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Judeo-Christianity and homosexuality

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What the Bible says and means
about same-gender sexual behavior

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Important notes to consider:

  • This is an important sub-section in our web site's section on homosexuals and other sexual minorities. That is because many people's beliefs about homosexuality and their actions towards homosexuals are religiously based. Because such a large percentage of North Americans are English speaking and identify themselves as Jews, Christians and Muslims, it is important to understand what the Hebrew and Christian scriptures (Old and New Testament) says about this topic: both:

    • In its original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek languages, as interpreted by the early Christian movements within the culture of their time, and

    • In modern times, after its translation into English by religious translators, and after its interpretation by conservative, mainline and liberal theologians.

  • Seven or eight main biblical passages that may deal with same-gender sexual behavior are described below. They are often referred to as "clobber" passages, because they are often used to attack persons with a homosexual or bisexual orientation. They have been interpreted very differently by various religious denominations, para-church groups, and traditions. All groups recognize that these biblical passages condemn some types of sexual behavior but there is no consensus within a given religion whether they refer to consensual sexual behavior by persons with a homosexual or bisexual orientation, and whether it refers to all people or only to persons with a heterosexual orientation.

  • Only one passage, in Romans 1, discusses female same-sex sexual behavior. This text involves sexual behavior by male and female heterosexuals, who were former Christians. They had left the faith, reverted to Paganism, and apparently engaged in some form of religiously inspired same-gender sex orgy against their basic heterosexual nature. The passage appears to refer only to heterosexual men and women and say nothing about same-sex behavior by gays and lesbians. Some liberal theologians have taken the logical step of interpreted this passage as also condemning persons with a homosexual orientation who engage in opposite-sex sexual behavior against their basic nature. Some conservaive theologians have interpreted the same passage as condemning all same-gender sexual behavior whether by persons with a heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual orientation.

  • Among the full spectrum of fath groups, from the most conservative to the most liberal:

    • Most conservative faith groups tend to interpret all of the clobber passages as condemning all forms of same-gender sexual behavior, whether by men or women. They do this, even though only one of the seven or eight passages actually refers to women, and that sole passage refers only to women with a heterosexual orientation.

    • Most liberal and progressive faith groups tend to interpret the same passages -- in their original languages of Hebrew and Greek -- as referring to:
      • temple prostitution,
      • how it is unacceptable for two men to have sex if they do it on a woman's bed,
      • kidnapping slaves,
      • adults sexually abusing children,
      • engaging in sexual behavior that is against one's sexual orientation and basic nature, and/or
      • engaging in bestiality -- sexual activity with a non-human species.

    • Most mainline denominations and faith groups are split on these passages' interpretation with part of the membership taking the conservative position, and another part taking the liberal/progressive interpretation.

    • We have never found a faith group that accepts same-gender sexual behavior by lesbians while condemning such behavior by males, even though that could be a logical interpretation of Romans 1.

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Note to the reader:

According to Copyscape, the contents of this section have been stolen by more than ten other web sites, in violation of copyright law. Actually, it might be 100 copycat websites or more for all we know because we were using a trail version of the software.

We urge you to read our web site instead of those operated by thieves, because ours is being continually updated with new information.

Topics covered in this section are:

bullet Please read these two essays first:
bullet A very brief glance at passages that appear to discuss homosexuality:

bullet Major or "clobber" passages

bullet Minor passages
 
bullet For more detailed information, read

bullet Overview: Diverse Christian interpretations of the Bible concerning homosexuality. Rigidity of beliefs.

bullet Detailed introduction, Part 1: Quotes; Bible's passages, analysis, mistranslations, & use of the word "homosexual."

bullet Detailed introduction, Part 2: Same-sex activity in biblical times; people's beliefs about the Bible; translation biases.

bullet Are the Bible's moral teachings still valid and meaningful today? 
 
bullet Analysis of individual passages from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament):

bullet More detailed coverage:

bullet Genesis 1:Be fruitful and multiply....

bullet Genesis 19:the story of God's destruction of four Canaanite cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim

bullet Other verses from Genesis: about Adam, Eve and Noah

bullet The Mosaic code & the meaning of the Hebrew word To'ebah

bullet Leviticus 18:22

bullet Leviticus 20:13

bullet Deuteronomy, Judges, Kings

bullet Less detailed coverage:

bullet A brief description
 
bullet Analysis of passages from the Christian Scriptures (New Testament):

bullet Less detailed coverage:

bullet A brief description

bullet More detailed coverage:

bullet Romans 1 and perhaps Romans 2

bullet 1 Corinthians 6

bullet Translations of 1 Corinthians 6:9 from various versions of the Bible

bullet 1 Timothy 1

bullet Other books: Matthew, John & Jude

bullet Possible meanings of the Greek word "arsenokoitai" (arsenokoitai)

bullet Conclusions

bullet Other material:

bullet A series of essays donated by Anthony Ashford: "Six biblical reasons why Christians should accept same-sex relationships." Part 1  Part 2   Part 3

bullet Three same-sex relationships described in the Bible

bullet Meanings of the Greek words "Pornea" and "Akatharsia" (fornication and uncleanness) in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament)
 
bullet

Christian teachings & beliefs on homosexuality:

bullet If you approve of same-sex marriage (SSM), study this chart. If you don't, then study this chart, unless you are easily offended

bullet Books and other web sites that deal with homosexuality and the Bible

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Related material from neutral or LGBT-positive sources:

On this website:

On other websites:

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Site navigation:

 Home page > Christianity > Bible themes & topics > here

or Home page > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Religious impact > here

Copyright © 1996 to 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2013-OCT-09
Author: B.A. Robinson

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