27. Robin Scroggs, The New Testament and Homosexuality (Philadelphia: Fortress, l983) p. 127.
  28. Gary David Comstock, Gay Theology Without Apology (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 1993), p. 43.
  29. Dirt, Greed, and Sex (Fortress, 1988)
  30. Balch, Homosexuality, Science, and the "plain Sense" of Scripture p. 121
  31. Michael Bott and Jonathan Sarfati, "What’s Wrong With (Former) Bishop Spong?"
  32. "No Universally Valid Sex Standards? A Rejoinder to Walter Wink's Views on the Bible and Homosexual Practice", Gagnon
  33. James B. DeYoung, Homosexuality, p. 290
  34. Homosexual relations and the Bible
  36. Master of Divinity and Ph.D. in "Systematic and Historical Theology;" president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky
  37. Fact Sheet on Homosexuality,
  38. Homosexuality in Society, the Church, and Scripture, The Authority of Scripture, Christian Research Institute Journal
  39. Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministries at The Masters Seminary
  40. The Master's Seminary Journal (TMSJ), 11/2 (Fall 2000), Homosexuality and the church
  41. Why the disagreement over the biblical witness on homosexual practice? A Response to Myers and Scanzoni, What God Has Joined Together?, by A. J. Robert Gagnon p. 29
  42. (1910 - 1984), Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition
  43. Doctorate in Philosophy, Louvain University in Belgium; Former Jesuit priest
  44. Professor of New Testament at Chicago Theological Seminary
  45. Professor of New Testament, Church Divinity School of the Pacific
  46. Assistant Professor of Psychology
  48. Associate Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. B.A. degree from Dartmouth College; M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School; Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary.
  51. Professor of New Testament Greek at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California
  52. Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon
  53. Assistant Professor of Field Education, Dallas Theological Seminary
  54. Associate Professor of Religion and Theology at Redeemer College
  56. See Gagnon, "Why the disagreement over the biblical witness on homosexual practice?", P. 28
  58. Pastor Toby Brown,
  60. The Bible and Same-Gender Marriage, Mary A. Tolbert
  61. Richard Hasbany, Homosexuality and Religion, Procreation and the family
  62. Gordon J Wenham, The Old Testament Attitude to Homosexuality; Expository Times 1991
  63. A Letter to the Bishops and Deputies of the 73rd General Convention Chaplain Donald D. Binder, PhD Adjunct Professor of New Testament, Southern Methodist University
  64. Homosexuality and Scripture, by Dr David Hilborn, Theological Adviser, Evangelical Alliance (UK)
  65. Edward T. Welch, The Journal of Biblical Counseling
  66. Fred J. Gaiser, "Homosexuality and the Old Testament," Word & World 10 (1990): 161-165
  67. 67.0 67.1 67.2
  68. Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament; Johann (C.F.) Keil (1807-1888) & Franz Delitzsch (1813-1890)
  69. Gagnon’s response to Prof. L. William Countryman’s review in Anglican theological review: on careful scholarship. Though Gagnon holds to the problematic JEDP theory, his analysis is overall good
  71. God, Marriage, and Family, p. 48, by Andreas J. Kostenberger, David W. Jones
  72. Norman Lamm, Judaism and the Modern Attitude Towards Homosexuality, p. 197-98
  73. Straight and Narrow? Compassion and Clarity In The Homosexuality Debate, pp. 117-118, Thomas E. Schmidt
  74. "That Which is Unnatural" Homosexuality in Society, the Church, and Scripture, Genesis 1-2, by Joseph P. Gudel, Christian Research Institute Journal
  76. Ketubot, 61b-62b; Feldman, 168
  78. Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon,
  80. Jamieson, Fausset and Brown; 1Cor. 11:3
  81. Gudel,"That Which is Unnatural"
  82. Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
  83. Myers and Scanzoni, What God Has Joined Together? p. 109
  84. Hasbany, Homosexuality and Religion, p. 106
  85. which surely did come, not only from opposition by Paul's own "kinsmen according to the flesh" (Rm. 9:3; cf. 1Ths. 2:16), and the turmoil following the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., but from often intense persecutions from a procession of emperors, from Domitian (195) to Diocletian (284-305)
  86. Walter Wink, ibid
  87. Matthew Henry, Mt. 19:8-12; Albert Barnes, 1.Cor. 7:2
  88. Unlike children (Eph. 6:1), which is plural, when a individual husband is addressed, it is not "husband love your wives," but "let every one of you in particular so love his wife" (Eph. 5:33). Likewise "honor thy father and mother" are singular (Eph. 6:20) and presumes only one of each. A prime requirement for pastors, who are examples to be followed (2Ths. 3:7,9; Heb. 13:7), is that they only have one wife (1Tim. 3:2; Tts. 1:6; cf. 1Cor. 9:5). Likewise deacons (1Tim. 3:12) See also God, Marriage, and Family, pp. 43-45
  89. The reformist Essene sect at Qumran rejected ‘taking two wives in their lives’ because ‘the foundation of creation is “male and female he created them” [Gen 1:27]' and because ‘those who entered (Noah’s) ark went in two by two into the ark [Gen 7:9]’ (CD 4.20-5.1). Gagnon,
  90. ref. by Richard Hasbany, The Church and the Homosexual, Cp. 2
  91. A refutation of Dr. Walter Wink: Homosexuality and the Bible
  92. Walter Brueggemann, Lisa Miller, ref. in "More than “Mutual Joy”: Lisa Miller of Newsweek against Scripture and Jesus", (Gagnon)
  93. Albert Barnes, John Gill, 1Cor. 11:3; 14:34; 1Tim. 2:8-11
  94. Note: "saved in childbearing" is generally held by traditionalists not as implying salvation due to works, but by obedient faith in Christ, which will saved her despite her travail of mothering (Gill, JFB), akin to being saved "as by fire", (1Cor. 3:15) if they continue in the faith. An alternative understanding is that generally women will be saved by a faith which was/is to be usually primarily expressed by women in raising children and maintaining the home. In other places Paul commends those women who helped Paul and others in the gospel work, (Rm. 16:1,2ff; Phil. 4:3) in addition to encouraging celibacy in singleness if so called.
  95. Gill comments that natural born eunuchs “were frequently called by the Jews, סריס המה, "an eunuch of the sun” (T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 75. 1. 79. 2. & 80. 1. Maimon. Hilch. Ishot, c. 2. sect. 14), that is, as their doctors (Maimon & Bartenora in Misn. Yebamot, c. 8. sect. 4) explain it, one that from his mother's womb never saw the sun but as an eunuch; that is, one that is born so ... The signs of such an eunuch, are given by the Jewish writers (Bartenora, ibid. & Maimon. Hilch. Ishot, ut supra). This sort is sometimes called סריס בידי שמים "an eunuch by the hands of heaven" (T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 80. 2) or God, in distinction from those who are so by the hands, or means of men.
  96. Albert Barnes, p. Mat 19:12
  98. Homosexual Eunuchs, Rick Brentlinger
  100. Homosexuality p. 122; James B. De Young
  101. Digest of Justinian, Vol. 1, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1998, Book XXIII.3.39.1
  102. Faris Malik, Eunuchs are Gay Men
  103. The Bible and Homosexual Practice, pp. 159-83
  104. Gagnon, Notes to Gagnon’s Essay in the Gagnon-Via Two Views Book
  105. The Bible and Sexual Boundaries, by Craig R. Koester See also Robert H. Smith, Matthew (Augsburg New Testament Commentary; Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1989), 229-230
  106. Eunuchs and Exegesis
  108. Homosexuality By Stanton L. Jones, Mark A. Yarhouse
  109. Brian Schwertley, Homosexuality: A Biblical Analysis,
  112. The Old Testament Attitude to Homosexuality Expository Times 102 (1991): 259-363
  113. (Cf. Genesis Rabbah 50:5, on Gen. 9:22 ff. More generally see M.Kasher, Torah Shlemah, vol. 3 to Gen 19:5.)
  114. Robert A. J. Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice, pp. 73-74, and Why the Disagreement over the Biblical Witness on Homosexual Practice, pp. 46-50
  115. What was the Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? Gregory Koukl
  116. D S. Bailey, Homosexuality and the Western Tradition, p. 8; John J. McNeil, the Church and the Homosexual, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980) p. 50. 93
  117. The New Testament and Homosexuality, by Robin Scroggs; p. 73
  118. "On Homosexuality and Rape in Genesis", James Patrick Holding
  120. Bailey, Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition', p. 8; McNeil, The Church and the Homosexual, p. 50; Boswell, Christianity, social tolerance, and homosexuality, pp 93-94
  121. Holding, Homosexuality and Rape in Genesis
  122. James de Young, Biblical Sanctions Against Homosexuality, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Vol. 34 No. 2, June 1991 pp. 157-177
  123. Harris, et al., 1980, p. 366
  124. Botterweck, 5:464
  125. Gesenius, p. 334
  126. Sodom—Inhospitality or Homosexuality? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.
  127. Boswell, "Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality," p. 95
  128. Derek Kidner, "Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Chicago: InterVarsity Press, 1963), p. 137
  129. G. A. Barton
  130. which apparently has Methuselah dying after the flood in Gn. 9,
  131. Dr. James B. DeYoung, Homosexuality, pp. 32-39, 118-122
  132. Julie M. Smith, Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Cigar
  133. The New Testament and Homosexuality, by Robin Scroggs, pp. 73-75
  134. Richard Wolff, "A Commentary on the Epistle of Jude", (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1960), p. 75.
  135. Bailey, pp. 11-16; Boswell, p. 97
  136. there are sound reasons for the Book of Enoch being rejected from the Jewish canon, the Septuagint and Vulgate, and the Apocrypha (, including tales of approx. 443 foot height angelic offspring, or angels (stars) procreating with oxen to produce elephants, camels and donkeys, (86:1-5) if taken literally
  137. or simply Enoch. Jude would be following the Biblical practice of quoting an inspired utterance from a source that is not wholly inspired, just as Paul did in quoting a pagan prophet (Acts 17:28)
  139. Robert A. J. Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice pp. 87-89.
  140. Word pictures in the New Testament, Archibald Thomas Robertson
  141. Dave Miller, Ph.D.,
  142. W. Countryman
  143. What was the Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? Gregory Koukl
  144. Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible
  145. Vincent's Word Studies
  146. Commentary on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown
  147. Gill, Gn. 19
  149. Bailey, Homosexuality and Western Tradition, pp. 1-28; McNeil, Church and the Homosexual, pp. 42-50; Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, pp. 92-97
  150. cf. Straight & Narrow?: Compassion and Clarity in the Homosexuality Debate, Thomas E. Schmidt
  152. Young, A Critique of Prohomosexual Interpretations of the Old Testament Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
  158. Derek Kidner, "Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary," Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Chicago: InterVarsity Press, 1963), p. 137.
  159. Hasbany, Homosexuality and Religion, p. 50,51
  160. [The Bible As Law, Gerald R. Thompson]
  161. Greg L. Bahnsen, Theonomy in Christian Ethics (Nutley, NJ: Craig Press, 1977), p. 214.
  163. Homosexuality and the Old Testament, P. Michael Ukleja]
  164. [ Charles C. Ryrie, "The End of the Law," Bibliotheca Sacra 124 (July-September 1967):246
  165. [" That Which is Unnatural" Homosexuality in Society, the Church, and Scripture by Joseph P. Gudel (ICR)]
  166. Daniel Helminiak, What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality, pp. 46 - 47
  167. [ A Reformed Response to Daniel Helminiak's Gay Theology]
  168. Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality. p. 100
  169. Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality. pp 100-01
  170. Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality By Jack Bartlett Rogers, p. 72
  171. Horner, David loved Jonathan, p.73,85
  172. The New Testament and Homosexuality, p. 73
  173. Anchor Bible Dictionary, Abomination of Desolation
  174. 16:18&ot=lxx&nt=tr&new=1&nb=jer&ng=16&ncc=16; abomination
  176. Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality. pp. 100-102
  177. What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality, Daniel Helminiak, pp. 64-65
  178. Homosexuality, Contemporary Claims Examined in Light of the Bible and Other Ancient Literature and Law, pp. 65-69
  179. The Condemnation of Homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6:9 David E. Malick
  180. (“Homosexuals or Prostitutes? The Meaning of ARSENOKOITAI (1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10),” Vigiliae Christianae 38 [1984] 125-53)
  182. What was the Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? Gregory Koukl
  185. Wrestling with God and Men, pp. 80-93, by Steven Greenberg
  186. A Time to Embrace, Stacy Johnson
  187. More Reasons Why Stacy Johnson’s A Time to Embrace Should Not Be Embraced: Part II
  188. "God and Sex" or "Pants on Fire"? - by Robert Gagnon
  189. A Defense Theory, by Royce Buehler
  190. which prostitutes are mentioned as working in Judah, under Rehoboam (1Ki. 14:24), whom Asa largely cleaned out (1Ki. 15:12), and which job his son Jehoshaphat finished (1Ki. 22:46), but was later needed to be done again under king Josiah
  191. [ The Death Penalty in the Old Testament]
  192. Gagnon, Zenit Interview
  194. Gagnon, "God and Sex" or "Pants on Fire"? The "Irrelevance of Levitical Prohibitions" Argument
  196. John Barclay Burns, Devotee or Deviate
  197. Keil and Delitzch
  198. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality p. 99
  199. New Testament and Homosexuality, pp. 23,86,87
  200. James B. De Young, Homosexuality, pp. 122-137
  201. Reallexicon der Assyriologie 4, 465
  202. The Old Testament Attitude to Homosexuality, The Old Testament Picture, Gordon J Wenham
  203. Adam Clarke, commentary, Gn. 34:31
  205. Young, ibid pp. 133-135
  206. "Response to Rowan Williams". and "Homosexuality and Scripture", by David Hilborn, Former head of The Evangelical Alliance
  207. Homosexuality in the Church, Richard B. Hays, Lev. 18:22; 20:13
  208. Gagnon, "God and Sex" or "Pants on Fire"?
  209. Greg Bahnsen p 45
  210. Homosexuality Revisited in Light of the Current Climate, by Calvin Smith
  211. A Defense Theory, by Royce Buehler
  212. Gagnon, Why the disagreement over the Biblical witness on homosexual practice?
  213. Young, ibid pp. 133-135
  214. Gagnon, Why the disagreement over the Biblical witness on homosexual practice?
  215. Bailey, Homosexuality, p. 30
  216. "That Which is Unnatural" Homosexuality in Society, the Church, and Scripture, Leviticus 18 and 20, by Joseph P. Gudel, Christian Research Institute Journal
  217. Wink, Homosexuality and Bible
  218. Troy Perry, Don’t Be Afraid Anymore (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990), 40
  219. John J. McNeil, The Church and the Homosexual (Kansas City: Sheed Andrews and McMeel, 1976); Roger Shinn, “Homosexuality: Christian Conviction and Inquiry,” in Homosexuality
  220. "To hell with gays," by Walter Wink
  221. HOMOSEXUALITY and the BIBLE (Walter Wink refuted)
  222. Stanley J. Grenz, Welcoming But Not Affirming, p. 61
  224. Notes to Gagnon’s Essay in the Gagnon-Via Two Views Book
  225. The Wink-Gagnon Exchange Published in Christian Century
  226. Robert A. J. Gagnon, No Universally Valid Sex Standards?
  227. "Are There Universally Valid Sex Precepts? A Critique of Walter Wink's Views on the Bible and Homosexuality"
  229. The Bible and Homosexuality; Mark 7:7 Did Jesus include homosexuality in “fornication?
  230. Hilborn vs. Rowan Williams and Homosexuality
  231. Why “Gay Marriage” Is Wrong by Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.
  233. D. J. Atkinson, Homosexuals in the Church (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979), 69-70.
  235. [ The Condemnation of Homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6:9 David E. Malick
  237. Homosexuality Revisited in Light of the Current Climate 1by Calvin Smith
  238. Linguistic Grounds for Translating Arsenokoitai as “Homosexuals” De Young, J. B. (2000). Homosexuality: Contemporary Claims Examined in Light of the Bible and Other Ancient Literature and Law. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications
  241. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality [University of Chicago Press, 1980], 344
  242. Wright, `Homosexuality: The Relevance of the Bible p. 296
  244. D.F. Wright, "Review of The New Testament and Homosexuality by Robin Scroggs," Scottish Journal of Theology 38 (March 1985): 119-20
  245. [ Does Jack Rogers’s Book “Explode the Myths” about the Bible and Homosexuality and “Heal the Church”?, Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.
  246. (cf. pp. 195-99) Homosexuality By James B. DeYoung
  247. Wright, `Homosexuality: The Relevance of the Bible’ (op. cit.), 296.
  248. [ Homosexuality Revisited in Light of the Current Climate1]
  249. P. Michael Ukleja, `Homosexuality in the New Testament' in Bibliotheca Sacra 140 (1983).
  250. The New Testament and Homosexuality
  252. Homosexuality By F. Earle Fox, David W. Virtue, p. 210-14
  253. Greenberg, ref. in "Welcoming But Not Affirming, Stanley J. Grenz, p. 60
  254. Adam Clarke, LL.D., F.S.A., (1715-1832)
  255. Dr. John Gill (1690-1771)
  256. quoting E. M. Good
  257. Ken Stone, Queer commentary and the Hebrew Bible
  258. Tom Horner, Jonathan loved David, p. 40-46
  259. Steven Greenberg, Wrestling with God and men, p. 105
  260. Regan, P. C; Jerry, D; Narvaez, M; Johnson, D. Public displays of affection among Asian and Latino heterosexual couples. Psychological Reports. 1999;84:1201–1202
  261. Albert Barnes, Judges 14:10
  262. Sketches of Jewish Social Life. Cp. 9 (Edersheim)
  263. Grenz, ibid. p. 138]
  264. Gagnon, A Book Not To Be Embraced: A Critical Review Essay on Stacy Johnson’s A Time to Embrace 2008 Scottish Journal of Theology Ltd.
  265. B.A. Robinson, Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, same-sex relationships in the Bible
  266. The Hebrew word for "eunuch" can also refer to such men as the officer of Pharaoh who was married, or an officer over men of war: Gn. 39:1ff; 2King. 25:19
  267. The case for castration, part 2, Washington Monthly , May, 1994 by Fred S. Berlin
  268. The Unkindest Cut: A Czech Solution for Sex Offenders, Timemagazine, By Leo Cendrowicz / Brussels Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009
  269. Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown
  270. Adam Clarke, LL.D., F.S.A., (1715-1832); Jdg. 3:20
  271. A Homoerotic Approach to Scripture Timothy R.
  272. Associate Professor of Religious Studies, George Mason University
  273. Dr. John Gill (1690-1771)
  274. Jesus, the Centurion, and His Lover
  275. T. W. Jennings