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Published:April 16th, 2007 11:37 EST

Homosexuals in the Bible

By Rev. Leeman A. Place

For many weeks now, I have been pondering the comments made by prominent individuals regarding the subject of homosexuality. I’ve been waiting to see if anyone would respond to the incorrect and insensitive remarks made by clergy who should know the truth.

Every time I see or hear a comment made by a so-called religious leader about homosexuality, I wonder: where were they trained? Have they actually read the Bible? How did they get so confused? I wonder where did they accrue such a distorted view of historical religious beliefs?

Let me begin by squelching one totally misguided belief that is spouted by so many ignorant ministers of the faith. The word homosexual does not appear in the Bible. Is this shocking or new information? I don’t think so. Let’s take a look at where the term "homosexual" came from and when. Here’s a quote from the on-line Wikipedia encyclopedia:

"Erotic love and sexual expression between individuals of the same sex has been a feature of most known cultures since the earliest history. However, it was not until the 19th century that such acts and relationships were seen as indicative of a type of person with a defined and relatively stable sexual orientation. The first recorded use of the word Homosexual was in 1869 by Karl-Maria Kertbeny, with Richard Freihherr von Krafft-Ebing’s 1886 book Psychopathia Sexualis popularizing the concept."

The word was not even a concept until the 19th century! How could it appear in the ancient Biblical text if it was not even a term the writers understood? Here’s my answer. The word homosexual was added to the scripture at a later date, around the beginning of the 20th century, by those Biblical scholars who were trying to claim homosexual behavior as a sinful act.

This still leaves the question about all those same-sex references in the Bible. Whom are they addressing? Why is a same-sex act so opposing to our religious beliefs?

Let’s deal with the first question. Whom is the Bible speaking to with reference to same-sex acts?

Here’s the surprising answer. Heterosexuals! That’s right. The fathers of the Bible, who were afraid of their own sexuality! The leaders of the tribes of Israel! The writers of the New Testament! In particular, the apostle Paul. He had grown up in a Greek culture and was aware of same-sex relationships. Did you ever wonder what was the "thorn" in his side?

Second question. Why are same-sex acts so repulsive to our religious beliefs? For this answer, we have to go back to the Old Testament. Leviticus 18:22 prohibits the type of activity that was quite acceptable in ancient world cultures. "Why," you may ask? Well, as every Biblical scholar knows, Israel’s repudiation of same-sex arises out of the doctrine of creation and would frustrate the divine purpose of being fruitful and multiplying the creation. What the Bible does not discuss is the actual definition of sexual desire  (homosexuality) between same sex individuals for one very obvious reason. They didn’t know about it! Apparently, there are still today a great many so-called ministers, priests and rabbis who have no idea what they are talking about when they condemn homosexual behavior based solely on the Biblical account.

Remember, the Bible was written by males, about males and for males who were all thought to be heterosexuals. If you have any comments or would like further references you may contact me@