Chapter 9


   Homosexuality - Old Testament Usage  
   Homosexuality - New Testament Usage  
   Bestiality - Old Testament Usage  
   Bestiality - New Testament Usage   

Deviant sexual practices addressed in the written Word of God include bestiality, sodomy and homosexuality. When we speak of "deviant" sexual practices, we are referring to the deviant application of one's sexuality that falls outside the boundaries of what the Word of GOD would describe as "normal" or acceptable.

An examination of these English terms will yield some light into what we endeavor to uncover from the Scriptures regarding this subject.  When we use the term "homosexuality," we are speaking of the sexual desire that a man or woman has for someone of the same gender.  Specific sexual acts may be characteristic of homosexual behavior, but we want to strike at the very root of the subject - desire.  Desire precedes the behavior just as planting seed precedes a harvest.  It should be noted that homosexuality is NOT gender specific.  The terms "gay" and "lesbian" were only invented to categorize male and female homosexuality.  "Bestiality" is described as a sexual relationship (usually sexual intercourse) between a human being and an animal and also is not gender specific.  The origin of the English term sodomy is from the Old French sodomie or Medieval Latin sodomia and was derived from the Hebrew s'dom, or Sodom, the ancient Palestinian city destroyed in Genesis 19.  In its biblical description, the English word depicts the activities of the men of Sodom; anal intercourse and bestiality (see Gen 19:5 and Jude 1:7).  In the evolution of the English term, the word "sodomy" has come to describe any deviant application of the penis in a sexual relationship and would now include oral-genital contact with one of the same or opposite sex as well as anal intercourse.

- Homosexuality - Old Testament Usage -

The word sodomite occurs frequently in the Old Testament and is translated from the Hebrew words qadhesh (masculine) and qedheshah (feminine).  These words are derived from qadhash and qadhesh respectively, meaning to be holy, sanctified, or to consecrate or dedicate.  Old Testament references would include "sodomite" (qadhesh), Deut 23:17; I Kings 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; II Kings 23:7 and "harlot" or "whore" (qedheshah), Gen 38:21, 22; Deut 23:17; and Hosea 4:14.  Qadhesh and qedheshah are never translated "fornication" or "adultery".

Understanding pagan temple worship and prostitution fosters a better comprehension of word usage.  The qadhesh and qedheshah were male and female temple prostitutes, respectively, who participated in pagan temple worship.  This worship involved various types of sexual activities and existed throughout the land of Canaan.  The usage of these terms regarding pagan temple prostitutes came about because of its correlation with that which was holy, sanctified, dedicated or hallowed.  All temple worshipers and others involved in the temple worship would have considered themselves or their functions to be holy, be it Israel and their relationship to GOD or the pagan nations and their idols.

The difference between the two stems from the purity aspect of holiness.  GOD set the standard for purity and holiness.  The Devil attempted to copy what GOD was and what HE instituted among the children of Israel by using the pagan temple prostitutes and convincing them that they were sanctified or holy.  The Devil's attempt at "holiness" did not produce a genuine copy for the purity of the pagan prostitutes could not stand up to the real test of GOD's purity.  GOD's standard of purity and holiness cannot be replicated by any, and as judged by HIM, they were neither holy nor pure.

The King James Version translates qadhesh as "sodomite."  The English word "sodomite" is a derivation from the word Sodom and specifically refers to the male inhabitants of that city.  Sodomy refers to the sexual activities of the inhabitants of Sodom and has come to allude primarily to male-male anal intercourse which temple prostitutes practiced.  The English translators used the word sodomite for the Hebrew qadhesh because of the relationship between anal intercourse among gay men and male temple prostitution.

The land of Canaan was full of many nations.  For example, in Gen 15:19-21, the LORD spoke to Abram and gave him a promise.  Mentioned are the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaims, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites.  All those nations encompassed the land that the seed of Abram would inherit.  In Num 33:55, the LORD told Moses that if those inhabitants were not driven out of the land, they would be "pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell."  Abram's seed did not drive them out and this led the children of Israel into much of their corruption.

In Mesopotamia, the Canaanites possessed many different types of idols for various reasons.  Those relevant are the Asherah, Anat and Astarte (Hebrew ashtaroth).  These idols were primarily connected with fertility or sex.  The idol Baal was the male counterpart to the Asherah.  As a god and goddess, Baal and Asherah supposedly brought fertility to the soil and also to animals and humans.128  Instituted by the pagan religions, this fertility protection plan was designed to ensure a greater harvest of crops and larger production of offspring for the individual farmers.  The barren wife would also appeal to these fertility gods to conceive a child.129.  Sacred or ritual prostitution played a role in assuring the fertility of the land, animals and humans.  The pagans believed in imitative magic, meaning that the ritual of sexual intercourse with the male and female temple prostitutes invoked the power of the fertility gods and goddesses.  The people believed that their copulation would entice the gods and goddesses to engage in sexual intercourse so as to bring fruitfulness to the land, animals and people.  If a man's animals or plants did not reproduce, the people believed that the reason was the failure of the respective deities to copulate.

Many high places (altars made of rock) are mentioned throughout the OT.  A sacred pillar (grove) on one side of the altar represented the male sexual organ (penis) and symbolized the male's role in fertility.  On the other side of the altar stood a figurine of a pregnant woman or a woman holding her breasts; the Asherah, symbolizing the female element of fertility130.

The priests (qadhesh) and priestesses (qedheshah) played a vital role in the fertility cult worship.  They served as ministers in the divine or idol-god temples.  A New Year's festival was observed by many nations and was designed to set the year ahead.  This festival contained an important ritual in which a king and priestess would copulate at the shrines or high places as an attempt to secure fertility for the land and people.131   The men of these nations would also take part in the New Year's festivals by copulating with dedicated prostitutes.

Many women dedicated their daughters as priestesses to the pagan temple worship.  It was considered an honorable thing among the pagans to be dedicated to the fertility gods and goddesses.  Male prostitutes, or qadhesh, were those who engaged in anal intercourse with other men, though they may have also engaged in sexual intercourse with women.132  However, Keil and Delitzsch, Vol. III, p. 485, refer to the male prostitutes as also being those self-castrated eunuchs who acted like women and lived in close association and intimacy with them.

Deut 23:17, 18  There shall be no whore [sodomitess, Hebrew qedheshah] of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite [Hebrew qadhesh] of the sons of Israel.  (18) Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD God.

The whore and the sodomite of vs 17 are the female and male temple prostitutes, who took part in pagan fertility rites.  The sons and daughters of Israel were not to be, nor to model themselves after, the male and female temple prostitutes.  In vs 18, "the hire of a whore" is the money paid to the Hebrew zonah (fornicatress, or more properly here, social prostitute).  The social prostitute (zonah) is different from the temple prostitute (qedheshah), in that the former was not involved in pagan fertility rituals.  Here, the Hebrew word kelebh ("dog") metaphorically refers to male prostitution and is similar to pederasty133 (indicative of the position dogs assume during copulation).  Because the Hebrew word is kelebh and not qadhesh, it is thought that this word means "priest."  A priest would have been the coordinator and possibly a participant in the sexual relations between the temple supporters and the temple prostitutes, both male and female.134

The English word sodomy primarily refers to anal intercourse between men as it is used in scripture.  There are several such instances in the Old Testament where homosexual behavior as anal intercourse between men is spoken of but does not use the Hebrew word for sodomite.  The first reference to such behavior is in Gen 19.

Gen 19:1-5  And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;  (2) And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.  (3) And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.  (4) But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:  (5) And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know [euphemism: have sexual or rather anal intercourse with] them.

The men of Sodom wanted to have anal intercourse with the angels who were given protection under Lot's roof (Gen 19).  There are several other instances.

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

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

Jud 19:21-22  So he [an old man from Ephraim] brought him [a certain Levite from Ephraim] into his [the old man's] house, and gave provender unto the asses: and they washed their feet, and did eat and drink.  (22) Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man [the Levite] that came into thine house, that we may know [euphemism: have sexual or rather anal intercourse with] him.

It is quite evident that homosexual behavior was forbidden by GOD in the Law of Moses.  It is called an "abomination" and required those who were caught to be "put to death."

I Kings 14:22-24  And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done.  (23) For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, and every high hill, and under every green tree.  (24) And there were also Sodomites [Hebrew qadhesh] in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

Qadhesh is used here in a generic collective sense to include both the male and female temple prostitutes (cp. I Kings 15:12).135  The people of Judah built themselves high places (shrines), images (statues) and groves (sacred pillars) on every high hill and under every green tree.  All were involved in pagan idol worship and fertility cults.  The prohibition of this type of activity is addressed in Deuteronomy 23.

II Kings 23:3-7  And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book.  And all the people stood to the covenant.  (4) And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Beth-el.  (5) And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.  (6) And he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people.  (7) And he brake down the houses of the sodomites [qadhesh, used in a collective sense for male and female temple prostitutes136], that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.

The houses of the sodomites were tents or huts built in the court of the temple for those prostitutes to live in.  It is within those houses that women wove the tents that comprised the temples for the Asherah ("the hangings for the grove").137

By command of the king, Hilkiah, the high priest, and the priests of the second order purged the land of many licentious practices and the idolatrous places of worship.  This idolatry was brought in by the pagan nations and adopted by the children of Israel.  A large number of the former kings throughout the land of Judah and Israel had tolerated these pagan practices.

- Homosexuality - New Testament Usage -

I Cor 6:9  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [Gk. malakos: male prostitutes (NIV)], nor abusers of themselves with mankind [Gk. arsenokoites: homosexual offenders (NIV)],

I Tim 1:10  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind [Gk. arsenokoites: homosexual offenders (NIV)], for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

In I Cor 6:9, the word "effeminate" (Gk. malakos) is translated "soft" in Matt 11:8 (twice) and Luke 7:25.  It denotes the passive partner in a male homosexual relationship.  The passive partners allowed themselves to be treated like women (anal intercourse mimicking male-female sexual intercourse) and may have even dressed as women for these purposes.  This was by far the most common type of homosexual behavior in the Greco-Roman world.138  Along with this idea, it has also been suggested that the effeminate were catamites (a passive partner, usually a boy, in a homosexual relationship).139 140

Arsenokoites is derived from the Greek words arren or arsen, meaning a man (a male) and koite, which means bed and implies coitus or sexual intercourse.  It would be translated male sexual intercourse and denotes the active partner in a homosexual relationship.141  Therefore, fornicators are not only addressed but also adulterers, and the passive and active partners in a male homosexual relationship.

Thus far, we have examined the behavior of the homosexual or the concept of sodomy.  We have not touched on homosexuality itself.  In other words, we have not dealt with the root of the behavior; the desire.  It is in the New Testament that we find the Scriptures addressing homosexuality.

Rom 1:18-28  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold [hold down, suppress] the truth in unrighteousness;  (19) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  (20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  (21) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  (22) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  (23) And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.  (24) Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:  (25) Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.  (26) For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  (27) And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.  (28) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

This section of the Epistle to the Romans is vital to our understanding of homosexuality itself.  If we cultivate the seeds that are planted here, we will be fruitful in our understanding of this issue.  The Apostle Paul begins his dissertation in Romans 1 by addressing the Gentile world.

Rom 1:19-20  Because that which may be [or, is] known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  (20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

We begin by dealing with that which is "knowable" of GOD.  Paul uses the terms "manifest" and "shewed" to dispel any ignorance on the part of the Gentile.  GOD used the conscience of man ("manifest in them") and HIS works ("shew it unto them") to reveal HIMSELF.

Acts 14:15-17  And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:  (16) Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.  (17) Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.

GOD did not leave HIMSELF "without witness."  The rain from heaven and fruit of the earth all bear witness to the fact of a CREATOR.

Ps 19:1-4  The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.  (2) Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.  (3) There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.  (4) Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world…

It is GOD's creation that "declares" and "shows" HIM.  There is no utterance or sound; not even a voice and yet its "words" go to the ends of the world.  This knowledge is communicated although no words are uttered.

Rom 1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen [understood], being understood [perceived] by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse [defense]:

It is the visible created works that reveal the invisible ONE whose power brought it into existence and keeps it functioning.  The step that takes one from "perceiving" and "understanding" is reflection and acknowledgement.  In contemplating the visible creation and reflecting upon its magnificence and wonder, a human being perceives the great "Unseen" behind it all.  It is man's cogitation upon the visible realities that enables him to understand, in a limited fashion, the invisible ONE.  The conclusion is so obvious that it leaves them "without excuse".

Rom 1:21, 22  Because that, when they [the Gentile people] knew [Gk. ginosko; acquired knowledge] God, they glorified [Gk. doxa] him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  (22) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

The Gentiles "knew" or gained knowledge of GOD through observation and experience.  From cradle to grave, the intricacies and wonders of this creation testify to the existence of an all powerful BEING.  The whole gamut of life's experiences in daily living (e.g., planting and harvest, sun and rain, sleep and labor, parent and child) confronts us with this reality.  The word "glory" (Gk. doxa) means an opinion or estimate.  With reference to GOD, it means to esteem HIM or regard HIM with high value.  To understand what it means to "glorify" GOD, we turn to I Chronicles 16.

I Chron 16:23-36  Sing unto the LORD, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation.  (24) Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations.  (25) For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods.  26 For all the gods of the people are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.  (27) Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.  (28) Give unto the LORD, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength.  (29) Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.  (30) Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.  (31) Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth.  (32) Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein.  (33) Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh to judge the earth.  (34) O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.  (35) And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.  (36) Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD.

The glorification of GOD requires the declaration of "his marvellous works."  It involves the acknowledgement that HE is a supreme being ("above all gods"), CREATOR ("made the heavens") and reigns ("the LORD reigneth").  Confessing or acknowledging GOD as CREATOR is directly connected with his glorification.  Romans Chp 1 states that they did not glorify HIM as GOD and "neither were thankful."  Not only does GOD's supremacy demand glory, but HIS goodness, thankfulness (Matt. 19:17; Rom. 2:4).  Remember Acts 14:15-17?  The important elements here are twofold: 1) the Gentiles knew there was a GOD but did not glorify HIM; they did not acknowledge that HE is what or who HE is as the CREATOR (i.e., a denial of GOD while knowing HE is!) and therefore devalued HIM; 2) they lacked thankfulness.  When they devalued, usurped and dethroned GOD, they found no reason to be thankful to HIM (as the expression of thanks requires a recipient).

Rom 1:21b,22  …but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart [mind] was darkened.  (22) Professing [alleging] themselves to be wise, they became fools [made foolish or stupid],

The word "vain" is the Gk. mataioo and means that which is useless or empty.  The word "imaginations" is the Gk. dialogimos and means to deliberate with one's self.  The Gentiles became vain in their questioning about what was true with regard to creation.  Their speculation became vain and useless because they had turned from what was true regarding creation and its CREATOR.  It states that their heart was "foolish" and that it was "darkened." The word "foolish" is the Gk. asunetos and means unintelligent or stupid.  It is the opposite of intelligent or one who has gained insight.  The word "darkened" is the Gk. skotizo and means to be covered with darkness or deprived of light.  Here, it is in the passive tense as is the word "vain."  There is a cause and effect relationship that is set in motion.  Their actions (i.e., devaluing and dethroning GOD and a lack of thankfulness) produced a consequence (i.e., useless speculation and a darkened stupid mind).  The cause and effect sequence is duplicated in vs 22.  The "professing" is in the active tense; the "became fools" is in the passive tense.  Their allegation of being wise by rejecting the CREATOR demonstrated the reality that they were foolish and stupid.

Acts 14:15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:

This is the opposite action of that in Romans Chp 1.  It is the recognition of GOD "as GOD" that sparks humility.  In contrast, pride leads to destruction (Cp Prov. 11:2; 16:18).

Obadiah 1:3  The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?

It is "pride" that "deceives" the individual.  The Gentiles thought that they were wise but in actuality, they were nothing but fools.  The mind and reason must have GOD for its guide (Ps 119:130).  You cannot leave a void in the heart of a man.  Something must occupy that space; truth or error.  The Gentiles fell into useless deliberations and a mind devoid of light.  All one can do in darkness is grope and find something to hang onto.  Once the CREATOR was removed from the picture, the only alternative was to follow their reasoning's.  They had to substitute something else for the truth and a heart deprived of light is unable to discern truth from error.  They professed to be right ("wise") but were nothing shy of dead wrong ("fools").

Rom 1:23  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like [an image or likeness resembling] to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.

The word "changed" is the Gk. allasso and means to transform or alter.  In their profession of being "wise", the Gentiles altered the "glory of the uncorruptible God."  They changed or transformed their opinion or estimate of the GOD who is without corruption or decay into an object that is corruptible, decaying and perishing!  In other words, the creation became GOD and replaced the CREATOR.  This is one aspect of truth that was being held down or suppressed in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18).  Throughout this section of Romans Chp 1, standards of truth will be violated.  It is the wrath of GOD (in vs 18) that is "revealed against all ungodliness (i.e., a lack of reverence toward GOD) and unrighteousness (i.e., violating GOD's law or standard) of men."  GOD is no longer a Supreme BEING to be observed and venerated; HE is reduced to a created object, such as a man, animal, money or some other idol.  When man becomes his own god, he can set his own standards for what is right and wrong.

Rom 1:24  Wherefore [on account of vs 23] God also [omit, also] gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts [desires] of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves [that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves]:

The word "gave" as in "gave them up" is the Gk. paradidomi and is used three times in this Chp of Romans (vs 24, 26, 28).  It means to give over to the power of another; to deliver up (cp Matt. 10:19; 24:9; Rom. 8:32).  Here, it is in the active tense.  There is a figure of speech pertinent to the usage of paradidomi here.  It is the figure Idioma, which refers to the peculiar usage of words and phrases (Bullinger, Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, pp. 819-824).  In this instance, it is the idiomatic usage of an active verb by a Hebrew writer to designate that GOD permitted, rather than performed, the action indicated.  In other words, what Paul (a Hebrew) said that GOD did was in reality what GOD allowed to happen.  The "uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves" was a divine consequence of the actions in vs 23.  The word "uncleanness" is the Gk. akatharsia, generally something that is impure or unclean and is listed as one of the "works of the flesh" in Gal. 5:19.  It is opposed to holiness (I Thess 4:7) and defiles (Lev 15:31).  In contrast, it is the pure that see GOD (Matt. 5:8).  A study of this concept throughout Scripture reveals that nothing "unclean" could ever come into contact with GOD.  It is contrary to HIS nature.  The word "dishonour" is the Gk. atimazo and means to disgrace, degrade, treat shamefully or lightly esteem.  The Gentiles disgraced or shamefully treated their bodies in relation to each other.  This is significant, as anal sex is a disgrace to the masterful design of the human body by its CREATOR.  The one who manifests this sexual attitude disregards or thinks lightly of the purpose for which that aspect of the body was created (i.e., the rectum and anus for the passage of food waste).  It is their foolish and darkened heart's desire that renders them unclean.  They follow their "own heart" and not HIS.  GOD allowed their heart to pursue its own standard once they had given up on HIM and HIS as CREATOR.

Rom 1:25  Who changed [exchanged] the truth of God into a [for the] lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.  Amen.

Man only hurts himself when he fails to give GOD the honor and glory due to HIM (cp Ps 8:6-8); consequently, idolatry degrades both GOD and man.  Here is a deliberate action on the part of man to exchange (Gk. metallasso) GOD's truth for THE LIE.

John 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaketh a lie [Gk. to pseudos - The Lie], he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it [father of THE LIE].

Eph 4:25  Wherefore putting away lying [Gk. to pseudos - The Lie], speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Daniel 8:25  And through his [the Antichrist's] policy also he shall cause craft [LXX - The Lie] to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

THE LIE (as distinguished in the Greek by the presence of the Greek article to as in to pseudos) is everything that is contrary to truth as established by GOD.  Through the process of time, THE LIE has permeated or worked its way into every nook and cranny of life.  In Romans Chp 1, we see that the truth of GOD in creation was quickly supplanted by THE LIE.  The truth of what GOD established in natural sexual function and desire was exchanged for something else.  Once GOD had been brought down to the level of man, HIS truth no longer reigned supreme.  Consequently, the creature was elevated and its desire reigned instead, no matter how absurd or contradictory to its design.  THE LIE subsisted in the deification and worship of ones self.  By elevating ones self to the level of GOD, standards and accountability became intrinsic instead of extrinsic.  No longer did they have to justify themselves to the CREATOR; the people only had to be accountable to themselves.  Whatever desires or actions they deemed to be right and true, are the ones they have had to live by and fulfill; the standards being determined by the creature rather than the CREATOR or what feels right at the time.

Rom 1:26, 27  For this cause God gave them up unto [gave them over to the power of] vile affections: for even their women did change [Gk. metallasso - exchange] the natural use into [for] that which is against [contrary to] nature:  (27) And likewise also the men, leaving [giving up, sending forth, letting go] the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working [performing, accomplishing] that which is unseemly [indecent, shameful], and receiving in themselves that recompence [compensatory reward] of their error which was meet [rightfully necessary, justly due].

The "for this cause" links vss 26 and 27 with vs 25.  Through their action in vs 25, GOD judicially gave them over to the power of their "vile affections."  The words "gave them up" are the same in the Greek as used in vs 24 as well as the figure of speech used there.  GOD didn't intervene to stop the consequential behavior here.  These "vile affections" (Gk. atimia pathos) were intense emotional drives or desires that were dishonorable and disgraceful.  These vss go on to describe how the desires produced unnatural behavior.  The "natural use" (Gk. phusis chresis) refers to the sexual function established by nature.  Nature is the product of the CREATOR.  The word "nature" in English is derived from the Latin natura, from the verb nasci (to be born).  In the Greek, phusis is derived from the verb phuo, to propagate, produce, to bring forth.  In vss 26, 27, we see desires and behavior that are contrary to that which is propagated, produced and brought forth by GOD through HIS creation.  In other words, this desire and behavior is not inborn but acquired.  There is nothing natural about homosexuality.  It is no more natural than murder.  Both stem from desires or emotions (e.g., Gen 4:6,8; 27:45; II Sam 12:5; Rom 1:26,27, etc) and are prohibited in scripture (Lev 18:22; 20:13; Rom 1:18-32; Ex 20:13; Matt 19:18).  Personal accountability was still required by GOD for either of these behaviors.  There is nothing genetic about homosexuality either.  However, to excuse accountability, there are those who would like to believe it and many so-called "scientists" who seek to prove it.  The element of birth cannot escape the realm of "nature" and homosexuality is contrary to the realm of birth or origin.  The design of creation demands procreation (i.e., "after its kind" in Genesis Chp 1) and homosexuality relinquishes reproduction to the realm of the impossible.  The prohibitions in scripture would be illogical if not ridiculous assuming that homosexuality (or even murder) was a biological trait and its grasp was inescapable.  As a contrary example, menstruation is referenced in scripture and, as most women could testify, is a biological function that occurs regardless of their will.  Therefore GOD, in scripture, never prohibits menstruation.  The words "change", "leaving", and "burned in their lust" in vss 26, 27 also emphasize and amplify the deliberate determination and act of their will.

The word for "error" in vs 27 is the Greek plane and means to wander or stray from the right path.

I Tim 4:1  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing [Gk. planos] spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Prov 14:8 [LXX] The wisdom of the prudent will understand their ways; but the folly of fools leads astray [Gk. plane].

Jas 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error [Gk. plane] of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

The concept behind the word connotes a deception, a misleading or seduction from the truth.  They strayed from the right path of natural sexual relations by allowing themselves to be deceived and misled through their own desires.  This seduction could only occur through deifying themselves and forsaking GOD's way to follow their own.

Rom 1:28  And even as they did not like to retain [hold, keep] God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

The word "knowledge" is the Gk. epignosis and means acknowledgement or recognition (cp Col 2:2; II Tim 2:25; Tit 1:1).  The margin reads, "to hold in knowledge."  The New Jerusalem Bible reads, "In other words, since they would not consent to acknowledge God…" and the English Standard Version, "And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God…"  This is a willful voluntary refusal to acknowledge GOD.  They turned away from the CREATOR and HIS sexual standards and, as the context has demonstrated, followed their own.

The words "gave them over" allude back to the figure of speech mentioned in vss 24 and 26 and are the same active Gk. verb paradidomi.  The word "reprobate" is the Gk. adokimos and refers to that which does not stand up to the test; unapproved, unfit, rejected.

Prov 25:4 [LXX]  Beat the drossy [Gk. adokimos] silver, and it shall be made entirely pure.

II Tim 3:8  Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate [Gk. adokimos] concerning the faith.

The dross is that which forms on the surface of liquid metal when it is molten.  It is scum or waste material that is skimmed off the surface and discarded.  A reprobate mind is one that is contaminated; full of waste and scum.  It is as metal when heated, liquefied and scrutinized; found within it is an impure and worthless sediment.  It is a mind that withstands and resists the truth and one that GOD disapproves.  The product of that mind is "not convenient" (not becoming or fit).  The remainder of the Chp goes on to describe what this means (see Rom 1:29-31).

There is a three-fold departure in Rom 1:19-28.  The first downward step is to bring GOD down to the level of man (vs 23).  This dethroning of the CREATOR led to the consequence of "uncleanness" (vs 24).  The next step downward involved removing GOD's order or truth as the supreme rule and substituting THE LIE in its place (vs 25).  This devaluing of GOD's Word led to the consequence of "vile affections" or "infamous passions" (vs 26).  The final and fatal step downward was the acceptance and recognition of individual philosophy and belief as the principal dictator of behavior and conduct (vs 28).  This elevation of self with its own rule led to the consequence of a "reprobate" or rejected mind (vs 28).

I Cor 1:21  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God,…

The world was unable to know GOD by its wisdom.  It took the manifestation of GOD HIMSELF in order for man to know something of HIM.  This HE did in creation and the order established in it.  GOD expected man to accept HIM.  HE didn't ask man to discover HIM through reasoning.

Job 11:7  Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?

Job 5:9  Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number:

Job 26:14 Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?

Job 37:23  Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.

Ps 77:19  Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.

Ps 145:3  Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

Eccl 3:11  He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

Isa 40:28  Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

Rom 11:33  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

Those described in Romans Chp 1 reasoned GOD out of the picture.  They philosophized that there must be another cause or reason for creation.  The CREATOR confers a part of HIMSELF in giving a man and woman the ability to procreate.  Homosexuality is an attack on procreation and its role in sexual relations (as seen in nature).  As aforementioned in Rom 1:18, the "hold down" or suppression of the truth in Romans Chp 1 was through the promotion of homosexuality (they suppressed the truth of sexual relations as established in creation).

- Bestiality - Old Testament Usage -

The idea of bestiality, or "to lie with a beast," is derived from the Hebrew word behemah, which is mostly translated "beast" or "cattle". 1142  Some examples of behemah, which describe or depict bestiality are, Ex 22:19; Lev 18:23; 20:15, 16; Deut 27:21.

Behemah, sexual intercourse with an animal, and the prohibition against it, was primarily directed toward the practice of women committing sexual acts with animals.  These occurred within certain animal and fertility cults in the ancient Near East and Egypt.143  According to authorities, the ram or he-goat of Mendes, because of his virility, was titled "procreator in Anep, impregnator in the province of Mendes."  The women would strip themselves before him and have sexual intercourse with him.  The Hittite Law (an ancient law governing a group or nation of people called the Hittites) decreed that if a man had sexual intercourse with a cow, swine, sheep or dog he was to be punished.  If he had sexual intercourse with a horse or a mule he was not to be punished but, instead, lost his civil rights.  144  In Ex 22:19, if a person "lied with" or more properly had sexual intercourse with a beast, he or she was to be put to death.  In addition, in Lev 20:15,16 not only was the man "put to death" (Hebrew moth yumath: a violent death because of penalty),145 but the animal with whom he copulated was to be "killed" (Hebrew haragh: the judicial killing or execution of an animal or human).146  The same would be true for an animal and a woman who copulated.  Leviticus 20:16 says, "their blood shall be upon them," meaning they took the responsibility and incurred the risk by transgressing the natural order that GOD had established.  They were responsible for their own punishment and death.

Lev 18:23  Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile [Hebrew tame', unclean, impure or polluted] thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion [Hebrew tebhel, confusion or perversion147].

Tebhel is a derivative of the Hebrew root balal, which means to mix or mingle one thing and something else.148  It indicates the "mixture or confusion of species by bestiality . . ."149.  The word tebhel is also used in Lev 20:12, where it reveals the mixture or confusion of relation by incest.  The "confusion" of Lev 18:23 is again the opposite or reverse of the established order as GOD originally intended.  Harrison states in his commentary on Leviticus:

Mankind was created in order to have dominance over the beasts of the field, and any attempt to mate with such creatures was categorized as a deviant form of sexual behavior which attempted to introduce confusion into the established order of sexual relationships (cf. Gen 2:24; 4:1, etc.). 150

The beginning of vs 23 is more graphically translated, "And you shall not give your semen with any animal . . . "151 or "Into no beast shalt thou give thine emission of seed . . . "152.  We can certainly see why Deuteronomy 27 reads thus:

Deut 27:21  Cursed be he that lieth with any manner of beast.  And all the people shall say, Amen.

- Bestiality - New Testament Usage -

Jude 7  Even as Sodom and Gomorrha and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

The "strange [other] flesh" is the Greek word heteros, meaning "another of a different kind . . . The 'other' of two, where there are only two . . . ". 153  The different kind, or other flesh, was animal (i.e., bestiality).  Those people of Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them pursued sexual relations with the animal kingdom, the "other" flesh that was not of mankind.

II Pet 2:8  (For that righteous man [Lot] dwelling among them [people of Sodom] in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;).

"Unlawful deeds" is the Greek word anomos and it is those deeds or acts that are not in harmony with law (that contradicts either the Mosaic or natural law).  Those people, in going after other flesh, were doing things contrary to the law of God.  In addition, they had a prideful, selfish attitude toward others with total disregard for humanity (Ezek 16:49,50).  The consequence of these actions was their overthrow and destruction (Gen 19:24, 25).

- Conclusion -

Sodomy, homosexuality, and also bestiality are not words meaning fornication because they do not fall within the confines of male/female penile/vaginal intercourse.  Those distinctions are necessary to avoid confusion when speaking of fornication, homosexuality, sodomy and bestiality

Homosexuality and bestiality are contrary to the will of GOD as noted in the Bible.  Even transvestitism (Deut 22:5) was forbidden by GOD.  The inception of these aberrant or deviant sexual relationships stemmed from pagan or ungodly societies and religions and continues not only in our society but, also in many others today.  It was GOD who designed man and provided him with the proper instructions to function sexually as HE saw fit.  However, fallen man has corrupted the instructions and changed the function as he has seen fit.

The Scriptures reveal that there was male and female homosexuality, especially concerning temple prostitution.  Romans Chp 1 mentions a consequence for those who gave themselves up to idolatry: GOD gave up on them and turned them over to their own vile affections.  Old Testament word usage for male temple prostitutes and the usages in the New Testament infer that the homosexual activity refers to anal intercourse or carnal copulation with a member of the same sex.  The Scriptures do not support homosexuality or lesbianism of any kind, (Rom 1:26, 27).

Pagan nations ensnared the people of Israel with all their deviant sexual behavior and idol worship.  Yet GOD responsibly informed the children of Israel that failure to remove those nations would lead to Israel's corruption and downfall.  The same principle is true today in application to our society in allowing and even welcoming such deviant sexual behavior.  Our society is laying traps and snares for us and our children, which will result in our corruption and downfall and also theirs.

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