General Question

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Is there any mention of homosexuality in the NEW testament?

Asked by La_chica_gomela (12557points) June 22nd, 2011
12 responses
“Great Question” (5points)

Please Note: NEW testament. If so, can you quote it for more and the edition of the bible it comes from?

Thanks! Just wondering.

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DominicX's avatar

The most commonly cited mentioning of it is in 1 Corinthians 6:9–10, which is translated (in the New American Standard version) as: “Or 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 effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”

The word that is translated as “homosexuals” is arsenokoitai, a Greek word seemingly invented by Paul himself that is a combination of the Greek roots meaning “man” and “bed”. The word translated as “effeminate” is a Greek word malakoi literally meaning “soft ones”. The NIV translates arsenokoitai as “men who have sex with men”. Some people think that malakoi and arsenokoitai refer to the passive and active members in a homosexual sexual situation, respectively. KJV translates arsenokotai as “abusers of themselves with mankind”.

There is also Romans 1:26–27: “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”

sarahtalkpretty's avatar

Well, yes, it’s in Romans and Corinthians

27 why their women have exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural practices; and the men, in a similar fashion, too, giving up normal relations with women, are consumed with passion for each other, men doing shameful things with men and receiving in themselves due reward for their perversion.

If you’d like to read it in context from a Catholic perspective, you can do so here:

Here is more explanation:

Sigh. And I vowed I would never answer this question again, because to do so means I have to not only give the answer, but expand upon whether as a Christian-in-poor-standing I accept it is as true, it’s origins, what it really means, etc. In fact, I have to give an entire dissertation on my theological beliefs or else accusations fly…at least they have in the past.

DominicX's avatar

There are also two additional verses (that I just remembered now). One is 1 Timothy 1:9–10, which the NAS translates as ”...realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching.”

Again, the word translated as “homosexuals” is arsenokotai.

Jude 1:7 hints at it, though does not use a word translated as “homosexuals”: ” just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.” (NAS)

lillycoyote's avatar

Yes, but not in the Gospels. Paul has a couple of things to say as mentioned above but Jesus was absolutely, 100% silent on the issue. You would think Jesus might have had a thing or two to say if it was such a big deal; he had a lot to say about a lot of thing but about homosexuality? You would think if he wanted those people who would follow his teachings, if he had wanted some of them to become practically obsessed with the issue, he would have had something, some little snippet, a parable, a comment, something, but nothing, zip, nada, not word one. Y

Nullo's avatar

@lillycoyote There wouldn’t be, would there? The Torah already established God’s take on homosexuality. Paul, on the other hand, is writing to Gentiles who have very probably never read the Torah, and so needs to clarify some things. Besides that, the Gospels and Epistles have different functions. The relationship is a bit like that between the road map and the car manual in the glove box.

Hibernate's avatar

Well others stated what’s what so basically Corinthians and Romans.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Nullo It is not at all clear that God’s take on homosexuality is established in the Torah, as opposed to merely His thoughts about Jews having male/male sex. The New Testament isn’t clear, either, as @DominicX has pointed out. Here is part of a post I have previously made that covers some of the same ground:

It is worth noting [...] that 1 Corinthians 6:9 is no smoking gun for either side of this debate. In the original Greek, the passage reads as follows.

η ουκ οιδατε οτι αδικοι βασιλειαν θεου ου κληρονομησουσιν μη πλανασθε ουτε πορνοι ουτε ειδωλολατραι ουτε μοιχοι ουτε μαλακοι ουτε αρσενοκοιται

The words most at issue here are ”μαλακοι” (malakoi) and ”αρσενοκοιται” (arsenokoitai). Neither of these words were believed by scholars or theologians to refer to homosexuality until the 20th century, but the proper meaning of each is problematic.

The literal meaning of ”μαλακοι” is “soft.” Martin Luther, meanwhile, translated the word as “weaklings.” Since the list of vices Paul is giving does not consist entirely in sexual sins, many argue that we are to take ”μαλακοι” as having its common Greek meaning: one who is lazy or weak-willed (especially in moral matters). If we are to take it as a sexual term, however, it looks like it would refer to boys who work as prostitutes. Regardless, the NASB translation of the word as “effeminate” fails to give any support for an anti-homosexual spin on the verse. Effeminacy and homosexuality were not associated with one another at the time, and scripture cannot mean anything now that it did not mean then.

The word ”αρσενοκοιται” is even more difficult, as it appears to have been invented by Paul. Martin Luther thought it referred to masturbation. Some who read ”μαλακοι” as “boy prostitute” read ”αρσενοκοιται” as the men who hire those boys. Others think that this term refers to the boy prostitutes and that ”μαλακοι” is unrelated. Those who wish to interpret this passage as a condemnation of homosexuality often try to pair ”αρσενοκοιται” with ”μαλακοι” and translate them together for the purposes of interpretation. Paul’s use of ουτε clauses, however, limits the extent to which we can reason in this way. There is no syntactical reason to think the two terms are linked, and the semantics are precisely what is in dispute (so we must be wary of begging any questions here). But this fact is equally problematic for some arguments on the other side.

I am most convinced by those who think that ”αρσενοκοιται” is a reference to the Greek translation of Leviticus 20:13, where the phrase ”αρσενο κοιται αρσενο” is in the place where “man lies with a male” is in the English. This still does not suffice for a condemnation of homosexuality, however, as the proper interpretation of that passage is itself subject to serious debate. The most obvious problems with reading Leviticus as a statement on homosexuality simpliciter are that (a) homosexuality is not only practiced by men, and (b) the ritual impurity of male/male sex in Leviticus apparently has to do with the Jewish identity laws and nothing to do with the sexual acts themselves.

It is not clear, then, who is basing their doctrine on the Bible. If nothing else, the Bible seems to be a story about a God who leaves his jealousy and vengefulness behind in favor of love for all of His creations. But maybe Jesus isn’t an important character in the Bible on your interpretation. Seems that would leave an awful lot of verses out, though.

Roby's avatar

Incest, adultery, and fornication is accepted by God when homosexuality is not?

jlelandg's avatar

Translation of language makes it really difficult to take everything seriously. How to reconcile it all…

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
mazingerz88's avatar

@lillycoyote How would anyone really know if Jesus may or may not have said anything about homosexuality when writings about him were done long after the fact and has undergone unknown revisions. I saw a documentary once in Discovery Channel about scrolls found somewhere saying something about Jesus loving and kissing one of his disciples in the mouth and he preferred his company more than the rest, even lying down with him one night. If those scrolls were accurate, what could that mean?

RocketGuy's avatar

” neither fornicators, ..., nor drunkards, ... will inherit the kingdom of God” Dang, I guess I’m out then.

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