There is a considerable amount of biblical data which bears on the subject of homosexuality. Apart from explicit mention of the practice of Leviticus (where it is referred to as an “abomination,” and one of several offenses which merit the death penalty),Lev. 18:22; 20:13. there are two incidents recorded within the Old Testament where homosexual behavior assumed a particularly aggressive form (Gen. 19:5–9; Judg. 19:22–28); in both cases the judgment of God fell upon the offending cities.Gen. 19:24f; Judges 20:35, 37. Cf. Jude 7.

It is of interest to note that D. S. Bailey, who has devoted considerable attention to these passages in both his works, Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition and Sexual Offenders and Social Punishment,(Respectively) London: Longmans, 1955, and Westminster: Church Information Board, 1956. and whose views at this point are noted in D. J. West’s Homosexuality,London: Penguin, 1955, p. 20. is not convinced that the Hebrew word “to know” (yada’) has a sexual connotation in these passages. This view, however, according to Derek Kidner, has attracted more attention than it deserves, and he has little difficulty in his commentary on Genesis in exposing its inadequacies.London: Tyndale Press, 1967, pp. 136–7.

In the New Testament, the practice is explicitly referred to as contrary to the law (1 Tim. 1:9 f.), and those who indulge in it show themselves to be under God’s judgment (Rom. 1:24 ff.) and are excluded from the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9 f.).

Some attention, nevertheless, must be paid to the contexts to which these verses belong. In Leviticus 18, the sin of homosexuality (or sodomy) is listed along with bestiality, child sacrifice, adultery, coitus with family relations and with a wife ...

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