Is Homosexuality a Sin in the Bible?

Before we get started on this essay, let me say that we are all sinners. In God’s eyes, sin is sin. I have sinned, you have sinned, and all people everywhere have sinned (Psa 14:3, 53:3; Ecc 7:20; Rom 3:23, 5:12). What is sin? According to Daniel 9:24, Sin is one of several things.

1. The breaking of one of God’s commandments. That is transgression of the law.

2. Failing to live up to God’s standards, or missing the mark that God has set for us. This is the most common sin people commit.

3. A willful evil act. That is, a crime. This is iniquity. It is deliberate sin or sinful conduct.

Every one of us has committed at least one, if not all of these types of sin. Lying is a sin, stealing (even a paper clip from work) is a sin; using pirated software is a sin (theft); losing our temper is a sin, gossip is a sin, adultery and fornication are sins; homosexuality is a sin. All of these sins separate us from fellowship with God and all sins can result in spiritual death, which is an eternity separated from God.

Fortunately Christ died for our sins. He took our punishment for sins, which is death. We deserve to die for our sins and Christ died in our place. Yet, He conquered death and arose from death after three days in the tomb. His death and resurrection covers all of our sins, including homosexuality. While humans may see that some sins are more severe that others, all sins are equal in God’s eyes in that any sin is worthy of death according to Him. Homosexuality is no worse a sin than any other in God’s eyes; all sins are equally wicked (Eze 18:4; Rom 6:23). Let us move on.

Jesus is God. When He was born to a woman, Mary, He was Emmanuel, God With Us. See the study entitled “Did Jesus Really Claim to Be Equal With God?” The Bible is the Word of God, written by God through men by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Consider the following verses:

Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2Pe 1:20-21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Homosexuality is a sin in the Bible. Some claim that homosexuality is acceptable to Jesus because he never mentioned the word ‘homosexual’ in the four Gospels. If Jesus is God, and He is, then any of the words of Scripture are the words of Jesus since Jesus is God.

It is true that the Gospel writers never quoted Jesus mentioning the word ‘homosexuality.’ However, just because they did not quote Him saying that word, does not mean that Jesus condoned it, for the entire Scriptures are the words of Jesus (John 1:1). Here are a few other sins not mentioned by Jesus in the Gospels: rape, embezzlement, fraud, torture, child abuse, etc. Jesus did not specifically mention many sins. Does that mean He condoned those sins he did not mention? Of course not.

Jesus did not start a new religion. He was a Jew. He said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil” (Mat 5:17). He did not come to end Judaism, but to establish a new Covenant with Judaism.

According to Steve Wohlberg and Doug Batchelor, both Messianic Jews, “Christianity is not a new religion, but rather the completion of the Jewish faith.”1 In fact, Christianity is based on an ancient Hebrew religious manual called The Bible. Jesus as a man was a religious Jew and therefore followed the law. He said that he did not destroy the law, but fulfilled it.

We must not single out portions of the Bible to make a case that something is true or not true. We must take the Bible as a whole, which is good hermeneutics. Both the Old Testament and the New condemn the practice of homosexuality as a sin. Even if you say that the Old Testament is no longer in effect (which is not true), the New Testament also condemns the practice of homosexuality as a sin.

Paul, who was an Apostle of Jesus Christ, who met the resurrected Christ in person (Acts 9:3-5), and who was instructed by Christ Himself (2 Cor 12:2-4; Gal 1:11-12; Eph 3:3-5; 2 Pet 3:15;), and who was under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 3:16), condemned the practice of homosexuality as a sin. Let us review the verses:

Old Testament:

Note: the Biblical Old Testament civil laws ended when the government of Israel ended in 70 AD. The Old Covenant ceremonial laws were fulfilled in Christ, our High priest and have thus expired. However, the moral law is still in effect. The moral law covers idolatry, murder, theft, false witness, sexual sins, etc.

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

Lev 20:13a If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination:

Deu 23:17 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.

Let us not forget that God destroyed Sodom because of rampant homosexuality there, Gen 19:1-29.

New Testament:

Rom 1:26-27 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.

Note: this describes lesbianism and homosexuality.

1Co 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (10) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Note: the word translated ‘abusers of themselves with mankind’ is αρσενοκοιται, arsenokoitai, noun nominative masculine plural, from the root word, αρσενοκοιτης, arsenokoites. It comes from two Greek words, αρσην arsen, and κοιτη, koite. Arsen means male or man, and koite means sexual intercourse, or cohabitation, and implies that the male sperm and semen is emitted. The English equivalent is coitus. Thus, the word arsenokoites means male to male sexual intercourse with the emission of sperm and semen. This is specifically the practice of male homosexuality.

1Ti 1:9-10 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, (10) For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind [arsenokoites, see above], for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.

Statements of Jesus:

Mat 15:18-20 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. (19) For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: (20) These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

Mar 7:20-23 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. (21) For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, (22) Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: (23) All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Note: In the above passages, the word rendered ‘fornications’ is πορνειαι, porneiai, noun nominative feminine plural form of πορνεία, porneia. The Friberg Lexicon defines it: “(1) generally, of every kind of extramarital, unlawful, or unnatural sexual intercourse fornication, sexual immorality, (2) when distinguished from adultery in the same context extramarital intercourse, sexual immorality, fornication.” Fornication, or πορνεία means extramarital sexual intercourse. Do homosexuals practice sexual intercourse outside marriage? Yes. All heterosexual couples having sexual intercourse outside of marriage are included in the word ‘fornication’ as well. State laws allowing “gay marriage” notwithstanding, the Bible and therefore God, only sees marriage as a union between a man and a woman. See the next entry:

Mat 19:4-6 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, (5) And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? (6) Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Note: This verse and the three others like it (Gen 2:24; Mark 10:6-8; Eph 5:31) will not allow gay marriage (marriage between two men or between two women). That is unbiblical.

The Bible, which is the word of God and of His Christ, Jesus, does not allow that the practice of homosexuality is moral. On the contrary, it very specifically declares that practice to be sinful. In fact, the Scriptures declare it an abomination (Lev 18:22; Lev 20:13).

No matter how you may spin it, you cannot accurately state the Bible condones or allows the practice of homosexuality. You may use all the reasoned arguments at your disposal but you cannot force the Scriptures to say anything about homosexuality except that is a sinful practice. If you do not agree, your argument is not with me, but with the Scriptures.


I had a cousin that I loved to be around since he was an infant. I was a teen when he was born. I loved him unconditionally when he was a baby. When he was older I took him places with me and when my wife and I got married he went with us many times whenever we were home on vacation. We both loved him very much and unconditionally. When I worked away from my home town, my cousin, his sister, told me he was gay and that several gays in their area had recruited him. He was a homosexual but though I did not approve of his lifestyle, I still loved him unconditionally. I never stopped loving him, and still do even though he has passed away.

He eventually died of AIDS and I preached his funeral. He was gay, but I loved him. God tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. That included homosexuals. I do not approve of homosexuality and I dislike the militant homosexual groups. But I can still love them enough to be kind to them and to witness the Gospel to them when possible. God loved them enough to send His Only Begotten Son, so I must love them that much as well. I do not hate gays but I abhor the sin of homosexuality, just as I abhor my own sins, and just as God abhors all sins. Yet, in spite of all our sins, God still loves us is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9). For “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8)

  1. Spiritual Israel, Steve Wohlberg and Doug Batchelor, Copyright © 2002 by Doug Batchelor, Published by Amazing Facts, Inc., Roseville, CA, p26
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