Term Paper: New Testament and Homosexuality

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Old Testament

Homosexuality in the New Testament: Review of the Literature

There are many relevant texts, which speak of homosexuality both in the New Testament and Old, though for purposes of this paper the focus will remain predominately on texts in the New Testament. Romans 1 is full of alliteration to "homosexuality and deviant sexual practices" (Strauss, 2005). Homosexuality is not limited however to this chapter. Strauss (2005) notes in Leviticus 18:22 the following is noted "thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination" with respect to God and the people of Israel (Strauss, 2005). Also in Leviticus the following is true: "If man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination... their blood shall be upon them" (Leviticus, 20:13) (Strauss, 2005). Deuteronomy also condemns homosexuality (Hanigan, 1998). There is also much discourse regarding homosexuality and family and marital relations within Corinthians (Hanigan, 1998).

Strauss (2005) also points out in Romans 1:26-31 homosexuality is condemned as a "sin worthy of punishment" and one "that defies the divine purpose man is placed on the earth to serve" (Strauss, 2005). Even in the Old Testament, particularly in Genesis 4:1 homosexuality seems condemned. Genesis specifically refers to sexual intercourse with men as "wicked" (Genesis 4:1, 17, 25) (Strauss, 2005, Hanigan, 1998)). This falls in line with a traditionalist sentiment in Christian philosophy that homosexuality is deviant in nature (Hanigan, 1998).

Paul states in I Corinthians 6:9;10 that people of a homosexual predisposition "shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Strauss, 2005) He also however condemns other sexually deviant individuals including adulterers and idolaters for example (Strauss, 2005). Also in Romans 1:26,27 Paul states that homosexuality is condemned, stating "for this cause God gave them up into vile affections; for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature" (Strauss, 2005). Paul goes on to suggest that homosexuality is at best a "vile affection" in Romans 1 (Straus, 2005).

Despite negative attitudes toward homosexuality there is ample evidence of its presence in antiquity. Those most likely to condemn it were Catholic religious officials and representatives. There are some even in biblical times who may have believed that homosexuality was an inborn condition. The Hebrew Bible is one of the first to prohibit non-marital sex, though this prohibition could not occur without the existence of homosexual relationships to begin with (Prager, 1993). In fact, homosexuality was common in Egyptian culture, which suggested that "homosexual intercourse" was common (Prager, 1993). Hammurabi for example of Mesopotamia was known to have male lovers, and the "seduction of young boys by older men" in Greece in ancient times was considered a time honored description (Prager, 60).

There are other texts that might shed light on what Paul knew about sexuality during his time. These include Presbyterian works including Marion Soards' Scripture and Homosexuality" which also conclude as Paul did that homosexuality is "outside of God's creative intention" (Murchison, 1998). Martin Luther, founder of Protestantism, suggested that homosexuality was "idolatrous distortion instilled by the devil" (Isaak, 71). Some Episcopalian tests also continue discussing homosexuality and while not presenting… [END OF PREVIEW]

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New Testament and Homosexuality.  (2005, September 30).  Retrieved December 12, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/new-testament-homosexuality/50318

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"New Testament and Homosexuality."  Essaytown.com.  September 30, 2005.  Accessed December 12, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/new-testament-homosexuality/50318.