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01. The Bible and Homosexuality Summary of "Clobber Verses"

Bible and HomosexualityThere are selected passages in the Bible that lean toward a negative and prohibitive stance on homo-erotic behavior as it was understood within the social context of antiquity, but these passages reflect nothing on the lives of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people today. The word homosexual doesn't appear anywhere in ancient Greek or Hebrew biblical manuscripts as the word and concept were non-existent in antiquity. The same is true for the words sodomy and Sodomite (unless in direct reference to a resident of the city). There is no passage that condemns gays and lesbians, none that argue for the prohibition of GLBTQ from membership in the body of Christ, none that prevents GLBTQ people from being ordained into Christian ministry and none that negates the validity, worth and right of GLBTQ relationships.

Read more01. The Bible and Homosexuality Summary of "Clobber Verses"

02. Adam and Eve and Steve: Genesis 1 and 2

All ancient religions and cultures developed creation stories including the Amorites, Canannites and Babylonians, all which predate the creation story found in Genesis 1-2. These ancient stories tell of how the world came into being, who their deities were and how their deities played a part in the forming of the world and in relating to humanity. The Israelites needed their own story to answer the basic questions of how did we get here and why are we here. Even more they needed to not only explain how the world came into being and their God's relationship with humanity but to explain God's unique and exclusive covenant with them, the people of Israel.

The creation story is used in opposition to gays and lesbians in several ways. According to the creation story (and we would be more accurate to say stories since there are two separate accounts given in these chapters) God created them Eve from Adam's side to be his helpmate, the woman being a complimentary to the man. Thus the argument goes that God made woman for man and man for woman and therefore same-sex relationships are in violation of this divine order.

The second argument is that God gave Adam and Eve clear direction that they were to "go forth and multiply" and because same-sex couples aren't able to procreate they are again unable to fulfill this divine directive.

Read more02. Adam and Eve and Steve: Genesis 1 and 2

03. The Sin of Sodom: Genesis 19

Genesis 19: The Sin of SodomWe all know about Sodom. People who've never picked up a Bible have used the story of Sodom and its fiery demise as condemnation against homosexuality and here's just one example from an email I received from someone who had a less than favorable view of homosexuality:

"There is a story in the bible, i would find it if i had the time, but it talks about this really sinful city. I believe it was around Abraham's time. God talks about how he turned his back on these people because of their wicked sins. One of the sins He talks about is homosexuality."

"One of the sins He (God) talks about is homosexuality."

Read more03. The Sin of Sodom: Genesis 19

04. Pagans, Purity, and Property: Leviticus

"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination." ~ Leviticus 18:22

"If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them." ~ Leviticus 20:13

Within the very nature of any group of individuals is the necessity to define itself in a way that describes those who belong while separating itself from those who don't belong. Boundaries of distinction are used to separate the "us" from "them" and more often than not this boundary language describes the other in negative terms, negative terms that are most often exaggerated or completely false to the actual reality of the other. In ancient Israel, to be a Jew meant to belong to a particular people and while the same could be said of other nations at the time Israel stood out among them in the degree to which it separated itself from other nations through it's distinctive traditions and avoidance of the traditions and behaviors of foreign nations.

Read more04. Pagans, Purity, and Property: Leviticus

05. Romans 1: Read the Whole Chapter Kiddo

"I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles. I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome. I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.' The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

Read more05. Romans 1: Read the Whole Chapter Kiddo

06. Romans 1: The Way Too Long Version

"I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles. I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome. I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.' The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

Read more06. Romans 1: The Way Too Long Version

07. I Corinthians 6:9 / I Timothy 1: 9-10: Words Matter

If the word homosexual appears in your Bible in either passage then you have a version that was written after 1946. Prior to the 1946 Edition of the Revised Standard Version, the words that homosexual had begun to replace in many modern versions included boy prostitutes, effeminate, those who make women of themselves, sissies, the self-indulgent, sodomites, lewd persons, male prostitutes, and the unchaste. Daniel Helminiak writes that "until the Reformation in the 16th Century and in Roman Catholicism until the 20th Century, the word malakoi was thought to mean masturbators" (What the Bible Really Says About homosexuality). Among the early Greek-speaking Christian theologians who condemned homosexuality the words malakoi and arsenokoitai were never used. When John Chrysostom (347-407 A.D.) and other contemporaries preached against homosexuality, they're not recorded as referring to these two passages, and likewise, when Clement of Alexandra preached on these passages, homosexuality was never mentioned (Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, pages 335-353.)

Read more07. I Corinthians 6:9 / I Timothy 1: 9-10: Words Matter

Does Jude Condemn Gays? by Rick Brentlinger

by Rick Brentlinger

Rick BrentlingerThe sin that Jude condemns is humans having sex with angels. He does not mention or condemn homosexuals and lesbians, yet many anti-gay Christians take the following verses out of context to condemn gays and lesbians. They assert (falsely) that verse 7 is a negative attack on gay men and lesbian women.

The fact that scripture uses the Greek word, heteros, from which we get our English word, heterosexual, and does not use the Greek word, homoios, from which we get our English word, homosexual, indicates that the point at issue with God is not homosexuality. The sin that Jude condemns is humans having sex with angels.

Read moreDoes Jude Condemn Gays? by Rick Brentlinger

The Book of Romans - Some Background & A Little Insight

Many of us are painfully aware that two of the most-used Bible verses against gays are Romans 1:26,27.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

It's important to know the truth of these verses, first for self-acceptance, and then to educate those who would use them against us.

Read moreThe Book of Romans - Some Background & A Little Insight

Translations of "Malakoi" and "Arsenokoitai" Through History (I Cor 6:9)

by Jeramy Townsley

The purpose of this page is to show the difficulty in translating the words arsenokoitai and malakos - two words used (incorrectly) to condemn gays.

Throughout the history of English translations, there has been little agreement on the meanings of these two Greek words. Most of the English translations describe malakos as "weak" or "effeminate" - neither of which mean gay.

While effeminate could be applied to a stereotyped gay personna, effeminate could be applied equally to a heterosexual, as the word malakos was often used with this meaning in the original Greek.

Read moreTranslations of "Malakoi" and "Arsenokoitai" Through History (I Cor 6:9)

Does the Bible Condemn Homosexuality? Interview with Dr Rev Cheri DiNovo

As the debate rages over the legality and morality of same sex marriages, many Christians rely on the Bible as their guide. Many believe that the Bible clearly condemns homosexuality, and they provide specific passages to back up their claim. We decided to give the other side of the debate a chance to answer. So, we interviewed Dr Reverend Cheri DiNovo, a United Church Minister who has performed a dozen same-sex marriages in Canada. She has also written a Ph.D. thesis on the subject of how Christianity deals with the outcasts of society.

In this interview, we asked Dr Reverend DiNovo to explain her perspective on three often-quoted biblical passages that seem to condemn homosexuality.

Read moreDoes the Bible Condemn Homosexuality? Interview with Dr Rev Cheri DiNovo

The Bible and Homosexuality - Scholarship & Diversity Study

by Rev. Kellie Rupard-Shorr (used with permission and much gratitude!)

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." ~ John 16:33

Adam and Eve

"But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man." ~ Genesis 2:8-10

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."
~ Genesis 1:27

The Story of Adam and Eve is an explanation, not a prescription. Leading Jewish Scholar Rabbi Joseph Telushkin maintains:

"Genesis central assertion is that all humankind descended from one couple to simply show the basis of the biblical view that all people of all races and religions are brothers and sisters."

Notice that nowhere does Jewish understanding make Genesis a reference to being a heterosexual mandate.

Read moreThe Bible and Homosexuality - Scholarship & Diversity Study

Queer Positive Bible

Introduction

In contemporary Christianity, there is probably no single issue more contentious and no debate more acrimonious than that which surrounds the discussion of homosexuality and the church.

Questions of justice are often contrasted with questions of biblical faithfulness; even those new to the discussion quickly become familiar with such terms as “hermeneutic” (studying the process of Biblical interpretation) and the necessity of putting Bible passages into their proper context. Perhaps understandingly, much has been made of the six[1] infamous “clobber” passages - those few biblical passages that are purported to be proscriptions against homosexual behavior.

This is done by theologians and lobbyists on both sides of the interpretive fence: either anti-gay positions will quote them and counter context-particular arguments, or those holding gay-positive positions feel the need to take a defensive stance with these texts and try to explain them.

Read moreQueer Positive Bible