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Our readers asked:

What did Jesus have to say about homosexuality?

Ann Naffziger Answers:

(CNS photo courtesy Catholic Communication Campaign)

If you were to read all four gospels thoroughly in search of Jesus’ teachings on homosexuality it would be a futile endeavor. Not only would you come to the end of the gospels without finding anything attributed to Jesus on the subject, you wouldn’t even find a single reference to the issue in any context.

In fact, there are only a handful of references to homosexuality in the entire Bible, but they are found in the Old Testament and Paul’s writings. (To put it in perspective, while there are only seven references to homosexuality, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of references to economic justice and the laws governing the accumulation and distribution of wealth.)

Jesus’ silence on the subject suggests that an issue which can be controversial and/or fraught with emotion these days was simply not a central issue in his lifetime 2,000 years ago in the land of Palestine. The fact that he didn’t address this issue leaves us all to ponder what he might say were he here today.

The Author : Ann Naffziger
Ann Naffziger is a scripture instructor and spiritual director in the San Francisco Bay area. She has has written articles on spirituality and theology for various national magazines and edited several books on the Hebrew Scriptures.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • John

    People can do whatever they wish however;

    Jesus is God – He is God in the flesh – the red lettered editions are just words when God was on earth. ALL the Words in the Bible are from Jesus. ALL words spoken from any human being in the Bible are the Words of Jesus (God).

    “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if
    you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:46-47.)

    What law was Jesus born under? What law did He live under? It was the Law of
    Moses (Gal. 4:4.)

    Did Jesus endorse and follow the Law of Moses? What did the Law of Moses say
    about homosexuality? – Lev. 18:22, 20:13 – Deut. 23:17

    Jesus was born and lived under the Law of Moses, and since He endorsed the Law of Moses, and since the Law of Moses explicitly condemned homosexuality, he also condemned it.

    What did the apostle Paul [by Christ’s authority] say about the practice of homosexuality? (Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-10.)

    Jesus did, in fact, speak against homosexuality. On numerous occasions, Jesus
    condemned the sins of adultery (Matthew 19:18), sexual immorality (Matthew
    19:9) and fornication (Matthew 15:19).

    These terms describe any type of sexual intercourse that is not within the confines of a marriage ordained by God. Jesus then proceeded to define exactly
    what God views as morally accepted marriage. He stated:
    “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male
    and female, and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
    and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So then, they are
    no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” Mathew 19:4-6

    He defined marriage as one male and one female and NO OTHER example. By
    these words Jesus effectively condemned all other arrangements of marriage,
    union or any other imagination. The overwhelming logic of for Jesus to have to
    explicitly condemn EVERY assortment of genders and numbers would be absurd. When He defined marriage between one man and one woman, He clearly showed that such an arrangement is the only one authorized by God.

    Has anyone “carefully” read Genesis 2:18-24?

    From the very beginning, God intended a man and a woman to be together.
    (Hint: verse 20).

  • Ed Crown

    What rubbish and lies to try and twist scripture. Go read when the Pharisees tried to test Jesus about divorce. What Jesus said in Matt 19:04-6 He repeated Genesis 2:24 about marriage being between a man and a woman. This illustrates Jesus fulfilled the OT laws and the prophets. Most of the legalistic precepts have been made obsolete but the moral and natural laws remain. Sorry author. You just are not biblically equipped to state your outright deception.

    • Justin Clark

      The sin talked about in this verse was divorce, not gay marriage. Probably because man and woman can have children and start a family and broken homes can cause problems. I doubt gays had adoption programs back then and therefore reprecussions on their non-existant kids back then so that is the meaning i draw from those verses. Nothing anti-gay there to m

  • Mark Bailey

    The eunuchs you mentioned were castrated men not homosexuals so you really should study this out more carefully. The passage you mentioned in Luke 17 has the word men italicized which means it wasn’t originally there. The original text reads: “I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left.” You are in error grasping for something that is not there. It is erroneous to conclude that a behavior is acceptable based on two statements that have nothing to do with the behavior which is being discussed here.

    • Diarmaid

      A eunuch from birth is so rare a thing that it would be pointless for jesus to mention it, that argument isnt a strong one ill admit mainly because i read it somewhere and cant remeber all the details, and luke 17 goes on to mention two women in the field grinding (corn i think, not the modern ‘grinding’ lol) so its more logical that he paired two men and two women, not two people then two women

  • A Random Commenter

    Sin or not a sin.
    Who cares?
    We like what we like.
    If you are as to that shallow to like somebody for their gender and not their personality, get out of my face.

  • Cv Pec

    Let the sin begin! We are God, We set the norm for society thru our words and actions. We are the creators and destroyer of humanity. I know no one who has stated that their life’s desire was to be homosexual. It is as it is. God has spoken to me and he said “Leave my children alone. I’ll spank them when they get home”

  • fidelity

    It’s really childish conversation. There are several books, written over centuries, but the originally oral tales are from Africans Sages. As more people got involved the stories did too. The whole thing begins as a myths. Tales, poems, a little history, etc. culture laws of land, cleanliness, and ownership etc. from different regions in African and Asian. Spread from there.

  • Mark Bailey

    Your entire argument is based upon a faulty premise. First: Neither Jesus nor the writers of the scriptures would have used the word homosexual because it did not come into existence until 1892. Second: Jesus did address the issue but not along the lines you use to argue your point. He said in Matthew 19 that in the beginning God created us male and female. That is our starting point to understand how sexual relationships are to be enjoined. It is not possible, as nature shows us, for two men or to women to procreate and continue the species. To espouse that that is normal acceptable behavior in God’s eyes is a perversion of what is clearly explained in the scriptures to us. You muddy the waters of understanding with your faulty rhetoric which lead to illogical conclusions. Jesus was far from silent on the subject. What he said in his teachings makes it abundantly clear on God’s design for sexual relationships and marriage. Also there are four very clear references in the scriptures on those types of sexual behaviors. Two of them are found in the Old testament and two in the New Testament. In each of those, sexual relations between two men or two women is condemned. Why do you want to lie to people about their sinful condition before God and as such condemn them to punishment from him. if you are going to claim to be as your bio claims a, spiritual instructor or director, why do you not tell people the truth that sets them free as Jesus did?

    • Diarmaid

      You realise that in that exact same passage you mentioned jesus says that those who are born eunuchs (which would have been a term used for gay men at the time) should be accepted and allowed to do as they wish (im paraphrasing because i dont have a bible handy at the minute) and if you look to Luke 17:34 where jesus is speaking on salvation he says “there were two men in one bed, one was taken the other was left” clearly showing that these two men sharing a bed was neither the reason for one being saved nor the other being “left”. In other words God doesnt care about your sexuality, he care whether you are a loving caring, accepting and just person.

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