Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.
The Church in Central New York founded and consistently fostered by the GLBTQIS community. October 31, 2017 - 34th Anniversary.  Our 35th Year in Ministry.
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Homosexuality, Bisexuality, Transgender Sexuality in the Bible

Updated February 20, 2016



After years of study at Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. we have found that when we use the most conservative sources available today for our Bible research the Bible does not condemn persons of any sexual orientation and/or gender expression.  In fact, we find there is an infinite spectrum of sexual orientation and gender expressions clearly shown as possibilities in God’s creation when the Bible is studied without the control of denominational or ideological filters and presuppositions.

When studying what the Bible has to say on Homosexuality, Bisexuality, and Transgender Expressions, we use The Strong's Concordance, Young's Concordance, The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, The King James Version of the Bible, The New King James Version of the Bible, the New International Version Study Bible, Hebrew and Greek Interlinear Bibles, Liddell and Scott Greek Dictionaries, Vine's Dictionaries, and many other "Conservative" standard resources. These are the very sources of scholarship used by so-called "Christian" groups that claim the Bible condemns us. What we have found is these are the very sources of scholarship that clearly show we are not condemned in the Bible. We have found that the more "Conservative" the approach to the Bible, the more one leans on "Conservative" resources such as those named above, the more clearly one will see the Bible makes no condemnation of us. In fact, there are wonderful and famous examples of male and female same-sex loves, bisexual loves, and even a couple of gender alternative expressions in key places in our Bible – in any translation. Therefore, we declare in the Name of Jesus Christ, that the Bible does not condemn the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Asexual, Intersexed, Transgender person, or Heterosexual person who supports us.



PURPOSE: This information is here gathered to assist any person who is trying to respond to the usual "statements" that are attributed to the Bible concerning the topic of homosexuality. These "responses" are designed for dialogue with persons who hold a negative point of view and to convey a truly Christian, and at the same time a thoroughly LITERAL Biblical proof that constitutional, mutually consenting homosexuality is NOT condemned mentioned in the Holy Bible.

The writer of this paper, Br. Shawn Francis Benedict, Pastor of Ray Of Hope Church, starts from the point of view that the Holy Bible is the inerrant (contains no errors), inspired Word of God, and is the ONLY infallible (unerring, certain) authority on which the Christian can base his or her Salvation. To be frank, this is just about the most Conservative Hermeneutical (science of interpretation) approach one can take to the Bible today. When this Literal method of Biblical Interpretation is correctly applied to the subject of Homosexuality the conclusion is astonishingly the opposite of the teaching that is often proclaimed by "Conservative Christians" or the "Christian Right." "Conservative Christians" claim to be interpreting the Bible "literally" when studying Homosexuality. In fact, it will be shown here that their own method of Biblical Interpretation (the Literal Method) proves the Bible in no citation of chapter or verse ever condemns true Homosexuals or their mutual expressions of Love.

At the same time, we do not abandon the Holy Scriptures for a "Liberal Left" point of view in Theology. To abandon the Literal interpretation is spiritual suicide for the GLBTQS Christian. The Holy Scriptures are our ONLY sure defense to show God's position in this matter. Sometimes I summarize the problem this way: the Christian Right believes they are SO RIGHT that they end up totally WRONG, and the Christian Liberal Left has gone so far to the "left" that there is nothing LEFT at all in their theology or belief system. Both positions are not Biblical. The Bible actually defends us against both the "left" and the "right." To assist the reader with further inquiry the sources used herein are listed on the last page. Sources will be referenced in this paper by listing the author's last name and citing the page of the source where the ideas and information are confirmed by that author. For example, (see Boswell page 1).

WHAT THE BIBLE DOES CONDEMN THAT IS MISREPRESENTED AS HOMOSEXUALITY:

The Bible clearly does mention SAME - SEX ACTS, and unconditionally condemns them, but ONLY and very specifically when those sexual activities were, or are performed in the context of ritual sacred cult prostitution in fertility religions.  Fertility religions described in the Bible always included idolatry which is the worship of gods and goddesses other than Yahweh YHWH, Adonai, God of Israel, God of Heaven and all of creation, Jehovah, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and of Jesus Christ.  These fertility religions usually and almost always required the believers to participate in religious ceremonies that included having sacred sex ritual / sexual activity with both male and female temple ritual / cult devotees also called temple prostitutes.

These sacred sexual activities were engaged in by heterosexual men who were often married and were there to secure the blessings of fertility from the god or goddess.   There is no resemblance between this ritual sexual ceremony and sex that is enjoyed between persons of any gender or sexual orientation outside of religious ritual.  The verses in the Bible that address ritual sex have been manipulated in “renderings” of these stories in modern languages in such a way that they have been changed to read as though the Bible condemns modern sexual orientations and gender expressions other than what we call “straight” or “heterosexual” today.  This is a false equivalency that is inexcusable in our high tech information age.  Those who are responsible for continuing these perversions of the Bible text should cease and desist in their misinformation for the health and welfare of modern Christians and Jews and our modern society.  This is my position.  The scholarship published that revealed these truths is clearly cited throughout this article and in the bibliography at the end of this article.  All of the foundational scholarship behind my position is dependent on the sources cited at the end of this article.  I have been fortunate to be able to draw these sources together in such a way as to make them readily accessible to the average lay person.  That is the aim of my article here, to equip the saints to do the ministry (Eph. 4:12) and be able to correctly explain what the Bible does and more importantly does NOT condemn.

~ signed, Rev. Br. Shawn F. Benedict February 20, 2016


SPECIFIC PASSAGES THAT HAVE BEEN MANIPULATED AND ARE SUPPOSED TO CONDEMN HOMOSEXUALITY:

THE STORY OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH Genesis 19:1-26

Statement: "Surely the word "SODOMY" comes from this story."

Response: Actually, the name Sodom was not attached to Homosexual relations until the Middle Ages. The closest word for "homosexual" in Latin or any vernacular was "SODOMITA". (see Boswell, page 93)

The etymology (origin and development) of the word "SODOMY" has rendered it to mean many things throughout history including ordinary heterosexual intercourse in an atypical position, even oral sexual contact with animals, exclusively male homosexuality, and even almost exclusively heterosexual excess. (see Boswell, page 93)

Even in some States "Sodomy" can mean sexual contact between married Heterosexual persons.

Statement: "Surely the sin of Sodom was that the men of Sodom tried to rape the Angels of God."

Response: There is absolutely no indication that the men even entertained the thought of doing such an act. Would this mean that all the men of Sodom were Homosexual? That is absurd in and of itself. This wrong interpretation is based on the phrase: "Bring them [Lot's visitors - angels in some traditions, men in others] unto us, that we may KNOW them." (Genesis 19:5) To "KNOW them" is supposed to mean "to have them sexually, to rape them".

Statement: Of course it meant sexually!! After all, in Genesis 4:1 Adam KNEW Eve....

Response: True enough with Adam and Eve; however, the same word is in verse 3:7 "They knew they were naked.” Surely this same word did not mean sexually... To clarify the issue we have to be LITERAL here and look at the Hebrew (original as we have it) word and see what word was used in Genesis 19:5. The Hebrew word is yadha. In the Strong's Concordance numbering system it is word #3045.

According to Biblical word scholars F. Brown, S.R. Driver, and C.A. Briggs, the word yadha appears in the Hebrew Bible 943 times. D.S. Bailey (1955) argues it is used only 10 times, excluding Gen 19 and its derivative Judges chapter 19, to denote any sense of sexual intercourse (sexual coitus). (See Bailey, page 2)

The 931 times the word yadha , to know, appears in the Hebrew Bible, it means simply to be acquainted with, or be informed about just as plainly as it does in English. McNeill asserts the very few times it might be used to denote sexual coitus, it is always heterosexual intercourse. McNeill explains the word normally used in the Old Testament for both homosexual and heterosexual coitus and bestiality is shakhabh (word #7902).

(See McNeill, page 42 & Boswell, page 94F)

Statement: If this is true why did the men of Sodom demand to be informed of who was in Lot's house? And, why were they blinded by the visitors??

Response: The men of the City demanded to know who was in the house because Lot was violating the city rules. He was not a citizen by birth right. He was only a 'sojourner' and therefore had only limited rights.

Genesis 19:9 And they said, "Stand back!" Then they said, "This one came in to sojourn, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them." So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door.



Because Lot was himself an alien to the city he had the obligation to inform the others when strangers were staying with him. He did not do this. The men were enraged when Lot refused to hand over the persons he was housing without their permission. Lot was a good and holy man. He was Abraham's nephew. Lot was far more concerned with ancient Laws of Hospitality to Strangers (and travelers) than he was about the laws of the City of Sodom.

Exodus 22:21 "You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Exodus23:9 "Also you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Leviticus 19:33 'And if a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him.
Leviticus 19:34 'But the stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.


Lot was more willing to hand over his own virgin daughters to the men than to have the Laws of Hospitality violated with his guests. Choosing the "visitors" over his own daughters seems horrific to us today but it indicates how seriously these Laws of Hospitality to the Stranger were to be observed.

Biblical scholars have embraced this interpretation (that the city was destroyed for disregarding the sacred laws of hospitality to the stranger, and in this case visitors sent from God) since around 1955. Scholars also recommend that sexual overtones in the story are faint, if suggested at all. In the original interpretive traditions the moral of the story was about hospitality to the stranger and failure to respond to the offer of Salvation made by the visitors. (See Boswell, page 93)

Personally, I also believe Lot knew how serious the rejection of the offer of Salvation was. Lot clearly heard the messengers announce that everyone who wanted to be saved from the destruction of the city needed to leave, that is, be "saved." Lot believed them and realized they were not only "strangers" according to the laws but he knew they were God's personal messengers of Salvation. For Lot, the protection of God's messengers was even more important than his own daughters, for surely they would have been "saved" if they had died for the message of God. However, do notice they are NOT harmed and are clearly mentioned in the story as escaping the city in the morning.

Statement: JESUS talked about the destructions of Sodom and Gomorrah......

Response: YES He did and we are so thankful He mentioned it the way He did. Jesus made reference to the sin of Sodom as inhospitable treatment of visitors sent from the Lord!

Jesus refers to Sodom and Gomorrah only in the context of sending his own disciples out to preach the Gospel.

Matthew 10:11-14: Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. And when you go into a household, greet it. If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in that day of judgment than for that city!

And Luke 10:8-12: Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick there, and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.' But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 'The very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you. But I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city.


Jesus tells them to go into a town. They are, therefore, sojourners, travelers, strangers bearing the message of God's SALVATION for the people. This is exactly what the 'visitors' of Genesis 19 were. Only now, in the Church Age, Jesus' disciples are delivering the Gospel, a far more important message (by implication only, for salvation is by Grace in every dispensation) than the salvation message the Old Testament Good News bearers were bringing to the cities of the Plains. Jesus tells His disciples, the Ambassadors of the New Covenant:

"Whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when you depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city."

(Matt. 10:14-15, CF Luke 10:10-12)

In other words, Jesus says the Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed and burned because they would not receive the Word of God in the Old Testament; but any City that will mistreat you (my disciples) or refuse to hear the Word of God in the New Gospel of Jesus Christ shall bear a heavier punishment.

Remember, Jesus was God on Earth.

John 20:28; "And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"

1Timothy 3:16; "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

Titus 2:11-13; "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ."

Phil. 2:6; "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped .... "

Col. 1:19; "for God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him ..."

Col. 2:9; "For in Christ all the fullness of the deity lives in bodily form ..."

1 John 5:20b; "And we are in him who is true - even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life."

He existed before the world was created.

John 1:1-4. 14; "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. ... 14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Col. 1:15-19a; "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. 19For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, ..."


Jesus surely knew all about Sodom and Gomorrah.

Jesus surely knew of homosexuality in his own day.

It is very noteworthy, then, that he made no mention of the subject even when he did talk about the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Surely if homosexuality was the glaring historical reason for the destruction of the cities He would have taken the opportunity to teach on the evils of the "sin of Sodom"!
Jesus clearly taught on social ills such as murder, prostitution, divorce, lying, thievery, charging interest on loans, and multiple marriages...... but homosexuality (which we know was present in his day) called for no such correction from the Son of God.

THE DESTRUCTION OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYONE ATTEMPTING TO RAPE ANGELS.... IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH MISTREATING GOD'S WORD, GOD'S GOOD NEWS AND THOSE WHO ARE SENT TO DELIVER THAT GOOD NEWS OF SALVATION. (See Boswell, page 94F and McNeill, page 44)

Most people consider the Story of Sodom and Gomorrah to be the most important proof for Biblically based condemnation of Homosexual practices; however, when we apply correct linguistics and correct translation of text (producing the LITERAL METHOD) to the story, we find there is absolutely no basis for this conclusion. (See Mc Neill, page 49)

If this interpretation is correct we have a horrific paradox connected to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Western Christian history records thousands of years of cruel persecution, excommunication, torture, and even death of Gay Christians all carried out by the Church and State in the name of God. In fact, the Church and State have themselves been perpetuating the true sin of Sodom when Gay persons have been or are still treated as strangers to be excluded, even eliminated. Will it be worse on the day of Judgment for the Christian West than for the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah? (See McNeill, page 50)

THE STORY OF JUDGES 19

There is in Judges 19:3-20:10 a story that similarly deals with the sacred laws of sacred hospitality.  Though the result of the inhospitable reception of the people of the town is much more tragic, some commentators say the story in Judges 19 remarkably parallels the Genesis 19 story.


In Judges, a Levite of Ephraim and his concubine find hospitality in Gibeah with an old man after considerable effort to find lodging. Their host is a "foreigner" just like the situation with Lot; (JUDGES 19:16 Just then an old man came in from his work in the field at evening, who also was from the mountains of Ephraim; he was sojourning in Gibeah, whereas the men of the place were Benjamites.) The men of Gibeah are outraged in the same way as the men of Sodom. Again, the demand: "Bring the man out that we may know him." (Judges 19:22). The old man even offers his virgin daughter and his guest's concubine. Biblical interpretive history has NEVER pointed to the Judges 19 story as a condemnation of homosexuality. Have you ever heard of Gibeahomy?? Yet the inhospitality of the people of Sodom has led to the construction of the word sodomy making some kind of connection to same-sex acts between consenting adults.

No one accuses the Benjamite men of Gibeah of being homosexuals. In fact the interpretation is always correct in saying it is a story of inhospitality to the travelling stranger that led to the abuse and murder of at least one of the travelers. 

The Bible is best interpreted by the Bible.

The Bible gives the correct interpretation of the story in Judges 20:1-10.

The Levite himself recounts the story without charging the men of Gibeah as having any sexual interest in him.

 

Judges 20:3 (Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel had gone up to Mizpah.) Then the children of Israel said, "Tell us, how did this wicked deed happen?" So the Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered, answered and said, "My concubine and I went into Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin, to spend the night.”And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and surrounded the house at night because of me. They intended to kill me, but instead they ravished my concubine so that she died. "So I took hold of my concubine, cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the territory of the inheritance of Israel, because they committed lewdness and outrage in Israel.”Look! All of you are children of Israel; give your advice and counsel here and now!" Then all the people arose as one man, saying, "None of us will go to his tent, nor will any of us turn back to his house; "but now this is the thing which we will do to Gibeah: We will go up against it by lot. "We will take ten men out of every hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, a hundred out of every thousand, and a thousand out of every ten thousand, to make provisions for the people, that when they come to Gibeah in Benjamin, they may repay all the vileness that they have done in Israel." (See Boswell, page 96)



THE WORD SODOMITE IN THE BIBLE

Statement: My King James Bible has the word "Sodomite" right in it. How could this not mean homosexuals?

Response: The word "SODOMITE" appears two times in the KING JAMES translation of the Old Testament and both times only in a context which simply imply sexual sins. The New King James does not use the word Sodomite when translating the same verses.

 

King James- Deut 23:17 "There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel"
The New King James Version translates the same word as a perverted one.

 

King James- 1Kings 14:24: "And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord cast out before the children of Israel. The New King James Version translates the same word as perverted persons.


Apply the Literal Method and again we prove these are mistranslations of the Hebrew word KADASH, plural KADESHIM #6945 in the Strong's Concordance.

The word literally means "hallowed" or "sacred" and refers to the demi-god sacred prostitutes in pagan temples. The literal translation of this word does not imply that these prostitutes serviced persons of their own gender. Boswell asserts there is little historical evidence to support such a conclusion. (See Boswell, page 99)

From the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, vol. 4, pg 2821. (This is very significant because this is a very Evangelical and ultra-Conservative source. It was published in 1939. Yet, it supports our argument.)

 

"SODOMITE, (..kadhesh, fem., Kedheshah) Kadhesh denotes properly a male temple prostitute, one of the class attached to certain sanctuaries of heathen deities, and "consecrated" to the impure rites of their worship. Such a gross and degrading practices in Jeh's land could only be construed as a flagrant outrage; and any association of these with His pure worship was abhorrent (Dt 23:17). "


Note: Here are cited other references in the Bible for sacred cult prostitutes according to word usage. FROM The New Brown - Driver - Briggs - Gesenius Hebrew - English Lexicon 6945 qadesh (kaw-dashe)- TEMPLE PROSTITUTE (MAN) cf. Dt 23:18; IKgs 14:24; 22:47; plural form IKgs 15:12; 2Kinsgs 23:7, Job36:14 6948 qedushah (Ked-ay-shaw)-TEMPLE PROSTITUTE (FEMALE) cf. Dt 23:18; plural Hos 4:14; = harlot

The KJV uses "sodomite" to translate a Hebrew word that LITERALLY MEANS 'HOLY ONE" but in practice meant "MALE CULT PROSTITUTE" (RSV) (DEUT 23:17; 1KGS 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2KGS 23:7) See the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible - volume 5, page 446)

Boswell asserts this word was mistranslated as early as the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C. by Jewish scholars who effected the Septuagint translation of the Bible from Hebrew into Greek. When translators attempted to render KADASH in Greek they employed at least six different Greek words. None of these selected words in the Septuagint even suggests homosexuality in the Greek language. Therefore, our modern translations rendering "Sodomite" are totally inaccurate, culturally and theologically manipulated translations of the Word of God. (See Boswell, pg. 99)


THE CULT PROSTITUES

The problem of Pagan Cult Temple Prostitution was a real challenge for the Hebrew people and early Christians.

The subject is so vast that anything said here about it would be grossly insufficient. This is the context of the prohibition of Leviticus 18:22 and Romans Chpt 1. It was very important to the Hebrew people that they did not appear similar in any way to their neighbors the Canaanites.

Leviticus 18:3 "According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances."



In Canaan there were many orgiastic, fertility cult religions. These sects had their own priests, and male and female 'holy' prostitutes. It was believed (variously according to the cult) that a devotee (worshipper) was somehow in communion with the sacred by participating in sexual acts with the cult prostitutes. Needless to say, the Hebrew people could not tolerate such behavior on at least two accounts.

1. To worship another human being as god, divine, or somehow a demi-god was an ABOMINATION! and had a special name - IDOLATRY. Such an act broke the 1st of their 10 Sacred Commandments to have no false god before the One God of heaven and earth.

2. To have sexual activity with a person other than one's marriage spouse was ADULTERY!, also one of the 10 Commandments.

LEVITICUS AND The Hebrew word "TOEVAH"TOWEBAH translated "ABOMINATION "

Statement: There is no other possible explanation for the Book of Leviticus Chapter 18:22 and 20:13. It is very clear; a man shall not lie with a man as a woman. It says they deserve DEATH!!!

Response: Leviticus is the only place in the Old Testament where homosexual acts per se are mentioned.

These acts are condemned because they were committed in the context of pagan orgiastic rituals with sacred cult prostitutes.

To correctly understand both of these references you MUST read Leviticus 18:1-5:

"Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘I am the LORD your God. 3According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances. 4You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the LORD your God. 5You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the LORD."

 

These verses set the context of the entire section of the Holiness Code. The concern is that the ritual and social practices show no similarity to those of Canaan and Egypt! THIS is only in this context that homosexual (same-sex) acts are prohibited AND ARE CALLED AN ABOMINATION! (TOWEBAH in Hebrew) The word ABOMINATION (TOWEBAH in Hebrew) clearly indicates these acts are committed in the context of IDOLOTROUS, PAGAN, CULTIC Activities. God did not want the pagan orgiastic fertility cult prostitution practiced with His people. In fact Leviticus 18:3 has been translated many different ways to bring this point out.

Douay Rheims translation: "..nor shall you walk in their ordinances." New American translation: "do not conform to their custom." Living Bible translation: "Do not follow their practices."

NOTE: In Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 God condemns same-sex activity as an ABOMINATION (TOWEBAH in Hebrew) when it is done "..... according to the doings of the land of Canaan." (and Egypt) see Leviticus 18:3

LEV 18:22 'You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. (TOWEBAH  in Hebrew) New King James translation.

LEV 20:13 'If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. (TOWEBAH  in Hebrew) They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. New King James translation.



The key to correct interpretation is again found ONLY in the LITERAL METHOD.

Transposing the word ABOMINATION back to Hebrew produces the word TOWEBAH TOWEBAH.

8441 towebah (to-ay-baw) or toebah (to-ay-baw); prop. something disgusting (morally), i.e. (as noun) an abhorrence; especially IDOLATRY or (concerning) an IDOL; - abominable (custom, thing), abomination.

The word ABOMINATION is used because these acts involved the mixture of worshiping a person (false god, the 'sacred' prostitute) and committing fornication by having anyone as a sexual partner. These are not acts of homosexual expressions of love between two committed life partners. These are same gender acts of sexual lust committed only for the religious activities of false gods and human demi-gods. To associate such low grade acts with sexual love between homosexual life partners is ludicrous.

Clearly the LITERAL METHOD shows these homosexual acts were prohibited in the context of IDOLOTROUS pagan worship, i.e. cult prostitution (like the Canaanites and Egyptians are fond of).

NOTE: The following quotation is taken from a Jewish Torah Commentary and is cited here to give a Jewish Rabbinical point of view to the question of capital punishment that as recommended in Leviticus 20:13.

"We have no record of a death sentence for this crime being carried out under Jewish auspices. Apparently, Christian courts executed some persons for sodomy during the Middle Ages. But, up to the present, persons who commit homosexual acts are subject to severe prison sentences in many countries, including the United States - even in the case of consenting adults. Until recently, homosexuality, especially among males, has been regarded with horror as unnatural, perverted, and degenerate wherever the Jewish-Christian outlook prevailed. The first public change of attitude in the western world was voiced chiefly by psychiatrists who called for greater compassion toward homosexuals." from Torah Commentary pg 881-882


VIOLENT RAPE IN CONQUEST

The Hebrew men were a PATRIARCHAL Society (run by men). They also were a frequently warring society fighting against pagan countries and peoples. History records in many civilizations that forced anal rape has frequently been used by the victorious soldiers over their male prisoners as a sign of victory. Also, for a man to assume the position of a woman in a sexual act was seen as an insult to his masculinity. McNeill, pages 58&59, declares forced anal rape was used as an expression of domination, contempt, and scorn. Forced rape or any non-consensual sexual activity is not to be construed as normal homosexual expression of love. There is no similarity at all.

HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE CHRISTIAN TESTAMENT 1Cor 6:9 malakoi, aresenokoitai

1CO 6:9 -10; "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." NKJV


Again, these are mistranslated words. Here are these words from the STRONG'S CONCORDANCE:
733 arsenokoites, ar-sen-ok-oy-tace; from 730 and 2845; a sodomite: - abuser of (that defile) self with mankind. (Strong's Concordance)
733 arsna - a male; koita - a bed : one who lies with a male as a female, a sodomite (Thayer's Concordance)
730 arsene probably from 142; male (as stronger or lifting): - male, man(Strong's)
2845 koite koy-tay - the male sperm: - bed, chambering, x conceive.(Strong's)
3120 malakos soft to the touch of a catamite, a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness (Thayer's)

Both of these Greek words are not words that would point exclusively to Homosexuals or their mutual sexual expressions of love.

The first word, malakos, is a very commonly used Greek word in the New Testament. It has been traditionally translated as "sick", "cowardly", "refined", "weak willed", "delicate", "gentle", and in a moral sense it could mean "licentious", "loose", or "wanting in self control". These conditions are hardly unique to Homosexuals. There are other examples in Classical Greek where other words are employed to refer explicitly to Homosexual behaviors. These words would have been used in the New Testament if the intentions were to convey such thoughts. The second word, arsenokoitai, John Boswell points out, is less common. Boswell says applying it to homosexuality in particular would be more understandable. Boswell goes on to say the best evidence suggests it did not connote homosexuality to Paul, or the people of his time, but meant "MALE PROSTITUTE". Boswell proves this word and passage was understood as referring to male prostitutes well into the fourth century. (See Boswell, page 107)

There is much that should be said about the fornication as it was understood in the time of Paul.

Paul surely knew of the Greek "PORNEIA", houses of male prostitution. In these houses the "PORNOI" legally practiced their trade and paid the pornikon telos, the prostitution tax. (See Boswell, page 335)

As the Roman Empire expanded it absorbed the ancient cult religions and inherited their practices. The city of Rome was quite comfortable with its PANTHEON of Gods and Goddesses. It is in this context that the remaining passage in ROMANS should be addressed.

ROM 1:26-27 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 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.  (NKJV)



There are a number of important items in these verses that prove Paul was dealing with the same exact concerns as expressed in Leviticus: ABOMINATION, i.e. IDOLATRY, and ADULTERY.

First, it must be clarified that Paul would not use the expression "AGAINST NATURE" with anywhere near the same depth of meaning that such as expression has today. Our understanding of that expression is colored by the Scholastic Philosophers of the Middle Ages, Freudian psychology, and social taboos. Paul lived before the Philosophers defined "Natural Law". Paul meant "what was usual, common, their regular way of acting". A person who is a true Homosexual has no "NATURAL" (usual, common, recurring) feelings or desires for women. These men in verse 1:26 exchange their usual behavior for one that is contrary to their usual behavior.

THE OBVIOUS CONCLUSION IS THEY WERE MARRIED MEN CHEATING ON THEIR WIVES BY ENJOYING THE CASUAL SEX OF THE LOCAL PAGAN TEMPLES WHERE SACRED RITUALS INCLUDED SEX WITH SACRED PROSTITUTES. THESE MEN WERE LEAVING THEIR WIVES AT HOME AND PARTICIPATING IN THE ORGIASTIC CULT SEXUAL PRACTICES IN THE LOCAL PAGAN TEMPLES. BY PARTICIPATING THEY WERE COMMITTING ADULTERY (CHEATING ON THEIR WIVES) AND IDOLATRY (WORSHIPING THE CULT PROSTITUTES AS DEMI-GODS AND GODDESSES). And even proving these married men and women were partaking of the sexual activities of the fertility cults DOES NOT PROVE THEY WERE PARTICIPATING WITH MEMBERS OF THEIR OWN SEX EXCLUSIVELY.

With this in mind I will add a commentary here to the Biblical Text of Romans 1:22-32 with the symbol **

1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 1:23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things.


**They started worshipping people, things, and animals instead of God. This is called IDOLATRY. Certainly the cult prostitutes were considered to be demi-gods.

1:24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,


**Paul taught the body of the believer was the Temple of God's Holy Spirit. By participating in cult activity they were dishonoring their bodies and God's Temple.

1:25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.


**Worshiping creatures instead of creator is a 'lie' and trickery of Satan.

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


** These women were prostitutes, and thus fornicators.

1:27 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.


**Again, these men were NATURALLY heterosexuals
. Paul is here addressing married men who naturally are affectionate with their wives but who were getting their LUSTS FULFILLED with the cult prostitutes (male and female).

For true male Homosexuals there is nothing NATURAL about having sex or sexual affection for women. The contrary is true.

1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 1:29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 1:30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 1:31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;


**LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THIS LIST OF SINS THAT "ARE WORTHY OF DEATH”! ISN'T IT INTERESTING THAT THE ONLY SIN WE TALK ABOUT OUT OF THIS ENTIRE LIST IS THE WRONGLY SUPPOSED SIN OF CONSTITUTIONAL HOMOSEXUALITY.


Do the same accusers notice the breadth of behaviors that are condemned in this section??? Usually not!

 

1:32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.


John Mc Neill, page 56, concludes the Pauline epistles never address the question of homosexual activity between persons who share the homosexual condition. This being the case, Paul's writings cannot be read as explicitly condemning such behavior. The Greek malakoi and arsenokoitai, McNeill concludes, were not necessarily homosexuals; the former were simply debauched individuals and the latter were probably male prostitutes or those given to anal intercourse. Anal intercourse is not necessarily nor exclusively a homosexual activity.

THE CONCLUSION: THE BIBLE NEVER ADDRESSES PERSONS WHO ARE NATURAL HOMOSEXUALS, CONSTITUTIONAL HOMOSEXUALS, AND SEXUAL INVERTS.

Although homosexuality was widespread in the Hellenistic world (Plato and Aristotle had both written about it and there were theories about the condition in Roman medicine.) it is not clear that Paul distinguished in his thoughts or writings between gay persons (in the sense of permanent sexual preference) and heterosexuals who occasionally engaged in homosexual behavior. Boswell notes that it is in fact unlikely that many Jews of Paul's day made such a distinction. Boswell's final conclusion is Paul did not discuss gay persons but only homosexual acts performed by heterosexual persons. (SEE JOHN BOSWELL, PAGE109)

JOHN MC NEILL, pg 60, quotes the conclusive ideas of Herman Van De Spijker the Bible has no specific text which explicitly rejects all homosexual activities as such independent of the circumstances of idolatry, sacred prostitution, promiscuity, violent rape, or violation of guest's rights.

Perhaps the loudest commentary the BIBLE DOES MAKE on true Homosexuality is the UTTER SILENCE ON THE SUBJECT.

There is no reason to correct something that isn't functioning in error!!!!!

NONE OF THE BIBLICAL REFERENCES FREQUENTLY QUOTED (INCLUDING 3 OR 4 OTHER LESSER NEW TESTAMENT CITATIONS) EVER REFER TO HOMOSEXUALS WHO ARE SO FROM BIRTH WITH AN EXCLUSIVE ORIENTATION.

THE ONLY PERSONS CONDEMNED IN THESE VERSES ARE HETEROSEXUALS WHO OCASIONALLY PARTAKE OF SAME SEX ACTIVITIES AND SPECIFICALLY IN RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES THAT WERE PART OF FERTILITY AND NATURE BASED RELIGIONS.

SAME SEX ACTIVITIES DO NOT INDICATE A SAME SEX ORIENTATION. THIS IS PROVEN FREQUENTLY BY THE NUMBER OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS WHO DO CONCEIVE AND BEAR CHILDREN BUT WHO RECEIVE THEIR EMOTIONAL FULFILLMENT WITH PERSONS OF THE SAME GENDER.

OUR CONCLUSION?????

THE BIBLE IS LITERALLY A GAY'S AND LESBIAN'S BEST FRIEND. THE BIBLE DOES NOT CONDEM US IN ANY WAY. DO NOT BUY INTO THE LIE ANY LONGER. COME BACK TO GOD AND THE BIBLE. THOSE WHO CALL THEMSELVES CHRISTIAN WHILE CHASING YOU AWAY ARE FRAUDS!!!! THE WORD OF GOD DOES NOT COMDEMN YOU, GAY SON AND LESBIAN DAUGHTER OF GOD!!!!!!!!! REJOICE! RECLAIM YOUR HERITAGE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD!!

~ Revised and signed 2-15-2016.  ©1990, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2012, 2016 Rev. Br. Shawn Francis Benedict, author.  The text of this paper on human sexuality is part of larger presentation, copyrighted, and being prepared for publication.  Please respect the intellectual property rights.
___________________________________________________________

Sources Quoted

Bailey, Derrick Sherwin. Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition. London 1955.

Boswell, John. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality. University of Chicago 1980.

McNiell, John. The Church and the Homosexual. Kansas City, 1976.

Strong, James LL.D., S.T.D.. The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Thomas Nelson 1990.

The Holy Bible, New King James Version. Thomas Nelson 1982.

Plaut, W. Gunther and Hallo, William W. The Torah, A Modern Commentary. Union of American Hebrew Congragations. New York 1981.

Tenney, Merril C. General Editor. The Zondervan Pictoral Encyclopedia of the Bible in 5 volumes. Zondervan Corp. 1976.

Orr, James M.A., D.D., General Editor. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishers. 1939, 1956, 1986. Volume 4, page 2821 "Sodomite".

What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality By Daniel Helminiak, Ph.D.

 

R U gay, lesbian, bi, trans, gender fluid, etc... and someone said you aren't saved? God says you are saved, by God!  In the scroll window on this page is a Bible study that will show you God embraces everything about your deepest self, including your full experience of sexuality.  It will take time to read and study all of this.  Very few people have gone through this study in one sitting.  We promise you, if you put time and prayer into this study you will know beyond a doubt that you are Saved.

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2/28/17