THE BIBLE AND SAME
Note, before reading this page, we recommend that you firstly read "Same
Sex Relationships and Homosexual relationships – a Distinction"
in order to see that the two are not the same thing. In that article,
we show that the Bible does not condemn all same-sex relationships –
Father/Son, Mother/Daughter; brother/brother, sister/sister relationships
are same-sex, yet the Bible actively encourages and promotes such relationships.
What the Bible does speak against is Homosexual relationships, as we show
On his website advocating Homosexual relationships amongst
Christadelphians, "Gareth Chambers" (a pseudonym), in his Questions
and Answers section, answers the following question thus:
“Are there really affirmations of same
sex relationships in the Bible?
I believe there are, yes. I'm working on a page about them.”
Once it is recognized that "GC" uses the term
“same sex relationships” in a disingenuous way, it will also
be recognized that of course the Bible affirms same-sex relationships.
It is full of Mothers, Fathers, sisters and brothers; it affirms many
same-sex relationships. However, it does not affirm Homosexual relationships.
Whilst we would not wish to preempt anything that "GC"
might have to say on the page he says he is currently preparing, there
are three examples in Scripture of same-sex relationships that are often
used by Homosexuals in order to justify their behaviour. These are: Ruth
& Naomi, David & Jonathan, Daniel & Ashpenaz. We propose to
look at each of these in turn:
RUTH AND NAOMI
The relationship that the Bible describes between Ruth
and Naomi is a very beautiful one. Naomi was an Israelitish woman, who
went to the land of Moab when there was famine in Israel, with her husband,
and their two sons. In Moab, the husband, and both of the sons died, leaving
only Naomi, and her sons’ wives, whom they had married there: Orpah,
and Ruth. Naomi expressed her purpose to return back to her own land,
and Ruth, being loyal to her mother in law, desired to go back with her.
These are her wonderful words of trust and allegiance:
“do not urge me to leave you, or to go back
from following after you. For wherever you go, I go; and wherever you
stop over, I stop over. Your people is my people, and your Elohim is
my Elohim” (Ruth 1:16).
A few verses earlier, we read of how Ruth held fast
“And they lifted up their voice, and wept
again; and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave
unto her” (v 14 – AV).
Here, the Hebrew word for “clave”
translates the same Hebrew word which is used to describe the Heterosexual
relationship of marriage between Adam and Eve’s children:
“Therefore shall a man leave his father
and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and
they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
Because the same word is used, it is suggested that Ruth
and Naomi’s close relationship was a sexual one.
However, the same word is used many times in Scripture,
with many different connotations, each of which depend on the context.
The word itself simply means “to cling, or adhere to”,
and is used of Israel’s relationship with their God:
“Thou shalt fear the Yahweh thy God; him
shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave and
swear by his name” (Deuteronomy 10:20).
Here, the context plainly precludes sexual relations
– it is simply saying that men must “cling to” or “adhere
to” Yahweh, swearing by his name. Again, Deuteronomy 28, verses
21 and 60 reads:
“Yahweh shall make the pestilence cleave
unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou
goest to possess it ... Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases
of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee”
Once again, the context is not of sexual relations,
but of a pestilence clinging to Yahweh’s rebellious people for their
sins. Again, Psalm 22:15, a Messianic Psalm reads:
“My strength is dried up like a potsherd;
and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought
me into the dust of death”.
Obviously, there is nothing sexual about this –
it is speaking of the sufferings of Messiah.
From the way in which this word is used (and a simple
use of a concordance will reveal many other passages), it is quite plain
that although it can have sexual connotations, referring to the manner
in which a man becomes joined to his wife, it can also be used in entirely
different contexts, to describe a variety of different things. So the
case is hardly proved. Given the Bible’s condemnation of homosexual
relationships elsewhere, it is hardly likely that such characters of faith
would engage in it.
DAVID AND JONATHAN
David’s expression of love for Jonathan is a classic
passage, often used to justify homosexual relationships. Speaking of his
grief at Jonathan’s death, David said:
“I am very distressed for you, my brother
Jonathan. You have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was wondrous,
surpassing the love of women …” (2 Samuel 1:26).
Here, it is said, David is expressing his homosexual
love for Jonathan – and indeed, the website we are countering gives
this as one example of such a relationship.
However, it is important to note that nothing of a sexual nature is stated
in the verse. Rather than being a sexual relationship, David states that
his relationship was such that Jonathan was his “brother”.
Jonathan loved David as a brother – and that love was so great,
it surpassed the natural love which one would have for women. That does
not state that it was sexual love, but that it was love on a higher spiritual
plane than natural love.
One point which must be brought to bear on this matter
is the fact that both Jonathan and David lived under the Law of Moses.
And as even "GC" acknowledges, the Law of Moses did prohibit
“if a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth
with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall
surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (Lev
"GC" argues that as we are no longer under
the Law of Moses, this verse does not apply to us. But David and Jonathan
were under that law – it did apply to them, and if they were having
homosexual relations, then the law would condemn them to death.
There are some further points which are sometimes advanced
to support the claim that David and Jonathan were homosexuals. We comment
on these briefly as follows:
“...the soul of Jonathan was knit with the
soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (KJV)
The argument has been expressed as follows:
“Most translations use the term "soul"
rather than "spirit" to describe the bond. They speak of an
"immediate bond of love", their souls being "in unison,"
their souls being "knit", etc. Genesis 2:7, as written in
the original Hebrew, describes how God blew the spirit into the body
of Adam that God had formed from earth, so that Adam became a living
soul. This means that "soul", in the ancient Israelite times,
represents a combination of body and spirit. Thus the two men appear
to have loved each other both physically and emotionally.”
However this is reading into the text something which
is not stated: the text does not state that Jonathan and David experienced
sexual relations; it rather states that they were knit together in
love. This expression is picked up in the New Testament to describe
the relationship which should exist between believers in Christ: “that
their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love
…” (Colossians 2:2). As the context in Colossians plainly
shows, the union being referred to is a love of brethren, not sexual union.
"Now Saul's daughter Michal was in love with
David, and when they told Saul about it, he was pleased. 'I will give
her to him', he thought, 'so that she may be a snare to him and so that
the hand of the Philistines may be against him'. Now you have a second
opportunity to become my son-in-law" (1 Samuel 18:20-21 -
In the King James Version, the end of Verse 21 reads:
"Thou shalt this day be my son-in-law, in
the one of the twain." (KJV)
The argument is expressed as follows:
“Saul's belief was that David would be so
distracted by a wife that he would not be an effective fighter and would
be killed by the Philistines. He offered first his daughter Merab, but
that was rejected, presumably by her. Then he offered Michal. There
is an interesting phrase used at the end of verse 21. In both the NIV
and KJV, it would seem that David's first opportunity to be a son-in-law
was with the older daughter Merab, and his second was with the younger
daughter Michal. The KJV preserves the original text in its clearest
form; it implies that David would become Saul's son-in-law through "one
of the twain." "Twain" means "two", so the
verse seems to refer to one of Saul's two daughters. Unfortunately,
this is a mistranslation. The underlined phrase "the one of"
does not exist in the Hebrew original. The words are shown in italics
in the King James Version; this is an admission by the translators that
they made the words up. Thus, if the KJV translators had been truly
honest, they would have written:
"Thou shalt this day be my son-in-law, in
In modern English, this might be written: "Today,
you are son-in-law with two of my children" That would refer to
both his son Jonathan and his daughter Michal. The Hebrew original would
appear to recognize David and Jonathan's homosexual relationship as
equivalent to David and Michal's heterosexual marriage. Saul may have
approved or disapproved of the same-sex relationship; but at least he
appears to have recognized it. The KJV highlight their re-writing of
the Hebrew original by placing the three words in italics; the NIV translation
is clearly deceptive.”
This might seem plausible to some, but the proposed
“modern English” rendering is interpretative, not literally
in accord with the text. For example, whilst the writer criticizes the
AV translators for inserting the words “the one of” (note:
in order to give a proper grammatical sense in English, it will be noted
that the translators often need to add inconsequential words to the text)
he himself has to insert the words “of my children”,
which are not in the original. Moreover, no translation to our knowledge
so renders the Hebrew text, which means that none of the translators agree
with the comment.
Young’s Literal disposes of the difficulty in the
text as follows:
"and Saul saith, ‘I give her to him,
and she is to him for a snare, and the hand of the Philistines is on
him;’ and Saul saith unto David, ‘By the second—thou
dost become my son-in-law to-day."
Again, we emphasise that homosexuality relationships were specifically
condemned under the Yahweh’s Law that David and Jonathan lived under.
How could Yahweh call David a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14),
if he performed sexual acts which He considered to be “abomination”
and worthy of death?
"After the boy had gone, David got up from
the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times,
with is face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together
- but David wept the most." (1 Samuel 20:41 - NIV)
The argument is expressed as follows:
"Other translations have a different ending
to the verse:
"...and they kissed one another and wept
with one another, until David exceeded." (KJV)
"...and they kissed one another and wept with one another until
David got control of himself." (Amplified Bible)
"and they sadly shook hands, tears running down their cheeks until
David could weep no more." (Living Bible)
"They kissed each other and wept together until David got control
of himself." (Modern Language)
"They kissed each other and wept aloud together." (New American
"Then David and Jonathan kissed each other. They cried together,
but David cried the most." (New Century Version)
"Then the kissed one another and shed tears
together, until David's grief was even greater than Jonathan's."
(Revised English Bible)
"...and they kissed one another and wept
with one another until David recovered himself." (Revised Standard
The translators of the Living Bible apparently
could not handle the thought of two adult men kissing, so they mistranslated
the passage by saying that the two men shook hands! This is somewhat
less than honest. The original Hebrew text says that they kissed each
other and wept together until David became great. The word which means
"great" in this passage is "gadal" in the original
Hebrew. The same word is used elsewhere in the Hebrew Scriptures to
refer to King Solomon being greater than all other kings. Some theologians
interpret "gadal" in this verse as indicating that David had
an erection. However, the thoughts of David becoming sexually aroused
after kissing Jonathan is too threatening for Bible translators, so
they either deleted the ending entirely or created one of their own”.
The position advocated here is so speculative
that it hardly worthy of any attention, but we include it for the sake
of completeness. The word “gadal” is never used in
a sexual sense in Scripture, so the suggestion is entirely without foundation.
The sense of the verse is expressed in some of the above and other translations
thus: “and they wept together, but David more so”
(The Scriptures). The sense of “great” is there, in that David’s
grief was greater than Jonathan’s. These men were grieving, not
experiencing sexual lusts. To impose a sexual sense upon these words is
to import an idea into the text which is not found there, and is to slander
two of Yahweh’s holy ones.
DANIEL AND ASHPENAZ
Here, the argument is expressed thus:
Daniel 1:9 refers to Ashpenaz, the chief of the
court officials of Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon. Various English
translations differ greatly:
"Now God had caused the official to show
favor and sympathy to Daniel" (NIV)
"Now God had brought Daniel into favor and
tender love with the prince of the eunuchs" (KJV)
"Now God made Daniel to find favor, compassion
and loving-kindness with the chief of the eunuchs" (Amplified Bible)
"Now, as it happens, God had given the superintendent
a special appreciation for Daniel and sympathy for his predicament"
"Then God granted Daniel favor and sympathy
from the chief of the eunuchs" (Modern Language)
"Though God had given Daniel the favor and
sympathy of the chief chamberlain..." (New American Bible)
"God made Ashpenaz want to be kind and merciful
to Daniel" (New Century Version)
"And God gave Daniel favor and compassion
in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs" (Revised Standard Version)
"God caused the master to look on Daniel
with kindness and goodwill" (Revised English Version)
The Hebrew words which describe the relationship
between Daniel and Ashpenaz are chesed v'rachamim. The most common translation
of chesed is “mercy”. V'rachamim is in a plural form which
is used to emphasize its relative importance. It has multiple meanings:
“mercy” and “physical love”. It is unreasonable
that the original Hebrew would read that Ashpenaz “showed mercy
and mercy.” A more reasonable translation would thus be that Ashpenaz
“showed mercy and engaged in physical love” with Daniel.
Of course, this would be unacceptable to later translators, so they
substitute more innocuous terms. The KJV reference to “tender
love” would appear to be the closest to the truth. One might question
whether Daniel and Ashpenaz could sexually consummate their relationship.
They were both eunuchs. Apparently, when males are castrated after puberty,
they still retain sexual drive. It is interesting to note that no other
romantic interest or sexual partner of Daniel was mentioned elsewhere
in the Bible.”
However, it ought to be pointed out that V'rachamim is
not used in Scripture to describe sexual acts, or sexual love. According
to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the word carries
the sense of “compassion”, as well as mercy and it is so rendered
in 1 Kings 8:50 and 2 Chronicles 30:9 in the KJV. So, the verse is simply
stating that Asphenaz showed “mercy and compassion” to Daniel.
There is no hint here of anything sexual in their relationship. Again,
Daniel is mentioned in Scripture as being a character of righteousness
(Ezekiel 14:14,20) – how could this be so, if he willingly disobeyed
Yahweh’s Law which he was under, that condemned Homosexual relationships
in the strongest of terms?
Whilst the Bible quite plainly portrays each of these
righteous men and women as having wonderful and beautiful same-sex relationships,
there is no evidence to indicate there was anything sexual about them.
In fact, all the evidence, as we have shown, is to the contrary. To claim
that these outstanding men and women of faith were homosexuals –
that is, they practiced a behaviour which is resoundly condemned by the
Bible, is to place a slur on their character. We fear for those who would
raise such a slander upon the Holy Ones of Yahweh, for they will also
have to appear before the judgment seat of Christ, to give account of
themselves and their words (Matthew 12:36).