What Is The Holiness Code and
To Whom Did It Apply?


The Holiness Code, Leviticus 17-26
is God's Law For Israel

The term Holiness Code was first applied to Leviticus chapters 17 - 26, by August Klosterman in 1877, according to the Jewish Encyclopedia. Holiness is very important to God and should be important to us. But that does not mean that Christians must live by all the rules of the Jewish law.

As Christians, our holiness is a FREE gift from God, received when God imputes His righteousness to us at salvation.

Jesus kept all the rules of God's law in our place. Because Jesus kept all the rules of God's law, in our place, we are not required to keep those rules to be right with God. Jesus did the rule keeping for us, Acts 21:20-25.

Leviticus 17 to 26 contains specific rules of conduct aimed at the nation of Israel, while they were living in the land of Palestine, under the Law of Moses.

Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 are favorite verses of those who demean gays in general and gay Christians in particular. Christians who have a peculiar obsession with these verses insist that gay Christians must live under the Law of Moses but that they themselves do not have to obey the Law of Moses as it is given in Leviticus.

Nongay Christians attempt to convince gay people that the only way to be pleasing to God is to live under the rules given in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13.

In Gay Christian 101 - Spiritual Self-Defense For Gay Christians, I list 18 possible ways to interpret the Levitical Holiness Code, where it is alleged to deal with homosexuality. It is well worth your time to get and read this important book.

Two verses in the Holiness Code
which non-gay Christians
love to quote
to gay men and lesbians.


“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Leviticus 18:22.

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Lev 20:13

Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13
are NOT about Homosexuality.

Even the most vocal anti-gay evangelical scholars like Dr. Robert Gagnon of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, admit that the Holiness Code in Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13 does not address the issue of committed, faithful, non-cultic sexual relationships between men.

There is no logical analogy between ancient cult prostitutes who worshiped the fertility goddess and modern gay men and lesbians. Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13 are God's prohibition of shrine prostitution, not homosexuality.

That is why God placed the Holiness Code prohibition in v. 22, right after v. 21, which forbids worship of Molech. The Bible addresses shrine prostitution under the rubric of Molech worship.

Answering these important questions
helps us understand
the Jewish Code of Holiness.

1. To whom is the Book of Leviticus is addressed?

2. With what pagan religious practices did God and Moses link the Levitical prohibitions - Lev 18:22 and 20:13?

3. Who was Molech and how is he connected to the Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 prohibitions of male-male sexual practice?

4. What is the historical context in which the Levitical prohibitions were given?

5. Did the the Law of Moses apply to all people everywhere, from the Creation of Adam to Eternity or does God limit its application to specific people in a specific land, at a specific time in history?

6. What is an abomination in the Bible?



Expanded answers to these questions are found in the book, Gay Christian 101 - Spiritual Self-Defense For Gay Christians, by Rick Brentlinger.

Discover why readers LOVE our NEW Book!

These helpful Links lead to interesting information.


Does the New Testament ever command Christians to keep the Saturday Sabbath?

The consistent Christian teaching for 2000 years is that we do NOT keep Torah Law.

We've discussed the the Holiness Code - Click Here To Return To Gay Christian 101.com Home Page.

This page revised 9-10-2009

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