How do you interpret Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, man should not lay with man?

by Jeff
(Wausau, Wisconsin)

Molech was a false god of Canaan

Molech was a false god of Canaan

It is always important to consider context when we study the Bible. The context of Lev 18:22 and 20:13 is the Holiness Code which is found in Leviticus chapters 17 - 26. Please click on text links throughout this article for additional information.

Leviticus 17:7 prohibits idolatry

"They must no longer offer any of their sacrifices to the goat idols to whom they prostitute themselves. This is to be a lasting ordinance for them and for the generations to come." Lev 17:7 - New International Version

"They are no longer to slaughter their sacrifices to the goat demons, with whom they have been committing prostitution. This will be a perpetual statute for you throughout your generations." Lev 17:7 - International Standard Version

Leviticus 16:29-34 helps us establish biblical context. In Leviticus God testifies to the absolute necessity of atonement, using the Hebrew word כָּפַר kaphar 49 times in 27 chapters. Kaphar means: to cover, purge, make atonement, make reconciliation, atone for sin, thus indicating that Jehovah's sacrifices are the sacrifices Israel must offer.

The ultimate blood sacrifice for Jehovah was a lamb, Exodus 12:3ff. because a lamb was a type of Christ Who would eventually come as God's passover lamb, 1 Corinthians 5:7 or "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world," Gospel of John 1:29.

Israel is therefore to remember the day of atonement on which, each year, blood sacrifices were offered to Jehovah. That is how Leviticus 16 ends. Israel is NOT to offer sacrifices to goat demons and false gods, as they had been doing in the land of Egypt and in the wilderness where they were traveling. That is how Leviticus 17 begins.

Remember the context. We cannot throw our mind out of gear and insist that suddenly, entirely apart from the biblical cultural doctrinal historical religious context, Moses slaps his forehead and exclaims:

"Oh yeah, I forgot about those nasty gays and lesbians - I gotta say something against them too!"

Historical and religious context

The historical and religious context is that pagan sacrifices were being offered to the goat demons who infested the wilderness through which the children of Israel were traveling en route to Canaan. The context is that the Jews, God's chosen people continued to commit prostitution to goat demons.

Leviticus 18:22 was given to the children of Israel in the biblical cultural doctrinal historical linguistic literary and religious context of Leviticus 16:29-34, 17:3-7, 18:3, 21 and 27, to prepare them for entry into the Holy Land. The context is pure worship of Jehovah vs. pagan religious practices, including prostitution to goat demons. The context is not lesbians and not gay men.

Egyptians worshiped goat demons

The ancient Egyptians also worshiped goat demons, which is why Moses specifically reminds Israel in Leviticus 18:3 that they are NOT to engage in the pagan religious practices of Egypt where they came from and Canaan, where they are going.

God and Moses are prohibiting cultic sexual rites which worshiped goat demons and Ashtoreth, the Canaanite fertility goddess. Ashtoreth was the fertility goddess consort of Molech, 18:21. Worshiping and committing prostitution with goat demons and false gods and goddesses was so abominable to God that He promised to expel Israel from the land if they committed that sin in the land, Lev 18:24-29.

Leviticus 20:13 was given in the biblical cultural historical and religious context of Lev 16:29-34, 17:7, 18:3, 21, 27; 20:2, 3, 4, 5, 23. Again, the context is pagan religious practices in which Israel is forbidden to worship or sacrifice to or commit prostitution with goat demons, Molech and Ashtoreth. The context is not lesbianism and not homosexuality.

The link to Corinth

So much does God hate this false worship that He mentions it in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 10:14-21. Flee from idolatry. Remember Israel in the wilderness. The things the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils.

Corinth was the epicenter of idolatry in ancient Greece, so immoral that the name Corinth became synonymous with sexual idolatry. Almost 1500 years after events in Leviticus, Paul was forced to deal with the same kind of pagan idolatry in Corinth, as temple prostitutes got saved and joined the church, 1 Cor 6:9-10. Paul even coins a new Greek word, arsenokoitai, using the same words used in the Septuagint version of Lev 20:13 to describe the shrine prostitutes he personally witnessed in ancient Corinth.

Is the context clear now?

The Bible uses the rubric (a rubric is an authoritative rule) of Molech worship to describe pagan sexual practices which included worship of Ashtoreth, 2 Kings 23:5-10. There is nothing new under the sun. Human beings always struggle with idolatry. It was true in ancient Judaism and it was true in the early history of the Christian church.

Goat demons and cult prostitutes and Molech and child sacrifice are mentioned in Leviticus so that the children of Israel (and we) will know that the real issue is worship of Jehovah, the true God. The context is that God hates pagan religious practices like shrine prostitution and worship of demon gods, like the worship of Molech and by implication, the worship of his fertility goddess consort, Ashtoreth.

The context of Leviticus is not lesbians. The context of Leviticus is not gay men. The context of Leviticus is not bisexuals. The context of Leviticus is not transgendered people.

More Information

1. To whom is the Book of Leviticus addressed?

2. With what pagan practices did God link the Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 prohibitions?

3. How is Molech linked to Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13?

4. What is the purpose of Moses Law?

5. Did the Law of Moses apply to all people everywhere?

Return to Gay Christian FAQ

From Interpret Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13
return to Gay Christian 101 Home

This page updated December 14, 2022

Comments for How do you interpret Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, man should not lay with man?

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 23, 2012
Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13
by: PROPHET 40



Rick answers: So just ignore context? It means what you think it means regardless of context?

Feb 29, 2012
by: PROPEHT 40

NO. Do not ignore the context, but do not add to it or take away, or change the reasoning. God says why he wants the things he wants even if its just cause " I am the Lord thy God". Leviticus18:3 after the doings of the land of egypt wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do, and after canaan. Dont do these things or walk in their ways. This is not just spoken because of shrine priest the list is of the things the people of the land did period, shrine priest included as well as the other people of the land. God says in Lev18:4 We shall do his judgements and keep his ordinances to walk in because he is the Lord our God. Same in Lev 20:13. Do not make 2Timothy4:3 true of you. As a man who tries his best with the help of God to walk in his ways there are many things the bible condemns that I want to do and would love to but we must endure sound doctrine, and not follow after our own lust. The truth is again God says mankind in both of these verses and that includes everyone not just shrine priest. Mankind cannot lie with mankind as with woman.

Rick's comment: When your intent is to support the status quo, to defend the concept, "but I've always believed this..." it is easy to push aside views that better fit what scripture says in context. That is what you are doing.

Even virulently anti-gay scholars like Dr. Robert Gagnon and John MacArthur and Merrill F. Unger, who had two earned doctorates, agree that the context of Lev 18:22 and 20:13 IS temple prostitution. Why you prefer to ignore that is a mystery.

The only explanation I can come up with is that you have never developed the habit of reading the Bible in context, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things, comparing scripture with scripture.

Mar 01, 2012
defend the truth only
by: Prophet 40

I truly am sorry that you feel I am pushing the context aside, let me clarify a bit. Yes temple prostitution was and is within the context, but it is not limited to just that. So it was and is wrong for the temple priest and prostitutes to live that way and directed at them yes, but not just them but mankind period. Why do you ignore that fact?

Mar 01, 2012
Which verses, in context, support your view?
by: Rick Brentlinger

For your view to be correct, you must demonstrate that ancient Israel had such a large problem with gay and lesbian activity that God felt it necessary to prohibit gay activity which was not linked to temple prostitution.

Your problem is that history does not support your view. There is nothing in the Biblical record and nothing in the historical record which supports your view.

Without any exceptions, every verse of scripture which is alleged to address homosexuality, is, in context, addressing temple prostitution. Even the most virulent anti-gay Christians, like John MacArthur and Dr. Robert Gagnon, admit that fact.

You have also implicitly acknowledged that truth by not citing any verses which, in context, support your view. The best you can do is take verses out of context and assert that the out of context verses prohibit homosexuality.

It makes you sound kind of spiritual to assert that you "defend the truth only" yet making the assertion does not equate to the assertion being true. Cite some verses which, in context, deal with homosexuality apart from a temple prostitution context. Can you do it? Of course not.

Cite scholarly experts who provide historical substantiation for your view. Can you do it? Of course not.

Now that you have been outed as one who cannot support his opinions with scripture and historical facts, your next tactic will be to accuse me of being deceived by the devil. Or you will claim I have provided no proof for my own view, while you ignore the 650+ pages of information on this website.

I encourage you to return to your first love, God and His truth. They are your only hope.

Mar 01, 2012
ok, I will respond with scripture
by: Prophet 40

I will respond with scripture as far as what your saying, although I just want to let you know: citing a scholar means nothing, everyone has an opinion on both sides of this issue, that is why I will show you from the bible, not man what I believe is the truth. You assume so much, no I will not say your deceived etc, because no one is perfect, I have been wrong before, that does not mean I was deceived, please stop jumping the gun. I am sincere in what I believe as I think you are with what you do. Return to my first love huh, keep this in mind, the main thing any Christian can do is love the Lord God with all HIS mind all HIS heart and HIS soul and God knows if I am doing that with my mind regardless of status quo or what's is typical; and in doing that yes we may be wrong about some things doesn't mean one has left his first love.

Mar 01, 2012
Context, proof, support, scriptures, sound doctrine
by: Prophet 40

So this is clear let's define context: the part of a text, or statement that surrounds a particular word or passage and determines its meaning, situation or surrounding event.

1. Demonstrate large gay and lesbian prob among the Israelites. To ask to do this is out of context according to Leviticus 20:22-23 KJV

Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out. And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them. So according to this context the prior ( nations) had these issues( temple prostitutes not in context but it would include anyone in the nation) so God abhorred them. So Israel had to follow all so they would bot be spue out of the land. According to scripture. The problem would not get big in Israel like today because the consequences for most of the sins of fornication listed in Lev20 and 18 were death.
Part 2

Mar 01, 2012
history/context vs God
by: Prophet 40

I am not telling you my view. Leviticus 20:13 KJV

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.

Leviticus 18:22, 24, 29 KJV

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people.

The context that supports is mankind which I mentioned and you again side stepped. Mankind/womankind/nations/and WHOEVER is in there as well. All directly from context not my words so not my view. Never in context is temple prostitution mentioned in there, so how is it being specifically addressed when being addressed in context to mankind and whoever ?

Mar 01, 2012
bible is self supporting
by: Prophet 40

You would like me to cite scholars and assume you know what I'm going to do but I don't need to. 2 Timothy 4:3-5 KJV

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

You want me to heap to myself teachers, or show info that is actually not in the bible or fables and I will not. There is no need to the bible supports itself my brother in Christ. The context of the passages speak for themselves show me in the bible what passages mention temple prostitution, because the context of the passages discussed do not and address the nation, whoever, mankind, womenkind.

Mar 01, 2012
You missed the real context kiddo
by: Rick Brentlinger

The context of Leviticus 20:13 is verses 2, 3, 4, 5, where Molech is mentioned four times. Funny how you missed that since worshiping false gods (18:3) and Molech (18:21) is also the context of Leviticus 18:22.

I believe it will help you to watch the video at this Link and to do some actually study to get familiar with the context. Reading the verse a couple of times in an English translation is not study.

Lev 18:22 & 20:13

And for what it's worth, there is also a cultural context, a doctrinal context, a historical context, a linguistic context, a literary context and a religious context, to name just a few.

Mar 02, 2012
That part of the text was not needed to answer any of the questions
by: Prophet 40

No I did not miss it, that part of the text was not needed to answer any of the questions. For what its worth what your actually saying is that it is pointless to read the bible because it can't be understood just from scripture. I disagree. I respect your stance, and did expect this result. Just so you know because you commented earlier this is my intent. 1 Timothy 1:3, 5 KJV

As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

Stop teaching using all these other doctrines, the scriptures and context within them are self supporting, Gods word is enough my friend.
John 7:16-18 KJV

Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

All that other doctrine is of men seeking their own glory. And there are still about three of my questions you still have not responded to, but that's ok. Give God the glory, peace my friend.

Mar 02, 2012
Astonishing, simply astonishing
by: Rick Brentlinger

I must say I am astonished at your answer although I should not be. I do hope at some point in your life, you learn to read scripture in context, 2 Tim 2:15 and that you also get interested in Bible history.

I've given you opportunity to present verses which, in context, prove your point. You have failed to present even one verse which, in context, says what you believe. I marvel at your ability to obfuscate and ignore context.

And when I pointed out the real context, you stated, "that part of the text was not needed to answer any of the questions." Astonishing, simply astonishing. This discussion with you is now closed.

Mar 08, 2012
by: Anonymous

If the focal point of the passage of Duet. 18 and 20 were the worship of false idols, why were the scriptures explicit to forbid man on man, rather than ALL sexual relations amongst all humans in regards to the worship of false gods?

Surely you could not suppose that heterosexual activities and idolatry were not linked in any way, could you, exclusive of heterosexual idolatry, could you? Of course not. That being the case, at best you have identified a tangible link between that which is homosexual, and that which is idolatrous. Interesting...

That being the case, it stands to reason that there is a distinguishable difference between that which was homosexual, and that which was heterosexual. And within context, there was also a distinguishable difference between that which was idolatry, and those scriptures which do not explicitly reference idolatry. The scriptures are far from subtle in these passages!

If God's message was to avoid being like the surrounding nations, and the surrounding nations practiced homosexual idolatry... since your theory rests on the connection between idolatry and homosexuality... maybe those two acts are not mutually exclusive.

Mar 09, 2012
The answer is in your question
by: Rick Brentlinger

You've answered your own question, it seems. The problem is idolatry. Your theory is that it was homosexual idolatry. Yet there is no historical evidence from that time period which indicates that Israel had a problem with homosexuals running riot. The problem was heterosexually married Jews who should have worshiped Jehovah but who instead, were engaging in same sex rituals to worship false gods.

Dr. Robert Gagnon, arguably the most anti-gay scholar alive today, spends page after page of his 520 page book, The Bible and Homosexual Practice, explaining why temple prostitution was the predominant way same sex relations occurred in ancient Israel.

What seems to be happening in these comment pages is, people who refuse to study or buy books by experts on this topic, offer uninformed critiques with nothing to substantiate the critique. I hope you folks, almost all of whom lack the Christian courage to put your name with your attacks and critiques, don't live the rest of your lives by that pattern. At some point in the near future, deny yourself a pizza and a beer and buy a good scholarly book. Do some independent study. Turn off the cable TV and spend the next two months reading and getting familiar with the topic.

This isn't a personal attack on you as the last commenter. Instead, it reflects the fact that I am a bit weary of the constant barrage of idiocy and attack comments from folks who refuse to study. It may be necessary to limit comments to folks who possess more than two working brain cells.

I delete many of the dumb comments anyway, without publishing them. And I am not including your comments in the classification of dumb. But I do hope you will study, obeying 2 Timothy 2:15.

Just because a verse has two men doesn't necessarily mean it's two homosexuals. That is the knee-jerk reaction of many ignorant Christians today (I don't know if you're one of them or not) but it is not the truthful default position of scripture rightly divided.

Apr 23, 2012
Pure context answer
by: Theo Student

Ok, let me try and answer this with pure context.

At the time this was written, the Hebrews were very strict in the ways that they viewed the world. They had this system of categories.
They did this so that they could make sense of the world and feel like they had some sort of control.

For example, they did this with animals. I'm sure you've all heard of the verse that prohibits eating shelfish because they are unclean. Do you know why they did that? It's because when the thought of a sea creature, it had to be shaped like a fish, have fins, a tail, two eyes, etc. If anything fell outside of this category, they thought it was weird and labeled it "unclean."

In a similar way, they had very distinct ideas in how men and women should act. Men were supposed to be the head of the households and be able to protect their families. Each man was his own man before the establishment of the monarchy. They had no leaders and everyone was respectful of another. There was yet no caste system. The monarchy created that.
When a man had sex with a woman, he was dominating the woman. Women back then were essentially property and any offense to a woman was an offense to her owner/husband.

When a man allowed another man to penetrate him, he was essentially being "as a woman." He had allowed himself to be degraded and brought down to the same status as a "piece of property." He had lost all sense of honor because he had submitted to another man. God didn't want the men of his nation to be like that as they might be seen as weak to other nations.

However, the passage is pretty straightforward and even with the context of the time, there aren't many other ways to look at it other than the way I just described and the explanation that God just might not like homosexuals.

Rick's comment: Theo Student: It may be helpful to read the comment just before this, for perspective and historical context.

May 27, 2012
the real christian response
by: Anonymous

In the end all this arguing forgets one major point: to be a true christian is to love and accept all men/women, to bring peace and goodwill.

Rick's comment: And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners... 1 Timothy 1:15

jesus never preached violence, hate or intolerance. He healed the sick, he lived with the outcasts, he pleaded his whole life for men to come together in harmony.

Rick's comment: Coming together in harmony was not the message of Jesus. Jesus warned people of God's judgment on sin and encouraged them to repent and believe on Him as their Messiah. Jesus said: I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13:3

Jesus said: Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Matthew 23:33

Jesus said: I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. John 8:24

He walked with saints and sinners, lepers and kings. Whether homosexuality is wrong or not: what is christian about being intolerant, unaccepting? If jesus were here today, he would not be chilling out in a church, synagogue, temple, etc. he would be out among the people, preaching peace and goodwill. He would be with the homosexuals, heterosexuals, sinners and saints. President, king and common man, all would be, and are, equal in his eyes.

And as a side note to theo student: so should we also treat women like property, because ignorant men 2000 years ago did too?

Jun 26, 2012
Why? Why? Why?
by: Anonymous

I don't believe that the Christians who aren't gay who posted earlier hate Gay people. We as Christians aren't supposed to hate anyone. We can judge the sin, but not the sinner. I love all people because it isn't my job to judge others. That is where God comes in.

But there are other scriptures that are against homosexuality that haven't been quoted. 1 Cor 6:9-10: "Don't you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers-none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God." Sorry I may have taken this out of context.

Rick's comment: Please click on the 1 Cor 6:9-10 link for the facts about this passage.

I have read much of the bible and enjoy reading it and I am convinced that we are to live as the bible instructs. We can't just decide what we agree with because it doesn't fit our lifestyle.

We are to repent and turn away from sin and live the right way. I hope one day you will do the same so you can share in the Kingdom of God.

Rick's comment: Please understand dear, that many in the GLBT community have repented and trusted Jesus as Savior. Millions of us are saved by the blood of the Lamb.

I don't want to spend eternity with Satan in hell. God Bless!

Rick's comment: Are you aware that everyone who is saved has eternal security in Jesus?

Jul 22, 2012
With all due respect, I cannot agree, part 1
by: Jeremie

I'm sorry, I've been reading carefully, and putting my beliefs aside and taking context seriously. But there is something that really shocks me in the way you present things. More precisely, it is that you describe a context (which may or may not be correct, I really do not have enough knowledge to discuss it) to provide an interpretation which in the end comes into direct contradiction with the original text.

Rick's comment: It would be more accurate to say, my interpretation is in direct contradiction to what you think the original text means.

Dont get me wrong: I'm not calling you stupid or a liar. What I'm saying is that context is used to discern things that are not clear. But when the original text is clear, context should not provide an interpretation that directly contradicts the literal sense.

Rick's comment: Your view is that Lev 18:22 and 20:13 are aimed at gays and lesbians. Yet there is not a shred of historical evidence to support your view. Even Dr. Robert Gagnon, the leading anti-gay crusader of our day, admits that temple prostitution was the main object of God's concern in those verses.

In other words, if I write "the wall is white", you cannot construe the context as meaning that the wall is NOT white. It may be that the context was different: but the text DOES encompass at least male to male sexual intercourse, whether in the context you describe or in another context. So you cannot use the context to say that male to male sexual intercourse is not prohibited, because the letter of the text explicitly says so.

Rick's comment: Here are helpful links which provide additional insight plus input from anti-gay heterosexual scholars who agree with me about the context.

Lev 18:22 and 20:13

Shrine Prostitutes

Jul 24, 2012
With all due respect, I do not agree, part 2
by: Jeremie

In all logic, the context you describe only helps to EXTEND the prohibition. Once again, I don't have your extended knowledge, but I do have a strong logical sense and I practice law (intellectual property law to be precise).

Rick's comment: I believe you are incorrect about extending the prohibition. For your view to hold water, you first need to prove that Israel in 1450 BC had such a problem with those dreadful gays and lesbians that God just HAD to put a stop to their activities. The trouble is, there is no historical proof of that. The evidence we have indicates that the problem in 1450 BC Canaan was same sex worship of the Canaanite fertility goddess. THAT is what God and Moses legislated against.

Cool about the attorney thing. I wanted to be an attorney before the Lord redirected me into ministry.

The reasoning you present here is faulty in the same way you deal with "malakoi" : you use context to say it means effeminate and not homosexual, but then appart from citing a bunch of philosophers (who have nothing to do with the Bible btw), you fall short of giving a definition which would make biblical sense (especially in view of the condemning nature of the passage).

Rick's comment: I encourage you to reread my remarks on malakoi. I do define the word as it was used in ancient times and cite hetero scholars who agree with me.

Anyway, please do not take it personally... Regards,

Rick's comment: No personal offense taken. This is a large subject and quite involved. I hope you will continue to read and study, always with a view toward understanding the Bible in context, 2 Timothy 2:15.

Context includes:









Jul 24, 2012
Thank you for your answers 1/2
by: Jeremie

The only point I really don't agree with you on is that you consider that, because the context is shrine prostitution, then the prohibition is limited by the context.

In other words, you consider that the prohibition hereby mentionned is what is called in law "an exception regime", and thus needs to be interpreted very narrowly and in its context only.

It is the same in some laws. For instance, patent rights are an exception to unfair competition law, and the exception cannot be extended to other situations than patent rights (well except for other exception regimes such as trademarks and copyright, but you get the point).

So, if Leviticus 18:22 was an exception regime, then effectively, it would rightfully be limited to its context.

But really, I don't see the Bible in general as defining exception regimes, and not that part in particular. That is why I don't agree with your interpretation.

Also, I'm not sure that gay/lesbian couples would have survived a long time back then, due to the somewhat more brutal and less tolerant behaviours of the era. So that may be why the main examples of gay/lesbian is the shrine prostitution of the context you refer to.

So in my opinion, just because gay and lesbian couples did not in effect exist back then in reality (that is publicly), it does not mean that they would necessarily be targeted out of the prohibition.

Rick's comment: It will be helpful to understand how the ancient Jews understood the Levitical prohibitions. I cover that to some degree at the links previously given. They did not believe that Lev 18:22 and 20:13 applied to lesbians, for example.

The common Jewish view during the life of Christ was that Lev 18:22 and 20:13 addressed the problem of shrine prostitution.

Jul 24, 2012
Thank you for your answers 2/2
by: Jeremie

Note that I do not wish to condemn anyone out there, really. In fact, the gay and lesbian issue is something I've struggled a lot with because before being saved I was raised in a society in which it is considered 100% normal to be gay or lesbian, and thus the Bible is on this point (and in my opinion of course) in contradiction with a strong rooted opinion stemming from my upraising.

But then, the Bible is also about obedience, about accepting somethings you don't forcingly understand, which is the case for me here. I am aware that this has a limit and that it is dangerous, but in this specific case, the text just appears THAT clear to me.

Anyway, two last points.

First, I want to earnestly thank you for your answers and the respectful tone you used. We may not agree, but you allowed a positive discussion, which I believe was enriching for both of us, and all in view of the Lord's glory.

Second, I want to state something I didn't earlier, and which I should have: I don't consider gay and lesbians to be dreadful or whatever other demeaning term may be used. They are human beings loved by the Lord as much as any other, and they sin (and I'm not talking about their being gay/lesbian, I mean the rest of their life) just about the same as everyone else, and need to be saved just the same.

All in all here, we're both trying to bring as many people as possible to the Lord. I pray to God that you may be right and that I may be wrong, because else it'd mean a lot a condemnation. And that is the only reason why I did speak in the first place : I may be wrong, but I'd rather be outspoken and wrong than be silent, right and be a cause for the fall of others.

Sometimes you have to agree to disagree... Something I really do not like to do in general, but in that case I do not see another way.

Here again, I thank you for the respectful discussion we have had and wish you the best, despite our disagreement. Praise the Lord.

Rick's comment: The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. - Proverbs 11:30

And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. - Daniel 12:3

For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? - 1 Thess 2:19

Aug 13, 2012
Need help with Leviticus
by: Confused

Let me first start by saying I'm a gay Christian so I obviously agree it's possible to be gay and Christian. I understand that Leviticus needs to be interpreted in the proper context, and I can accept the interpretation of Leviticus 20:13 given on this website.

My big problem is, if Leviticus 20:13 is referring to sins pertaining to the worship of false gods, why does it also mention things that are considered sinful in their own right (such as sleeping with your sister, etc) and have nothing to do with false gods?

Couldn't those against homosexuality argue that sleeping with your sister or a 'beast' (animal) are sinful and cannot be rationalized away as only pertaining to false god worship, the homosexuality is?

I'm heading to bed, and will pray on this issue, but if anyone can provide some enlightenment I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you all and God bless.

Rick's comment: Excellent questions. Please read my Beastiality page for additional info and the links on my Lev 18:22 and 20:13 page.

Aug 15, 2012
I appreciate that
by: Confused

Thank you Mr Brentlinger, I really enjoyed reading the references you cited in response to my question. On a personal note, I especially liked number nine on the "beastiality" argument! :-)

Take care and God bless

Rick's comment: I'm glad I could be helpful. Always remember that God loves you with an everlasting love and He intends to bless you and use you for His glory if you're willing to be used.

Please keep reading this website - there are more than 850 pages of helpful information online now plus an additional 330+ pages of FREE Bible studies in downloadable and printable pdf format. YOU are loved!

Aug 16, 2012
In the light of Romans
by: Gerald

Romans 1:24-27

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a
lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Rick's comment: Great verses! Do you know what they mean in context? That's what I thought. To help you learn what those verses mean in context, on the NavBar under, What The Bible Says, I explain Romans 1:26-27 in great detail. Many thanks.

Oct 21, 2012
Odd Arguments
by: Jeffrey Williams

This is actually interesting. Here's my take. This is like God making a command saying. "Do not stand on the corner and get drunk" People would argue that it was evil to stand on the corner, some would argue that in context God's commands are directed at getting drunk with nothing to do with the corner. Thankfully the scripture is more descriptive. It goes on to say (staying with the example), "To drink liquor as you drink water is an abomination" ahhhhh...A breath of fresh air.

That takes the argument away. Regardless of what historical evidence there is to point to homosexuality outside of prostitution it is apparent that for one man to lay with another man as he lay with a woman is sick.

Rick's comment: Jeffrey, is there any possibility you were on that street corner drinking just before you posted your comment? It is clear that you are attempting to think about these issues. It is also clear that you haven't a clue about what the Bible says in context.

You have two assignments:

1. Read, memorize and obey 2 Timothy 2:15.

2. Read and study this website until you have at least a rudimentary grasp of the issues and what the Bible says and does not say. Many thanks for stopping by.

Nov 19, 2012
2 Corinthians 6:9-11
by: JohnT

Irrespective of any view of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, 2 Corinthians 6:9-11 clearly prohibits homesexuality, along with, fornication, thieves, drunkards, revilers etc. Those who practice such things will not inherit God's kingdom. It concludes by saying that is what some of you were but have changed therefore becoming acceptable to God.

Genesis 19:4,5 shows that homosexuality was being practiced in Sodom and Gomorah and was the main reason that they were destroyed. Those practices were clearly not acceptable to God. This was before the Mosaic Law was given, so homosexuality has never been acceptable to God. This is not then an excuse to use violence or treat people who hold a different view in a disrespectful manner irrespective of our own beliefs. Matt 7:12, Roms 12:17-21 Set the way we should be toward each other irrespective of our own belief systems.

Rick's comment: Hi JohnT - Instead of just repeating the same old tired verses and opinions about what those verses mean while you ignore the Biblical cultural doctrinal historical religious context of the verses you cite, why not obey 2 Timothy 2:15? Have you ever read that verse?

If you're really seeking God's truth, you will need to move beyond surface impressions, your own fallible opinions and your refusal to actually study the verses you cite. That process can begin for you by clicking on any NavBar button under, What The Bible Says.

The fact that you need to rip verses out of their context so that you can allege that they address homosexuality should indicate to you a major problem with your point of view. If the verses were really talking about homosexuality, you wouldn't have to rip them out of their Biblical cultural doctrinal historical religious context. Does that make sense to you JohnT?

Dec 15, 2012
So I read Leviticus 18
by: Anonymous

I understand that it goes from forbidding incest, to specifying, to mentioning Molek, to homosexuality, to bestiality. The mention of child sacrifice is the only (but notably a)law not concerning sex. Skimming through 20, it seems very much the same. This exception merits the suggestion, but I have a concern. If this is only forbidding sex-related ritual practices, then according to Leviticus, was incest okay as long as it was not done to worship the Canaanite gods?

Rick's comment: No, because your question rests on a false premise, the belief that God and Moses are equating homosexuality and incest or homosexuality and beastiality. They are not. They are equating temple prostituton with incest and beastiality. Homosexuality was not and is not the issue in Lev 18:22 and 20:13.

9 answers to the gay = incest or beastiality argument.

Jan 30, 2013
Temple prostitution
by: Edmund

My understanding here is that the verse refers to temple prostitution or ritual sex with male priests as an act of worship. My question is: Did they have female prostitutes and if so is the implication here that it is Okay for a man to have ritual sex with them? Why does the verse seem to ONLY condemn male-to-male ritual sex/temple prostitution UNLESS of course that was the only kind of ritual sex/prostitution that occurred?

Rick's comment: Conservative Christian anti-gay scholars like John MacArthur and Merrill F. Unger tell us that there were both male and female temple prostitutes. I quote them on this page.

To answer your question, No, it would not have been okay for men to have sex with a female temple prostitute.

Feb 12, 2013
Jesus loves gay people
by: Matt

God does love gay the same He loves me! And He wants to free YOU as He wants ME to be free from anything that holds me back from having true intimacy with Him. Don't give birth to a wrong doctrine to simply justify yourself with some lifestyle and to hide the shame that has come out of it. Its Jesus alone who makes us righteous. But if you really have the Holy Spirit living inside, you know what I'm talking about. I never want to judge Gay like other Christians do but I'll never want a sin to justify in my own name. I'm just not God!

Rick's comment: I encourage you to read and study instead of assuming that the first thought that pops into your mind when you read the clobber passages must be truth. It is not a sin to be gay.

It is not a sin to be in a committed gay relationship. If you disagree, find some verses which, IN CONTEXT, support your view.

If there are no verses which, IN CONTEXT, support your view, then it is time to change your view. Do you agree?

Feb 15, 2013
say what you will
by: Simmons

I've read all of these comments as well as said verses very carefully and honestly, all I can do is shake my head and smile. Whenever someone tells you the Truth, using passages from the bible all you can do is cite from yourself and scholars, or mention context. You even told one commenter to study this site. The only words worth studying is that which come from the Bible. Tell me, do you worship and study God's laws and words, or that of yourself and man?

Since you keep mentioning that same 2 Tim 2:15 verse I'll help you understand it a bit.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth 2 Timothy 2:15

Now, of course, you would say this MUST means God wants you to study His word by looking past his text and researching the bibical historical background, to "rightly divide the truth". But one doesn't even have to do all of that; the meaning is as plain as day. Study His laws, commandments, etc to prove yourself worthy of His kingdom. Rightly spread the truth to others. Where did God say study another's text? How could it mean anything else, and how could this verse be the appropriate "end all" answer to the commenters above?

It seems to me that you only use verses that you can skew to fit your cause. What does the word of a scholar have against the word of GOD? If you are truly a believer and servant of the Most High, you would understand that. And yes, its possible to call yourself a Christian and be homosexual, but does that mean its okay? Does that erase the Bible's stance on homosexuality just because YOU and others are Christian and gay? No. It doesn't.

The truth of the word is lost on you and these "educated" scholars and will forever be until you STOP BELIEVING in YOURSELF and START BELIEVING in the word of God. It's blasmephous to use His word to justify your sinful lifestyle. Regardless of what you religion you consider yourself apart of, or what MAN says, sin is sin and God does not tolerate. No matter how much you use "context" and spread false word. You will be judged accordingly to Him. God bless.

Rick's comment: Hi Simmons - either you are taking these verses out of context or I am taking these verses out of context. My point in citing anti-gay scholars is to show that even though they disagree with me on what these verses mean, they agree that the context is temple prostitution, NOT two gay guys or two gay gals.

If you prefer to ignore context and try to make the Bible mean something it does not mean in context, that is between you and God. I am interested in biblical cultural doctrinal linguistic literary and religious context. I do hope you will get interested in those at some point in your life.

Mar 14, 2013
False Prophets
by: David Stringer

Matthew 7:15-23, Matthew 12:33-37; Luke 6:43-45

I am in no way judging, hating, bashing, or etc. on the LGBT lifestyle. I am a sinner and everyone is a sinner.

I've read through the comments posted and it does seem that you keep on referring to context or some "scholar" as your source other than the Bible.

I would just like to give a background of my belief. I do not believe in religion. The reason I do not believe in religion is because of the "scholars", "Bible gurus", and people who interpret the Bible the way they want to interpret it, like you, to spread their beliefs.

Somewhere in the comments I believe you or someone mentioned something about LGBT being created that way by God. That is a big lie. God created the universe(This is also the reason I do not believe in evolution.) And in His creation, God created male and female. The context I do not know. I assume that you would know the context since you are a context guru. Now, unless you were there in the beginning of time the context that you or any other person say is not reliable. God created male and female, man/womankind chose to be LGBT. You either have a male or female genitalia, no in-between. The male and female body was designed by God to complement each other.

U.S. Constitution/Bill of Rights, two sides look at two different context of the 2nd Amendment. It just depends on how they want to understand it. Nobody was alive during the writing of the Constitution/Bill of Rights, but there are people who read/understand it differently because of whatever they think that the Forefathers meant when they wrote it, but they could be wrong because they were not there.

Rick's comment: David, are you saved by the blood of the Lamb?

You said: "you keep on referring to context or some "scholar" as your source other than the Bible."

If you truly believe that, then you have not read with comprehension. You need to go back and read it again because you have completely missed the point.

Mar 14, 2013
False Prophets?
by: David Stringer

It's the same with the Bible, I could look at the context, select a couple of verses, a couple of texts, and explain it the way I want it.

Bottom line is that context and scholars are not reliable. No matter if they are anti-homosexual or not they can still make the Bible say what they want it to say. The more famous they become and the more followers they get, the less reliable they become in terms of interpreting the Bible(in my opinion). How I look at it is, if your message is accepted by a lot of people, and a lot of people are following you, your message might be against the Bible. (Matthew 7:13-14, Luke 13:24)

1 Corinthians 6:9 says it clear (BTW, I do not read the newer versions, I only read the KJV.) If you look at history, especially in the Middle East, their culture has always believed that males are the head of the family, males are in power. Males have sex with females in the Middle East because they "own" their wives. If a male has sex with another male, the male that does the penetration is showing his ownership over the receiving male. The male that receives is effeminate(This is according to my cultural training for the Middle East). You might say that this is taken out of context, remember that in the New Testament there were Gentiles living among them that were doing effeminate things. Also it was not to the Jews that Paul was talking to, it was to the people who lived in Corinth, and Corinth, which was in the coast of present day Turkey. So I'm assuming that the culture that they had over there is similar to what the Middle East have now.

Rick's comment: After telling me I "keep referring to context or some "scholar"" as my source, as if that is a bad thing (every scholarly author does that), you do the same thing in your second comment, under the guise of discussing Middle Eastern culture. Of course, you quote yourself and you are not a scholar nor widely read on the topics about which you've chosen to opine.

I hope you will take time to re-read what I wrote, this time with comprehension, instead of just skimming it so you can write to tell me you're not judging me and then judging me anyway.

I cite scholars and conservative anti-gay Christians, world class experts on the Bible, to demonstrate that my views are not private interpretation. Instead, they are the views of many Christians down the centuries, from the time of Christ to our time.

Mar 26, 2013
Did God make a mistake at creation?
by: Bamedele

Please forgive me for not being either a Biblical or contextual scholar. I would like to raise my question in light of the creation story. I hope we all agree that the creation story is true and direct, meaning that we can take it as written in the Bible. I am not sure what the context would be for the creation story.

In the beginning, God created male and female (Gen 1:27). He made us similar, but very different. He give the woman several unique organs including a vagina. He also give the man unique organs including a penis. These two organs biologically complement each other. Both male and female were each given anus. Biologically, the anus has served the same purpose in both species. Did God intend for the anus to be a sex organ?

Rick's comment: For the record, evidence indicates that heterosexuals invented anal sex, not gay men. For thousands of years, heterosexuals have used anal sex as a primitive natural method of birth control. About 25% of modern heterosexual couples have engaged in anal sex while about 10% do so on a regular basis.

On the other hand, while many gay men have engaged in anal sex, only about 66% of gay male couples do so on a regular basis. That leaves about 34% of gay men who do not engage in anal sex.

You seem of the opinion that body parts can serve only one legitimate use. Yet the vaginal opening not only allows a woman to have sex, it also allows her to urinate and to bear children. It also allows a doctor to perform a hysterectomy if that becomes necessary. Doesn't it seem self-evident to you that body parts can have more than one legitimate use?

Given that so many human beings including many non-gays, enjoy anal sex, isn't it possible that part of God's ingenious design of the human body intentionally included that possibility?

You may benefit from carefully reading:

and also:

Apr 24, 2013
Logic Course
by: Tracy

One thing I will NOT do is play word games here, but as I get into the heart of the topic, I want to make clear indications about the wording of these scriptures themselves. They are all equally valid translations from the Hebrew Bible.
“It is an abomination for a man that lies with a woman if he also lies with mankind.”


“A man that lies with a woman commits abomination if he lies with mankind, too.”


“If a man that lies with a woman also lies with a mankind, they have committed an abomination.”


“If a man also lies with mankind, as he lies with a woman, they have committed an abomination.”

When I read these sentences, I discovered that they all have different word layouts, yet they all still say the exact same thing. When I was in elementary school I was taught how to diagram sentences like this because it is the proper grammatical English to do so. Unfortunately, we as Christians has invented an anti-gay doctrine by trying to apply a Modern English speech and reasoning to the Old English Speech and word diagramming used in these verses.
For example, in the New Testament of the Bible, in the Book of Acts, there is a phrase that says “to fetch a compass”. In our Modern English speech and reasoning, this would be translated as, “to go and get a (directional) compass”. HOWEVER, that is NOT what our Old English of the Bible meant. “to fetch a compass” means” to travel in a circuit.”

Only a straight man lies with a woman. Only a straight man is able to ALSO lie with mankind AS HE LIETH with a woman. Why have we as a church, failed to acknowledge these important words? A TRUE homosexual does not lie down with women, nor has the desire to do so (unless he’s going through some type of experimental phase.)

I believe that it is common knowledge in the gay community that many straight men have sex with other men just to achieve sexual gratification. And honestly, many of these men are married and have children. They are not homosexuals, but do to their lust they commit homosexual acts, which are often borne out of loneliness or dissatisfaction; a lot of straight men do not believe that a brief sexual encounter with another man is considered “adultery”.

The sexual underworld is well hidden from a society that would never expect such actions. But sexual activity between a straight man and those of the same gender is not only very real, but it is also very common. And it is this very activity to which these Leviticus verses refer.


May 27, 2013
what does it mean to lie as?
by: Tom

Biologically it is impossible for a man having sex with a woman to have sex as if he was with a woman. Men with men sex (intercourse) is physically different than men to woman sex (intercourse).

Homosexuality is not just about being sexually attracted to the same sex, it is so much more - nobody ever mentions here David and Jonathan, which the Bible devotes more chapters to their love story than any other human love story in the Bible.

Rick's comment: Interesting points. David and Jonathan are the subject of many pages on my website. Using our Search on any page will pull them up for you.

Jun 05, 2013
stop ur lies
by: Anonymous

R u outta your sick mind? Yes, of course u r? Dont lie w mankind as with a woman, or else the Most-High will put u to death. Lev 20:13.

Rick's comment: Anonymous Airhead commenters almost always ignore context and facts, as you have done.

Jun 17, 2013
People fixate on verses that give them a presumed reason to arrest or kill.
by: Artiewhitefox

People seek verses out in order to give them a reason to oppress. There is no seeking to lift oppression. People fixate on verses that give them a presumed reason to arrest or kill. That is not healthy that is not Godly. People that lie are according to scripture froward liars. They fixate on verses that do not seek peace but a physical sword. That kind of mentality needs to stop. That is why we have what we have suffocating us thinking it is saving us making us safe. That is why people war thinking they gain. That is why people war thinking they save.

Jun 22, 2013
Man should not lay with man, part 1
by: Yaaqov ben Yisrael

Homosexuals are often ridiculed, harassed and shunned from normal society as perverts of nature. The rejection of these persons as vile freaks who are somehow violating God’s law is the result of certain verses of the Bible which have been misinterpreted−this misinterpretation has been handed down the line of tradition as divine right. Among the various verses leveled against homosexual practices in the Bible are two from the book of Leviticus. The first of these can be found in 18:22 and is most commonly translated as “You shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” The second is found in Leviticus 20:13 and uses similar language as the former. Neither of these verses are ever translated according to the Hebrew grammar in which they were written. The phrase “as with” in not a part of the original document. The most literal translation of the former is “with a male you shall not lie, beds of a woman; it is an abomination”. These verses naturally make no sense outside of the literary context which concerns the sexual relations of near kin. Taken out of this context, these verses have no clear meaning. A grammatical study of the structure of these two verses will shed much light on the common mistranslations which are biased by years of cultural influence.

The literal translation of Leviticus 18:22 is “with a male, you shall not lie, beds of a woman; it is an abomination”(as punctuated by the Masoretic Text). A close examination of this verse will show that the phrase “beds of a woman”, is an incorrectly translated as “as with a woman." To place "as with a woman" into the Text is an example of eisegesis (reading something into a text that is not there). There are many ways to construct the verse so it will clearly mean "as with a woman." In Hebrew, the phrase would look similar to כמו באשה kemo beishah; a similar passage in Jeremiah proves this to be true.

"What will you say when he comes to punish you? For you have taught them to be rulers over you for a head. Do not pangs seize you, like a woman [כְּמֹ֖ו אֵ֥שֶׁת לֵדָֽה kemo eisheth leidhah] in travail?" (Jeremiah 13:21). Another mistranslation of this phrase is "the lying of a woman." This would demand a participle in the Hebrew Text which is not there. If the Hebrew mishkhavim were to be a participle (which is certainly is not), then the participle would by necessity be a pu'al which is a passive participle as this verb does not conjugate in the pi'el. This would give the meaning of the verse: "With a male you shall not have intercourse, being in intercourse of a woman, it is abominable." Clearly, this could not be rendered in any way to imply homosexual relations between men.

Jun 22, 2013
Man should not lay with man, part 2
by: Anonymous

In the entire Bible, this phrase is used only in these two verses. Looking at how sexual relations are alluded to in other verses of the Bible will show that in normal sexual intercourse between a female and a male, this phrase is in the construct relation with the masculine “man”.

Take for instance the following: “Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him” (Numbers 31:17). The phrase “by lying with him” is literally “bed of a man”; this is the opposite of the phrase found in Leviticus chapter eighteen verse twenty-two. One of the most important components of Biblical exegesis is the grammatical relationship of structure and syntax. When a strange structure exists in the Hebrew text, the Hebrew grammarians would search for other texts similarly constructed and draw conclusions based upon the comparison of the two.

Using this method, it is fairly easy to understand that the verses in Leviticus cannot have the meaning of homosexual intercourse which is often attributed to it. Simple logic demands that if the phrase “bed of a man” implied natural relations between a woman and a man, then the opposite is also true; “beds of a woman” must mean the natural intercourse of a man with a woman.

The context in which these verses are found also clarifies the meaning. The context concerns the sexual relations of the near kin, as well as other forms of un-natural sexual intercourse (bestiality which is made clear in the Text). These two verses would clearly indicate that the prohibition concerned two men having sexual relations with the same woman.

This naturally would become a major issue in pre-Babylonian exile period in which these verses were written for several reasons. One of the problems is there would have been no way of knowing paternity of the offspring of such a relation; this would cause serious problems in a patristic society in relation to inheritance. Another problem would arise in the fact that this could constitute an adulterous sexual union which is also a violation of Law.

Aug 13, 2013
2 Tim 2:15
by: Anonymous

I have noticed that you encourage everyone to "read and obey 2 Tim 2:15" which you twist to say that you cannot trust the word of God to mean what it says clearly.

You are asking people "DID GOD REALLY MEAN WHAT HE SAID?" Which is the same question Satan asked Eve. He got her to start questioning what was clearly spoken so she could rationalize the restriction away.

Leviticus 18 is about sexual practices. It starts with saying: DON'T DO WHAT THE EGYPTIANS DID. (Therefore there is no need to prove that homosexuality was rampant among Israel.) Then he lists 15 verses about how NOT to have sex, 1 verse about sacrificing children to Molek, and 2 more verses about how NOT to have sex. When a passage includes 17 prohibitions on ONE subject (Sex) and 1 prohibition about child sacrifice to Molek.... you are rationalizing the sin away.

Historical context cannot change the clear Word of God no many how many times you say it. You are only deluding yourself and encouraging Gay Christians to be ineffective in their walk with Christ by nullifying the power of the Word.

Rick's comment: "Are ye also yet without understanding?" Matthew 15:16.

Your ignorance of context and disregard for truth are mind-boggling. If you continue in your spiritual blindness, according to Jesus, you and everyone you lead will fall into the ditch, Matthew 15:14.

Aug 28, 2013
Romans 1
by: Jack

This chapter very CLEARLY states that both lesbians and male homosexuals are heading for the deep six. While God loves the sinner, he detests the sin, and it is my belief that a practicing homosexual cannot be a Christian... because, as a Christian, we must continue to obey God's laws, and Satan is always trying to tempt us away from our God.

No amount of attempted justification on this site will ever change my mind. Remember that He created Adam and Eve, NOT Adam and Steve.

Rick's comment: Hi Jack - please, NEVER say that at the airport!!! Thanks for being honest enough to admit that your mind is made up and nothing can change it. That makes me sad since you obviously have never studied Romans 1 in depth.

For those whose minds are still open to God's truth, read about Romans 1 here. Be sure to click on the text links for additional information.

Oct 14, 2013
Applying Your Interpretation to the Rest of Chapter 18
by: Chris Aliipule

According to your interpretation it would be okay to have sex with your mother or your sister if it weren't idolatry. It would also be okay to sacrifice your children if it weren't idolatry.

Rick's comment: Hi Chris - God lists specific sins which were practiced in Egypt where Israel came from and in Canaan, where Israel was going, Leviticus 18:3 . God tells them not to commit those specific sins because they were part of pagan idol worship, Leviticus 17:7.

Neither God nor I make the argument you suggest, that if it's not linked to idol worship, then the particular sins listed are okay.

Part of your confusion stems from a failure to differentiate between shrine prostitution and homosexuality. They are not analogous, are not the same; just as having sex with a street prostitute is not the same as having sex with your wife.

It should go without saying, but apparently does not, that "things different are not equal." I hope you will give this more thought and prayer as the precious Holy Spirit guides you into His truth. Many thanks for stopping by.

Dec 11, 2013
Leviticus 18:22
by: Daniel

Just came across the passage in Leviticus 20:13 and wondered how gay people would feel about it. I've read this page and comments with interest but I've got to say, to a casual observer it really sounds like you are trying to make 'x' not sound like 'x'.

When even the most seemingly straightforward command, is according to you, something completely different, then you have to wonder about God's ability to communicate.

If temple prostitution is what is meant, then that is what God should have said. What's the point in creating unnecessary confusion? To say that one needs to understand biblical history and that the passage needs careful interpretation that needs to be put in context with this passage or that passage seems silly.

It's the word of God apparently. Anyone should be able to pick up the book & understand it without interpretation. With such a variance in people's IQ and ability to interpret correctly, let alone the resources to study the historical context in depth, this doesn't sound like the best method to communicate your message to the World.

For there to be such disagreement between posters on what seems to be such a straight forward command, tells me something is not right here.

Rick's comment: Hi Daniel - Thanks for wrestling with these issues. I hope you will continue to read and study. Interpreting scripture in context requires thought and study and knowledge. There is simply no way to ignore biblical cultural doctrinal historical linguistic literary and religious context as we study the Bible.

Post-moderns place a premium on their own brain power, believing they can figure it out without performing the due diligence of intense study. They are wrong. God commands us to study and rightly divide his word of truth, 2 Timothy 2:15.

I encourage you to really study. Move beyond surface impressions and dig out the facts. Many thanks.

Dec 11, 2013
Bible study
by: Edmund

May I also add that it appears this idea of studying the scriptures and reinterpreting them isn't new.It is as old at least as Jesus' time.Look and the arguments and debates He had with the religious leaders and with his disciples e.g. on the issue of marriage and divorce.

Rick's comment: Hi Edmund - your comment implies that gays are reinterpreting scripture but the truth is, the anti-gay crowd is doing the reinterpreting. Ancient Jews, including the human authors of scripture, for 1800 years after the Sodom story, did not interpret Sodom as a warning against homosexuality.

Ancient Jews, including the human authors of scripture, for 1300 hundred years after Leviticus was written, did not interpret Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 as warnings against homosexuality.

Wise students of scripture wait to draw a conclusion until after they have acquainted themselves with the facts by reading and studying. 2 Timothy 2:15 will be helpful in your life to the extent you read, believe, memorize and obey it. Many thanks for stopping by.

Dec 12, 2013
Bible study
by: Edmund

Rick when I referred to reinterpretation, I did so on the assumption we all approach the Bible with our preconceptions in the context of our cultural backgrounds and we inevitably end up interpreting passages accordingly. Further examination and study may lead one to change views I.e. reinterpret.

Rick's comment: Hi Edmund - thanks for clarifying that. The truths you've expressed will help the anti-gay crowd embrace the truth as it is in Jesus, eventually.

Dec 12, 2013
by: Daniel

Hi Rick, Thanks for the response. I'm only 17, so just getting started in terms of figuring out what Christianity is all about.

When you say that there is no way to ignore biblical cultural doctrinal historical linguistic literacy and religious context (quite a mouthful!) as you study the Bible, this to me, seems like a nail in the coffin of all text based religions. Most people don't have the intelligence, nor the time, nor the resources to carry out this level of study. And a message intended for mankind as a whole wouldn't place such demands on them when most are clearly not capable. It's supposed to be accessible to everybody. Aside from that, there's even wide disagreement among scholars who dedicate their time to this.

Just looking at Christianity as a whole, and the mass disagreement there exists regarding what the Bible is supposed to be actually saying as well as the thousands of denominations which set themselves apart from each other because of differing interpretations, I can only conclude, that if God exists he has clearly failed in achieving his goal of spreading a coherent message. Such a God would have to be inept. An alternative is that he is purposefully misleading us or he doesn't exist.

I just can't see anything that would qualify as a God, using text as the means to convey a message as important as salvation when it's fraught with so many obstacles to understanding. But anyway, I'm going off topic now so I'll leave it there.

Rick's comment: Daniel, I appreciate you for thinking about these issues. A few things to remember about the Bible.

1. God communicated with us using words in a text because that is how He created us to communicate.

2. God intended us to understand the Bible but He didn't make all of it easy. For that reason, He tells us to study, 2 Timothy 2:15.

3. Scripture is the revelation of God to us as He intended us to have it. Some parts are difficult to understand and obey (there are 613 commands in the OT Law) and one needs to be able to read for it to be easily accessible.

4. Many people deny the fairly obvious context of Lev 18:22 and 20:13 in spite of Lev 17:7, because they do not study.

5. As with any complex subject, diligent study and persistence on biblical matters, along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, yields great rewards, John 16:13.

6. Enough of the Bible is understandable that someone can read it and get saved.

7. Some of the Bible is milk, relatively easy to digest and understand. "For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe." Hebrews 5:13 & 1 Cor 3:2.

8. Some of the Bible is meat, more difficult to understand. "But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." Hebrews 5:14

Jan 11, 2014
All this is moot
by: jeri carla

In accord with Acts 10:34-35, all arguments as to who is acceptable are restricted to those that exhibit the fruits of the spirit. Blessing in the name of Yeshua ben El.

Feb 11, 2014
Servant of god
by: Tim

You people who put this site together are on your way to hell and serve the devil.

Rick's comment: Hi Tim - thanks for favoring us with your profound insight. We study more than you. We know more Bible than you. We've been saved longer than you. We win more souls than you.

But because we've learned some things you have not yet learned, we're on our way to hell as we serve the devil? LOL

Jun 24, 2014
Stream of consciousness
by: Johannes

Came across this site and just wanted to say, we do not have the ability or right to condemn anybody, only God will make that judgement, not us (James 4:12 / Luke 6:37).

Rick's comment: You may want to consider: Are Christians supposed to judge?

i believe what one commentator did say that this shouldn't just be taken for a specific situation so that in other situations it's ok. You can see through scripture that what God said didn't just apply to that one situation (Matthew 2:15 & Hosea 11:1)

Ultimately arguments that point to someone with a phd or can say they are a doctor doesn't account for much, for help of man is useless (Psalm 60:11) but the Word of God shall stand forever (Isaiah 40:8) and as my God and Savior said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." (Matthew 24:35).

Rick's comment: No one can rightly divide the word of truth by remaining ignorant of the cultural doctrinal historical linguistic and religious context. To dismiss experts in those fields while insisting we need no knowledge, no study, is not helpful. For example, if we want to understand Romans 1, we MUST understand context. Why is Cybele vital to understanding Romans?

Which is the same God of the Bible who said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female" (Matthew 19:4) but one may say, that context is about divorce so it is null and void. But going back to Genesis it says, "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (Genesis 1:27-28).

Rick's comment: Glossing over context or ignoring context guarantees you will get the wrong interpretation every time. In Matthew 19, Jesus exempts gays (born eunuchs) from the Adam and Eve marriage paradigm. What about gay eunuchs in Matthew 19?

To those that desire to follow God in Jesus Name with all their hearts and soul, don't allow yourself to have an angry heart
remember, Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you. (Proverbs 20:22) and remember what our God said, "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment." (Matthew 5:22). Don't grow weary, it is getting evermore difficult to stand on the Word of God (Bible) in its entirety, "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:9). For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions (2 Timothy 4:3)

Just one more side note, this is not the only sin that should concern believers in the One True God who sent His Son to die for our sins, buried and rose again the 3rd day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) but we should strive to draw closer to God and realize that there are other sins that we seem to forget, lying, adultery, lust, etc...but praise be to God who pulled us from the miry clay and grafted us in. (Romans 6:2 / Romans 11:17)

In giving thoughts, if i have offended anybody i ask for your forgiveness.

Rick's comment: One of the problems with your comment is that you assume being gay is a sin when of course, the Bible never says or implies that. Gay Christian FAQ

Feb 27, 2015
Thanks for clearing this up
by: Greg

If I understand you correctly it's ok to have sex with my mother as long as I don't worship a goat daemon? In context all of these prohibitions don't apply to me as long as I worship the true God. Makes perfect sense to me!

Rick's comment: Hi Greg - How do I answer such a depraved remark? Your interior dialogue would keep a dozen energetic Freudian psychiatrists working overtime for years.

What must I do to be saved?

May 07, 2015
What is the definition of being gay?
by: Kevin

Just curious, so I'm asking. So your saying same sex relations was really implied to temple prostitution and temple prostitution was tied to worshiping false gods? So would that mean people in same sex relations are practicing temple prostitution and by doing so are actually worshiping to false gods? By doing so are spirituality blinded and are not even aware of their actions by doing so?

Rick's comment: Hi Kevin - No, that is not what I'm saying. Just as there is a difference between fornicating and loving sexual relations in a marriage, so there is a difference between using sex to worship false gods and loving sexual relations in a gay marriage. Lev 18:22 and 20:13 forbid using sex to worship false gods, not loving sexual relations in a marriage. Read more about shrine prostitutes.

I'm not an expert and might even know full understanding before this temporary life comes to a end, but I do grow and understand more daily. I do believe in the Bible. To study & get understanding you have to read the Bible continually, pray for understanding & walk with God.

May 07, 2015
Bible doesn't mention about being gay
by: Kevin

With my last post. We are to love one another and not hate nor place judgement. To even love thy enemy. Not to hate sinners, but hate the sin. We are all guilty of sin and fall short of His glory. As far as studying others books and doctrines on how to understand and study the Bible, I leave that to my Heavenly Father whom I speak to daily.

Always judge others and yourself words, actions and understanding to the word of God. Be careful of wolves in sheep's clothing. Even Satan knows the Bible and goes to church. Always stay in prayer. Have a Blessed day!

May 07, 2015
interpreting the old testament
by: jeri carla

When you look at the old testament you must remember that the old testament is replaced by a new covenant we call the new testament. In the new testament the statements against homosexuality are written predominately by Paul.

Rick's comment: Hi Jeri Carla - The truth is, there are no statements against gays in the New Testament. One purpose of this website is to focus attention on the context of the Bible so that people understand that the Bible does not speak against being gay, lesbian or transgendered.

Jesus and Peter state God accepts everyone with no exceptions, Acts 10. When Jesus says everyone He means everyone even those nasty icky ones we dont like in fact especialy the ones we choose to not like.

Rick's comment: The Cross of Calvary leveled the playing field. Now God accepts all who come to God by grace alone through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. BUT, that is not automatic for anyone. Salvation is available to all who will receive it, John 1:11-12, 3:16, 3:36. What must I do to be saved?

Context just sets the stage it doesnt define the statement. "Look first to the beam in your eye before you seek the speck in your neighbors eye."

May 08, 2015
pay attention
by: jeri carla

Rick look at the context of what i wrote "Jesus says everyone "does not speak to who gets saved only to what he means when he says "everyone" . That reaction is similar to the reaction you get when you ask what are the works of God most quote Paul yet Jesus says the works of God are worshiping Him who sent him.

Rick's comment: Hi Jeri - many of the professing christians who read these comments have never read the New Testament. I commented about salvation to make it as clear as possible to them, precisely how Jesus accepts everyone - if they believe in Him as their Savior from sin and hell and the wrath of God.

There is a dangerous and wicked doctrine of Universal Salvation going around gay christian circles these days - that because Jesus died, everyone is automatically saved, even if they haven't believed on Jesus and I don't want anyone to think that we at gaychristian101 believe that foolishness.

What must I do to be saved?

Jun 22, 2015


Rick's comment: Hi Janine - 95% of humanity is heterosexual and both Adam and Eve were heterosexual.

A better question: Why do heterosexuals keep having babies who grow up to be gay and lesbian?

Jun 26, 2015
Your Question
by: Just Me

A better question: Why do heterosexuals keep having babies who grow up to be gay and lesbian?

You answered your own question - Because we are a fallen race and sin rules this present world, no different then why do god fearing parents have children that grow up to be murders, thieves, psychopaths, ect.?

Rick's comment: The answer is always Jesus - our glorious Savior from sin, the wrath of God and hell. What must I do to be saved?

Jul 23, 2015
I support you fully
by: Cassidy Reese

I agree with your view and think that it is great to take a look on the full context and not just one entry. Don't listen to those who are too empty headed to realize that it is not a sin to be who you want to be.

Jul 28, 2015
Purpose of Bible Study
by: Yvonne

Dear Rick, I agree with you totally that homosexuality is not wrong, just like heterosexuality is not wrong. But as we love the Lord, we try to be obedient and understand what he has taught us through His word, as He warns us repeatedly to Be Holy for I am Holy. From what we learn clearly with regards to sexual practices, things considered unholy include fornication, bestiality, adultery, homosexual acts, incest etc.. Whatever the sexuality, we have sexual desires to curb and are asked to be self controlled. Society on the whole has promoted several sins to a lesser, acceptable category and these include fornication, adultery and now homosexual behaviour because of culture, society and desired lifestyle.

I am sure our God is grieved. In your blog, I trust that you would promote Gay living to be pleasing to God, following His true word and not promote just the desired teaching to ease the conscience of sinners to continue in a worldly lifestyle and culture. Our God is above and beyond culture & context. Do I make sense?

Rick's comment: Hi Yvonne - If, as you say, homosexuality is not wrong, then why are you sure God is grieved? That doesn't make sense to me. The purpose of Bible study is to help us rightly divide the word of truth, 2 Timothy 2:15.

That means not ripping verses out of context and insisting the out of context verse means something it didn't mean in context. Thanks for visiting my website. I hope you'll explore and discover that we do believe in biblical holiness and living for Jesus, instead of promoting religion or post-modernism or positive thinking as replacements for obedience to God.

Jul 28, 2015
An aggrieved God
by: Yvonne

Hi Rick, When I referred to homosexuality, it is the perceived state of sexuality as the world defines it, ie. a person of certain sex desiring and being attracted to sexually, to another of the same sex. But that person is also a human being created by God whom we are taught to love as a brother or sister.

However, what the bible to my understanding teaches us, is that it is the practice of homosexuality which is what is Unholy, and this is what I feel would grieve God, when we carry on in unholy practices. Described in 1 Tim 1:9,10 the ungodly and sinful those practicing homosexuality.

It seems abundantly clear and not in the context of the Old Testament. Is this what you advise gay Christians? Be who you are proudly, a gay Christian but refrain from homosexual practices? Even as a heterosexual, we try and curb our desires as a Christian, to be obedient to all the teachings in God's word. I would think that the homosexual community would also be striving to do so?

Rick's comment: Hi Yvonne - It may interest you to know that the the word, homosexual, is never used in the Hebrew or Greek. So when Paul wrote 1 Timothy 1:9-10, he did NOT use the word, homosexual.

There were Greek words Paul could have used IF he intended to condemn homosexuals yet Paul never used those words.

This website covers the clobber passages in some detail and explains why none of them condemn gays and lesbians. Truth is available if you want it. I believe God is aggrieved at anti-gay Christians who will not study this issue but who willingly condemn their gay brothers and lesbian sisters based on verses taken out of context.

Aug 07, 2015
Inadequacy of Bible
by: Yvonne Lim

Hi Rick, Yes, I been studying the bible and it is definitely more than this issue for me to learn and understand. I am sure you agree there are so many truths and hard teachings for us to learn, to build our treasures in heaven and not here on earth. It seems rather hard to come to terms with what you are saying that the bible has been given to man, in such a cryptic manner to be read and understood wrongly for thousands of years. It is only in the last 1-2 centuries, with the emergence of a stronger gay community, information and technology that these new teachings which you subscribe to, is being spread around.How do you explain this?

Rick's comment: Hi Yvonne - I never make the argument that the Bible was given in such a cryptic manner that it was misunderstood for thousands of years. I provide lots of factual info, quotations from prominent Christian scholars and links to additional information to indicate just the opposite of the Bible being cryptic and hard to understand.

Yet God expects more of us than just a surface reading of the word of truth, 2 Timothy 2:15. We are exhorted to study and study includes understanding the biblical cultural doctrinal historical linguistic and religious context of scripture.

In the OT, polygamy was culturally and legally accepted by almost everyone including followers of God. Today polygamy is illegal in most of western culture. We do not see followers of God in the OT using the power of government to outlaw polygamy.

In modern times, gay marriage is culturally and legally accepted in many countries yet followers of God have repeatedly used the power of government to outlaw gay marriage and almost every other kind of right for gays. Their efforts often depend on ripping verses out of context and then using the out of context verses to condemn gays, when, in context, the verses have never been about two gay guys or two gay gals falling in love and spending their lives together as a couple.

I cannot help feel that this is just for Christians with these tendencies to ease their conscience and let them live the lifestyle that they want, not God wants. It would mean also that the bible had been inadequate ( and how can this be when it is given by our Almighty God) throughout the earlier ages for all the people who had been reading it and practising its teachings, but now can only be understood in the 21st century with the help of your study and research.

Rick's comment: With all due respect, your argument is not based in reality. I provide hundreds of links to world-class Christian and non-Christian scholars to support what I put on this website. It is easy to take general potshots at gays, like you are doing, while not giving any specific facts to support your assertion. I'm not sure why you chose to do that but I encourage you to do more reading and study.

Aug 24, 2015
Not making sense
by: Curious

What does the context have to do with the separate issue that it says not to lay with mankind like woman kind? That seems pretty clear cut. Wouldn't they have just said not to lay with temple prostitutes?

Rick's comment: Hi Curious - Context is important because that tells us what the conversation is about. There is not a shred of historical evidence that ancient Israel in 1450 BC, had a problem with gays and lesbians.

But we do know that ancient Israel had a major problem with prostituting themselves to goat idols, i.e., using same sex rituals to worship fertility gods. So everyone would know he was talking about temple prostitutes, Moses prefaces his remarks in Lev 18:22 with v. 3 and v. 21, which mentions Molech.

I hope you will click on the links in the article and educate yourself on this topic. Many thanks.

What must I do to be saved?

Dec 01, 2015
Lev 18:22 and 20:13
by: Rod

Isn't Leviticus 18 a list of commands given to Moses (and man) of the unlawful sexual relations? I believe it is. And verse 22 is clear in its context.

22 Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. (NIV)

Seems straight forward to me.

Lev 20:13 If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. (NIV)

Again, seems very clear in its context here as well.

Rick's comment: Hi Rod - Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 were written approximately 3400 years ago. The context back then had nothing to do with two gay guys or two gay gals falling in love and covenanting to spend their lives together as a couple.

The biblical, cultural, doctrinal, historical, linguistic and religious context of Lev 18:22 and 20:13 is unrelated to gays and lesbians. I hope you will do more study instead of concluding, without study, that the first thought that pops into your head must be right.

Shrine prostitutes

Dec 27, 2015
I don't think it's bad to be gay but something here is still confusing
by: Echo

The verse says "do not lie with a man as one would with a woman," but why specify the "as with a woman" part? If it were really talking about homosexuality, it wouldn't need that part. As such, the question is how homosexual intercourse differs in practice from that of heterosexual intercourse.

Rick's comment: Hi Echo - God and Moses are warning about using sex to worship false gods. The issue is fertility cult worship. The ancients used same sex rituals, a form of imitative magic, in the hope that the false gods would make them fertile in their families, fields and flocks.

But then again, it would seem rather odd to throw in a verse about how to treat your fellow man in a chapter specifically referring to pagan sexual rituals.

I suppose I'm mostly confused as to why the passage would list all the specific women that a man cannot have sex with and then suddenly say that he cannot have sex with men at all.

Rick's comment: Ancient Jews viewed this passage as a warning against sexual worship of false gods and against incest. Moses has already listed forbidden incestuous relationships with females. The same incestuous relationships with men of the same affinity and consaguinity are also forbidden.

To me, it sounds like "do not have sex with other men or commit incest because this is what those who worship Moloch do." It just does not seem clear how these verses fit into context.

Do not get me wrong, I do not think that homosexuality is wrong or a sin at all. I personally am asexual so it would be hypocritical of me to say that being gay is a choice, and nonsense to say that God would make them that way if acting on it is a sin. However, I am having trouble figuring out how these verses are not condemning gays. It is hard for me to keep track of things in my mind, so I just need clarification of what is going on here. I am sorry.

Rick's comment: Context is vitally important because that tells us what the conversation is about. I encourage you to reread the article and click on the text links for additional explanation. There is not a shred of historical evidence that ancient Israel in 1450 BC, had a problem with gays and lesbians.

We know that ancient Israel had a major problem with prostituting themselves to goat idols, Leviticus 17:7, i.e., using same sex rituals to worship fertility gods. So everyone would know he was talking about temple prostitutes, Moses prefaces his remarks in Lev 18:22 with v. 3, about not worshiping idols, and v. 21, which mentions Molech.

I hope you will click on the links in the article and educate yourself on this topic. Many thanks.

What must I do to be saved?

Dec 27, 2015
ok wait
by: Echo

I think my real question is if the verse is talking about ritual prostitution, then why does it need to specify "as one would with a woman"? That almost makes it seem like heterosexuality is the default and the fact that the ritual is between two men is part of what makes it an "abomination". Would it be any different if this ritual prostitution occurred between a man and a woman? Why does the verse specifically refer to two men? I hope this makes sense.

Rick's comment: Hi Echo - Moses describes the primary way ritual prostitution occurred back then, most of it being male-male. Sometimes there were also anal sex rituals with women.

All of the rituals were imitative magic in which semen was deposited as an offering to the gods, Molech and/or Ashtoreth (Molech's fertitlity goddess consort). Fertility was the prerogative of the fertility gods. If they used heterosexual sex in their pagan ritual and the female got pregnant, they feared that would make the gods angry.

So they used same sex rituals and anal sex rituals instead. The idea was that the same sex and anal sex rituals would not anger the gods but would compel the gods to bless them with fertile families (more children), fertile flocks (more goats and other farm animals) and fertile fields (more of whatever crops they were growing).

Feb 17, 2016
Language Barrier
by: Ameel

Forget about the context for the meantime and focus on the language barrier. As you know, some words of different language can be interpreted in many ways. A single word can have too many unrelated meanings. You will know that if you learn some languages like Arabic, ect. That is why there is a lost in translation.

You can only understand them if you study the history and the origin of that particular language and find out the context of each given language. That way, we wouldn't have different interpretations.

You cannot just take it literally because it was not interpreted literally. Because it is humanly impossible to do so.

Aug 07, 2016
I want your views on some things
by: Tyler

Hey Ive been looking up verses and reading all the comments and cross referencing the best I can for about 7 hours now and i have a blinding headace but i want to post while its fresh on the mind . ill list a interview ive found with Robert Gagnon>
under q. Sometimes modern-day skeptics reject Leviticus.- he talks on 7 things that dismiss skeptics specifically this is the first part of that-

Robert Gagon "The texts in Leviticus are often dismissed on one or more grounds. For example, it is claimed that these prohibitions have no more significance for the church today than other defunct purity laws; or that they have in view only same-sex intercourse conducted in the context of idolatrous cults, prostitution or adult-adolescent unions. Yet such arguments overlook at least seven points."

and it continues to list the 7 points, im not done reading the whole thing ive read the first part and the 7 points and was interested to hear your perspectives on what hes saying--- this article surprised me, since you quoted him earlier in the comments(when you were responding to PROPEHT 40)

(YOU: Even virulently anti-gay scholars like Dr. Robert Gagnon and John MacArthur and Merrill F. Unger, who had two earned doctorates, agree that the context of Lev 18:22 and 20:13 IS temple prostitution. Why you prefer to ignore that is a mystery.) saying that he (Robert Gagnon) himself said that Leviticus was talking about the male prostitutes homosexual acts in the idol worshiping temples,

but the way you said it to PROPHET 40 made it seem as tho that was what Gagnons' believed, but in the same line of text of his quote on your site he says before the underline "I do not doubt that the circles out of which Lev 18:22 was produced had in view homosexual cult prostitution, at least partly", the "at least partly" is important since you capitalized IT in your response,-

I had to mention that since the context of his statement was obscured a bit on your part to better your statement.

now if you had said somthing along the lines of "he acknowledges Idol temple based homo-sexual relations as the primary form of homo-sexual intercourse in Israel"(or somthing along those lines)it would have been a better representation of the context of Robert Gagons actual belief, while still supplementing your own statement to a lesser degree.

anyway if you could let me know what you think about the 7 points from the interview and if you read the rest ill have it read as well by the time I repond(I dont mean to come off as disrespectful at all, if it sound like I am at some point I am not! I have now spent 8 hours up reading and studying all the verses on your site

I will eventually read all the info on your site I began making a note book on your views and I can tell your passionate for God man and I love it even if we do have different views we still believe in the same God, and I am all for level headed bible debates but you can tell why these people get angry because in their and my eyes this is leading astray people to the false teachings and perversions of the scriptures of the end times,but that is not an excuse to judge you or be disrepectful to you but its like 4am and light really is starting to hurt my head so forgive me on lil spelling errors

ill proof read this a bit tomorrow after I read the rest of Robert Gagons interview on his book in fact brother much love to you and I hope you are having a blessed day!(P.S. site is very well made much props I can tell alot of work and heart went into it!)

Rick's comment: Hi Tyler - My website contains my views about the clobber passages and other passages used to demean gays. Because I get so many comments and emails, I simply don't have time to evaluate info at most of the links people send me.

I can point you to my shrine prostitutes page and the many links to additional info on that page.

There is not a shred of objective historical evidence to support the belief that anyone fourteen hundred years before Christ understood Lev 18:22 and 20:13 to refer to male and female homosexuality. The issue in those verses was and always has been, shrine prostitutes and their pagan worship of false gods.

The twentieth and twenty-first century desire to ADD homosexuality and gays and lesbians into those verses is a political religious culture war thing. It has nothing to do with the ancient context of the Holiness Code.

Scripture cannot mean NOW
What it did not mean THEN.

If it wasn't talking about gays and lesbians in 1450 BC when Moses wrote it, then it is not talking about gays and lesbians now. That is the point.

John MacArthur, Dr. Gagnon and the rest of the scholars I quoted, admit that the context is pagan idolatry and shrine prostitution. Then they ADD in THEIR OPINION, that it also includes homosexuality and gays and lesbians, AS IF the text was also condemning them.

I say again: There is not a shred of objective historical evidence to support the belief that anyone fourteen hundred years before Christ, understood Lev 18:22 and 20:13 to refer to male and female homosexuality.

The issue in those verses was and always has been, shrine prostitutes and their pagan worship of false gods, not gays, not lesbians and not homosexuality.

Dec 17, 2016
Interesting perspective
by: ROB

Excellent analysis. However I would take this even one step further. While the Bible is a historic narrative and LV18:22 deals with religious worship (remember the Book of Leviticus is directed at the Levites or priest class and everything in it had to do with religious conduct) all commandments also can be applied BEYOND historical context and are considered still applicable today.

In Hebrew theological writings religious leaders are always symbolized by a woman starting with Eve. Men always symbolize political leaders. I would agree based on the specific language used and how that same exact language consistently appears elsewhere in the Bible that LV18:22 is actually a commandment not to use religious influence/leadership for political purposes.

Rick's comment: Hi ROB - I disagree with allegorizing and spiritualizing the language is such a way that the text as written loses its common sense meaning.

It is always important to determine the biblical, cultural, doctrinal, historical, linguistic and religious context of a passage in order to determine it's meaning.

What did God and Moses intend to convey in the passage? How did the original hearers understand the words of scripture?

Sep 12, 2017
Woe to false teachers
by: Theo

Good day Rick. To affirm is to present as truthful, fact, or in a positive light. I have one simple question for you:

Present a single scripture in the Biblical canon that expresses God's affirmation of homosexuality.

Rick's comment: Hi Theo - I see how that works. Ignore the in context interpretation because you don't like gays. Then ask a question you don't ask about anything else. I'll see if I can do it too.

Present a single scripture in the Biblical canon that expresses God's affirmation of pastors or elders or deacons or Sunday School teachers or church members getting divorced and then remarried and divorced again and remarried again.

Hey, this is kinda fun. Let me try again.

Present a single scripture in the Biblical canon that expresses God's affirmation of Christians listening to rock music or metal music or using that music in a church service.

How am I doing so far?

Sep 13, 2017
Obfuscation and deflection
by: Theo

First and foremost, I do not dislike gay people so that was a presumption without merit. I have gay friends and family who passionately disagree with your fallacious revisions of scripture! All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Your assumption is also incorrect as to what I would, have, or do question about the practices in today's church and whether if it is supported biblically. Your response is classic tactless obfuscation and deflection.

Rick's comment: Sigh. Hi Theo - It's interesting to note that you ignored everything I wrote in the article you're commenting on. I was asked a question: How do you interpret Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, man should not lay with man? I answered the question and you chose to ignore my answer by calling it "fallacious revisions of scripture."

You then asked a snarky question, the kind of question you never ask about anything else in the Bible or in your life.

That is the point of me saying you don't like gays. You apply a standard to us that you don't apply to anything else in your life.

You reason that if the Bible doesn't affirm gays and lesbians, then the Bible must be against gays and lesbians.

Your reasoning is based on taking the clobber passages out of context and then asserting that the out of context verses are really condemning gay men and lesbians.

When I confront you about your hypocrisy, your defense is, I have gay friend and family members so I couldn't possibly be a hypocrite.

If you wish to discuss pastors, deacons, remarrying, etc, those are their own topics worth conversing in their own right. Nevertheless, it would be more respectable and commendable etiquette to concede in knowing and admitting there is no such scripture that affirms same sex marriage.

Rick's comment: Is there a scripture that affirms air conditioning? Is there a scripture which affirms getting married in a church building and people throwing rice or bird seed on the happy couple as they leave the church?

Is there a scripture that affirms watching R rated movies or porn on a smart phone? Will you ever apply your logic to anything you do?

Continuing to regurgitate the debunked fallacious charges of John Boswell in which there was no precedent prior to the 20th Century does you no merit.

Rick's comment: I believe you Theo, are the one doing the deflecting and obfuscating. I am not a follower of the Roman Catholic scholar, John Boswell. If he was still alive, I would try to lead him to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

My website covers a lot of material that Boswell didn't cover. It might be well for you to remember this:

God saves us from our sins, not from our sexual orientation.

Oct 18, 2017
Late answer
by: Anonymous student

So, I'm reading this five years later. And I do not expect the original anonymous person who asked this question to read this comment. I just think it is interesting, because the bible talks about incest quite a bit. It seems like people who talk about how the bible calls homosexuality a sin, do not read a lot of the bible.

I'm studying this in a Queer Studies class in college. If you are curious about what the bible says about incest, try reading Genesis 19 to 22. It goes from Sodom being burnt to flames, to Lot's two daughters drugging and raping their father in the middle of the night, to Abraham admitting that his wife is his sister, then God threatening death on the man who tries to save her from the incestuous marriage. Why does God threaten death? Well, because Abraham owns his sister/wife, and stealing is a sin. Interesting what folks focus on.

Rick's comment: Hi Anonymous student - In Abraham's time frame, 3800 years ago, it was not considered incest to marry one's half-sister. 430 years AFTER Abraham, God gave the law to Moses and incest was officially forbidden.

So, God did not threaten to kill a man for opposing incest. Instead, God warns King Abimelech not to take Abraham's legal wife since that would be adultery. King Abimelech is crystal clear in Genesis 20 that that is what God warns him against.

And, we should also note: God was protecting the line of Christ, the genealogy of Christ, from being contaminated.

Abraham and Sarah, through Isaac and Jacob and Judah, produced the ancestors of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Keeping that line pure and uncontaminated was important to God and He made it clear to Abimelech that he was not to take Sarah.

Dec 15, 2012 - So I read Leviticus 18
by: Anonymous

I understand that it goes from forbidding incest, to specifying, to mentioning Molek, to homosexuality, to bestiality. The mention of child sacrifice is the only (but notably a)law not concerning sex.

Skimming through 20, it seems very much the same. This exception merits the suggestion, but I have a concern. If this is only forbidding sex-related ritual practices, then according to Leviticus, was incest okay as long as it was not done to worship the Canaanite gods?

Rick's comment: It doesn't forbid homosexuality. In the context, the sin being forbidden is shrine prostitution - using sex to worship the fertility gods.

Click on the link for answers to your question about incest.

Jan 24, 2018
Another late reply to this post
by: Aingy

I too, am interested to know your thoughts.

When you responded to Rick's question on whether you could prove that homosexuality was accepted by God in the bible, you responded with "show me where air-conditioning is allowed" or something to that effect.

I struggle to understand your logic in this response. I know there are many things in life that the Bible does not discuss but I believe that the important things are. Air-conditioning was probably not important to God...!

So since homosexual acts are prohibited under both the old and new covenant (for whatever reason, fertility goddess worship etc.), I would want confirmation from the Word that being in a homosexual relationship, therefore, is acceptable to God, whether even if by just including homosexual couples in stories of God-fearing people. Something, anything!

Rick's comment: You assume, without ANY reference to context, that the Bible condemns gays and lesbians. The biblical truth is, no verse of scripture in the OT or NT, condemns gays and lesbians, for being gay or lesbian.

Then you make the leap that gays and lesbians must come up with verses which affirm them. That is an exceedingly odd way to approach the Bible.

Bible believers use the inductive method of Bible study. 1. OBSERVE what the Bible says, in context. 2. INTERPRET what the Bible says, in context. 3. APPLY what the Bible says, in context.

If you try doing that, you will discover that the Bible never condemns gays and lesbians for being gay or lesbian.

Once you arrive at that truth, you then have no reason to insist that, to pass your test, gays and lesbians MUST find verses that affirm being gay and lesbian.

I have many gay friends and would love to be able to tell them that God approves of such relationships! Would certainly make my life much easier because I simply hate confrontation.

Rick's comment: How about producing any Bible verse which, in context, condemns gays and lesbians? If you can't do that, then you can back off from your opinion and embrace the truth that the Bible has never supported your opinion on the gay issue.

Unfortunately I have yet to see it. I read my Bible every day and have read the whole Bible through a few times, but I don't ever claim to know everything and I am always learning new insights from the Word that God wants me to grow in.

That said, I still don't recall reading anywhere that homosexual relationships is acceptable to God. And yet I do read how it is prohibited, whether under false worship situations or other.

Rick's comment: Okay, list the verses. What verses, in context, support the opinion you just stated?

Let's have the list.

I feel the real problem here is that homosexuality is such a contentious issue because of hypocritical Christians. Sin as a whole should be the issue and we should be very concerned about what God says about all sin.

There is no difference between adultery, gossip, malicious intent, jealousy, unforgiveness, murder, homosexuality, and a million other sins.

And I think we are dangerous ground when we try to justify any of these because they enable us to live the lives we want.

May the LORD guide us all as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, enabling us to live by His 2 greatest commandments. God bless you all.

Rick's comment: Hi Aingy - Thanks for your question. All scripture was given in a context. Areas of context include: 1. Biblical context, 2. Cultural context, 3. Doctrinal context, 4. Historical context, 5. Linguistic context, 6. Literary context, and 7. Religious context.

When we ignore context and insist that scripture means something out of context, that it didn't mean in context, we will get it wrong every time.

A text without a context is a pretext for teaching something that isn't true.

Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 do not mean whatever floats through your mind when you read them, while ignoring context.

There is no context of gay men and lesbians in those verses or chapters.

The context is unsaved pagans, using sex to worship their false gods.

It may assist your understanding to reread the article and click on the links for additional information.

Feb 21, 2018
Interpretation of 18:22 20:13! Leviticus
by: Lola Wants

Homosexual people are doing wrong and sinning according to
my interpretation of the Bible.
Why are people saying it is alright in New Testament?
When God caused the earth to be flooded - he had Noah save
a male and female of each species so that they could reproduce.
What would the new earth have been like if
Noah had saved each animal species of the same gender?
Also, the Rainbow is a symbol from God letting the world
know that it will never be flooded again!
Homosexual people should STOP using the sacred Rainbow
as a symbol for them!!! Use something else as a symbol instead
of one associated with the Bible!!!

God’s Word Is What It Is! I personally know gay, kindhearted
people that I love but I hope someday they will realize that they are
doing wrong!

Jul 05, 2018
It's About What's In Your Heart!
by: Branden

Context is essential. Everything in the Bible connects to one and other. A lot of people take everything literally, but actually there are several different ways of interpretations and metaphors in the Bible. This is why it's so important to remember that whoever seeks Jesus and confesses with their heart, mind and lips WILL be saved!

Rick's comment: Hi Branden - Yes, Jesus saves all who call upon him for salvation.

What must I do to be saved?

Aug 17, 2018
Theory - disease prevention?
by: pcw27

The line in question is usually translated to "as with a woman" so could that mean specifically penetration?

I've long had a hypothesis that the anthropological origins of homophobia are owed at least in part to the risk of infections. A person's mouth and anus are among the most bacteria ridden parts of their bodies and one can imagine the damage that could be inflicted by a bacterial infection of the genitals.

Is it possible that this passage is more concerned with disease than idolatry? After all many of the prohibitions in Leviticus are clearly for disease prevention and for quarantining people when they're become infected. So there is context for this possibility.

Rick's comment: Hi pcw27 - There may be a secondary reference to disease. The primary reference is to prohibit idolatry, as explained at this link.

Are Lev 18:22 and 20:13 about shrine prostitutes?

The likely secondary reference could be to disease, based on Exodus 15:26 and Deuteronomy 28:58-61.

Disease in the mind of Moses and the children of Israel, is linked to disobeying God and worshiping idols. Indeed, God promises that if they walk away from Him and worship idols, He WILL cause the diseases of Egypt to come upon them.

Moses wrote all three books - Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy - and all three books are tied together by the knowledge and experience of Moses, the human author.

Jul 29, 2019
by: Lee B.

This article is a pitiful excuse to ignore the *very clear* Word of God.

Frankly, you do not have a leg to stand on here. This article is sheer doublespeak.

You claim that the "true context" of these commandments is all about idolatry, and to support that you go all the way back to chapter 16 - about the Day of Atonement.

First of all, there is a *clear* break at the end of that chapter. God STOPS talking about the Day of Atonement and STARTS giving general commands about animals. Not only that, but his audience even changes: Chapter 16 was addressed *only* to Aaron, while chapter 17 begins with the Lord now commanding "all the children of Israel".

Secondly, your "argument" (if one can call it that) claims that chapter 16 introduces the overall theme of idolatry. Err... no, it doesn't!

Chapter 16 says not a word about idolatry. Nor does chapter 17 (except for one verse which mentions it in passing). There is no "context" of idolatry whatsoever - either implicit or explicit and it is utterly ludicrous to even suggest such a thing.

What's more, it is *absolutely clear* that chapter 18 begins a new section of Scripture. This is prefaced by the Lord commanding the children of Israel to "keep My statutes and My judgments". This clearly has NOTHING to do with the personal instructions given to Aaron in chapter 16, nor does it relate to the previous chapter about animals and drinking blood.

The topic of idolatry doesn't even come up until chapter 19 and it is quite clear from the way it is introduced ("Do not turn to idols") that the topic is being RAISED here, not continued.

Even if we accepted that chapters 18-20 were actually "all about idolatry" (which they're clearly not) - but let's suppose they were - how on earth do you somehow make the stretch that all the commandments contained within them must now be ignored because they only pertain to idolatry? This is illogical.

For example, God commands His people here to "revere your mother and your father and keep My Sabbaths". You're seriously telling me that God DOESN'T want us to do this…? Because…? This section is about idolatry? That doesn't even make any sense. Illogical.

There is clearly nothing about this set of commandments which sets them apart as a bunch of rules that can be somehow ignored. On the contrary - they're all eternal moral truths that are repeated time and again throughout the Bible.

For example, the prohibition from drinking blood - this is repeated in the New Testament (acts 15). On what possible grounds can you say that the Lord wants us to ignore this commandment?

What about the commandments against witchcraft, harlotry, dishonest trading, adultery… you're saying these commands are all to be ignored? That God wrote them for no reason? What are you even saying?

As for serious sexual sins such as men sleeping together, the Lord calls such things an "abomination" and "wickedness". This would seem like strange language if God intended us to ignore these commands. (For reasons which you haven't even made clear.)

The Lord also warned His people here that the previous inhabitants defiled the land by doing such abominations, and if they do the same they will be ejected from the land. How on earth could this possibly be taken to mean that God is OK with His people doing these things? What you are teaching is irrational!

In fact, what you are doing is twisting the Scripture to suit your own sinful agenda. Because you have no real love of God, you love sin far more and will not repent as Jesus commanded all men to do!

God has also given you a conscience, and surely you must know that men sleeping together is perverse and wrong? That is why you enjoy it so much, because it thrills your soul to do what you know deep down is wicked.

This article further tries to twist the truth by mentioning "lesbianism" and "homosexuality". There is nothing in the Bible about such fictional concepts.

"Lesbians" have nothing whatsoever to do with men who sleep together. The Bible endorses women sleeping together: All the Biblical heroes had multiple wives, and Solomon had 1,000 - he obviously didn't keep them all in separate beds!

God does not condemn "homosexuality" - He condemns MEN SLEEPING WITH MEN. Plan and simple.

The Bible says that the fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom, and that salvation is only for those who fear Him (Acts 10:35, 13:26, Romans 3:18).

I suggest that you quickly start fearing God before it's too late, and repent of this satanic ministry, or you will be destroyed along with all the sinners of the world.

Are you REALLY prepared to stake your life on the gamble that Leviticus 18-20 is "really all about idolatry which means we should completely ignore these commands"?

Rick's comment: Hi Lee B. - Your reading comprehension level is seriously low. Did you click on any of the links in the article you skimmed? It seems to me, you need to do a lot more reading and study.

Here's a great place to begin. I encourage you to read, believe, memorize and obey, 2 Timothy 2:15. God has much to teach you if you are willing to learn.

What must I do to be saved?

Apr 14, 2020
Laws of God or Laws of Man?
by: John

Why so much fuss about what was said in Leviticus? These are clearly rules of man that have been fortified by the myth that they were delivered by God to Moses.

Perhaps there were very good reasons for them, but that's not the point if we consider their application to non-Jews in a period long after they were written.

One of the strongest arguments that they were man-made creations is the absence of any reference to lesbianism. At least one commentary I read suggested the reason for this was that the writer didn't know about it. Quite. The writer was a man. But an omniscient God would have known about everything - including lesbianism.

Rick's comment: Hi John- An argument from silence (the absence of any reference to lesbianism) is not a strong argument. It is so weak as to be no argument at all.

Moses constantly reiterates that what he wrote is from God. As a Bible believer, I believe Moses and I believe the Bible.

It's important to remember that the topic in Leviticus 18 and 20 is NOT homosexual men and is NOT lesbian women.

The topic is shrine prostitutes (male or female) who used sex to worship false gods.

There was no need to mention lesbians because lesbians were not the focus of Moses' argument.

Jul 09, 2020
by: Sam

You say shrine prostitution and idol worship are the objectives in these verses.

The words for prostitution or prostitute are not used though.
They are however used a bit later in the following verses.

"Leviticus 19:29: Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, lest the land fall into prostitution and the land become full of depravity."

Leviticus 21:9 : "As for the daughter of any priest, if she is defiled by prostituting, she is disgracing her father—she shall be burned in the fire. "

Why wouldn’t the word used for prostitution be used in 18:22, and 20:13?

If Leviticus 20:13 ( If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.) prohibits homosexuality only in shrine prostitution, do the surrounding verses talking of immorality place no restrictions on the average Israelite?

For example, does not Leviticus 20:11 (If a man lies with his father’s wife, he has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.) apply to all of Israel?

Why would God give these rules to foreign idolaters?

These are rules for Israel to set them apart from those who practice immorality. This immorality includes prostitution, AND lying with a man as with a woman. i.e, homosexual activity.

You say the context is God’s hatred of pagan religion practices, and the context is not homosexuality.

Correct. When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, murder is prohibited. What is the context? Was there a sudden outbreak of mass murder in the Hebrew camp that prompted God to codify ‘You shall not murder‘? No. Using your line of reasoning stating that homosexuality isn’t the context of Leviticus, should I discount the commandment to not murder based on its’ lack of context in the text?

Context matters. As does the actual TEXT.

Rick's comment: Hi Sam- I agree with you, when you say: Context matters. As does the actual TEXT.

I go into more detail on my
shrine prostitutes page.

Several important facts to keep in mind.

1. Lev 18:3 lets us know explicitly what Moses is talking about. Don't do like they did in Egypt, where you came from, and don't do like they do in Canaan, where you're going. Moses is talking about idol worship, not gays and lesbians.

2. Moses included the Holiness Code, Leviticus 17-26, as a section in the Leviticus scroll. Lev 17:7 sets the context, in the Holiness Code, for what follows in 18:22 and 20:13.

3. Lev 18:21 amplifies the context of idolatry, by mentioning Molech.

4. Lev 20:2, 3, 4, 5 further amplifies the context of idolatry, by mentioning Molech four more times.

5. Calling it, homosexuality, as you do in your comment, shows you are starting with a false presupposition, unsupported by the context and unsupported by the text.

7. Moses doesn't analogize homosexuality with the other sins he lists. Moses analogizes shrine prostitution with the other sins he lists.

Wish students of scripture carefully note the context and the words used, so they can rightly divide the word of truth, 2 Timothy 2:15.

Jun 22, 2022
Your rebuttal please
by: Bill Brasky

Your argument can be used to defend any of the other sins in Leviticus 18.

Rick's comment: Hi William or Bill Brasky - Thanks for your comment. I go into more detail on my
shrine prostitutes page but here is a condensed answer.

These are SEVEN IMPORTANT FACTS to keep in mind about this passage.

1. Leviticus 18:3 tells us what Moses is talking about = Don't do like they did in Egypt, where you came from, and don't do like they do in Canaan, where you're going. Moses is talking about idol worship, not gays and lesbians.

2. Moses was the human author of Leviticus and he included the Holiness Code, Leviticus chapters 17-26, as a section in the Leviticus scroll. Leviticus 17:7 sets the context, in the Holiness Code, for what follows in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13.

3. Leviticus 18:21 amplifies the context of idolatry, by mentioning the false god Molech.

4. Leviticus 20:2, 3, 4, 5 further amplifies the context of idolatry, by mentioning Molech four more times.

5. Calling it, homosexuality, as some people do in their comments, shows they are starting with a false presupposition, unsupported by the context and unsupported by the text.

7. Moses never analogizes homosexuality with the other sins he lists in Leviticus chapters 18 and 20. Instead, Moses analogizes shrine prostitution with the other sins he lists. Shrine prostitution is not homosexuality.

Wish students of scripture carefully note the context and the words used, so they can rightly divide the word of truth, 2 Timothy 2:15.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Gay Christian FAQ.

Enjoy this page? Get the html to share it with others.

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.
Site Build It! Site Build It!