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I was recently listening to a podcast and the preacher said that he has looked through the entire bible and could not find anywhere where it says that homosexuality was a sin.

Where does the bible stand on this? What verses talk about it?

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Out of curiosity, what bible was the preacher using? There are many bible translations, some of them are considered highly accurate, while others are paraphrased and/or enriched. I've heard some preachers using paraphrased and enriched bibles myself, and the experiences left me quite confused until I had a chance to read my own bibles (ESV, NKJV, NASB) and consult with my pastor. I think its very important to know what bible a preacher/pastor/priest teaches from. –  jrista Aug 24 '11 at 19:58
    
You know i'm not sure. I wasn't listening to the guy for an understanding of the gospel, I was just sampling other view points. When he stated this I was totally confused. –  Ecommerce Consultant Aug 24 '11 at 21:23
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@jrista: "highly accurate" is debatable. All translations have to interpret what the source text tries to express, that holds for the Bible too. –  Jürgen A. Erhard Aug 30 '11 at 19:05
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@Jurgen: In comparison to a paraphrased bible, in which content is purposely excluded, or an enriched bible, where content is literally fabricated (a dangerous practice for translating any text), translations such as NKJV, ESV, NASB, etc. ARE highly accurate. In regards to interpretation, yes, some has to be done, however in relation to the original language texts, the translations are as accurate as they can be given the fluid and ambiguous nature of language in general. Perhaps including the term 'relative' is necessary, but there are differences in the degree of accuracy in bibles. –  jrista Aug 30 '11 at 19:58
    
@Jurgen God sustains even his word. This is the reason that the corrections to modern translations have such a small percent it defies possibility. –  Ecommerce Consultant Aug 30 '11 at 20:07

6 Answers 6

up vote 43 down vote accepted

There's an entire Wikipedia post regarding this subject. (Thus it's my source as it's easily referenced.)

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Leviticus 20:13 is the first:

13 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

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Genesis 18-19 has the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, where homosexuality was a big part of their culture. The town was destroyed for their wickedness.

Genesis 19:4-5
4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

Ezekiel even talks about this event here:

Ezekiel 16:49-50
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. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

These verses clearly state that Sodom was destroyed because of they were haughty and did detestable things. While Ezekiel isn't clear which detestable things were done, the Genesis account only indicates rampant homosexuality (possibly alluding to public, homosexual orgies) as the cause for this phrase "detestable things".

This also echos the Leviticus scripture showing that God finds homosexuality detestable.

Looking at the account of Sodom and Gomorrah, we have to either conclude it was homosexuality that was detestable, or something that was not written about. But why would Moses have included homosexuality in Genesis if it weren't the "detestable thing" for which God was destroying the city? In fact, if it wasn't one of the primary reasons for God destroying the cities, why write about it at all? It simply becomes another attribute of the city.

It's hard (if not impossible) to separate the destruction of Sodom from the concept of homosexuality.

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In the New Testament, there is Romans 1:26-27

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 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.

Then there's 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and 1 Timothy 1:8–10, which refer to sexual sin on a more general basis. Those previous three are pretty solid references, though.

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@Richard to nitpick your reasoning: if the phrase "detestable things" contains presumably a number of candidates including homosexuality - and it is stated that someone has done "detestable things", it does not logically follow that what they did was homosexuality - it does not preclude it either. To put it another way: in my hand are three coins; one is a dime; I take a coin from that hand; is it a dime? We don't know! We know it could be (since we know a dime was there), but we do not know that it was the dime that was selected. –  Marc Gravell Sep 3 '11 at 12:51
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Oh, what I just remembered: it should be noted that the Bible most of the time only mentions men. So, "all the men" in the story of Sodom need not mean only men. –  Jürgen A. Erhard Sep 4 '11 at 14:10
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@Marc Gravell That is an excellent point. Looking at the account of Sodom and Gomorrah, we have to either conclude it was homosexuality (and orgies and the like) that was detestable, or something that was not written about. Why would Moses have included homosexuality in Genesis if it weren't the "detestable thing" that God was destroying the city for? In fact, if it wasn't detestable one of the primary reasons for God destroying the cities, why write about it at all? It just becomes another city. I agree with your point, though. –  Richard Sep 4 '11 at 20:28
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@Richard. Actually, the Genesis account does not refer to homosexuality. It refers to gang rape. –  TRiG Mar 16 '12 at 22:21
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Sodom was destroyed because of homosexuality. The fact that they "did not help the poor and needy" had no part in it. Yeah, right. –  Jürgen A. Erhard Jun 24 '13 at 21:13

In addition to Richard's post, it's important to keep Acts 15 in mind.

The clearest and most unambiguous prohibitions against homosexual acts in the Bible come from the Law of Moses. It's frequently pointed out that the Law was fulfilled in Christ and Christians aren't expected to be held to its many precepts and prohibitions, such as being forbidden to mix different types of fabric together in the same garment or various other precepts that are brought up to make the whole thing sound ridiculous and antiquated.

But in Acts 15, the apostles and elders hold a formal council about what should be done with regards to the Law, and how much of it Gentile converts should be expected to abide by. The final decision, which explicitly claims divine approval in verse 28, is that most of the Law doesn't matter anymore, as it was fulfilled in Christ, but the prohibitions on idol worship, fornication, (a general term for all sexual sins, including homosexual acts,) and the eating of blood are still in full force and ought to be observed by all Christians.

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+1 good answer. Anyway, can you explain more about the "fulfilled in Christ"? I don't really understand it. Thx –  Phelios Aug 24 '11 at 2:51
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@Phelios: See Galatians chapter 3, where it talks about how the Law was a "schoolmaster" intended to bring people to Christ. The Law was full of foreshadowing and symbolism to keep people focused on the coming of the Messiah and his Atonement, since it hadn't actually happened and been recorded in history yet. By the time it happened, that was no longer necessary. Also, the Rabbis had slowly built up a "fence" around the Law, missing the symbolism and turning it from the worship of God to the worship of the Law itself. Trying to impose that on new converts would have done more harm than good. –  Mason Wheeler Aug 24 '11 at 3:08
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First point: including homosexual acts in the prohibitions in Acts 15 is conjecture (a pretty obvious one, but since those acts were not mentioned explicitly in Acts (hehe), still conjecture). Point two: how many Christians actually don't eat, say, Blutwurst (blood sausage)? Or, for the Brits, Black Pudding? I've eaten Blutwurst, and no-one ever told me not to eat it. Strange, innit? –  Jürgen A. Erhard Aug 30 '11 at 20:14

Many people like to have some kind of sin not categorized as sin. This question about Homosexuality is repeatedly asked by many, But bible clearly says that Homosexulal or Men having sex with Men will not enter in to the Kingdom of God. I also do not understand why no one refers to this passage written by Paul, which gives maximum clarity

Read 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 carefully in any of the popular versions of the Bible.

NIV:

9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

ESV:

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous[b] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,[c] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

ASV:

9 Or know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men,

10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

NCV:

9-10 Surely you know that the people who do wrong will not inherit God's kingdom. Do not be fooled. Those who sin sexually, worship idols, take part in adultery, those who are male prostitutes, or men who have sexual relations with other men, those who steal, are greedy, get drunk, lie about others, or rob—these people will not inherit God's kingdom.

NKJV:

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Here: The words men who have sex with men translate two Greek words that refer to the passive and active participants in homosexual acts.

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Relative to the amount of attention homosexuality as a sin gets among Western Christians, the Bible has comparatively little to say on the subject. For instance, greed is condemned loudly and often in the Bible. So is hypocrisy. Jesus compared anger to murder.

But there are very clear warnings and even condemnations of people who practice homosexuality. Paul says:

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.—Romans 1:26-27 (ESV)

There can be little doubt that Paul is referring to consensual homosexual acts of both the male and female variety. A little later, he provides a more comprehensive list of sinful behavior:

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.—Romans 1:28-32 (ESV)

In the rest of the letter, Paul makes clear that the punishment for any sin is death (Romans 6:23) and that all of us sin (Romans 3:23). In terms of eternal consequences, homosexual acts are in the same category as, say, gossip. That is to say, it's a sin worthy of death. Thankfully, God provided a way out:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.—Romans 8:1 (ESV)


John Piper did a two-part sermon on this passage that changed my views completely. Here is one of his conclusions:

The deepest problem of our lives, whether heterosexual or homosexual, is the terrible exchange of the glory of God for images (verse 23). The exchange of the truth of God for a lie (verse 25). The disapproval of having God in our knowledge (verse 28). Failed worship is our worst disorder. This is beneath all the maladies of the world. Repairing this, not first our disordered sexuality, is our main business in life.

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It seems that this was covered pretty well. I have a few links that may help further.

I found this site while looking for side by side comparisons of what different bible translation say or are worded. Bible Study Tools This link is Leviticus 18;22 and shows that the wording has the same meaning no matter what bible you are using.

I found another article where Leviticus 18;22 is broken down and discussed. I didn't read all of the material found here , so it may not reflect what I believe personally. Just a reference that may be helpful.

Some reasoning from myself on the matter. Why would god create man and then create for him a partner if he would create in them a desire for their same sex? It doesn't make sense that he would do that and then later write a law that such a thing is detestable to him. The bible tells us that god loves justice. So why then would he do something like that? I conclude then that man created homosexuality not god and then we are not born inherently homosexual. I think Environment and upbringing effects that choice or lack thereof, but we are getting into a whole new can of worms here and is off topic.

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This is a partial answer, and I don't speak with authority on these matters.

There is an difficulty in condemning homosexuality and a truth.

This verse comes to mind:

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. Romans 1:26-27

But if you continue reading we find the point that Paul is making.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. 1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. Romans 1:28-32; Romans 2:1

So it's a case of judge not lest ye be judged.

But why does homosexuality matter to God?

Fornication or adultery is figurative serving other gods.

1 They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the Lord. 2 Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. Jeremiah 3:1-2

Variations from the natural relationship of marriage, are "wrong" because it contradicts the correct figurative relationship between God and his people, or Christ and his followers.

The thing then is to consider then is whether abstaining from homosexuality is obeying the letter or the spirit of the law. (See Romans 7:6)

(Don't forget the weightier matters of the law. See Matthew 23:23)

Edit: I find a more excellent truth in 1 Corinthians.

12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. 14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. 15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

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