What The Bible Says About Gays

In recent years the topic of what the Bible says about gays has become increasingly controversial. Depending on one’s interpretation and understanding of Scripture, opinions will inevitably differ. With so much heated debate about the issue, it is important to note that no matter one’s personal beliefs, the Bible offers insight into this debate.

The Bible is comprised of two main texts, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament contains stories and laws about how God made the world and how it should be structured, whereas the New Testament includes Jesus’s teaching about the way we should live our lives. In both texts, there are verses which specifically address homosexual behaviour, though the passages vary in their detail. This article seeks to explore some of the major verses both in relation to a Christian perspective, as well as a secular view.

One of the most commonly cited verses, found in Leviticus 18:22, states: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” This reflects the general attitude of the Old Testament, which emphasises heterosexual monogamy as the standard for a relationship. Such passages have been used by some Christian groups to condemn homosexual acts, and in turn, homosexual people. However, they fail to take into account the other lesser-known passages in the Old Testament which speak of love, compassion, and acceptance.

In the New Testament, additional verses can be found which focus on treating gay people with love and empathy. In Romans 13:9 for example, Jesus says “love your neighbour as yourself”. When viewed in the context of Jesus’s other teachings, such as “love your enemies” and “judge not lest ye be judged”, it can be inferred that he was asking us to love and accept others regardless of their sexual orientation. This is echoed in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, where Paul discusses the importance of showing love despite differences.

Secular interpretations of these verses vary in tone. While some have condemned what they see as hate speech towards the LGBT+ community, others have argued that the verses are not intended to be a condemnation of homosexuality, but rather a reflection of the laws and customs in ancient times. Biblical scholars have noted that while early Christians may have interpreted the Bible as condemning homosexuality, there is also evidence to suggest they gave more emphasis to the call to love one’s neighbour. As such, some have questioned whether elements of the Bible should be used today in an effort to exclude or exclude certain people.

Though opinions will differ on the issue, it is important to remember that the Bible does not offer a clear-cut answer to the question of whether homosexuality is a sin. Regardless of our beliefs, however, there is a fundamental lesson to be gained from its pages: regardless of our differences, we should treat one another with respect and love.

How The Bible Defines Marriage

Most passages in the Bible concerning marriage deal with heterosexual marriage. This can be seen in Genesis 2:24, which states “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” This is echoed in the New Testament such as in Ephesians 5:23-33, which speaks of marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

In the Old Testament, some verses seem to explicitly list homosexual acts as sinful. For example, in Leviticus 20:13 it states: “If a man has sexual relations with another 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.” Here, it is important to consider the context in which this was written, which was a period in which homosexual acts featured heavily in pagan worship and thus considered an abomination by God.

When it comes to modern society, however, one must consider the implications of using the Bible to shape contemporary views of marriage. While the Bible clearly defines marriage as between one man and one woman, it also places great emphasis on the importance of love and companionship— love and companionship which can be found in same-sex relationships.

Biblical scholars point to a number of other passages which appear to be in line with today’s understanding of homosexuality and gay marriage. For example, 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 states: “Each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised.”

The passage is often interpreted to mean that while heterosexual marriage is the expected norm, people should embrace their other relationships as they are. This passage has been used as evidence that God is more concerned with accepting people who do not fit into what is seen as the ‘traditional’ view of relationships than with condemning them.

The Bible And Homosexuality: An Overview

Overall, there is little doubt that the Bible has a lot to say on the subject of homosexuality and gay marriage. Much of the debate concerning the issue comes down to interpretation and individual beliefs, and achieving a consensus on the matter is unlikely. What is certain, however, is that the Bible is filled with passages which speak of love and acceptance for all people, gay or straight.

The majority of passages focus on heterosexual marriage and sexual relationships, but there are a few that appear to be accepting of other forms of love and commitment. These include 1 Corinthians 7:7-9 and Romans 13:9, which speaks of the need to love our neighbour as ourselves. And while there are verses which, depending on one’s interpretation, can be seen as condemning homosexual acts, such passages should also be read in the context of the Bible’s larger call to love.

The Bible, Gender Identity And Transgender Rights

The Bible has been used by some as a resource to try and deny rights to the transgender community. Specifically, a few verses in Deuteronomy 22:5 have been used to make the argument that transgender people are “abominations”. However, it is important to bear in mind what this passage really says:

“A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.” When read in context, the verse clearly refers to cross-dressing, not gender identity or expression. Additionally, the Bible makes frequent references to the idea of God creating us in his image, with no distinction made between men and women.

Some biblical scholars believe the later books of the Bible, such as Isaiah and Revelation, may be interpreted to include the transgender community. This includes passages such as Galatians 3:28, which states “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female, for all of you are one in Christ.” As such, recognizing the rights of transgender people is in line with what the Bible teaches.


The Bible is an ancient text which offers guidance to Christians and non-Christians alike. It speaks of love, acceptance, and respect for others—regardless of their sexuality or gender identity. Though interpretations on the issue of homosexuality and gay marriage will continue to vary, it is ultimately up to the individual to decide how they will interpret and apply the Bible’s teachings.

Hilda Scott is an avid explorer of the Bible and inteprator of its gospel. She is passionate about researching and uncovering the mysteries that lie in this sacred book. She hopes to use her knowledge and expertise to bring faith and God closer to people all around the world.

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