How do you answer the verse that says homosexuals will not go to heaven?

Egyptian gay kiss? 2300 BC, <br>from the British Museum

Egyptian gay kiss? 2300 BC,
from the British Museum



Thanks for the great question. The verse that is alleged to say, 'homosexuals will not go to heaven' is 1 Cor 6:9.

"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." -1 Cor 6:9, NIV
There are many problems with translating the Greek word, arsenokoitai, as homosexual offenders.

First, the arsenokoit stem was NEVER used in the first century to mean homosexual. To help us define arsenokoites, I've listed on this website the first 56 historical uses of the rare Greek word arsenokoites.

The Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG®), The Greek Language Thesaurus, is a project of the research center at the University of California, Irvine. Founded in 1972 the TLG has collected and digitized most literary texts written in Greek, from Homer in the 8th century BC to the fall of Byzantium in AD 1453.

The truth is, when we collate every extant Greek manuscript available today, the arsenokoit stem only occurs 77 times in 2400 years of Greek history. 46 of those times, it appears in a vice list quotation from 1 Cor 6:9 or 1 Tim 1:10 and is not defined in those uses.

Second, the concept of homosexuality and the word homosexual are modern constructs. The English word homosexual begins showing up in dictionaries around 1890. There was no Greek word in the first century AD which had the same semantic range as our modern word homosexual.
"No Greek or Latin word corresponds to the modern term 'homosexuality,' and ancient Mediterranean society did not in practice treat homosexuality as a socially operating category of personal or public life.

Sexual relations between persons of the same sex certainly did occur (they are widely attested in ancient sources), but they were not systematically distinguished or conceptualized as such, much less were they thought to represent a single, homogeneous phenomenon in contradistinction to sexual relations between persons of different sexes...

The application of 'homosexuality' (and 'heterosexuality') in a substantive or normative sense to sexual expression in classical antiquity is not advised." - Oxford Classical Dictionary, article on homosexuality.


Because the concept of an exclusive gay or lesbian orientation was not common in the first century and because there was no Greek word with the same semantic range as our modern word homosexual, it is wrong to impose our modern concept on scripture. To read homosexuality into Bible verses which as originally given, did not describe homosexuality, is to add to scripture and to commit spiritual malpractice.

Third, because there are no extant Greek manuscripts which use the word, arsenokoitai, with our modern meaning of homosexual, modern scholars are simply giving their "best guess" as to its meaning, based on breaking down arsenokoites into its parts, arsen, meaning man and koite, mean bed. When arsen and koite are joined together, they form a word which is a euphemism meaning, to have sex.

As noted on our define arsenokoites page, that is not an accurate way to define the meaning of ancient words. For example, all of us agree that the English word mandate does not mean, a date with a man.

Fourth, it is a terrible sin to guess at the meaning of a Biblical word, as scholars have done with arsenokoites, and with their guess, harm hundreds of millions of gays and lesbians. They've made the Bible say something it never said as originally given in the Greek language.

By translating arsenokoites as homosexual, they've made the Bible condemn lesbians in 1 Cor 6:9 and 1 Tim 1:10. The word arsenokoites is a masculine word and refers to men, not women.

Related information


1. Does the Bible say
homosexuals will go to hell?


2. Is it possible to change
from homosexual to heterosexual?


3. Does becoming a Christian
make you heterosexual?


4. What does the Greek word malakoi
mean in 1 Corinthians 6:9?


5. How should we define malakoi
in 1 Corinthians 6:9?


6. Is there any evidence of an
actual gay marriage in the Bible?


7. Why has God allowed his word to be
so misinterpreted regarding homosexuality?


8. Why and how was
the Bible mistranslated?


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This page updated October 6, 2012

Comments for How do you answer the verse that says homosexuals will not go to heaven?

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Dec 15, 2011
Heaven or Hell
by: Anonymous

GOD did NOT make homosexuals because GOD is perfect. If a homosexual repents and accepts Christ as savior, and STOPS being homosexual they will go to heaven. I am really tired of people telling me to accept homosexuals, GOD never tells us to accept abomonations.

Rick's comment: Reality tells us that God makes about 5% of the human population gay or lesbian or bisexual or transgendered. It is always better to live in reality than in a self-created fantasy.

Feb 17, 2012
Oh didn't He?
by: Steve

If God did not create homosexuals, then for goodness sake, why oh why are we here? How do we exist? How is it that we are born from Christ-following parents, raised in their communities, taught as they are taught, love as they love and live in the way that would make many of their community respect us? Does evil wish to love God? Does evil wish to follow God? Does evil wish to spread love, care for others, and do good in the world? These answers stare you in the face every day.

We are part of your world, we do not harm you. We are your family, your friends, your doctors, your lawyers and bankers. We are human. We love just like you do and want to be loved just like you. Where we differ is only where we have to stand up and ask to be treated and recognized as such.

If an abomination exists in this instance it is that there are children of God in the world today that are bullied just because ignorant people refuse to open their eyes and minds. How Christ-following people can blatantly disobey the 10 commandments, love thy neighbor, and point fingers at others for living their own truth is truly beyond belief.

Mar 06, 2012
Jesus Did Not Condemn Me
by: James

"But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ ... Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean ... For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men."

Romans 14:10,13,14,17,18

Paul himself wrote to the Romans that if I don't consider something a sin, to me it is not sin, and that if anyone tries to make me believe otherwise, that person is sinning by putting a stumblingblock in my way, and trying to keep me from the marvelous salvation and love of Christ. I am a gay man, in a monogamous, committed relationship, and I am a Born Again, Spirit-filled Christian.

2 Cor 6:14 says that light and darkness cannot dwell togehter in unity. So how, then, am I filled with the Holy Ghost? God's answer is that I am not of the darkness, but of the light, and therefore His Spirit has come to live in me, has cleansed me and made me holy, and that my inborn sexual orientation is of no more consequence than the fact that you might have a different color of hair than I do. Jesus died for ALL OF US.

John 3:16 does not say, "For God so loved the heterosexuals that He gave His only begotten son ..." NO, rather, it says, "For God so loved THE WORLD that He gave His only begotten son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

I am praying daily for the Spirit of God to quicken the hardened hearts of those who would deny God's love to the GLBT community.

Apr 15, 2012
The wrath of God is upon this whole site & it's authors.
by: Daniel

The Holy Bible makes it perfectly clear that homosexuality is a sin. I don't think that being homosexual is a sin, but I do know for a fact that engaging in gay sex is a sin. The Bible makes all of this perfectly clear. There is no way to take the verses It lists on this topic out of context. How can someone possibly take this out of context?:

Leviticus 18:22 (KJV): "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind it is abomination." I'm not sure if misleading people & turning around God's Word (when you know what the truth is) or blasphemy is worse. Blasphemy is the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk. So, I'm not sure if blasphemy or turning God's Word around and misleading people is worse.

I pray that the authors of this site change their ways. Also, You can't possibly accuse me of being racist, because I've been dealing with orientation issues myself. Everyone please keep this verse in mind too.

Leviticus 20:13: "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."

Sin is equal in God's eyes. So is a life of pleasure here, or a eternity in Heaven more important? God Bless, Daniel

Rick's comment: It will be helpful if you do more reading and study. Your analysis of what scripture says in context is seriously lacking.

May 09, 2012
Bible Quotes
by: Anonymous

Lev. 18:22, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."1
Lev. 20:13, "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltness is upon them"

Homosexuality has a severe judgment administered by God Himself. This judgment is simple: they are given over to their passions. That means that their hearts are allowed to be hardened by their sins (Romans 1:24). As a result, they can no longer see the error of what they are doing, and then they go and promote it and condemn others who don't participate in their sin. So, without an awareness of their sinfulness, there will be no repentance and trusting in Jesus. Without Jesus, they will have no forgiveness. Without forgiveness, there is no salvation. Without salvation, there is only damnation in eternal hell.

Rick's comment: You assume that Romans 1 is about homosexuality when, of course, you are quite wrong about that. I'm assigning you additional study hours until your deficient understanding is corrected.

I wonder, Are you dealing with gay feelings yourself and your comment reflects your own self-loathing?

Jul 15, 2012
manipulation
by: Nicholas

Unfortunately you are trying to prove and translate the Bible in your own words. You can try to make sense of multiple meanings which was very common back in the bc times as I have studied.

Rick's comment: That stream of consciousness makes no sense to me. What are you trying to say? Can you rephrase so that I can understand what you're saying?

Homosexuality is the only sin that perverts the creation of man. He created a natural attraction to the opposite sex.

Rick's comment: Wow Nicholas - how do you know that God created a natural attraction to the opposite sex in every man? You're generalizing in a way that indicates you are oblivious to the harm you're doing.

I can also argue what I have heard in the speaking of tongues but unfortunately I do not have "evidence" to show.

Rick's comment: Your restraint on this aspect of your views is much appreciated. Nothing an unclean spirit showed you through tongues is worth anything to rational Christians who believe the Bible.

And I do not intend to argue or judge. Just to give my side and to say what quacks is a duck. Any further discussion I will respond to. Thanks.

Rick's comment: Are you willing to go beyond opinion and obey 2 Tim 2:15? Have you any interest in studying the context of the verses used to clobber gays and lesbians?

Aug 02, 2012
Homosexuals
by: Anonymous

To the comment that talks about God creating homosexuals and how they got that way.. allow me to shed some light on the subject.

If I am angry and I desire to murder someone out of anger, only when I commit the act do I become a murderer. The simple thought of killing someone does not make me carry out the act or make me a murderer. The same is said of homosexuality. A person desires to be with someone of the same sex. That doesn't make them a homosexual until they ACT on that desire. Homosexuals can marry the opposite sex and have a successful life with children and lead a straight life. They would just be choosing NOT to be a homosexual in the same way one chooses not to drink, smoke, or have premarital sex. It is a choice.

Rick's comment: Wow, I feel SO sorry for you. If you really believe what you wrote, you are as ignorant as an illiterate dark age peasant. I do hope you will get serious for Jesus and obey 2 Tim 2:15. You owe it to yourself and the body of Christ and your Savior to educate yourself. Many thanks.

Oct 15, 2012
1 Cor. 6:9; Inherit the Kingdom of God.
by: Tommy Cattey

I am an evangelic pastor at New Jerusalem Bible Church In Mesa, Arizona. I wish to succinctly address I Cor. 6:9. Inherit does not mean going to heaven. It means possessing heaven. One goes to heaven by believing that Jesus is the Christ. Possessing heaven is a reward by Christ. Peter refers to it as more abundantly supplied. A person becomes a Christian through grace alone. Not grace plus works or grace minus works. If a gay man had to stop being gay to become a Christian then grace would not be grace.


Oct 26, 2012
The ticket to the Savior
by: Anonymous

Jeremiah 31:31-35.
Be a Doer.
Sin is going against Gods Words.
Do the 10 Commandments and Live.
Simple. No Sodomites in Heaven.

Rick's comment: You couldn't Biblically define sodomite if your life depended on it. How long will you be ignorant of God's truth? How long will you refuse to study while acting as if you know so much that you don't need to obey 2 Timothy 2:15?

I'll bet my gay Christian soul-winning team wins more souls than you win. And we disciple the ones we win, teaching them the Bible and how to be disciples and soul-winners themselves.

Yep, gay Christians are committed soul-winning disciples of Jesus. Are you doing anything for Jesus? Or are you too busy leaving silly Anonymous comments on gay Christian websites?

Nov 08, 2012
I like this (kinda silly) debate!
by: Gay in God's Love

People who are adamant in believing that gay men and women are sinful (simply by virtue of their natural attractions) are going to think what they want, regardless of Christ's teachings to love one another.

I never really understood some of the anger this topic seems to reveal. I don't hate straight people for being straight, even though they aren't like me in that regard.

And how they misquote and twist the Bible to suit their own arguments, regardless of what further research reveals. BREEDERS NEED TO BE BETTER READERS.

BTW, I'm glad we added a couple more states where the majority of people not only don't judge or condemn gays, but now permit them to marry.

Luv y'all!

P.S. If you damn me for this, or wish hateful things, you aren't a good Christian.

Nov 09, 2012
New Jerusalem Bible Church (Pastor)
by: Tommy Cattey

Dear Gay in God's Love:

Please do not hate the straight person who may hate you because you are gay. Most likely this person is not a Christian. They crunch the Scripture because they do not know, understand and especially live the Scripture.

Yes, you are correct-they will not change. We Christians (gay and straight) live by grace. If we receive the grace of Christ then it incumbent upon us to pass it to the person who may hate us.

When you and I both arrive in eternity (heaven) come over and introduce yourself to me. I look forward to meeting you.

Tommy Cattey

Mar 20, 2013
Homosexual..
by: Anonymous

I accept homosexual! It says on Luke 6:37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." don't judge others! If they are homosexual let them be!

Apr 06, 2013
conviction
by: Anonymous

i don't hate gay people and i am tired of gay people using that for an excuse.just because i don't agree with two men or two women being together, does't mean that i hate them. the bible says it is wrong, that is GODS word. you can't change it. what he meant 2000 yrs ago, he still means it today. GOD saves people by asking for forgiveness, how can you ask GOD to forgive you for a sin ,if you think it is ok, GOD convicts us of wrong, but we don't have to lisen to him, and that is what's happening in this world today.people are turning away from GOD
GOD is a loving GOD, but you can't use love for an excuse.when you ask for forgiveness, GOD forgives you, but after awhile conviction comes and lets you know what you are doing is wrong.if you don't hear him, it is because you refuse to lisen.

Rick's comment: Okay, no problem. We won't confuse you with facts and truth.

Jun 04, 2013
homosexuals should not blame God
by: mark

bec. of sin from sodom when people in that place, did what was opposite of what God wants them to do. its their choice so homosexuals should not blame God for it.

Rick's comment: It may help to read this page, watch the short video AND explore the text links on that page.

What really happened in Sodom?

Jan 07, 2014
Leviticus 20:13
by: Jay

How about you just read Leviticus 20:13, geniuses. People like you really irritate me because you're the ones committing the sin of interpreting the Bible to say what YOU want it to say.

Rick's comment: Hi Jay - think about it. You have never studied Lev 20:13 or 1 Cor 6:9 yet you assume you know what they mean. Is it honest of you to condemn us based on verses you have never studied?

Feb 07, 2014
hard times
by: Tonya

I feel so messed up over this topic. I have had feelings for the same sex since I can remember, since being a little girl but I also love the Lord with all my heart and go to church and try to live a christ like life. I see both sides of the equation in the Bible but I have come to realize that love is love and when the bible speaks of homosexual acts I believe they are speaking of sexual immorality which covers straight people too. You cant just go around sleeping with everyone thats the problem, not being gay.

My life is splintered between the condemnation I feel from people who tell me I will go to hell and the love I feel for my girlfriend. I would never want to do anything to offend Jesus. I have tried to suppress it, I have tried to pray the gay away like Im some alcoholic with a disease, I have tried to stop but only to be confronted with exhaustion and thoughts of suicide over the entire matter. I just ask the Lord to help me everyday. This life is not a choice or i would choose to be with guys. Jesus is my Lord and Savior forever, thats all I know.

Rick's comment: Tonya, please don't let the anti-gay crowd snow you. This website goes in depth to refute the false teaching so many of us grew up with.

It will benefit you greatly to click on the NavBar links under, What The Bible Says, and carefully read the information. In fact, print out those pages and keep them to read and reread. It is worth the time and effort to learn this for your peace of mind and joy in the Lord.

No one can do this for you. I count on my gay brothers and lesbian sisters to make the effort. We do NOT have to live in constant turmoil and fear. Many thanks for stopping by.

Jul 06, 2014
Gays and Rick's comments
by: John

Rick's comment: From time to time I get comments accusing me of being an idiot who leads people astray from God's truth. What follows is three comments from John, which I've combined into one long comment.

Comment 1: It is an abomination in gods eye's for a man to lay with another man as he would with a woman, and the punishment is clear they were to be stoned to death.but we in modern day society have learned to except all the the abominations, and even embrace them as a natural part of life. No matter how sophisticated and intellectual we think we are you can't twist the written laws of the bible whether you believe it or not.

2. Comment 2: Don't let gay homosexuals draw you into there beliefs that they are excepted by the lord god because there not and never will be.it seems they can fool themselves and other people into believing that what they are is normal and natural, the truth is its not normal or natural to practice homosexuality, and to think they are a harmless lot think again. There are people in high places of the same persuasion that will do and say anything to make you believe that God accepts them as they are . There's just one miracle for man on this planet the miracle of Jonah, that if sinners truly repent, turn away from sin they will receive the miracle of Jonah which is forgiveness. That's the only miracle for man on this earth. so be it.

Comment 3: Rick do you truly believe what you're saying, if you do your either an idiot and believe your drivel. Or your just evil and you would lead as many unenlightened people as you can to the same doom as you yourself are headed. The truth wouldn't suite you rick! It doesn't read the way you want it to. So you'll go to the lengths of manipulating words and meaning to suite yourself and your false idea of the truth. You'll even drag (pardon the pun) as many people down with you.

Rick's comment: Hi John - this website refutes your views, providing chapter and verse in context. I hope you will continue to read and study because there is much to learn from the blessed Holy Spirit and from the God who loved you and died in your place, as your Substitute, so that you can be saved.

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