How did you decide that Romans 1:26 does not condemn lesbians?

by J

We believe Romans 1:26 does not condemn lesbians based on context and the words used by Paul. Its important to remember that Romans 1:26 was written to Christians in Rome around A.D. 58. To understand what God and Paul meant, we need to understand how Roman Christians would have understood this verse in the first century.

  1. Lesbians are not condemned anywhere in the Old Testament. Therefore Paul could not possibly have based his alleged condemnation of lesbians on anything the Tanakh (our Old Testament) says about lesbians.

  2. Ancient Jewish teaching in the Talmudic tradition understood that the Tanakh did not condemn lesbians. Therefore it is unlikely that Paul would have based his alleged condemnation
    of lesbians on ancient Jewish oral tradition
    which was pretty much silent about lesbians.

  3. The Old Testament (the Tanakh) DOES condemn one form of idolatry in which both women and men committed the same kind of sin (anal sex in worship of the fertility goddess - viewed as being "against nature" because it was not procreative).

    Therefore, since the context of Romans 1 is idolatry (not lesbianism and not homosexuality), Paul most likely was referencing shrine prostitution, not lesbianism, not homosexuality in Romans 1:26-27.

  4. The way early Christians understood Romans 1:26-27 informs our understanding. Aristides in AD 126 and Justin Martyr around AD 150, understood Paul to be writing about shrine prostitution. I believe they were absolutely right.

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go to hell because
I am a lesbian?

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condemn lesbians?

Are lesbians treated the same
as gays in the Bible?

What is the purpose of
committed gay relationships?

Full text of
J's questions

"I don't want to start an argument. I came here because I want to understand. I love women. (I am a woman). I also love men. I study the Bible and religion extensively. I have always understood that God condemns homosexuality and was intrigued when I came across this page.

I was a little hopeful. However I do not understand how you came to connect Romans 1:26-27 with it being okay to be lesbian.

Is there a version of the Bible I haven't read? This scripture clearly condemns us. How do you reconcile what it says and homosexuality?

And what about Jude 7? There are others but I would like to know your thoughts on these first. Please be patient with me I am just trying to learn.

Please no emotional stuff, I work with the facts and reasoning. I don't do well with emotional pleas or insults. I will do the same for you. Thank you so much. -J"

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Comments for How did you decide that Romans 1:26 does not condemn lesbians?

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May 27, 2013
This really got me thinking
by: Augustus

Okay, I admit it. I always thought the Bible condemns gays. But this got me thinking. I never heard this argument before and it makes sense.

Why has the church got things so bass-ackwards? No pun intended.

Rick's comment: Every Christian I've ever known is a human being, thus subject to all frailties of the flesh. One of those frailties is to lambast and ridicule that which we do not understand.

To get things right doctrinally requires an honest heart and a willing mind. Some Christians lack those essentials.

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