It's pretty common to hear that the bible condemn homosexuality, I've seen many references to versus. However, there is a good amount of debate as to which verses are actually speaking specifically about homosexuality.

My question then, are there passages in the bible that explicitly, and without ambiguity or extrapolation, state that homosexual relationships are sinful.

I'm looking passage(s) which either directly quote god/Jesus or are statements from someone who is speaking for God as a proxy, in other words the statement is one that can reasonable be believed to be supported by God, not just personal opinion of the speaker. The passage must reference actual sexual relationship between same sex individuals, and must state that god considers it a sin or something worthy of punishment.

Ambiguity due to translation from Hebrew to English seem to be common throughout the bible. I don't expect an answer to prove that the English statement is an accurate translation, since that requires too much research for skeptics and besides which would effectively be asking to prove a negative. However, ideally an answerer will at least attempt to check for any known debates over potential mistranslations for a particular verse before using it as evidence.

I'm pretty sure I know the the answer, but I've not seen a source without an obvious bias tackle the question, so lets see if this turns out to be more complicated then I expect.

While not required at all for the answer, since it's possible to refute the allegation without it, I would appreciate it if an answerer would at least mention rather a given passage is from old or new testament; owing to the fact that some Christians place different weight on the New vs Old Testament. I'm interested in rather passages exist in both testaments.

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    1) When you say relationships, do you mean sex? If yes, there's a passage in Leviticus that is only slightly euphemistic about banning male-male sex (though critics point out, many modern Christians overlook many other rules in Leviticus). But it says nothing directly about non-sex romance, or female-female 2) When you say the bible, do you include Paul's letters? Theologians differ on whether these have holy authority, or are simply "translator's notes" Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 17:45
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    @user568458 I had thought, vaguely, of Paul's letters. I'm not a theologian at all, my general understanding of his letters would put him as not speaking as a proxy and thus not including them as valid source; but I'm not sure I'm informed enough to make such a ruling. I'm inclined to leave that ambiguous and see if the answer feels the need to address his letters. As to the part about female-female; I started to ask specifically about lesbianism, but decided to ask this more general question first, then follow up on lesbianism depending on answer here; so It will be addressed eventually :)
    – dsollen
    Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 18:05
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    Perhaps better asked at: christianity.stackexchange.com?
    – Will
    Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 18:30
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is about religious interpretation, not skepticism. Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 18:46
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    @dsollen You can't avoid religious interpretation. You can point to passages in the Bible that, on a simple reading, promote animal sacrifice; slavery; prostitution;genocide;etc. Does it actually mean they are OK to do in the present day? No it doesn't. But you have to read the whole of the book to find out, not just pick out isolated passages. Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 19:25

2 Answers 2


Yes, the Bible explicitly and clearly forbids homosexuality, in the Old and New Testament. Those are the passages:

Leviticus 20:13:

If a man has sexual relations with a 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.

Leviticus 18:22:

Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.

1 Timothy 1:9-10:

understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10:

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

[a] The words men who have sex with men translate two Greek words that refer to the passive and active participants in homosexual acts.

So far, as you see, the Bible is condemning gay sex, it is nowhere condemning lesbianism. But some Bible sources say that Romans 1:26-28: could put lesbianism on equal ground with male homosexuality:

Romans 1:26-28:

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

While others (especially Christians) will try to explain otherwise or spin the verses, do not be deceived or manipulated; it is crystal clear that the Bible condemns male homosexuality, and probably female homosexuality. Matt Slick, the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, also admits it:

The Bible doesn't speak of homosexuality very often. But when it does, it condemns it as sin.

GotQuestions.org, a volunteer ministry of dedicated and trained servants who have a desire to assist others in their understanding of God, also says it is clear that the bible condemns it:

The Bible is consistent through both Old and New Testaments in confirming that homosexuality is sin (Genesis 19:1–13; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Jude 1:7). In this matter, the New Testament reinforces what the Old Testament had declared since the Law was given to Moses (Leviticus 20:13). The difference between the Old and New Testaments is that the New Testament offers hope and restoration to those caught up in the sin of homosexuality through the redeeming power of Jesus.

  • It's worth mentioning that all of the New Testament examples are from Paul's letters, not from the gospels or Jesus's letters. Most Christians have historically considered these to be part of the "New Testament canon", but it's a much debated question with no definitive answer as to what exact status they have - ranging from, simply a notable figure's wise opinions (like a guest editor's commentary), through to being assumed to being directly divinely inspired. Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 21:27
  • Leviticus' status is even more controversial, with very many of its rules routinely not followed (example) and not taught as rules to be followed by almost any modern church Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 21:29
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    You just copied everything from my answer and added it as your own. Commented Dec 12, 2015 at 23:22
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    Note, though, that this only applies to men. Women, it seems, are free to do what they want. Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 16:25
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    These are rather free translations. The word "homosexuality" does not occur in the original languages of the Bible. The language is more concrete, referring to sex between men, and those who practice it, which is not necessarily the same as today's concept and definition of homosexuality as having a sexual attraction to someone of the same sex. In ancient times, even heterosexual men engaged in homosexual sex under certain circumstances, for example, as a demonstration of dominance over the soldiers of defeated armies. This sort of thing is not unknown even today. Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 0:54

Yes it does, in many places. Some examples from NLT translation:

Leviticus 18:22

"Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin."

Leviticus 20:13

"If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense."

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Don't you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people-none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

There are also passages where God-fearing rulers outlaw male prostitution, or destroy places where male (and female) prostitution takes place, but those do not match your criteria. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed due to widespread sexual perversion, but it's not as "directly" stated as in the passages I quoted.

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    The NLT is more of an interpretation than a translation. In particular, the word "homosexuality" does not occur in Leviticus, or indeed, anywhere in the original languages of the Bible. Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 0:56

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