Advocates of same-sex relationships, same-sex marriage, and same-sex sex make some of the most illogical, unhistorical, and non-theological claims imaginable. Two arguments I am seeing more often these days is the claim that the concept of homosexual did not exist when the Bible was written, and a related claim that the word “homosexual” did not appear in Bible translations until 1946.
- Claim: Some English – and Spanish, and Chinese, and Russian etc. – translations of the Bible include the word homosexual. That’s incorrect because the word homosexual is nowhere in the original Hebrew or the original Greek. (Answer: The word homosexual (a person who engages in sex with someone of the same sex) accurately describes the biblical description of people who engage in sex with someone of the same sex.)
- Claim: The word homosexual didn’t exist when the Bible was written. (Answer: The description of what the word “homosexual” means is found in the Bible.)
- Claim: The word ‘homosexual’ did not appear in any translation of the Christian Bible until 1946. Answer: Bible translations have gotten better over time. The use of the word ‘homosexual’ instead of ‘sodomite,’ as some translations translate the Greek, accurately describes the biblical prohibitions found in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 and referenced by Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10. Matt Slick writes: “Therefore, it is easy to see why the word “homosexual” was not used until later English translations. Once a more accurate English word existed, it was matched to the corresponding Greek word.”)
“The term ‘homosexuality’ . . . was first published (anonymously) by Karl Maria Kertbeny (1824-1882) in 1869, but was used by him the year before in correspondence with [Karl Heinrich] Ulrichs (1825-1895). Ulrichs never used ‘homosexual,’ preferring Urning [a male who desires men sexually] and the positive connotations it had for him. By the turn of the century both terms – and others beside (contrary sexual, homogenic, invert, sexual intermediate, similisexual) – were used for this phenomenon; by the mid-1900s ‘homosexual’ had become the commonly used term.” ((Hubert Kennedy, “Karl Heinrichs Ulrichs, First theorist of Homosexuality,” Science and Homosexualities, ed. Vernon A. Rosario (New York: Routledge, 1997), 30.))
Whether it’s Ulrichs’ Urning, “a male who desires men sexually,” or Karl-Maria Kertbeny’s coining of the word “homosexual” both words describe same-sex sexuality, the same acts that are described in several places in the Bible…
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