Is homosexuality really a sin? The plain English Bible seems to point in this direction. But what about the ancient texts of the Bible in Hebrew and Greek? This points in a different direction that isn’t so “straight.” I am revisiting this topic from my first blog and making a condensed version. If you want a more detailed explanation, please visit https://moanti.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/gaychristians/ or HTTP://GAYCHRISTIANS.2FREEDOM.COM
- For the Bible tells me so (1946-present): The word “homosexuality” was not around in Biblical times. The word “homosexual” was first printed in a book in 1869, and then placed in the Bible in 1947. The original Greek in the Bible that has currently been adopted as meaning homosexual is translated from “arsen, koites” which literally means “man, beds.” Previous translation was “male prostitutes” which makes more sense being that “man” is singular and “beds” is plural (a man in many beds) and not the other way around. Note that the Apostle Paul made up the term arsenokoites and provided no definition. It is only listed twice in the entire Bible (in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:9-11) and used just 76 times in non-Biblical Greek writings within 2,000 years of Greek history, many times in a way that would be impossible to mean homosexual (“Some do it with their own mothers and foster sisters or goddaughters. In fact, many men even have arsenkoites with their wives!” -John the Faster, Patriarch of Constantinople, 575 AD). For a list of references to arsenkoites in Greek literature, visit http://www.gaychristian101.com/Define-Arsenokoites.html. Previous to our more modern translation of “homosexual offenders,” arsenokoites was translated in many different ways in the Bible. Read bellow for clarification.
- Sodom and Gomorrah: Reading through Genesis 19:1-11 in plain English you will notice that the men of Sodom wanted to have sex with the men in Lot’s house. If you can attempt to read it again without your preconceived beliefs that Sodom was destroyed because it was a city full of homosexuals, you can see something more… Read deeper and even the English translations are clear that these were not even human men in Lots’ house, but Angels. Also the men of Sodom wanted to have sex with them against their will. What’s this? RAPE! This was not a verse condemning all homosexuality, but an account of the attempted gang rape of angels. I don’t know about you, but I have yet to hear a story of a group of gay men in San Fransisco surrounding a visitors’ house to gang rape them. Read Ezekiel 16:49 for the reasons listed for the destruction of Sodom (which does not include homosexuality.) Also, compare Judges 19 with Genesis 19 to see how a nearly identical historical account demonstrates how the intentions of Sodom were obviously violent gang rape. (Click here for an easy side-by-side comparison of these verses.
- Laws of Leviticus: Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 similarly state that man shall not lie (shakab-ושכב) with another man like he lies with (mishkab-משכב) a woman. As straight forward as this seems, confusion sets in of its meaning when we learn that their are 3 main Hebrew words that are all translated “to lie with” in English, but there are multiple meanings of each word when we see them in context. 1) Shakab-ושכב (seen above referring to lying with a man)-To rest, to sleep, to relax, to lie down in death, to bury, to make one lie down, geographical location. 2) Mishkab-משכב (seen above referring to lying with a woman)-Lying on a couch or bed, bedroom, sleeping, lying down for sex (feminine). 3) Shekobeth-שכבתך (Not seen in any verse pertaining to homosexuality)- Sexual intercourse or copulation. As noted, shekobeth’s only meaning is sex, whereas the two other Hebrew words used in the above verses have multiple meanings. The only way to know for sure what shakab and mishkab mean in the verses is to look at other verses for context. Skakab is found 213 times in 194 verses. Mishkab is stated 46 times in 44 verses. Aside from other meanings (to rest, to sleep, to relax, to lie down in death, to bury, geographical location), shakab is mentioned in a sexual context 52 times, but in the sense of “to make one lie down,” i.e some form of rape. Every verse in the ENTIRE BIBLE that uses shakab in a sexual sense uses it in the manner of forced sex or sex characterized by deceit or coercion. It is never used in a manner that would suggest two people having consensual committed sex. Some examples that use shakab are the rape of Lot by his own daughters (Genesis 19:32), the false rape accusations against Joseph (Genesis 39:14), Amnon rape of his sister Tamar, (2 Samuel 13:4), wives being raped by soldiers (Zechariah 14:2), a child being sexually taken advantage of by many men (Ezekiel 23:8) and the sexual coercion of an engaged woman by a man other than her fiance (Deuteronomy 22:23-24). Click here for a list of all the verses containing shakab with detailed explanation. English translations have used “filler words” to help the text make sense, but their “fillers” are completely misleading. When we see “You shall not lie with a man AS WITH a woman” or “you shall not lie with a man LIKE you lie with a woman,” the “as with” and “like” are filler words (i.e. completely absent from the original text.) These words exist in the Hebrew language to use a comparison, but they are not used in the verses in Leviticus. Due to this, the translators have taking the liberty to make up their own meaning by comparing a man with a woman. So when we see the second “to lie with” word which is mishkab-משכב, the meaning may simply mean “bed” or “act of lying.” Thus the entire meaning of the verse could be: “you shall not rape a man on a bed neither he nor a woman.” Although “as with” and “like” are NOT found in this verse, “neither he nor” is found in this verse, as it is the Hebrew word “lo- לֹא” and has many definitions. If this sentence sounds more awkward, it is not uncommon, as the Hebrew language speaks in a less coherent order than we are used to in English. The ACTUAL verse reads like this: “He/she/it abomination female/wife bed (mishkab) rape/coerced sex (shakab) neither he nor (lo) a male/boy against.” For two more valid alternate interpretations of Leviticus, visit this extended section at: HTTP://GAYCHRISTIANS.2FREEDOM.COM
- List of those who will not inherit the Kingdom of God: 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:9-11 presents the famous “vise list” of those who will not inherit the Kingdom of God or those who for which The Law of Moses was created. In the year 1946, the Revised Standard Version of the Bible decided to take two key words and meld them into homosexual (malakos and arsenokoites.) For 1,900 years, malakos and arsenkoites were not translated as “homosexuals.” The scripture cannot mean now what it did not mean then. The literal meanings which were condensed into the word homosexuality were “soft” (malakos) and the separate words “man, beds” (arsenokoites). Ironically, the New Revised Standard Version (makers of the Revised Standard Version) who started this trend of using “homosexuals,” recanted in their newer version in 1996, changing it back to “male prostitutes.” Both words have gone through their fair share of morphing translations similar to playing the children game “telephone.” Malakos is in the Bible 3 times, twice as meaning “soft” as quoted by Jesus. Arsenokoites is in the Bible only twice, made up by Paul, meaning unknown other than its compound parts (man, beds.) Many theologians argue that arsenokoites clearly means homosexual because “the words are taken directly from Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13!” What they wont tell you or have failed to realize is that the word-pair “arsen” and “koitai” is found 37 additional times in the Greek Old Testament without any possibility of meaning gay sex. Due to this, their argument is invalid. Through the centuries, both malakos and arsenokoites have changed in translation to the point that the true meaning of these words are lost. Due to this, it is down right irresponsible to say that these words definitively mean homosexual when there are so many possible meanings that have been guessed through the years. For a more in-depth explanation and list of the ever changing word translations of malakos and arsenokoites, please visit the main site.
- Romans: In Romans 1:26-28 it appears to condemn gays and lesbians. If you read Romans chapter 1 before these verses in context, you will notice that Paul is writing to a group of idol worshipers that had turned away from God. In Roman culture, it was very common to use sex within idol rituals. Shrine prostitution was rampid in Biblical times. Male worshipers would give their semen as a sacrifice to their idols through anal intercourse with the male AND female shrine prostitutes. The shrine prostitutes acted as intercessors to the gods through sexual fluid exchange. These were not gay men, but heterosexuals with families who had sex with men (and women) as an idol worship practice. Although some of the male shrine prostitutes could have been gay, many were only performing what they saw as a holy ritual to their gods. This in no way describes modern day gay people. Additionally, these were not regular gay and lesbians performing sexual orgies. The word “exchange” (Greek- Metallasso– “to change”) and “abandon” (Greek- aphiemi– “to give up”) their natural affection means that these were heterosexuals who were going against their own nature to perform homosexual sexual acts for the sake of idol worship. Click here for several more deep studies on how Romans cannot be condemning all gay people.
- Cultural Context: Read the Bible within the cultural context in which it was written. Looking through this lens, it can be noted that the gang rape of foreign men as a sign of power (similar to prison rape) was common in Biblical times. The men of Sodom wished to perpetrate against Lot’s visitors (angels), all of which had entered the city as foreigners. Secondly, women were of a much lower social status and were offered as a sexual substitute to visiting men who were under the protection of a hospitable resident. Culturally, there were many men who had sex with hired men in the temples as a sexual ceremony. These shrine prostitutes were part of ritual to gain power from the false gods or idols. Some of the verses that appear to condemn homosexuality seem to be speaking directly to these idol worshipers who performed same-gender sexual ceremonies. Also common in the time were men who had sex with their boy servants. They called them “mentors” and would use them for their own perverse pleasures. Many theologians have come to the conclusion that the meaning of malakos (only modernly translated as homosexual) is directly speaking of men having sexual relations with young boys, i.e child molesters and arsenokoites is male shrine prostitutes.
- Virtue of Biblical cities; Hospitality: The Bible is scattered with verses pertaining to the importance of being hospitable to strangers in the Old and New Testaments. Inhospitality was seen as one of the most offensive acts that a group of citizens could commit to visitors in Biblical times, especially to disciples and missionaries of God. It was culturally instructed that you take in strangers, feed them, clothe them, wash their feet, and take care of all their needs. The residents of Sodom offered visitors a dangerous and inhospitable city, as they attempted to gang rape the visiting angels who came under Lot’s roof. Similarly but much less talked about was the city of Gibeah (Judges 19), which also attempted to gang rape a male visiting stranger under the protection of a hospitable resident’s house who took him in. Instead, they gang raped his female concubine all night and then she was cut into twelve pieces and spread throughout Israel!
- Jesus’ view on homosexuality: Nowhere in the Bible does it explicitly say that marriage cannot be between the same gender and can only be between one male and one female. In fact, there are more instances of polygamy especially in the Old Testament. Many use Matthew 19:4-6 as a platform to say that Jesus instructed that gays and lesbians cannot marry. To the contrary, Jesus was answering a specific question from the Pharisees when they asked when it was lawful to divorce. This verse is speaking about being committed in marriage, not speaking against gay relationships. Additionally, it has never been recorded in the Gospels that Jesus spoke against homosexuality in any form. His focus on sexual topics were against promiscuity, lust, and adultery, which (in my opinion) is wrong for straight and gay individuals alike.
- Words commonly seen as connected with homosexuality: The word “unnatural” (Greek-Para physin) in Biblical culture did not have meaning in a moral nature. Its definition is “out of the ordinary and unusual.” It is true that homosexuality is not as ordinary as heterosexuality. In Romans 11:24, GOD acted “unnatural” (out of the ordinary) so this is a good indicator that it is not in context of describing immoral behavior. Similarly, “without natural affection” (Greek-astrorgous) does not speak of those with homosexual attraction, but is the word for “family love/family ties.” “Without or against natural affection” is speaking of those who despise or reject their family members. (Does anyone find this ironic?) “Strange flesh” (Greek words: sarkos heteras) is equated to “going after one not of the same nature or class.” It is obvious that two people of the same sex would be of the same nature and class even more than a male and female. Humans are in a different nature and class to angels just as we are in a different class to animals. Therefore, “strange flesh” is referring to angel and human relations and/or bestiality, not homosexual sex. An important note about “abomination” is that there are two words in Hebrew; taobah and shequets. Taobah is almost always connected to an idol worship abomination, so it is likely that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 is referring to shrine prostitution. Click here for more information. Lastly, “sodomites” is often used in a wrong context in certain Bible translations. Sodomy is a MODERN word for anal sex and sodomite is often defined as a homosexual. When referring to an actual resident of Sodom, the Hebrew word Sedom ( סְדֹם ) is used. But when other verses say “sodomites” as a reference to homosexuals, this is completely misleading. The words used in verses such as 1 Kings 14:24, Kings 15:12, 1 Kings 22:46, 2 Kings 23:7, Job 36:14, Hosea 4:14, Hosea 6:10 etc., uses the Hebrew word quadesh (קָדֵשׁ) which is without argument, a male shrine prostitute. This is correctly translated in many Bibles, but others still use “sodomites” which is false. Context shows this as proof because each verse speaks about idols. So anytime you read a Bible that references “sodomites,” be sure to check the context to see if it is speaking about actual people of Sodom or a misleading translation that actually means male shrine prostitutes.
- Possible homosexual relationships in the Bible? Although very controversial, there is speculation among the scholars about some same-sex relationships in the Bible. Read I and II Samuel about David and Jonathan, and you will find a very compelling story that seems to surpass “brotherly love.” Shortly after they met, it is said that David makes a covenant (בְּרִית) with Jonathan which could be like a marriage commitment. He disrobes and says that he “loves him like his own soul” and that “the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David” (I Samuel 18:1-4). He goes on to say that Jonathan’s love is more pleasant surpassing the love of women (2 Samuel 1:26). There are many more examples within this story that can be read for yourself. Secondly, there is a supposed possible relationship between Ruth and Naomi. Similar to David and Jonathan’s story, in Ruth 1:14 it is stated that Ruth “clave” (דָּבַק) to Naomi, which uses the same Hebrew word as Genesis 2:24 when describing heterosexual marriage and becoming one flesh. Although these words are used in a several other context, it does not leave out the possibility of a same-sex union. Additionally, Ruth 1:16-17 gives a long description of her love and commitment to Naomi, explaining that she will follow her forever and wishes nothing but death to separate them and wants to be buried where she dies. I am personally unsure if this constitutes as a romantic relationship when reading the whole book of Ruth, but it is up to the interpretation of the reader. Although there is no proof of a sexual relationship, it seems that God has blessed the love between these same-gender couples that may be more than friends.
- Homosexuality vs. Homosexual acts: After reading these passages with a critical eye and considering cultural practice and language interpretation, it appears that if these passages are in fact discussing same-sex behavior, they are not condemning all homosexual acts as a whole. In Genesis it is even clear in the English text that it is condemning sex between multiple men (and/or angels) which was against the will of the receiving party. Therefore, this is a verse against homosexual rape and homosexual orgies. From reading the interpretations above, it is also clear that Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 is condemning rape and or shrine prostitution. Additionally, in Romans 1 it was discussed that there were homosexual acts being performed during idol worship, so this is a verse condemning homosexual acts within ritual religious and cult ritual. Lastly, it was noted from translation that arsenokoites and malakos are more descriptive of male prostitution (gay or straight) and child prostitution so these could be condemning homosexual acts within prostitution and child molestation. So all together it seems that the verses in the Bible that appear to condemn homosexuality are actually condemning same-sex behavior in rape or shrine prostitution.
With this knowledge it must be noted that there are many verses in the Bible that condemn heterosexual acts such as idolatry, incest (in later passages), and prostitution. If we were to say that these verses condemned all heterosexuals as a whole, then it would be seen as ridiculous. When one takes the time to research the ancient text, one may conclude that condemnation of these homosexual acts are not condemning all homosexuals as a whole. So although there may be some forbidden practices within homosexual and heterosexual sex, these verses do not appear to convict all gay and lesbian people.
- The eternal importance of marriage between man and woman: As human beings, all of the physical will pass away. We are left with our spiritual selves. Jesus said, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” – Matthew 22:30. Therefore, there are no marriages recognized between individuals in heaven and we are like the angels. On top of it, Revelation 19:1 describes that we as a body of believers (INCLUDING MEN) are the bride in the final wedding, and Jesus is the groom. With this thought, sexual and gender orientation will pass away (homosexuality and heterosexuality). Due to this, sexual orientation is not important to get to heaven. For even human men will be the bride in heaven! God knows our hearts. It seems that you will not be judged for how strictly you followed your gender norms of being heterosexual, but how Christ-like you have been. It is not WHO you love, but HOW you love. If you are a Christian, whether straight or gay, you are saved through the blood of Jesus and will partake in all of His heavenly blessings!
- Old Covenant vs. New Covenant: If you still believe that homosexuality as a whole is condemned in the Bible, take note of this important fact. It has been told to us by the Bible that we are no longer under the Old Covenant in which the laws of Moses are pertinent to Salvation. “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.” -Hebrews 8:7. Also, “By calling this covenant new, he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.” -Hebrews 8:13. Jesus stated, “In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.'” -Luke 22:20. Therefore, the requirement to follow the laws of Moses and atone for every sin through a priest and blood sacrifice have been made obsolete through the ultimate atonement that we have received for all sins through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The old laws were made for the need for a savior, not for salvation. Because the Old Covenant was imperfect and too difficult for man to follow, Jesus has made it easy for us to simply have faith in Him through His sacrifice in which He fulfilled the law of the prophets and live by the commands of the New Covenant which is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “Love your neighbor as yourself. These two commandments sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40. It can be seen that in this context, Jesus spoke of the Old Covenant to show that they are impossible to follow, so that a New Covenant is needed through Him. Examples in the Gospels are many, some including Matthew 5:27-31, Matthew 5:27, Matthew 5:31-32, Luke 18:18-27. In the last example, the rich ruler was told by Jesus that it is easier for a camel to pass through an eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven. When the ruler asked how anyone could possibly even go to Heaven, Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” This is fulfilled by the New Covenant of Jesus which gives forgiveness to all sins washed away by His blood to anyone who accepts Him!
Disclaimer: The above information provided is just a different way of reading the Bible in its interpretation. It is not to say that the Bible is wrong, but that we may be reading it incorrectly. I encourage you to research the Bible for yourself and pray to God to show you the truth of His word. Do not simply rely on the human interpretation of what you have been told by others, but listen to what the Lord speaks to your heart with discernment. I pray that I am not misleading anyone, but have peace and assurance that God is loving and forgiving and wants us all to come to Him and not be turned away by those who persecute and claim His name. Please visit HTTP://GAYCHRISTIANS.2FREEDOM.COM for detailed information concerning these verses.
- The Holy Bible (Wycliffe New Testament, Old King James Version, Young’s Literal Translation, American Standard Version, New International Version [1984, 2005, 2011], The Message, New Living Translation)
- Hebrew and Greek Interlinear Bible and Concordance (Old King James, New American Standard)
- Septuagint (Greek/English) Old Testament
- Full Text Hebrew/Greek Bible Gematria Database
- What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality, Daniel A. Helminak (2000)
- Arsenokoites– What is the Historical Meaning of this Rare Greek Word? (2006) http://www.gaychristian101.com/Arsenokoites.html
- Leviticus Abominations Explained (Video), Scott Nemeth (2009)
- Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality (Study), Ebn Mayram (modified March 2011)
- Christianity and Homosexuality (Reconciled), Dr. Joseph A. Pearson, President of Christ Evangelical Bible Institute
- For the Bible Tells Me So (Documentary), Daniel Karslake (2007)
- One Nation Under God (Documentary), Teodoro Maniaci & Francine M. Rzeznik, (1993)
- Study of Romans (study), Rembert Truluck http://www.otkenyer.hu/truluck/
- Follow Jesus, Not Moses, Tim (modified 01/2011) http://www.jesusfamilies.org/hot_topics/thelaw.htm
For God so loved the world that He gave his only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him
shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
-John 3:16 (KJV)
For more information and an expansion on the topics you just read, please visit my first blog at https://moanti.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/gaychristians/ or HTTP://GAYCHRISTIANS.2FREEDOM.COM
Four Truths about Sodom:
Leviticus Uncovered: Language (as listed above)
Leviticus Part 2: The Idol that Condemned Gay Culture
(topic not covered above) MUST SEE
Jesus on Same-Sex Marriage
Homosexuality in the Bible: Mistranslating a “Lifestyle”
(In depth look at arsenokoites and malakos)
MORE VIDEOS TO COME!
IN THE MEAN TIME, VISIT HTTP://GAYCHRISTIANS.2FREEDOM.COM