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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Does the bible state that homosexuality is a sin?

   
Author Topic: Does the bible state that homosexuality is a sin?
Stone_Wolf_
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My wife and I have a bet going ($1) about whether the bible specifically states that homosexuality is a sin or not.

A co-worker of hers said to look up:

1 Timothy 1:9-10

1 Corinthians 6:9

Leviticus 20:13

Leviticus 18:22

Where if you go with modern translations, it's pretty much clear that man on man action is a heavenly no no.

But I do not trust modern translations, as they are often very wrong.

I found this article which had some interesting things to say.

What do you all say? I know we have some biblical scholars here on the 'Rack.

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dkw
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It depends upon questions of interpretation and translation. There is no way to settle that bet cleanly.
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rivka
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Edit: On second thought, dkw's response is better.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Now I wonder what you said originally.
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kmbboots
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Stone_Wolf, if your interest in this goes far enough to warrant further study, I would recommend starting with The Good Book by Peter Gomes.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Good-Book-Reading-Bible/dp/0380723239/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Other folks may have suggestions as well.

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Kwea
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That was an interesting article, but I felt he was reaching on the last example. It was probably the closest to an actual statement about it as you could get. It pretty much defined it as an unnatural act.

Not that I care, of course.

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advice for robots
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In terms of legalistic wrangling mixed with suddenly jumping to one's own opinion as the only valid conclusion, that article was on par with many I've read written by religious scholars. What it illustrated to me was that the article's author is no better at providing a definitive, objective interpretation of Biblical passages than anyone else.
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Kwea
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yeah, I liked it until the last assumptions, whihc made it clear that he was reaching, at least at that point.

I agree with his beliefs, but that doesn't mean I agree with his research, such as it was...

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Samprimary
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18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
18:23 because it does not even work, there is not a vagina there.
18:4 Fortunately thou hast some ways to work around this.

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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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In the broader context of the Romans 1:26-27 quote, it should be noted that Paul is summarizing the many sins of mankind. He's not passing judgement on a specific group of people, but he actually segues into a very anti-judgement conclusion: "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgement do the same things." (Romans 2:1)

Later in the letter, Paul talks about how everyone, Jew and Gentile, without exception, has sinned. Romans 3:23-24 states "... all have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

Nowhere in the Bible, to my knowledge, does it say anything about homosexual desires themselves being sinful, unless you transpose Jesus' equivalence of lust for a woman who is not your wife to adultery in the Sermon on the Mount. It is my personal belief, based on these passages, that even if you choose to interpret the scripture as a blanket condemnation of homosexual acts, no one is in a position to pass judgement on the sinner.

Christians get a bad rep for self-righteous condemnation of various "sins" that are, for whatever reason, more socially acceptable outside the faith, such as drinking, gambling, and extra-marital sex. What people, both Christians and non-Christians, often fail to realize is that a central tenet of Christianity is that nobody is without sin, and therefore nobody has the right to pass God's judgement on another.

There is more to it than that, of course. A strict literal interpretation of the Leviticus passage would infer that man-on-man sex is ritually unclean, just like bacon, but the epistles in the New Testament make it clear that a Christian need not be bound by Mosaic law (see the entire book of Galatians). One can argue ad infinitum about scriptural morality shaping public policy (a government based on the Sermon on the Mount would be VERY different from any society in the history of the world), but the Bible does very explicitly warn against judging your fellow man (or woman), so every Christian who persecutes a homosexual because they are a sinner is a hypocrite.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
"specifically states that homosexuality is a sin or not."
Since the concept of 'homosexuality' didn't exist exactly as such back then, then no it doesn't 'specifically' say that as there's no single word that specifically denotes the modern concept of 'homosexuality'. It might however say that a "man lying with man" is an abomination that should get you put to death.

So I guess it depends on whether you equate male homosexuality with "lying with mankind". And whether you equate punishable "abominations" with "sin", I guess.

As for female homosexuality, it isn't specifically stated as a sin in either the old or the New Testament, as far as I know.

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odouls268
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:

As for female homosexuality, it isn't specifically stated as a sin in either the old or the New Testament, as far as I know.

The smartass majority of my brain is dying to make jokes about this.
[Eek!] [Big Grin] [Razz]

But since the thread is working so well so far, I will risk aneurysm by fighting back the compelling need [Razz]

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Geraine
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The only real instance I can think of off the top of my head is in Genesis. When the angels visited Lot, people from the city gathered around Lot's house and demanded he hand the angels over so that they may "know" them.

I know that wouldn't exactly mean they wanted to have homosexual sex with the angels on its own. But after this Lot offers his own two daughters, and makes it a point to let the mob know that they are virgins and that they have never "known" a man.

I suppose that that the wickedness was that the mob wanted to essentially rape the angels though, and not the actual act.

Some scholars think the relationship between David and Jonathan was suspect as well.

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Stone_Wolf_
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What a weird spot...got visitors? Send 'em out for some good ol' rapin'!

Bet the tourism board had a hell of a time getting people to visit.

"Come for the rapings, stay for the view!"

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