The Bible on Homosexuality
This article contains a complete collection of Bible verses which condemn homosexual behavior. The series itself examines the subject indepth…
The people of God—the patriarchs and Old Israel—had definite views about which sexual behaviors were permissible and which were not, by which they stood out from among the peoples of ancient Canaan. The revelations to the Israelites, from the Law of Moses, were direct and specific.
From Leviticus in chapter 18 [22, 30]: You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination . . . defile not yourselves therein: I am the Lord your God.
The 20th chapter of the same book goes so far as to make such behavior a capital crime : If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; let them be put to death: their blood is upon them.
And similarly, in Deuteronomy [23:17]: There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.
In the Old Testament histories, the books of the Kings, we find King Rehoboam criticized because he permitted sodomites in Judah, and King Asa praised because he drove them out.
The views of the New Testament writers were consistent with their Old Covenant forbearers. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans [1:22-27], comments: Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools . . . Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves . . . women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error.
In his first letter to the Corinthians [6:9-10], he writes further: Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
And in his first letter to Timothy [1:9-10a]: Knowing this, that the law is . . . made . . . for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners . . . for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind . . .
In the General Epistle of the Apostle Jude , we read: Sodom and Gomorrah, and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Christianity emerged into the world of late-classical antiquity with a radical, life-transforming alternative to the worldview of pagan society. Among these new, life-changing virtues was a chaste life as the aim of every faithful Christian. The Apostle Paul alludes to this in his first letter to the Corinthians [6:11]: And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
And again, in his letter to the Colossians [3:5-8]: Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also put off all these.
Note that these verses make clear that among the Christians in Corinth and Colossae were people who had led sexually immoral lives prior to their conversion to Christianity. Corinth, in particular, in both classical and apostolic times, was notorious for its sexual immorality.
~ Excerpted from A Christian Understanding of Homosexuality