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The Bible is considered by believers to be inspired by God and to record God's relationship with humanity and in particular, with the nation of Israel.citation needed Conservative Christianity sees the original texts of the Bible as inerrant, or at least infallible, and being the literal word of God, although many critics point out that translations exist which somewhat differ due to manuscript sources, and interpretations. Likewise, Orthodox Judaism sees the Torah as the literal word of God and infallible to error.
The understanding of some Biblical interpreters is summarised by David Hilborn (2002, p. 1) who argues: "It must be granted that direct references to homosexual activity in the Bible are relatively few. However, these more explicit texts belong to a much broader Biblical discourse on creation, love, holiness and human relationships - a discourse which goes to the heart of God’s purpose for humankind".citation needed Additionally, within Christian groups such as Roman Catholicism these passages have traditionally been interpreted in light of other accepted revealed sources, such as the revelations to the mystic-saints, which often do contain more explicit and detailed descriptions clarifying the matter (e.g., St. Hildegard von Bingen's visions in Scivias). Protestant denominations generally do not make use of such sources.citation needed
Traditionally, Jewish and Christian scholars have interpreted these biblical passages as forbidding all forms of homosexual activity. However, some recent writers have argued that these passages refer to other forms of sexual behavior between members of the same sex (sexual activity within a committed relationship, pagan rites, casual sex, pederasty, and same-sex rape, for example), and not to all types of homosexuality as a general category like heterosexuality.citation needed
Passages from the Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible (called the Tanakh by Jews and the Old Testament by Christians) is widely regarded by both Jews and Christians as having been written directly or inspired by God. Orthodox and Conservative Judaism consider its laws and halakha as normative and binding whereas Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism do not.
For Christianity, it has been aserted that mainstream Christianity has always recognised the authority of many of the ethical commands of the Old Testament. For example, Article 7 of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England says that Christians are still bound by the moral commandments, although not the ceremonial, ritual or civil laws.
Genesis 1 and 2: Creation
The first two chapters of the first book of the Bible, Genesis describe God's creation of the world and his creation of man and woman. In the King James version that for many centuries was the most common translation of the Bible in English, Genesis 1:27-28 states:
|“||So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.||”|
Genesis 19: Sodom and Gomorrah
|“||Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may meet them." But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, and said, "Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. "Now behold, I have two daughters who have not met men; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof."||”|
The meaning of yada
In Genesis 9:5 the Hebrew word "yada" translated "relations" in the NASB and most often "know" in the KJV and many other translations, occurs frequently in the Old Testament, and usually simply means to know someone or something in a non-sexual way. About a dozen times it is used as a euphemism for knowing someone sexually, as in , and .
Classic sources on Genesis 19 and homosexuality
Most Jewish views still regard the sins of Sodom to be "failing to practice hospitality", and even though same-sex activities are condemned most harshly in Leviticus, the opinion that Genesis 19 might refer to any other sexual act other than with Lot's daughters is alien to most ancient Jewish tradition, the culture that brought forth or was inspired by the Old Testament. See documentation at Sodomy.
Questionable morality of Lot?
The story's morality, as a whole, has been called into question, not just specifically the debate concerning whether or not it condemns homosexuality.
Leviticus 18 and 20
|“||Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; it is an abomination.||”|
and Leviticus 20:13 states:
|“||If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.||”|
The Book of Ruth
This book concerns the love between Naomi and her widowed daughter-in-law, Ruth. Naomi's husband and her two sons die and Naomi tells her daughters-in-law to return to their homes:
|“||At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, but Ruth clung to her.||”|
Instead of leaving Naomi, Ruth pledges to stay with her (Ruth 1:16-18). This relationship has therefore long been commended as an example of self-sacrificing love and close friendship (eg. Issues in Human Sexuality para. 2.7). However, some have interpreted this relationship as probably sexual in nature.
Books of Samuel: David and Jonathan
The account of the friendship between David and Jonathan was recorded favourably in the Books of Samuel (1 Samuel 18; 20; 2 Samuel 1) and although religious scholars have always interpreted it as referring to platonic, some secular writers have argued that it refers to sexual love.
Books of Kings
Both Books of Kings (1 Kings 14:24, 15:12, 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7), refer to historical intervals when kadeshim ("consecrated ones") rose to some prominence in the Holy Land, until purged by Jahwist revivalist kings such as Jehoshaphat and Josiah.
The kadeshim were connected in some way with the rituals of the Canaanite religion. The Hebrew Bible consistently parallels the female equivalent, a kedeshah, with zanah, the word for a common prostitute. This has led to the inference that there may have been a sexual element to the rituals. The King James version systematically translates the word as "sodomites", while the Revised Standard version renders it, "male cult prostitutes".
Elisha and the dead boy
In two parallel events in the Books of Kings, Elijah (1 Kings 17:1-24) and Elisha (2 Kings 4:8-37), respectively, bring a young boy back to life by stretching his arms or body over the boy. In 1 Kings, Elijah lays the dead boy on his bed and then:
|“||he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the LORD, "LORD my God, let this boy's life return to him!" The LORD heard Elijah's cry, and the boy's life returned to him, and he lived.||”|
Passages from the New Testament
|“||All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.||”|
James the Just, whose judgment was adopted in the Apostolic Decree of , c. 50 AD: "...we should write to them [Gentiles] to abstain only from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from whatever has been strangled and from blood..." (NRSV)
Matthew 15; Mark 7: What defiles
In Matthew 15: 19-20 (KJV) Jesus is reported as saying:
|“||For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual impurities, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.||”|
In Mark 7: 20-23 (KJV) it says:
|“||And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, sexual impurities, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.||”|
Matthew 8; Luke 7: "pais"
Luke 7:2 (TNIV) says:
|“||There a centurion's servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die.||”|
The term translated from the Greek as "servant" is pais. This can be translated in a number of different ways including "child" (eg., Matthew 2:16; Lk 2:43, 8:51-54 where it refers to a girl), "son" (John 4:51), "servant" (Lk 15:26, Acts 4:25), or be unclear whether "son" or "servant" is meant (Acts 3:13, 3:26, 4:27, 4:30) (Marston 2003).
There are several instances in Ancient Greek literature of the term also having been used to denote a homosexual partner. For example, it is claimed that the connotation arises in the written work of individuals such as Thucydides (460-400 BC), Eupolis (446-411 BC), Aeschines (390-314 BC), Plato, Plutarch and Callimanchus (305-240 BC).
|“||For this reason [idolatry] God gave them up to passions of dishonor; for even their females exchanged the natural use for that which is contrary to nature, and likewise also the males, having left the natural use of the female, were inflamed by their lust for one another, males with males, committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was fitting for their error.||”|
This has been described as "the most important biblical reference for the homosexuality debate" (Hilborn 2002, p. 5). It is also the only apparent reference in the Bible to female homosexuality, though some maintain that this prohibition applies only to male homosexuals. Hilborn (2002, p. 6) argues that in the wider passage (Romans 1:18-32) Paul writes that the "global scope of salvation history has been made manifest not only in ‘the gospel of God's Son’ (cf. v.9), but also in the very ‘creation of the world’ (v.20)." In common with many traditional commentators, Hilborn (2002, p.7) goes on to argue that condemnation of homosexual activity is derived from the "broad contours" of Paul's argument, in addition to the selective reading of individual words or phrases.
1 Corinthians 6; 1 Timothy 1
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (TNIV), Paul says:
|“||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 male prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.||”|
The word translated as "practicing homosexuals" has challenged scholars for centuries, and has been alternately rendered as "abusers of themselves with mankind" (KJV), "sodomites" (YLT), or "men who practice homosexuality". The original term is very unusual, ἀρσενοκοίτης (arsenokoitēs), thought to mean "one who has sexual intercourse with a male" (Greek ἄῤῥην / ἄρσην [arrhēn / arsēn] "male"; κοίτην [koitēn] "sexual intercourse"), rather than the normal terms from the Greek culture. Within the Bible, it only occurs in this passage and in a similar list in 1 Timothy 1:9-10.
- Religion and homosexuality
- Homosexuality and Christianity
- Homosexuality and Judaism
- Homosexuality in ancient Greece
- Women in Christianity
- Biblical law in Christianity
- ↑ Augusta Free Press - Oct 30, 2009 Christians hold the Bible to be the infallible Word of God and believe that Jesus was the Son of God who was sent to be the atonement of sin... Google News, retrieved November 23rd, 2009
- ↑ Issues in human sexuality, para. 2.24; see also Old Testament#Christian view of the Law
- Amsel, Nachum. Homosexuality in Orthodox Judaism.
- Bahnsen, Greg L. 1978 Homosexuality: A Biblical View. ISBN 0-8010-0744-5
- Bahnsen, Greg L. 1994 In the Shadow of Sodom: Does the Bible Really Say What We Thought About Homosexuality?
- Biblical Studies Press 1996-2005 The NET Bible.
- Boswell, John. 1980 Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-06711-4
- Brooten, Bernadette. 1998 Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-07592-3
- Brown, Driver, Briggs and Gesenius. Hebrew Lexicon entry for Dabaq. The Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon.
- Brunson, Hal. 2007 Lesbos, Narcissus, and Paulos: Homosexual Myth and Christian Truth. ISBN 0595405967
- Catholic Answers 2005 Early Teachings on Homosexuality, iuniverse, 2007.
- Dover, Kenneth. 1978 Greek Homosexuality. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674362705
- Durns, John Barclay 2002 Lot’s Wife Looked Back. Journal of Religion and Society 4, p. 1-16.
- Chapman, Patrick 2005 Homosexuals in the Bible: Jesus, John, the Centurion and the Slave?. Rainbow Journal Olympia, vol 2(1) (November 2005).
- Crompton, Louis, et al. 2003 Homosexuality and Civilization. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press ISBN 0-674-01197-X
- Elliott, John 2004 No kingdom of God for softies? or, what was Paul really saying? 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in context Biblical Theology Bulletin Spring 2004.
- Gagnon, Robert A. J. 2001 The Bible and Homosexual Practice. Abingdon Press. ISBN 0-687-08413-X
- Greenberg, David 1988 The construction of homosexuality. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-30628-3
- Halsall, Paul. Homosexuality and Catholicism: A Partially Annotated Bibliography
- Helminiak, Daniel 2000 What the Bible really says about homosexuality. Alamo Square Press. ISBN 1-886360-09-X
- Hilborn, David. 2002 Homosexuality and Scripture. Evangelical Alliance.
- Horner, Tom. 1978 Jonathan Loved David. Westminster Press. ISBN 0-664-24185-9
- House of Bishops 1991 Issues in Human Sexuality. Church of England. ISBN 0-7151-3745-X
- Howard, Kevin L. Paul's View of Male Homosexuality: An Exegetical Study. M.A. thesis (unpublished). Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Deerfield, Illinois. June 1996.
- Jennings, Theodore 2003 The Man Jesus Loved: Homoerotic Narratives From the New Testament. Pilgrim Press. ISBN 0-8298-1535-X
- Johns, Loren 2004 Homosexuality and the Bible: A Case Study in the Use of the Bible for Ethics (The Academic Dean of the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary).
- Koch, Timothy R 2001 Cruising as methodology : homoeroticism and the scriptures, In Queer Commentary and the Hebrew Bible, ed. Ken Stone, Pilgrim Press. ISBN 0-8298-1447-7
- Martin, Dale. 1996 Arsenokoites and malakos: Meanings and Consequences, pp. 117–136. In Biblical Ethics and Homosexuality. Ed Robert Brawley. Westminster Press ISBN 0-664-25638-4.
- Marston, Paul 2003 'Christians, Gays and Gay Christians'. Free Methodists.
- McNeill, J. J. 1993 The Church and the Homosexual. Beacon Press. (4th edn.). ISBN 0-8070-7931-6
- Nissinen, Martti. 1998 Homoeroticism in the Biblical World: A Historical Perspective. Augsburg Fortress Publishers. ISBN 0-8006-2985-X
- Ostling, R. N. 2003 Book claims Jesus had homosexual relationship Chicago Sun-Times 29 May 2003.
- Robinson, B. A. 1996-2005 What the Bible says about homosexuality. Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
- Satlow, Michael 1995 Tasting the Dish: Rabbinic Rhetorics of Sexuality. Scholars Press. ISBN 0-7885-0159-3
- Townsley, Jeramy 2003 All known references to arsenokoit*
- West, Mona 2005 The Bible and Homosexuality. Metropolitan Community Church.
- White, James and Neill, Jeffrey 2002 The Same Sex Controversy: Defending and Clarifying the Bible's Message About Homosexuality. ISBN 0-7642-2524-3
- Williams, Rowan 2002 ’The Body’s Grace’, in Eugene F. Rogers (ed.), Theology and Sexuality: Classic and Contemporary Readings, Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-21277-9
Texts and definitions
- LGBT texts Internet Sacred Text Archive
- Porneia / Fornication Internet Archive cache of gerrior.net definition page
- Literal Genesis BELIEVE Religious Information Source
- Answers to Your Questions About Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality American Psychological Association
- Dispelling the Myth Essay at MercyToAll.net Bible study guides
- What the Bible says and means about homosexuality Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
- One More Article Explaining That The Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality Adult Christianity essay
- Homosexuality: The Christian Perspective Evbible.com Apologetics essay
- Homosexuality: The Christian Perspective Bible.org FAQ discussing verses
- The Catholic Church and Homosexuality excerpt from In the Murky Waters of Vatican II by Atila Sinke Guimarães
- The Bible Is Clear About Same-Sex Sexual Behaviour Christianity.ca essay
- The Old Testament and Homosexuality Kevin L. Howard essay at neednotfret.com
|This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at The Bible and homosexuality. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.|