The Bible on the Question of Homosexuality

The Bible on the Question of Homosexuality

Translated with an introduction by Benedict M. Guevin
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 162
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  • Book Info
    The Bible on the Question of Homosexuality
    Book Description:

    The Bible on the Question of Homosexuality addresses the hotly debated topic of whether the Bible condemns homosexuality by a close reading of the biblical texts without taboo or prejudice, without personal or church interpretation

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1946-2
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Introduction to the English Translation
    (pp. ix-xviii)

    The acceptance or prohibition of same-sex relations is not an exclusively biblical or even religious concern. Such relations are known on all continents, in all cultures, and across the span of history and have been and are subject either to legal prohibition, judicial condemnation, neutrality, or acceptance.

    We are concerned here with same-sex relations and the Bible. There have been a number of important studies on homosexuality and the Bible.¹ Regardless of the position one takes on the issue, the notion of writing about the topic of homosexuality in the Bible is, in fact, a bit of an anachronism. The...

  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    Homosexuality is a fact of life. It has been the object of numerous publications from sociological, psychological, theological, and other perspectives. For theology, the Bible plays an important role in positions for and against homosexuality. Concerning the use of Scripture, we can ask several questions. Can we speak of homosexuality in the Bible since this term itself is recent (nineteenth century)? What does the Bible really say? How does it say it and why? This book proposes to return to the sources in order to answer these questions.

    Reading the Bible today becomes more and more demanding because it reflects...

  6. 1 Old Testament Stories and Homosexuality
    (pp. 5-44)

    To speak of homosexuality in the Old Testament is not easy, because the Bible does not address the question of a sexual inclination toward members of the same sex as it is seen today today. On the other hand, homosexual behavior is known in the Bible. One can say that the Bible knows a certain kind of homosexuality. The question, then, is not to show that homosexuality is or is not known in the Old Testament. It is rather to demonstrate what is said of it. This question can be treated in the same way as other subjects dealing with...

  7. 2 Why Does the Mosaic Law Forbid the Practice of Homosexual Love (Leviticus 18 and 20)? The Reasons for and the Importance of a Biblical Rule of Life
    (pp. 45-72)

    When a rule of life goes to the heart of strong and elemental human needs, it had better have strong foundations. Without them, the rule will never stand up to these needs. It will be rejected, for it will be experienced as alienating, since it seems to destroy human happiness, which is the fruit of a fulfilled need. In the name of what should one renounce a fulfillment that harms no one?

    Today, persons with a homosexual orientation are not willing to submit to an ethic or an institution from the outside that forbids this kind of love which seems...

  8. 3 The New Testament and Homosexuality
    (pp. 73-126)

    It is only reasonable that, in examining the Bible regarding homosexuality, we look also at the New Testament, which Christians understand as the fulfillment and key of divine revelation. The texts explicitly discussing this question are very few in number and are found exclusively in the Pauline corpus. This is why studies have essentially focused on Rom. 1:18–32 on the one hand, and on 1 Cor. 6:9 and 1 Tim. 1:10 on the other hand. The first text offers a long development on the consequences of idolatry on the moral life. The other two are lists of vices that...

  9. Conclusion
    (pp. 127-136)

    Now that we have completed these three studies, it is time to offer a brief synthesis of the results and to show their possible points of contact. Each author studied the texts for himself. Now it is time to try to answer the question: “What does the Bible say about homosexuality?”

    Innocent Himbaza began his study with an analysis of Genesis 18 and Judges 19. These two stories underscore the importance of the crime committed by the inhabitants both of Sodom and of Gibeah: hospitality is not respected, the foreigner is not welcomed. This is the principal message of these...

  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 137-142)
  11. General Index
    (pp. 143-145)
  12. Index of Scriptural Citations
    (pp. 146-148)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 149-149)