Question:

What kinds of homosexuality does the Bible mention?


Answer:

"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, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10).

Homosexuals (Greek: malakos): The word literally means "soft." From The Complete Biblical Library Greek / English Dictionary: "In 1 Corinthians 6:9 malakos is used in the metaphoric sense. Here it refers to persons who are "soft." The rendering "effeminate" (malakos) designates the passive partner of a homosexual relationship ..."

Sodomites (Greek: arsenokoites): The word means "a male homosexual." It is a compound of the words for "male" and "bed" where "bed" refers to sexual activity. From The Complete Biblical Library Greek / English Dictionary: "Like a number of other languages, Greek has different words to distinguish between the active and passive roles in a homosexual relationship. Arsenokoites expresses an active homosexuality; a related term, malakos, connotes an effeminate, passive homosexuality, in which a man allows others to exploit him sexually." This word is also used in I Timothy 1:10.

"For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature" (Romans 1:26).

Instead of a single word, this passage describes lesbians. The word translated "use" is from the Greek word chersis, which refers to the use or employment of the body for sexual intercourse. Paul's point is that women having sex with women is not the way the body was created to be used.

"Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due" (Romans 1:27).

Once again, the act of homosexuality, in this case between men, is described instead of stated with a single word. Once again, Paul's point is that the male body's natural sexual function was created to have sex with women and not with men. He also condemns the passionate desire for sex with other men and bluntly calls homosexuality shameful or unseemly.

"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination" (Leviticus 18:22).

"If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them" (Leviticus 20:13).

Like Romans 1:27, male homosexual activity is strictly forbidden.

"And there were also perverted persons in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel" (I Kings 14:24).

Perverted persons (Hebrew qadesh): The word literally means a "cult prostitute." In other words, a person engaged in sexual activity to "worship" a fertility god or goddess. It was used to describe both female and male prostitutes. "There shall be no ritual harlot of the daughters of Israel, or a perverted one of the sons of Israel" (Deuteronomy 23:17). See also I Kings 15:12; 22:46; and II Kings 23:7.

"You shall not bring the wages of a harlot or the price of a dog to the house of the LORD your God for any vowed offering, for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God" (Deuteronomy 23:18).

In Hebrew, to call someone a dog was to hold a person in such contempt that they were considered an non-entity (see I Samuel 17:43). Dogs often roamed the streets, hunting in packs, preying on weaker creatures, and eating whatever they could find. A male prostitute was considered in the same light, a person preying on others and who would have sex with anyone. This is well illustrated in the attack on Lot's house in Genesis 19:1-25 and the attack on a visiting Levite in Judges 19:16-28, even though in both of these cases the attacks were not for hire.

Hence, we see that the Bible condemns homosexuality from all directions: male, female, active, passive, for hire, or for sexual passion.

May 3, 2012