Tag Archive | bible

It says so in the Bible!

“It is wrong for Christians to drink/be in a same-sex relationship/get divorced/use Facebook/drive a Prius/issue du jour—it says so in the Bible!”

I hear that kind of statement a lot, often from street preachers in Belfast. There are roughly 800,000 words in the Bible. That’s about eight typical novels. So I normally respond with a question.

“Where does it say that in the Bible?”

It is surprising how often people can’t answer that.

If you are going to use the Bible as a basis for your beliefs (as I believe all Christians should) and you are going to share your beliefs with other people, then you should be able to locate the relevant passages. BibleGateway is a useful resource for searching the Bible in various translations.

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Andrew McFarland Campbell’s Very Short Guide to Debunking The Six Traditional Clobber Passages

There are six passages traditionally used to say you can’t be gay and Christian: Genesis 19, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, and 1 Timothy 1:9-10.

Genesis 19 is about gang rape. Anyone who says this has anything to say about consensual relationships has bigger problems than Biblical interpretation.

Leviticus is part of the Law of Moses, which is not binding on Christians. In any case the verses use an obscure Hebrew idiom that is rather unclear (as can been seen in the KJV translation).

Romans 1 26 and 27 does speak about same-sex relationships in a negative light, but then again verses 25 and 25 speak about opposite-sex relationships in an equally negative light. Nobody believes that Romans 1 teaches you can’t be straight and Christian.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10 use an obscure Greek word, arsenokoites, which is also used to refer to heterosexual sin. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 also uses the word malakos, which is not a sexual term. If these passages were supposed to be about same-sex relationships, the writer could have used a lot of other, more common, terms.