The Bible on Homosexuality

What does the Bible really say on the topic? Let's look at the passages that the church has used against queer Chrisitans,

Was the Bible mistranslated?

What are the passages on homosexuality in the Bible?

Was the Bible mistranslated?

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What are the passages on homosexuality in the Bible?

Many christians in today’s church believe that homosexuality and marriage equality is a sin. They believe marriage and relationships are meant to be between one man and one woman. There are six core passages that are referenced when discussing LGBTQ+ rights and marriage equality; three in the old testament, and three in the new. The truth is the verses referenced are not discussing healthy homosexual relationships between two adult loving individuals. Let’s take a closer look at the verses listed.

Genesis 19

*TRIGGER WARNING: Mention of sexual assault*

The story of Sodom and Gamora. The story describes two angels appearing as men arriving in the city of Sodom and being hidden in the house of Lot. A group of men from the city arrive at Lot’s house and threaten to rape the two men. The only same sex behavior described here is gang rape, not a homosexual relationship. This is not God honoring nor does it condemn homosexual relationships. This is later confirmed in Ezekiel 16:49.

“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”

There is no reference here to homosexual relationships. This verse discusses the laziness and apathy of those living in Sodom. They did not love their neighbor or pursue God.

Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13

“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”

"If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”

These verses are listed in the levitical laws in which many other things were listed as abominations. Some of these things include having sex while on your period, eating shelfish, charging interest on loans, and many other things we don’t consider sin today. The laws in Leviticus were fulfilled by Jesus Christ which makes us free from the old law. There are a few other theories about this verse, as it isn't as straightforward as many may think. Some say the original verse was talking about sexual exploitation, rape, and pedophillia. If you are interested in learning more about this theory, click [HERE IS LINK REF].

Romans 1:26-27

“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error”

This verse describes lustful acts. This verse is clearly not in the context of a loving faithful relationship. There is no mention of love or commitment, only a lustful and selfish desire. Context is also very important to mention in this verse. The exact word “unnatural” in this verse is later used to describe men’s hair being long as unnatural culturally. It is agreed by many scholars that it is referring to the cultural norms of the time. The word is later used to describe Jesus’s actions in an earlier passage. In the days Paul wrote this, homosexual acts were often between masters and slaves in an abuse of power. Oftentimes the men committing these acts were married to women and lusting after others, abusing their power to satisfy their own desire. This verse does not make mention of a faithful God-honoring relationship.

1 Corinthians 6:9 1 Timothy 1:9-10

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,”

“We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine”

The word in these verses that was translated to the word homosexuality was the word “Arsenokoitai,” a word with a somewhat ambiguous translation. The word has no concrete translation. It has roughly been separated into two words. “Arsen” meaning man and “koitai” meaning bed. This roughly translates to “man bed.” The only times we see this word being used is in the context of sexual exploitation, not homosexual relationships as we know them today. Even in heterosexual sin. The word appears in Numbers 31 and Judges 21. Paul made the word up. We don't know for sure what it means but what we do know is that every time it is used, it is used in the context of exploitation or abuse of power. It is not specific to queer people.