homosexuality

homosexuality

A word for which there is no specific equivalent in the Hebrew OT or the Greek NT, since the modern concept of sexual orientation was unknown in biblical times. Nevertheless, there are a few biblical references to persons of the same sex who engage in sexual acts with one another, though whether these ought necessarily be deemed instances of “homosexuality” remains a matter of dispute. The most explicit OT references to such a practice are in the Holiness Code of Leviticus, where, under penalty of death, a male is strictly prohibited from lying with another male as a woman does (Lev 18:22; Lev 20:13). The story of Sodom in (Gen 19:1-29) involves a specific case of intended gang rape—of Lot’s angelic visitors by the men of Sodom (cf. a parallel incident in Judg 1). The NT contains three references to homosexual practice, two of which occur in lists of vices. The noun listed after “adulterers” in (1Cor 6:9) literally means “soft” and was sometimes applied in Greek literature to a male who was the passive partner during homosexual intercourse. The following word in that list literally means “a person [probably a male person] who lies with a male,” that is, one who takes the active role in homosexual intercourse. This second term is also among the vices listed in (1Tim 1:10). The most extensive biblical reference to homosexual acts (and the only biblical reference to female homosexuality) is in (Rom 1:26-27). There, such activity is mentioned as one example of the perversions that follow when humankind refuses to give glory and thanks to the one sovereign God (Rom 1:18-25; Rom 1:28-32). Paul associates the practice of sex acts between same-sex partners with “degrading passions” and actions that are “unnatural” (contrary to nature).

Lev 18:22

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Lev 20:13

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Gen 19:1-29

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Judg 1

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1Cor 6:9

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1Tim 1:10

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Rom 1:26-27

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Rom 1:18-25

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Rom 1:28-32

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