Do the laws against homosexuality in Leviticus 18 apply today?
info This commentary was written by a volunteer for our Bible translation project. It’s not an official view of our project; we are not a religious denomination and we do not establish doctrine. These commentaries reflect a variety of views and some disagree with each other.
If you search the Internet for references to Leviticus 18:22, you will find hundreds of citations and opinions. Some of these argue that God forbids homosexual acts, and many others argue against that thought. So, let’s consider what the Greek Bible text actually says.
The words found there are:
kai meta arsenos ou koimethese koiten bdelugma gar estin
and with males not bed as/bed women, disgusting for is
As you can see from the wording, the Old Law was forbidding male/male intercourse, calling the acts disgusting (gr. bdelugma). Notice also that the words that follow seems to draw a parallel to human/animal intercourse. The next verse (Leviticus 18:23) sasy:
‘Nor may you lie down and have sex with any animal, for that would pollute you.
Nor should any woman offer herself before any animal to have sex with it, because that would be disgusting.’
However, remember that this Law was given to and just applied to those that lived among the people of IsraEl (not to all mankind). As Paul pointed out, this old Law was superseded by the New Sacred Agreement and its Law of love.
So, may we conclude that God no longer has a law against such things? Yes, that is so, there is no ‘law’ from God against homosexuality today… but that doesn’t mean He condones or encourages it. Why not?
Well, at 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10, Paul listed ‘men that have sex with men (gr. arsenokoitai)’ along with adulterers and sexually immoral people, and he said that such ones wouldn’t ‘inherit God’s Kingdom.’
Also, Paul wrote (at Romans 1:26-28):
‘...God abandoned them to their dishonorable passions; For their females have changed the natural use of themselves into something that’s unnatural, and the same is true of their males! They have left the natural use of females and started burning in their lust toward each other – males with males – doing what is indecent and receiving the type of reward they deserve for such wrongdoing.
And because they don’t approve of coming to an accurate knowledge of The God;
He has given them depraved minds, which make them do these wrong things.’
So does this mean that people who have gay sex are ‘eternally damned’ as many religions teach? No, it just means that God doesn’t place them among a grouping called the ‘righteous’. Such ones would not receive the gift of becoming a King and Priest in co-rulership with Jesus (Revelation 5:10). Instead, they would apparently have a hope of a resurrection among the ‘unrighteous’, along with everyone else.
‘...there’s going to be a resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous.’ —Acts 24:15