Is the Bible unclear on homosexuality?

Some false teachers act as if it is a toss-up, offering self-refuting falsely humble lines about how both sides are just expressing an opinion and that we can’t be sure, and that it is bad to have certainly about your position.  But does the mere existence of multiple viewpoints mean the case isn’t clear?

What is interesting is that of the three types of pro-gay theology — all of which are wrong — only one claims that we are misunderstanding the text. The other two concede what authentic Christians and even most atheists and other non-believers know, namely that it clearly defines homosexual behavior as sinful.

Type 1: The Bible is either not the Word of God, or most parts of it aren’t. This view claims that we can ignore the prohibitions against homosexual behavior because they were written by homophobic Jews.

Type 2: The Bible is the Word of God, but it doesn’t really say homosexual behavior is wrong. This view holds that people just aren’t reading the Bible properly, and that God’s Word is actually affirming of gay relationships.

Type 3: The Bible is the Word of God and does clearly and emphatically describe gay behavior as sinful. However, the Holy Spirit has given additional revelations such that this behavior is now acceptable. This view holds that God has changed his mind on this moral issue and not only is it now acceptable, but it is sinful if you don’t affirm this behavior and same-sex relationships.

I don’t know the precise percentages of people in each group. Sometimes they shift between categories in a contradictory attempt to make their case.  In my experience the first group is the largest, the second is next and then the third.  No matter how you slice it, two of the types concede what the Bible really says.

Then add to that how most atheists agree that the Bible says that homosexual behavior is sinful.  I realize they don’t have the gift of the Holy Spirit, but many things are plain from the text.

So you have all the Bible-believing Christians plus two out of three types of pro-gay theologians plus most atheists all agreeing that the Bible says that homosexual behavior is a sin.  Should you listen to them or to the pro-gay theology subset that insists that Jews misunderstood the issue for 2,000 years and then the Christians for another 2,000 years, only to have a subset of Western Christianity discover the “truth” a couple decades ago?

The Bible is very, very clear.  Don’t be fooled into thinking it isn’t.

  • 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.
  • 100% of the verses referring to God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
  • 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
  • 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

See Responding to Pro-Gay Theology for concise yet thorough replies to the common objections to the text.

Aside from the Bible, consider how atheist countries like the former U.S.S.R., China, etc. all consider marriage to be between one man and one woman and hold that homosexual behavior is wrong.  Then add in the Buddhists, Hindus and especially the Muslims.  Good luck dismissing them for their “Christian” beliefs on marriage.

25 thoughts on “Is the Bible unclear on homosexuality?”

  1. What always stikes me with regard to this conversation was that even if their weren’t clear prohibitions against homosexuality in the Old and New Testaments, the mere fact that God created us ‘man and woman’ and that Jesus placed such emphasis on fidelity in marriage should be sufficient for any Christian (nominal or otherwise) to reject the position that homosexuality is a suitable sexual alternative.

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  2. Jack,
    While you are 100% correct, there is a certain “Christian” proponent who goes from blog to blog arguing that marriage is never restricted to male/female in the Bible, and he agrees that marriage is important, etc. When these guys make things up like this, no rational discussion will persuade them.

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  3. Gosh. I wonder to whom Glenn refers?

    The most recent attempt is to try to get us to admit that it is possible that we might be wrong. It is considered arrogant and pride to insist that we know with certainty what is so plainly revealed on this issue.

    But to pretend, for we must pretend we could be wrong when it is perfectly clear that we can’t be, to pretend allows them more room to carry on under that false pretense. If we are certain, then they are in sin and they don’t want that. They want their desires to be normal and blessed so that they can freely act upon them and believe they do not sin.

    But they’ll have to wait until I’m dead, and the rest of us who stand for the truth are dead, so that they can all pretend their lie is truth.

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  4. Great comments all. For some reason, my shellfish post on the topic has been hit by a few recently and it amazes me how they try and use the same arguments to say that homosexuality is just fine and dandy. The recent visitor is trying to say that since the Bible condones slavery, it must be wrong about homosexuality.

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  5. You don’t need the Bible to see the perversion. It’ can be seen plainly enough simply through the physical anatomy of gender. There is absolutely no way, even through a child’s eyes, of mistaking the normal, natural, design and complimentary attributes between man and woman. As with all perversions, you can’t explain the perverted behavior apart from, or except in contrast to the norm or natural. Hence the definition … perversion. Hence the behavior… perverted.

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  6. quite a few of my friends are gay. I am not. But knowing them, i know with all my heart they were born – created – gay. It is not something they chose to be.
    God is LOVE. God loves all of us. How could He not love people HE created gay?
    God wants US to love one another. Treat one another with love and acceptance.
    I do not believe it is the right of any of us to judge any other person – only God. I do not believe it’s about whether their behaviour is sinful or not. Who of us is without sin?
    The really Christian thing to do is love your neighbour. I love my gay friends, and they are beautiful and in some cases deeply Christian – more Christian than many so called Christians who have rejected them for their sexuality.

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    1. Fiona, thanks for visiting and commenting. I hope you will consider these comments carefully and review the original post. The question is whether the Bible is unclear on homosexuality, and I couldn’t see how you addressed that.

      quite a few of my friends are gay. I am not. But knowing them, i know with all my heart they were born – created – gay. It is not something they chose to be.

      I’ve had a lot of gay friends as well. I don’t get in their face about it any more than I do that with the sins of heterosexual friends. But I also don’t teach that the sins of any friends are acceptable to God.

      You “know” that with your “heart?”  Emotions are nice, but not always a good way to make decisions.  Please consider Paul’s prayer in Philippians 1:9-11 —  And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

      Please note how he links love with knowledge and discernment.

      I encourage you to read some research on the causes of homosexuality.  It is not genetic.

      And even if they were “born that way,” it is a biblical concept that we are born with a sinful nature.  We don’t get an “ought” from an “is.”  Sadly, I’ve been really effective at coveting, pride and selfishness since I was little, but I don’t get a pass on those sins because I was “born that way.”

      God is LOVE. God loves all of us. How could He not love people HE created gay?

      I mean this in a most serious and kind way: How much of the Bible have you read?  Do you not see how you could apply that to any sin?  Do you not see how seriously God treats sin?  My #1 recommendation to anyone debating any topic on Christianity is to read the Bible more.  All of it.

      God wants US to love one another. Treat one another with love and acceptance.

      That argument assumes that homosexuality isn’t sinful, but it doesn’t explain why we should hold that view.  Can you show me in the Bible where we are taught to accept any sin?  How about 1 Corinthians 5?

      I do not believe it is the right of any of us to judge any other person – only God.

      But aren’t you judging me and others who hold the view that homosexual behavior is a sin (along with many other behaviors)?

      I do not believe it’s about whether their behaviour is sinful or not. Who of us is without sin?

      But it is about whether the behavior is sinful.  That’s the point of the discussion, and you’ve already claimed it isn’t sinful. But the burden of proof is on you to reason your case from the Bible.

      The fact that we are all sinners doesn’t mean that we should encourage people to remain in sin.

      The really Christian thing to do is love your neighbour. I love my gay friends, and they are beautiful and in some cases deeply Christian – more Christian than many so called Christians who have rejected them for their sexuality.

      Your love for your friends isn’t the Biblical love of having their long-term best interests at heart.  If anyone teaches the opposite of the Bible then I don’t think it is correct to describe them as “deeply Christian.”

      We don’t reject them for their sexuality, we love them enough to speak the truth.  I urge you to read the Bible thoroughly and reconsider your views.

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  7. Some people say that against homosexuality has presented in general two places, whom are assumed condemning homosexuality as a sin. 1 Cor 6:9 and 1 Tim 1:10 is Greek word arsenokoites, and according to some it doesn’t mean homosexuality. Some people say that meaning of arsenokoites is also unclear in the midst of Bible scholars. There are also people who claim that apostle Paul made up this word, because we can’t find this word from Greek texts before Paul.

    All preceding claims are wrong and erroneous. Concept of arsenokoites is in Greek Septuagint text, which has been made about two hundred years before birth of Jesus Christ. The Jews translated Septuagint in Alexandria of Egypt, because the Jews were scattered and part of them merged to heathen languages and couldn’t speak and understand Hebrew. For this reason, the Jewish scribes translated the Scriptures from Hebrew to Greek (Septuagint).

    Septuagint and the Greek word arsenokoites:

    Lev 18:22 (Septuaginta)

    kai meta arsenos ou koimeeteesee koiten gynaikos bdelugma gar estin

    Lev 20:13 (Septuaginta)

    kai os an koimeetee meta arsenos koiten gynaikos bdelugma epoieesan amphoteroi thanatousthoosan enokhoi eisin

    Arsenos means male and koiten means bed. Lev 18:22 and 20:13 teach that a man cannot lie (sexual act) with another man as he lies with a woman. The origin of the word arsenokoites means homosexual activity and homosexual. Lev 18:22 and 20:13 prove very clearly that arsenos koiten means homosexuality sex, because the Jews scribes translated words’ arsenos koiten to describe men who have sex with another men (homosexuality), which is a sin and against the will of God. Apostle Paul didn’t make up the word arsenokoites, but it was already as the concept in the Old Testament, where it meant homosexuality.

    It is very clear that the words’ arsenos koiten meant homosexuality (man who had sex with another man) to Jews of the Old Covenant era. In the same way arsenokoites meant homosexuality (man who had sex with another man) to Jesus’ disciples in the New Covenant era.

    Jewish philosopher Philo lived in the same time as Jesus Christ and Philo has said that arsenokoites meant shrine prostitute (male temple prostitute), and not homosexual. Some people have made from this a conclusion that the word arsenokoites meant a male temple prostitute. Philo’s interpretation was totally wrong, because the Bible proves this undisputedly and shows that Philo erred.

    De 23:17 There shall be no whore (gedeshah) of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite (gadesh) of the sons of Israel.

    Lev 18:22 Thou shalt not lie (shakab) with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

    Lev 20:13 If a man also lie (shakab) with mankind, as he lieth (mishkab) with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    Female temple prostitute is in Hebrew gedeshah and a male temple prostitute is gadesh. Lev 18:22 and Lev 20:13 are Hebrew words shakab (lie, lie down and lie sexually) and mishkab (bed, lying down, lying down sexually).

    Lev 18:22 and Lev 20:13 doesn’t use temple prostitute word, but words in which is denied that a man can’t lie sexually with another man. Always when the Bible speaks for temple prostitutes, so the Bible uses words gedeshah and gadesh. If Lev 18:22 and Lev 20:13 told for temple prostitutes, so verses would mention them, but there isn’t, because in those verses, the Bible forbids homosexuality. It is very clear and undisputable in the light of the testimony of the Bible, that arsenokoites means homosexuality.

    The text of Septuagint translators disproves totally Philo’s false interpretation:

    De 23:17 ouk stai porne apo thugateron israel kai ouk estai porneuon apo uion israel ouk estai telesphoros apo thugateron israel kai ouk estai teliskomenos apo uion israel (Septuagint De 23:17)

    In the text of Septuagint appear words porne and porneuon, which describe temple prostitutes. Jewish Bible translators’ scholars didn’t use the word arsenokoites to describe temple prostitute. The testimony of the Bible is unambiguous that arsenokoites doesn’t mean temple prostitute, but homosexual.

    Philo was pleased Greek, Stoic and Jewish philosophy, and for this reason he believed that literal interpretation of the Jewish Bible is stifled and too complex to be understood in literal human terms. Philo was a liberal theologian of his era, who distorted the teachings of the Bible by his own human wisdom. Philo’s testimony from the word arsenokoites is invalid and clearly against the teaching of the Bible.

    Arsenokoites meant exactly what Jewish Septuagint translators meant, in other words, it means homosexuality and practicing of homosexuality, which is a sin according to the word of God (Bible).

    1 Cor 6:
    9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (malakos), nor abusers of themselves with mankind (arsenokoites),
    10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
    11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

    The word effeminate is in Greek malakos, which means soft, effeminate, of a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man, of a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness, of a male prostitute. According to the word of God (Bible) homosexual act between a boy and a man is a sin, and male prostitution is also a sin.

    Abusers with mankind is in Greek arsenokoiteen – arsenokoites, which means homosexual. This comes out also very clear from Septuagint as we have seen it before. Arsenokoites derives from words arrhen and koite. Arrhen means a male, and koite means a bed. The Bible brings up also in the New Covenant that homosexuality is wrong and a sin. The Bible brings up also very clearly that homosexual is a sin that is obstruction of salvation. Apostle Paul taught that homosexual is a sin as we can see clearly from 1 Cor 6:9-11.

    The word of God (Bible) teaches very clearly that those people who live in sinful homosexuality (and unrighteous, adulterers, idolatries and so on) cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, unless if they don’t repent their sins and forsake their sins.

    1 Cor 6:9-11 show for us also that in Corinth, some disciples had been homosexuals, but weren’t anymore, because they were sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    The Bible also proves in 1 Cor 6:9-12 that homosexually oriented males can change and forsake homosexual identity for heterosexual with the help of Lord Jesus. There are also testimonies of many ex-gays who have received salvation in the Lord Jesus, and forsaken homosexuality and turned to heterosexual persons.

    Reference; http://koti.phnet.fi/petripaavola/homosexual.html

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  8. The Bible definitely condemns homosexuality as sin……. As to whether people are BORN gay or not …….that has always been debatable . It seems to me that in general it is the experiences people have while growing up that push them into a gay lifestyle, and yet there seem to be some who are effeminate even as children and all their lives…….I do not know WHAT makes someone gay for sure but I believe GOD loves everyone gay or not…….And then there is the problem of defining those who are born with both male and female organs…….WHICH restroom do they use? Which sexuality do they choose? Are they condemned as sinners one way or the other? This is a DIFFICULT question that is relative to the subject of which we speak…….In any case GOD is the JUDGE——-not us.

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    1. I agree, Minister Robert, it is for GOD to decide what to do with people who are homosexual, GOD judged all people including those who rejects Christ.

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      1. Of course it is up to God with what to do with anyone. The question is whether He told us ahead of time what he plans to do. And He did tell us, in the Bible.

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      2. in which He told US, to not cast the first stone, to not be judgemental, to love one another. Bottom line, in the Bible He tells us what HE plans for people. NOT what WE should do any judging, and that it’s not even our place to judge.

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      3. He was talking about literal stones (and that passage probably wasn’t in the originals).

        And why are you all judging those who merely state what the Bible says?

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      4. We could go round and round forever on this! I wasn’t judging. And it can be taken literally, yes, but remember, much in the bible is rich with deeper meaning. I’m never going to find someone ‘bad’ because of something they just ARE. I’m going to leave that to God. My best friend is gay. She is a pastor, and she fought it her entire life. It had nothing to do with her upbringing, either. It is simply part of who she is. She can’t not be that person. She’s the most lovely person you could possibly want to meet – and yet the moment she said, yes, I’m gay – people in the church turned against her. She hadn’t even acted on it yet! I think people like that are hypocrites. So I guess I have a lot personally invested in this.

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      5. And you can say you weren’t judging, but you were judging. And hypocritically judging, too. That’s the inevitable state of those who misuse the “don’t judge” passages to silence opposing views.

        I’m glad you haven’t abandoned her as a friend, but I hope you don’t ever encourage her to act on her desires.

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      6. “I’m never going to find someone ‘bad’ because of something they just ARE.”

        That begs the question and assumes they were “born that way.” They aren’t. And even if they are, it doesn’t excuse sin.

        Good for her for not acting on it. She shouldn’t be preaching, anyway, but if she does and is a pro-gay theologian, then she is not a believer.

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      7. wait a sec. I was trying to figure out what you meant by self parody, the term being contradictory in itself because parody is usually mocking someone else – self- parody would be mocking yourself.
        So do you mean, you think I was writing about myself, when I wrote about my friend? You are wrong. It IS my best friend. And I think no less of her for being gay. In fact, I guessed before she herself came to terms with it. I’m not gay. I’m not sexual at all really, due to my ED, and I couldn’t care less. I care about what someone is like in their hearts. And I’d rather have a friend who was gay, and kind hearted and loving and accepting of others, than a friend who called themselves ‘Christian’ but was small minded, judgemental, showed hatred towards others who didn’t live the same life style or values, and lacked the ability to empathise or feel compassion for others. I hope some day someone you dearly love comes out as gay – so you too can realise it’s not a choice to be gay although it is a choice to admit it and own it, and it doesn’t make them a bad person.

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  9. Wow, talk about missing the point. Your self-parody is judging me for judging. Just re-read your latest comment! What a hypocritical, bigoted, stereotyping judgment person! You have no idea how many gay people I know and am kind to. But you appear to love the world and yourself more than God and others, so you refuse to tell them the truth.

    When was the last one you read all of the New Testament? Do you believe that the original writings turned out exactly as God wanted them to?

    Self-parody simply means that you are unwittingly mocking yourself.

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    1. Coming back to this, the self-parody (if such a term even does exist and isn’t the worst use of the English language ever) is really yours, of yourself. Your determination to attack anyone who doesn’t agree with you is far from Christian. Sure you might ‘know and be kind to gay’ people. Who doesn’t?God knows your heart and your truths.
      I’ve read the entire New Testament several times over in several versions but it doesn’t matter. The underlying thread of God’s message to us is, and has been always – LOVE one another. Do not judge – lest ye be judged yourself. And let he without sin cast the first stone, both in the metaphorical and literal sense. Your questions are very valid – what does God really think of people who are gay? Look at how Jesus treated the Samaritarian woman at the well. Was she pure and sinless? Oh Gosh, no. This woman was shunned and rejected in a similar way that we as a society have shunned and rejected Gay people – and yet He treated her with kindness, respect, love…
      Bottom line – whatever God thinks about gay people, it’s not up to us to either judge, nor mete out judgement or misguided justice.
      The most wonderful Christians I’ve been so lucky to have as friends, never judged me for my own sins and shortcomings. Instead they accepted me and walked with me every step of the way. There was no “You have to change before we accept you”. There was no “You are damned because of..” and there was no “If you do — we will reject you”. They were there for ME – regardless. And that’s what I think God would want us to be for people who’s values and morals don’t align with our own. Non-judgemental and accepting.
      Sorry to get into such an argument with you. My views on Christianity have pretty much being dashed from the many, many priests of many different churches who have been discovered to have sexually abused children, the abuse in orphanages run by these churches, the cruelty… And these are people the church reveres and protects. Who are these people, to then turn around and denounce my friend for her sexuality, when she has never hurt anyone else and never would dream of it?
      I just think that God would see persecution and inability to accept gay people as just as sinful as being he might see being gay.

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      1. Hi Fiona,

        I hope you reconsider how you are defining judging and what the Bible has to say about sins in general and the sin of homosexuality in particular.

        Consider what you wrote here:

        I just think that God would see persecution and inability to accept gay people as just as sinful as being he might see being gay.

        Can you see how you are making two judgments there? You are saying that God “might” see being gay as a sin, as if the Bible wasn’t clear. Then you are judging those who say that homosexual behavior is a sin.

        You are also conflating things, and implying that anyone who says that homosexual behavior is a sin is guilty of persecution and unaccepting of gay people. That is an unfair personal attack.

        Consider this scenario: A person with same-sex attractions asks you what the Bible says about homosexual behavior. They want to do what the one true God says to do. According to what you’ve written, it would be sinful and judgmental to point out these facts:

        100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.
        100% of the verses referring to God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
        100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
        0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

        Now consider if a pedophile priest asked you if his behavior is sinful. You and I would both insist that it was. Would that be sinfully judgmental of us?

        Note that I’m not equating the sins. I’m simply noting that you make all sorts of judgments without apology and then turn on those who dare point out what the Bible says about homosexual behavior.

        The Bible couldn’t be more clear. Even non-Christians and two out of the three types of pro-gay theologians can see the truths above (the three types are: 1. “The Bible says homosexuality is wrong but it isn’t the word of God” (obviously non-Christians) 2. “The Bible says it is wrong but God changed his mind” (only about 10 things wrong with that) 3. “The Bible is the word of God but you are just misunderstanding it”)

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