Has 'Homosexual' Always Been in the Bible?



Comments (54)

Comment Feed

Other languages

What about the Hebrew bible? It clearly says man. I myself am gay and would love to understand this

Mark 1 day ago

About having sex in ancient times

The commandment say "Thou shalt not fornicate", or whatever it is in English. That basically means that you are not supposed to have sex with your neighbour’s property, be it a wife, a daughter or a slave. It does not mean you are not supposed to have sex with your own wives or slaves as you please. The reason for that command is that this behaviour incites unrest and mutual hatred within the population. This all is irrelevant when you cannot own other people.

Krzysztof Żelechowski 19 days ago

Timothy, Corinthians, Romans

I forgot to mention this in my previous question.. but what about the New Testament..? Timothy, Corinthians, Romans... they all mention it too

Madison 20 days ago


Check the bottom of page one, it says I Corinthians

Technologic_Wave 15 days ago

Leviticus 20:13 and Knabenschänder

Hi, I have grown up in a Christian family my whole life,, I also identify as a lesbian Christian. My father works for a large International Christian organization as VP and has received years and years of high level education about the Bible. He also knows a lot of Ancient Greek and ancient Hebrew. I was planning on bringing this subject up to him to have him evaluate it (currently, he believes homosexuality is a sin). However, there are a few things I would need to know in order to do so. First of all, what about Leviticus 20:13? Should that section of the Bible be changed to boy molester as well? Also, the German word Knabenschänder has had multiple meanings, buggerer, sodomite, and pederast. So which one would it be? I agree, context is important, but sodomite and pederast would make sense in this context.

Madison 20 days ago

10 Commandments and then some.

You would think that if homosexuality was so against God, he might have left it as a commandment. He also doesn’t leave premarital sex in a commandment. What you will discover is that the Bible wasn’t all written in the same year, decade, or century. Each deposit in the Bible is made in a different time and location. The Bible acts more to lend credence to the laws of the land than it does to actually prescribe a lifestyle God would want you to have.

First, let’s suppose God’s first language isn’t English, as in Adam and Eve did not speak English, so why would God? Then let’s suppose that from the original language of scripture to Hebrew was simply one translation of it as it spread. Then form Hebrew to English was another. Imagine the history of those languages, as in origin point and evolution as living languages. As we progress through the time, words come to take on different meanings based on how we translate them.

Watson, for example in Sherlock Holmes, ejaculated all the time in his speech. It’s a term of spouting off in excitement words to express such. (“That’s incredible” I ejaculated!)

Gay was not a word used to describe homosexuals originally either, nor was f*ggot. But we took words and adjusted meaning. In fact, if you search any translation of the Bible, the word “homosexual” never even comes up. It didn’t exist. Sure, they describe an act, but again, you are basing it on age.

Lastly, God would not make it a test of your faith to deny you that which you are attracted to. If God creates, then God creates perfectly. Animals engage in homosexual behavior, too, as well as changing genders. Natural world, if you need references search green tree frog, which will change genders to manage population. Male lions will “hook up” when not in a pride (and sometimes when in one).

Lastly, the most common mistake is calling the X and Y chromosome the “sex” or “gender” chromosome, as you can have XXY, XYY etc, and you don’t get extra appendages, usually (see “super-male” research studies) and what they found and didn’t find.

Born LGBTQ+ is no different than being born straight, nor is it different than being born with an extra chromosome. You are not a test for the world, you are a human being and as intended.

By the way, if you accept the Bible verbatim then you don’t understand it. Very few stories are HISTORICAL, but as parables correctly interpreted can bring you much peace.

Cain and Abel, a case in point. Is the moral of the story that Cain killed Abel out of jealousy, or is it that two people who believe in God and love God be so very different in the approach and action?

Read the story of the two brothers and tell me what you think. Does it maybe reflect on the rest of the Word?

Anthony 42 days ago

How about the other two

From the article ... "4 of the 6 clobber passages, all these nations and translations were referring to pederasty" ... what about the other two? Thank you.

Eric 65 days ago

Have you actually read Leviticus 20:13?

From the article: "So we went to Leviticus 18:22 and he’s translating it for me word for word. In the English where it says “Man shall not lie with man, for it is an abomination,” the German version says “Man shall not lie with young boys as he does with a woman, for it is an abomination.” I said, “What?! Are you sure?” He said, “Yes!” Then we went to Leviticus 20:13— same thing, “Young boys.”"

Um... Have you read Leviticus 20:13?

NIV translation says, Leviticus 20 "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." The article says it should be translated more like: ""13 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a young boy 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."

Killing two adult males for consenting homosexual contact is psychopathic. But how can you possibly think it's better if it actually means 'kill an adult male rapist and their underage male rape victim?' Seriously?
Think for crying out loud! How can you think that's better?

The Bible was written by psychopaths. Look elsewhere for good ethical advice.

Karl Johanson 72 days ago


I understand what you're saying, and I would like to see the author of this article address Leviticus 20:13. However, can I ask, are the Bible's views on homosexuality your primary reason for saying that it 'was written by psychopaths'? I want to understand how you came to that conclusion.

Shandi Warren 41 days ago


My family are Jehovah’s witnesses and I was always taught gay=bad. But I’m very gay and desperately want a wife but also for god to love me. Can u show me proof god will still love me if I marry a woman?

Ren 75 days ago


Ren, I don’t know much about religion, but if there is an all powerful god, that god made you just as you are. If you’re gay, and finding a wife would make you happy, you should do so, and Any higher power would be fine with you acting the way they created you. A higher power that would make you feel this way, then punish you for acting on the feeling they gave you would be no steroid, and not worthy of your faith anyway.

Dave 57 days ago

Gay and a wife?

You say you want a wife but you are gay. Why do you want a wife? Do you have the right to put an innocent person through your search for yourself or for marrying her for the wrong reasons? Better you remain unmarried until you figure it out. Don't ruin another person's life just because you are still finding yourself, it isn't loving and it isn't fair.

Fraser Crest 55 days ago


"desperately want a wife but also for god to love me."

I think Ren might be a lesbian?

L 53 days ago

And then

When you said, “ Don't ruin another person's life just because you are still finding yourself,” it brought a thought to my mind. Half of my friends who have been married are now divorced and most have said they were “find themselves.” I’m so glad you posted this comment because it makes me wonder, why is it any different for Ren? Two of these friends ended up in a same sex relationship, so it’s just flip-flopped. Great point, thanks for the discussion.

Alex DiMira 46 days ago


Would you like to discuss your religious views, as well as the Christian Gospel?

Shandi Warren 39 days ago

God’s Love

The proof of Gods love for you is in Jesus. God has expressed his love for sinners, not good people, on that cross. Nothing we can do or leave undone can gain for us God’s love. It has always existed as an unconditional quality of who He is. How we decide to live is met in the command “to love our neighbor as ourselves.” Every loving parent knows that their children do not earn their love based upon their behavior. They are loved regardless of it. True, the child has a different perception since they are rewarded for some acts and punished for others. Never the less, any child who believes he is loved because of how he lives or unloved because of it has never been a parent. It is also the greatest delight of a parent to see their children live in love with each other. This should be the greatest influencer of our decisions. How can I best express God’s unconditional love that I have received in Jesus to those around me. Abba loves you just as you are. This cannot be argued by anyone who is experiencing it. I hope you will experience yourself very soon. Praying for that!

Alan 57 days ago

Why doesn’t the Bible regulate homosexuality as it does heterosexuality?

I read your entire article, and I have a question. If the Bible is the word of God (which is one of my presuppositions), and if God permits consensual homosexual relationships between adults (which seems to be what this article is implying), why doesn’t God govern homosexual relations the way he does heterosexual ones? In Scripture there are numerous commands and prescriptions related to heterosexual marriage, divorce, rape, and adultery, as well as which members of the opposite sex one was *not* allowed to marry (such as close family members). In this fallen world, it seems God describes the proper use of nearly every good thing he gives, including food, drink, and sex—so if he views homosexual unions as good, why doesn’t he speak to his people about proper conduct within them?—especially given how common homosexuality was in not only the ancient Greco-Roman world of Jesus and the apostles, but also the ancient Near East of Israel between the Exodus and Exile?

NP 104 days ago

Reply to Why doesn’t the Bible regulate homosexuality as it does heterosexuality?

It never explicitly governs a single type of relationship

Reverian_Memento 93 days ago

Misappropriation of Words

For additional information, read my article at www.christevangelicalbibleinstitute.com/misappropriation.pdf

Dr. Joseph Adam Pearson 91 days ago

Why doesn’t the Bible regulate homosexuality as it does heterosexuality?

You make a good point. However, although the Bible gives some regulations about sexual relationships, it doesn't give clarity about many aspects of sexual relationships. For example, what is the legal age of consent for sex? What sexual positions and sexual acts are acceptable? Is masturbation okay? Is birth control okay? Is abortion okay? Who can intersex people (people with both male and female or with ambiguous genitalia) marry? I'd say these are pretty important questions that "the Word of God" ignores.

Anthony 66 days ago

Sodom and Gomorrah

Even if the word homosexual was not originally written, how would one discount the story of Sodom and Gomorrah?

Jaime 105 days ago


I believe this could benefit by some discussion. Anyone care to step in?

John Astle (United Methodist Insight) 105 days ago

re: Sodom And Gommorah

If you read about the culture surrounding Lot and his family they were surrounded by people who were very insular. One did not simply walk into Mordor as it were. You presented yourself at the gates and asked permission to enter. If you just stomped into town you were invading another nation basically. They would have taken you out of town and raped you before the statues of their gods. *This* is what made god angry, because the town elders wanted to do this to the angels (or I think elohim; little gods) that just popped into town.
Of course Lot being a man of his times, women were a commodity and so they were offered up to the elders, but the women were not the invaders so they rejected them.

Sodom and Gommorah were a very evil and cruel city-states, there is an accounting (somewhere) about a woman I think who escaped on of the cities and tells how horrible the people are.

Aisling 104 days ago


Sodom a d Gomorrah wasn't about homosexuality. I really would do some more research into the meaning of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.


Sodom and Gomorrah

This article is a well researched read into what Sodom and Gomorrah really was about, refuting common misconceptions.

TA 98 days ago

Sodom and Gomorrah

Paraphrasing what my Religion prof said in my class designed for majors and minors at a conservative Baptist university: “Sodom and Gomorrah was not destroyed because of homosexuality. They were destroyed because they lost a core value of hospitality and care for one another.” It was destroyed bc instead of welcoming people in, they were raping people and were living a selfish life that was far from uplifting God.

Hannah 75 days ago

Re: Sodom and Gomorrah.

The Bible actually directly outlines the sin of sodom several times in the Bible. Do you know what never appears on the list of their abominations? Homosexuality. I encourage you to read: Jer. 23:14, and Ezekiel 16:49-50.

The unfortunate reality of the story of Sodom is that people chose to ignore the fact that the entire passage revolves around a city who was detestable for many MANY reasons, and focus exclusively on the fact that they wanted to gang-rape two angels who we assume looked like men. That’s another sad thing; we don’t even know what the angels looked like. They could very well have been so beautiful as to have been mistook for women. We don’t know! But people chose to believe that a) sodom’s primary sin was homosexuality despite the Bible already telling us that it wasn’t. And b) that even if the men of sodom we’re going to hang-rape two people they believed to be men, that the condemnation of gang-rape, is equivalent to the condemnation of consensual relationships. The Bible forbids heterosexual fornication. Does that mean that all heterosexual sex is bad? No, of course not. Judging an entire orientation by it’s worst parts is irresponsible with the word of God.

As followers God, we are called not to simply believe something to be true, but to find what /is/ true and believe it. Unfortunately, and I am pointing a finger at myself as well, we—as humans—are lazy. We don’t like to dig deeper than we have to and choose to believe what /seems/ to be true because it’s easier. But if we truly love God, we should hold his Word with enough esteem to go after context and determine what his love letter to us actually says. :)

Blessings to you as you grow in faith and knowledge!

Conor 57 days ago

It's in my 1866 bible, sorry.

I have a bible from 1866 and it doesn't say "young boys"
Leviticus 18:22 says: "thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination"
I was REALLY hoping this 1866 bible said what you say it says, but it was already in there in the 1866 version

Zachari 114 days ago

"It's in my 1866 bible... "

Is your bible FROM 1866 or is it the 1866 version? Check the first or last couple pages for when was it published.

Eric Chilicki 106 days ago

"It's in my 1866 bible... "

This is also what my parent’s family bible says. It’s a massive leather bound from long before 1946, like pages crumbling old. Curious about the implications of these alternate earlier translations that seem more in line with current translations. Thoughts?

Curious 59 days ago

Just so I can be clear to Eric Zachari

Just to be sure...this was actually in your bible that was definitely the 1866 publication? I had this same discussion in a religious college in 1971...but I don't remember the source of the original text. I know it was a translation and the original language was actually text for boys considered minors. I just can't remember the source, darn it.

I was so hoping this article was the real deal.

Maegan Brownrigg 57 days ago

Alternative approach

Lets write blog posts about how to be more inclusive rather than trying to find very narrow theories in a historical text. Jesus' teaching were all about loving the oppressed and the marginalised; maybe start from there instead?

Ish 118 days ago

And again...

I'm sure that Mr. Oxford is sincere in his pursuits. The problem is that he is confusing antiquarianism with scholarship. This is wishful thinking disguised as historical research.

Frank Ashton 349 days ago


Wishful thinking? Christianity is practiced with over 1200 different ways of teaching from basically the same book and what does it matter about homosexuals? That's in the old testament not the new. So unless you practice all 613 laws from the old I dont want to hear your opinion about homosexuals. Leave it for God to judge and you just work on you.

Josh pry 79 days ago

Reply reply

But the forbidding of homosexuality also appears in the New Testament in several places (Timothy, Corinthians, Romans). It is by no means an Old Testament-exclusive commandment.

Harrison Graham 78 days ago

Changing culture

The interpretation of the word arsenokoitai through the ages is shaded by the beliefs and culture of those interpreting it. This was not the common word in the greek world used to describe male to male relations. It is a word crafted by Paul. Arseno means with a man and koitai is the root of our word coitus which is male-female sexual intercourse. Literally the phrase means men having sexual intercourse with another man. Nowhere does it carry a conotation that it is man-boy relations or any other form of pedophilia. What Paul did do with this word is craft a phrase that perfectly reflects the Levitical rule that a man shall not lay with a man as with another woman. When you apply deconstruction theology to the phrase it is obvious that it means homosexual and nothing else. Also Betsy's point is very valid. The male-female nature of marriage is rooted in Genesis and affirmed by Jesus which is consistent with Paul meaning arsenokoitai to mean adult homsexuals. Relying older, and victorian shaded Bibles does not prove the point. Splashy headline, poor theology. Try another tack.

Scott 350 days ago

One concern

"This was not the common word in the greek world used to describe male to male relations."

Why wouldn't Paul use the common term? If it's commonly known, you would use it so your audience knows what you are talking about. It's not like Paul was pauciloquent [to prove the point].

One could very reasonably assume that he meant something different here. The question is, what was his actual meaning?

My understanding from my reading is that there's almost no other context for the term - it's not used prior to Paul in any historical documentation, and so rarely used afterwards that there's no contextual definition for us to use. Certainly the root words help point us in the proper direction, but the lack of definition or context for that particular term - particularly when another common term exists - leaves us with an open question. And to presume that it definitively means something is a bit of a stretch, in my opinion.

JR 349 days ago

Why Paul used this word.

JR your analysis of the use of this Greek term is spot on. It is a Paul only term. He created it due to it reflecting the wording of Leviticus. This is an obvious and straight forward explanation. First century Jewish disdain of all forms of homosexuality is well documented and is consistent with the entirety of Scripture. Only by stretching scripture in ways it was never meant and ignoring other parts can you use it to justify gay marriage.

Scott 349 days ago

You are ignoring the obvious issue

"JR your analysis of the use of this Greek term is spot on. It is a Paul only term."

Why would that be? Paul was well educated. He certainly would have been familiar, and his audience would have been familiar, with the 'common' term.

Oh, but the gentiles weren't subject to the holiness code, for what it's worth. I believe that's Acts 11. Paul was a Jew of course...

So why invent a new word?

JR 348 days ago

Not really a new word

Paul did not really "make up" the word out of whole cloth (though he was a tentmaker :) )
The lingua franca for the entire area where Paul lived, worked and preached was Greek. Although Paul probably also spoke Hebrew, his first language, and that of his listeners was Greek. The bible they used, the Septuagint, was a Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures. It was the "go to" scripture for everyone in that day and age. In the Septuagint, Levitucus 18 and 20 use the words right next to one another: Lev: 20:13 - kai os an koimeetee meta ARSENOS KOITEN gynaikos.
Paul didn't make up the word, any more than if I, when speaking about freedom of speech and religion, said they were "creator-endowed" rights. Any American would understand what I meant, and also know that I was essentially quoting the Declaration of Independence rather than making up some new mystery word. Paul's readers, too would have understood that he was quoting Leviticus. It's really not that difficult.

As for the article, I'm saddened that this blog would print it, given the paucity of biblical scholarship. I can only surmise the rationale is to help drum up support for changing the book of discipline away from biblical belief. Surely the clergy and others who edit UM-Insight know these things, but chose to publish without any commentary anyway.

Tom 348 days ago

Not subject to the holiness code

Also, JR, you are right that gentiles were not subject to the Holiness code. The Jerusalem council made that clear. It also made clear that gentile Christians were to refrain from "sexual immorality" (Acts 15:20). How does one define sexual immorality? I think Paul would answer with the Hebrew scriptures.

Tom 348 days ago

Reply to Why Paul used this word

Can you provide some references for the idea that first-century Jewish disdain of all forms of homosexuality is well documented?

Anthony 66 days ago

homosexual in the Bible

There are serious, scholarly, readable works on the market by scholars with clear academic contributions, both traditional and progressive, regarding what the Bible says or doesn't say about same sex behaviors, orientation and the like. Mr. Oxford's contribution is sincere but problematic on several levels. Perhaps he was selected to publish because he is a Talbot graduate, a very conservative school, who has come to conclusions that would horrify Talbot faculty. Victor Paul Furnish (in the 80's no less), Bernadette Brooten and Robin Scroggs (among others) all deliver the mail clearly from an intellectually informed progressive biblical perspective. Conservative scholars such as Robert Gagnon would eat Oxford's work like an appetizer. As a personal and devotional testimony of how his mind changed, Oxford is fine. For deep scholarship on biblical evidences for or against such as gay marriage, nope.

Bob 351 days ago

This makes perfect sense

Homosexual is a modern word. But this one mistranslated word does not address the whole spectrum of the progressive sexuality ethic. Neither does it disprove that Christian marriage is between male and female. It does not refute that God created us male and female. It does not refute that all through the Bible sexual relations were always between male and female. It provides no historical documentation that Christianity or Judaism has ever endorsed same gender sexual relationships. It does not address the fact that the only reason the church is discussing this is that we are on the other side of the sexual revolution of in the greater culture of the 1960's and 1970's when sex became recreational. In the end, all you have clearly proven is that, as humans, we do not always get things right--sometimes we let our own feelings and perspectives influence us.

betsy 352 days ago

It doesn't make perfect sense

How do you know Christian marriage is between a male and a female? The existence of one does not deny the existence of the other. I mean so what if the bible only portrays straight relationships? Again, that doesn't mean same sex relationships can't happen and also, of course it would, same sex wasn't common back then, I don't even think it's mentioned besides those two or three scriptures. And obviously we don't have a definitive answer for those either.

Elizabeth 127 days ago

Christian marriage

"How do you know Christian marriage is between a male and a female?" Because the Bible teaches gender roles- in marriage, the husband represents Christ and the wife represents the Church. The husband is the head, the wife is the body.

Kayley 124 days ago


There is nothing new under the sun, says Ecclesiastes. Homosexuality was an issue in ancient times, but as in our own recent history it was not practiced openly as it was seen by the wider culture as being unhealthy. The DSM (Diagnostic Statistic Manual) named homosexuality as an illness until the 1970s or so. We need to live people. That’s the place to start. Agreement with everyone else’s perspectives is not a prerequisite for love.

Heather Sproul 96 days ago


You believe sex became recreational in the 60’s and 70’s?? Lol are we reading the same Bible. I don’t believe anyone is saying that the word refutes male and female relations... that’s way besides the point. The point is that homosexuality is arguably one of the most “vile” sins in the eyes of many Christians (even though the Bible states that no sin is greater than the other). The possibility of the word translating to mean something else, completely disrupts the prejudice Christian belief.

Nneka Grant 106 days ago


The Bible does not state that there is no sin greater than another. This is a myth. Although, I am not stating that homosexuals are damned to hell. Just pointing out your error.

Kathryn 106 days ago


While humans definitely rank sin and the bible might not literally say "no sin is greater than another", it is easy to deduce from scripture. I think the point is that Christians focus so much on homosexuality and ignore divorce (many examples could be used) and in James 2:10-11 it says "For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not commit murder.' If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law." Which one would take to mean all sins are equal. If I lie, I am accountable for the whole law just as someone who murders is. So I think their point was how much the church condemns homosexuality but not other things (while they may say they are all sins, there is not as much outrage or discussion over divorce now like there used to be)

Kaylee 105 days ago


First I will say I believe what the Bible says about the fact that we are ALL sinners and fall short of the glory of God. We cannot on our own even have relationship with God, without Jesus. Because of the cross, and the shed blood, we ALL now have access to God, and can have a relationship IF we believe that Jesus is the reason, in other words, THE Saviour. This is regardless of our sin. I think the reason why it seems as, or that it’s become one of the biggest issues is there is a difference between continually living in the same “sin” day after day and denying it’s a sin at all. We seem to know that we’re “living in sin” when we are have sex out of marriage (which is a whole topic in itself as far as how we have all interpreted the definition of marriage in various ways).. Anyways I believe the reason “being homosexual” seems to have become the way it is, is because it is looked at as an ongoing sin without repentance. Of course that’s the whole thing is how can we ever “repent” from something we don’t think is a sin. I was only trying to speak from the “sin” point of view though. Anyways, I’m not explaining my personal point of view of the “issue”. I am speaking my POV of the church and what seems to be the most common way of translating the words of The Bible. I have seen various ways here of interpreting the actual original word we’ve been discussing, but I am continuing to research all this. From what I recall, there are numerous references and we absolutely have to pay attention to context at the same time when we are looking into these things rather than picking out a single word and being only literal with that one word. If you want to know, I would love for it to mean pedophile over homosexual, however for the sake of not walking through this out of context or without all the correct knowledge, I will continue to research this. Either way we all have equal access to God and no one can tell us differently. THAT is one thing that is very clear to me. Jesus does not love one person more because his sins appear to be more “accepted” by certain churches. So regardless of what anyone thinks, we all have that same love available to us no matter what! ❤️

Diane 86 days ago

Comparison of sins

What that part of James is referring to is that having sinned in any regard is to have fallen short of God's glory and to be unworthy of him; meaning that regardless of the extent of our sin, we all need a saviour equally.

That is not to say, though, that all sins are equal. Paul describes himself as the "foremost" of sinners in 1 Timothy because the sins that he has committed (including compelling Christians to blaspheme against the holy spirit) are amongst the worst. Note also, that blasphemy against the holy spirit is said in the Bible to be the worst sin (since it, by definition, does not repent).

Harrison Graham 78 days ago

“ 1960's and 1970's when sex became recreational”

Wow. What a breathtaking lie! Millions of animals, including humans, have enjoyed recreational sex for millions of years. The perfectly natural drive that leads consenting adults to have sex has been twisted and hijacked by religions of various types in order to keep the gullible masses feeling guilty and subservient.

Fuzzy 102 days ago

Same sex

We also have several animals that have same sex relationships...if God was so against it why would he allow it...

Kara 76 days ago

We Appreciate Your Support

     As we face challenging times, United Methodist Insight welcomes your financial support to bring you news and views of The United Methodist Church in a world seeking a new future.

     TEXT your contribution to 84-321 with "(amt) Insight" via your smartphone or go to https://ststephenumctx.churchcenter.com/giving/to/um-insight Your additional contribution of the 2.2% processing fee will make your donation go farther.

     Make CHECKS payable to our sponsoring congregation, St. Stephen UMC, and write "UM Insight" on the memo line. Then mail to United Methodist Insight, c/o St. Stephen United Methodist Church, 2520 Oates Drive, Mesquite, TX 75150. Thank you!