Living in the World - Issues that Christians face
Housegroup leaders - We'll be running an evening session to pick up some of the themes emerging from this topic on Nov 6th, 8pm at SGCC.
The Bible and Homosexuality - The concept of homosexual orientation
In this paper we examine some of the biblical texts which seem to relate to homosexualty. This paper is written from a less conservative perspective.
For the more conservative theological stance please see the paper called 'Homosexuality - Hays'.
By Way of Introduction
My main purpose is to examine many of the biblical texts usually produced in discussions of this issue in order to see how they might bear on the revolutionary insights we now possess into homosexuality. My overall theme will be  that new knowledge often makes it problematic to read the Bible as if we still live in the same world that produced it; and  that the reason for this is that the Bible is the inspired record of how people like us engaged with their own world, so that we have to take the differences between contexts into account if we want to use the Bible wisely.
Let me give two examples of how context affects interpretation. First, in the light of scientific discoveries and theories about the origins and structure of our universe, it is pretty impossible to continue to believe literally in the biblical account of creation. Some contemporary Christians do still read literally but it’s by no means clear that this is a correct reading strategy today, whereas in pre-scientific times no one would have imagined any other way of reading this text.
Second, consider the fact that until quite recently the Church refused suicides a burial on the ground that the Bible says that life is given and taken by God alone. Therefore, a suicide had disobeyed God and was consigned to outer darkness. This treatment was “biblical” and in a pre-psychological age when we understood nothing of the unseen forces that drive people in life it was logical and faithful. However, although we still believe that life belongs to God, we don’t treat suicides this way today because psychology and medicine have taught us to think more pastorally by enabling us to understand better the emotional and physiological influences which may drive a person to act in such an extreme way. In short, while we continue to believe that life is God’s gift, to give and take away, our way of responding to people who take this extreme action, has changed, but without our being unfaithful to what we believe. We need to be open to a similar change with regard to homosexuality because of the new knowledge we possess now of the often-unseen biological and psychological forces that shape our lives.
When we read the Bible now in order to grapple with the issue of orientation we have to realize that we are grappling with an issue the Bible itself doesn’t imagine, let alone treat. This is why all the passages which deal with homosexuality require this awareness that we are dealing with a new concept which is widely accepted by research from a variety of disciplines. The question, then, is how to do we link quite different contexts to arrive at God’s Word for us today?
This seems the right point for me to stress that this paper is not offered as God’s eternal Word (that is, if you disagree with me you and God don’t live in the same universe while God and I do). Rather, I offer it to stimulate thought by suggesting that the passages, often read as if they are straightforward, are in reality quite difficult in relation to the issue we have in front of us. Having said that, I also realize that we hold our beliefs at a deep emotional level, as well as intellectually, which is why we often react emotionally when anyone suggests change. It is this profound emotional investment in our faith which requires a process of exploration around sexuality, perhaps the most emotional of all issues. Hopefully, you will all realize that no-one is expecting anyone to ‘jump from one ship to another’, but rather that this paper, with its accompanying sermons and Wednesday evening interaction, is a first step in what hopefully will be a sustained exploration together.
The Biblical Texts
We come now to the biblical texts frequently used in discussions of this sort. They are Genesis 2.18-25; Genesis 19.1-11; Leviticus 18.22 & 20.13; Romans 1.26-27; 1 Corinthians 6.9; 1 Timothy 1.10. We will examine each in turn.
The common reading of this text says that it is the record of how God created men and women as complementary beings who recover their oneness in the gift of sexual intercourse within marriage. No other kind of sexual relationship is permissable because it will be at odds with God’s Will for sex and marriage in the creation of men and women.
Despite what I’ve said, Christians today often do read the Creation story literally, even if they don’t specifically say that this is what they are doing. Such readings treat this text as if it is a factual description of a factual act by God, and this gives the passage a particular significance for them. However, this mistakes the genre of this text – indeed of Gen 1-3 - which is a story, not a factual ‘how-God-did-it’ account. In addition, the Gen text borrows earlier documents from surrounding cultures and religions. Gen 1, for example, is a retelling of the Babylonian creation story called the Enuma Elish, changed with wonderful acuteness to portray Israel’s quite-different understanding of God. This fact alone means that Gen 1 cannot be a literal account of creation. It is an aetiology, that is an imaginative, poetic, narrative explanation of a past event, as indeed is Gen 2-3, even though a different writer from Gen 1 is responsible for chs 2-3.
Further, if the passage is poetic in that it not only includes some poetry but chiefly in that it seeks to explore the meaning of life, then it doesn’t have the force of law – that’s not its intention, nor does it try to give us information about Creation. It gives shape to our lives without dictating specifically how we should behave because we believe God to be our Creator. In the same way as with suicides, I suggest that new knowledge of ourselves as human sexual beings allows us to be faithful to the insight of Gen 2 that we are made for intimacy, an intimacy that reflects God’s creation-act, but one which doesn’t have to be applied literally or legalistically. It speaks of the intimate relation of a man and woman only because the biblical writer had no concept of any other kind of intimate relationship, but now that we do the text itself, because it doesn’t function as law, doesn’t prohibit extending this, the highest form of human love, to gay men and women. In other words, we could choose to apply this text ethically rather than legalistically.
Put differently, if Gen 2 is a poetic presentation of God’s intention to allow human beings the experience of an intimacy akin to God’s own creative act, then it allows an application beyond its literal meaning because that is the nature of poetic truth: it doesn’t specify; rather it opens imaginative possibilities. Now that we know, through research into human sexuality, how very human same-sex desire is, and we know that homosexuals don’t choose homosexuality as some kind of defiance of God but find that this is how they are, the text, I suggest, allows us the text allows us to make space for gays to find a love that is natural to their sexual orientation.
This means, I suggest, that it may be possible for us to accept gay couples into our church fellowship and seek to help them bind their coupling into something permanent because Gen 2 tells us that it is in this intimacy that we have the best opportunity this side of eternity to know an intimacy similar to God’s love for us. In other words, rather than blocking gay people from this human relationship which reflects, more than any other, the particular features of God’s love, might it not be better for us to make it possible? Aren’t we, of all people, supposed to make love possible? We could do this without being unfaithful to the poetic intent of Gen 1-2, namely that there is this opportunity for us, through marriage, to participate in divine love. Whatever genitals are involved doesn’t seem to be as important as the opportunity to help a marginalized, suffering group to find a secure place in the world and to experience the closest thing to human love available to us.
Leviticus 18.22 & 20.13
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination (18.22, repeated in slightly different form at 20.13). Addressed only to men, as was the norm, this seems about as clear a prohibition of male-to-male sexual intercourse as one can get. However, there are many problems in applying this text to the issue of sexual orientation. Let me list these difficulties.
First, the passage doesn’t address the issue of orientation: it critiques homosexual acts performed by heterosexual males. Second, and following directly from the first, the prohibition is in parallel with the prohibition against adultery with a neighbour’s wife at v.20, so its intention is to safeguard the marriage state. It is a prohibition against immoral sex, in brief. Third, the prohibition is specifically against anal intercourse and applying it to modern sexual issues is extremely difficult for many reasons: as a prohibition against anal intercourse it can’t apply to lesbian sex which doesn’t involve anal intercourse. In addition, it doesn’t apply to those male homosexuals who don’t have anal intercourse; and if that surprises you, you should understand that anal intercourse is only one of many sexual practices men can undertake together; in at least two studies with which I am familiar, anal intercourse rates as a distant third to mutual masturbation and oral sex.
Furthermore, research has told us that throughout history, and into the present, especially among the poor, anal intercourse is common among heterosexuals as a means of contraception and for a pleasure many heterosexual couple apparently enjoy. So the question arises: who is the target of this prohibition? Once we recognize that the text has no meaning in relation to the issue we are facing, we should be able to read it in terms of its obvious intention which is that it prohibits a practice engaged in by married men; and thus what the text argues for obli quely is faithfulness within marriage.
There is a further difficulty, too, and this concerns our integrity as readers. Lev 18.22 and 20.13 are intertwined with practices and prohibitions of many kinds which we do not keep and which we do not regard as binding. For example, 20.13 ends with the instruction for the death penalty (as is also the case at 20.10 for adulterers). We take the first part of the verse as binding but not the second – on what basis? The answer is, of course, that our worldview has a different concept of justice from that in Leviticus so we have very good reason for not obeying 20.13b – in fact, what in the Bible is God’s command would be for us a criminal act. Times change, ideas change and how we understand and receive God’s Word changes, too. Why can’t we accept this with regard to homosexual orientation?
Finally, the prohibition relates specifically to the Hebraic worldview which is different from ours, and which was dominated by purity through which the entire universe was organized into neat categories where anything that didn’t fit into a category clearly became unclean, requiring ritual cleansing or punishment of some kind. In this world any kind of skin disease made a person unclean, the flow of any bodily fluid like mentrual blood or semen made a person unclean, and particular animals which didn’t fit entirely into a category were always unclean and not fit for use in any way.
In this context, men fitted into one category and women into another: men were penetrators while women were penetratees. So if a man lay with a man as with a woman he turned the other man into a woman and thus he had contact with what was unclean because a man who allows himself to be penetrated is behaving like a woman and so compromises his place in the universe as a man. He also overturned the accepted socio-political order which placed men in a hierarchical understanding of existence above women. In this world there was a direct connection between the power of the sexual penetrator over the relative powerlessness of the penetratee. Finally, in treating another man in this way he showed no love for this other man because he treats this other man as if he is a woman and therefore a non-being. In having sex with another man he thus hereveals his own motivation as lust, pure and simple.
The Israelite worldview reflected Israel’s belief that Creation was about God’s creating order out of disorder so that daily life is to reflect the same orderliness as God gave to the world in Creation. We continue to believe that order is fundamental to Creation and to spiritual life but we no longer believe it requires Israelite practices or the kind of rigid separation of created entities we see in the Bible. All that we have come to know about ourselves as human beings and are continuing to discover requires that we think differently about people than the ancient Israelites did. The concept of sexual orientation gives us a different way to look at homosexuals and to see the call to holiness which is at the centre of Leviticus in terms of enabling them to know the most godly form of love. I suggest that God’s order is best understood by working out the implications of Jesus’ summary of the Law.
This story really starts at 18.1 where Abraham is seated at the entrance of his tent from where, in a literal translation, And he lifted up his eyes and behold three men…In parallel and thus making the connection clearly, 19.1 has Lot sitting in the gateway of Sodom… from where he beholds two angels who have morphed narratively into angels but are clearly two of the men who turned from there and went toward Sodom… at 18.22. Chapters 18 and 19 are thus connected in a number of ways. The two stories are connected also by the parallel requests by the visitors to make contact with the person inside the dwelling: so the men ask to see Sarah in ch. 18 as the men of Sodom ask to “know” the angelic visitors inside the house in ch. 19. And this is where similarity turns to absolute contrast in that whereas Abraham is rewarded for his hospitality in ch 18, Sodom will be destroyed for its inhospitality in ch 19. So chapters 18 and 19.1-11 are about hospitality. Lot, who has interceded for Sodom (18.23-33) in pleas to God, now intercedes in action by offering his visitors the same hospitality Abraham offered at the beginning of ch. 18.
However, the behavior of the men of Sodom demonstrates just why God wants to destroy the city. Scholars have debated what know them (19.5) means. One scholar argues that they are demanding the identity of the visitors as a matter of security for these men are unknown visitors (as indeed is Lot, a suggestion that has support in v.9). So in this interpretation “know” (Heb: yada) has no sexual connotations. Others argue that Lot’s interpretation of their demand at 19.7-8 suggests that he understood their intention was to take his visitors sexually. The fact that Heb yada is often used with a sexual connotation combined with Abraham’s response offering his daughters would suggest that this is the stronger reading (the NIV is unequivocal: yada = having sex). Furthermore, as the story makes clear without actually using the word, the men from Sodom intend to rape Lot’s guests. The story illustrates, in fact, the depth of Sodomite unholiness, for rape is the ultimate act of inhospitality, a form of dealing death. It is odd that they seem not to want to rape Lot who is entirely exposed but perhaps this points in a direct way to their ungodliness: it is the divine they want to destroy.
Contemporary readers quite rightly worry about the fact that Lot offers his daughters, which offends our changed understanding of women. It illustrates what I have been saying about women in the patriarchy within the biblical world: women were nothing. Aristotle put it succinctly when he said that the female is “something that might have been but is not, that has missed being”. However, perhaps the writer’s intention is also to point to Lot’s desperation and especially the ultimate value he places on hospitality. Patriarchy rears its ugliest head in the brutal rape of a concubine in Judges 19.22-30, a parallel story to this one, except that the victim of rape is a woman, not men, and she dies most horribly.
Churches continue to use this story to say that homosexuality is evil, but a simple reading of the story surely makes this a very strange reading, to say the least. How a story about the refusal of hospitality and rape can apply to the question of how we treat gay brothers and sisters who want to be allowed to express their sexuality in a godly relationship of commitment is difficult to understand.
This text appears to make the judgement that in God’s eyes gay sex is unnatural. Now we assume that we know what is meant by what is “natural” and what is “unnatural” because we assume that what is “natural” is just there, prior to thought or existence, put there by God and so it is unchangeable. However, both the Bible and history tell us that every culture constructs an understanding of what is “natural”. In 1 Cor 11.14 Paul tells us that it is unnatural for a man to wear his hair long, and history is replete with examples of how cultures construct what is natural. For example, in ancient Greece, it was natural for older men to form homosexual relationships with young boys in order to educate them sexually. These boys would then go on to marry and conduct the same homosexual relationships with the next generation. The Greeks believed that it was natural for all men to have sex with both genders. In some cultures gays are regarded as holy, with a mystical wisdom. In our culture today most Christians believe that penile/vaginal sex is “natural”, but this is tenable only if one thinks of sex as having the purpose of reproduction and if one is heterosexual. To a gay person, penile/vaginal sex is “unnatural”. (It has been noted that to make penile/vaginal sex the standard of what is “natural” has the effect of inhibiting the sexual enjoyment of people who, whether because of illness or advancing age, are not longer able to have penile/vaginal sex). Again, we see that what is regarded as “natural” depends on all sorts of assumptions. It is never an a priori given.
Paul, as a Jew, clearly has an entirely different view shaped by the Law, but he doesn’t mean what we think he means by the concept because he had no concept of “homosexuality”. In addition, this text has to be understood in terms of its context within the epistle as a whole where it is part of a standardized Jewish attack on the Gentile world, reflecting the belief that Gentiles were morally deficient by nature and therefore unable to control their desires. It is a stereotype, the equivalent of saying that all Scots or Jews are tightfisted). Paul presents this attack first perhaps because he believes it to be true, but also because his message, shocking to Jews, is that God loves and will save these moral infants, the Gentiles. So these verses present a portrait of unbridled lust, including even woman, a highly-unusual perspective for the time, reflecting a stereotyped Jewish view of Gentiles. Paul may be exaggerating the stereotype in order to emphasize the incredible generosity of a God who could love these people. Is it right, exegetically or morally, to apply Paul’s presentation of morally-deficient Gentiles to gays who are seeking our support for their desire to be able to share in the most moral of all relationships, the lifelong commitment to another we call marriage? How can it be that a morally-deficient group wants the relationship we believe to be the highest good?
What, then, does this passage mean? With regard to the issue of homosexual orientation, it means nothing at all. What Paul is doing in this first chapter is setting up his main theme in Romans, namely that God loves these dreadful Gentiles just as he loves Jews and he will save them both. In Romans Paul sets out to shatter two stereotypes. First, he addresses Jewish Christians at Rome who don’t believe that God can love Gentiles who, as we’ve seen, are moral reprobates. He sets out to destroy that stereotype. Second, he addresses Gentile Christians at Rome (the majority there by the time Paul writes) who believe that in Jesus God has superseded the Jews who no longer form part of God’s saved people. Culminating in chapters 9-11, Paul sets out to destroy that claim of Gentile superiority.
One of Paul’s main intentions in Romans, then, is to show that God’s love transcends human prejudices. I suggest that it is this message of the epistle as a whole that applies to the question of homosexuality today. In other words, 1.26-27 can’t be isolated from their contribution to the message of this long and complex epistle as a whole. When these verses are simply picked out of their literary context, what Paul is saying in them and why he uses these ideas is lost completely, and the meaning of these verses is changed into an abstract law against homosexuality.
1 Corinthians 6.9 and 1 Timothy 1.10
The first of these texts contains two Greek words whose translation is still a matter of debate. These two words are malakos and arsenokoitai which have been translated in such a large variety of ways that any clear meaning is difficult to find. Here are the two words as translated by the NIV, the Bible we use in church: Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God. Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral,, nor idolators, nor adulterers), nor male prostitutes (malakoi), nor homosexual offenders (arsenokoitai)… [1 Cor 6.9). In 1 Tim 1.10 we read, [the law is made for] adulterers and perverts (arsenokoitais)…. The distinction between “male prostitutes” (malakos) and “homosexual offenders” or “perverts” or “sodomites” (arsenokoitai, the NRSV translation) reflects the influential belief among historically-minded scholars today that Paul is distinguishing between those who are penetrated (the malakoi) and those who penetrate (the arsenokoitai) because what Paul is criticizing is the use of young boys as prostitutes by older men. This is credible but and the distinction between penetrator and penetratee possible, but we really can’t be sure.
Some scholars have argued that these terms probably have no necessary reference to homosexuality at all, which is almost certainly true because, as we’ve noted, the concept of sexual orientation didn’t exist in Paul’s day, nor in fact, until the nineteenth century when the word was first coined. Hence the NIV is certainly incorrect in translating arsenokoitai with “homosexual offenders” (a moral evaluation rather than a translation, in any case); and malakos is very frequently translated by “masturbation” in texts outside the Bible. Most commentators are agreed on the meaning “soft” but thereafter there is no certainty. The best suggestion is “voluptuary” which again has no necessary connection with homosexuality. The KJV translates malakos with “effeminate”, reflecting a common heterosexual stereotype of gay men. However, the translation is probably more revealing of the translator’s opinion than the Greek word’s actual meaning.
People thought about sex in the ancient world in terms of particular acts and men were assumed to be capable of hetero and homo sexual acts as a matter of course – which of course didn’t mean that every act was right as we’ve seen in our analysis of Leviticus texts. Furthermore, note the assumption the homosexual=immoral in the use of “perverts” in NIV 1 Tim.1.10. This again is not a translation but a moral evaluation, without foundation in the word being translated. When the NRSV uses “sodomites” for arsenokoitai the word itself carries no necessary reference to homosexuality because in earlier thought “sodomy” was not connected to anal intercourse. In fact, the word has had a range of meanings over time, for example in the Middle Ages referring to the sexual act when the woman is on top of the man, or to copulation with an animal, or to anal penetration of either sex. For Paul of Hungary in his Summa Penance, written to summarize the church’s teaching on confession agreed at the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, sodomy refers to any seminal emission outside the vagina, with or without partner, whatever the sex of the partners involved.
Where such confusion reigns what can we say? As far as malakos is concerned, probably no more than that it refers to a “voluptuary” and thus has no necessary connection to homosexuality. With regard to arsenokoitai, I would accept the conclusion of David Wright in a long article on the word, in which he demonstrates successfully that the LXX (Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible), the translation most referred to by NT writers, uses arsenokoitai to refer back to the levitical texts we’ve examined. However, we’ve seen that “the Levitical ban” in those texts reveals an understanding of sex quite alien to us and quite without application to the issue we’re considering.
These two texts belong to the genre of “vice lists”, which were very common in ancient literature and were fairly stylized or stereotypical lists used to demonize opponents. Clearly, then, they refer to what were considered to be sins at the time, but as we can’t define the key terms with any degree of certainty and because even where we can the understanding of sexuality is so different from ours, we can’t sensibly use these passages with reference to the issue of homosexual relationships today. All we can say from them is that the Bible shows us that we are capable of sexual sin; but just what is sinful needs to be re-negotiated in the light of history’s changes – we should note that for a very long time male noturnal emissions were viewed by the church as demonic manifestations because it was believed that the devil drew semen out of the sleeping male; and this belief could be sustained because the church taught generally that all sexual desire was evil. If we assert too much at any one time, history will frequently make us look foolish.
I have tried to suggest that because God’s Word comes in human words, God’s intention is that we should read it dynamically, that is, with regard to the differences between ourselves and those who sought God in the pages of the Bible. This is not to demean the Bible as God’s Word, but to recognize the kind of way God has chosen to give us his Word.
It is certain that the Bible condemns homosexual acts, but all of the biblical passages we have looked at assume these acts are performed, outside marriage, by heterosexual men (with women mentioned only once). We have seen that the thought-world of the Bible is quite different from ours in a variety of ways. Let me summarize:
1. Ancients thought about sex in terms of particular acts, not of inner dispositions, as we do. So there is no concept of sexual orientation in the Bible. In fact, the word “sexuality” is itself an invention of the late eighteenth century; “homosexuality” comes into being a century later.
2. In the Bible sex is not primarily thought of in terms of romantic love as it is for us (except in the notable instance of the Song of Songs). Rather, marriage in the ancient world was about the possession of property, which was what women were and represented. Any sexual act that violated possession was thus sinful.
3. Homosexual acts are condemned because they violate the patriarchal world-order: when a man is penetrated as if he is a woman the established order is shaken because it is women’s role to be penetrated.
4. Homosexual acts are condemned in terms of Israels purity legislation which projects a world in which everything has a definite, fixed place. Those entities whose position is unclear are ritually unclean. Hence, when a man acts as if he is a woman he becomes unclean, as does the man who has contact with him.
5. Homosexual acts are thus, by definition, an offence against love because love can’t exist when purity and patriarchy are threatened. A man who treats another man as if he is a woman degrades him and so can’t be loving him. Sex without love in the Bible is always wrong.
For these reasons, passages that appear on a surface reading to be clear condemnations of homosexuality are in fact condemnations of particular, always clearly-immoral homosexual acts. They do not bear directly on the issue of how the revolutionary concept of homosexual orientation affects our attitude to and treatment of gay men and women. I have attempted to suggest in what way each of the passages surveyed does have meaning for this issue, but really these are not the best passages to guide us.
But the Bible should guide us in this as in everything. I suggest that rather than seeking guidance on this issue in particular short texts whose interpretation in relation to this issue I have shown to be rather problematic, we should seek guidance in what the Bible tells us as to who God is. God, in the Law and the prophets, in the Wisdom literature, and finally in the life and ministry of Jesus, is a just God, a God who says that if our faith doesn’t bring justice to the oppressed, the disadvantaged, and the marginalized, then all our religious observance is worth nothing.
Hear Micah: And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. It is because God is just that Jesus summarizes the Law in the way he does in response to the question posed by a teacher of the Law: Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind’. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. [Matthew 2236b-40].
Do homosexuals find justice and love in the church? I think this is the quintessential challenge the Bible throws out to us.
For those who are troubled by my readings of the passages in which homosexual acts are mentioned, a word of encouragement, I hope, and a challenge. I take these from a book by Richard Hays, an American evangelical biblical scholar and ethicist in his book entitled The Moral Vision of the New Testament. Hays argues that we have to take seriously the fact that wherever the Bible does talk about homosexual behaviour it does so negatively. I have nothing more to say on that for I obviously disagree with his readings of the passages I have listed and which he deals with, but I point him to you because his work is free of the homophobia that drives, I’m sorry to say, a good deal of conservative work on this issue.
However, he issues a challenge to everyone who believes that the Bible teaches homosexual behaviour to be sinful. He points out that it is no more sinful than pride, lust, covetousness etc. – the sins that afflict us all, in other words, and therefore he questions the way homosexuals are singled out by the church and treated as if they are some special class of sinners. This agrees with my concern for justice, but from a different angle. He says this: …no one has a secure platform to stand upon in order to pronounce judgement on others. Anyone who presumes to have such a vantage point is living in a dangerous fantasy, oblivious to the gospel that levels all of us before a holy God (p.389).
Some Good Reading
Boswell, J., 1994. Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe. New York: Villard Books.
Countryman, W., 2007. Dirt, Greed, and Sex: Sexual Ethics in the New Testament and Their Implications for Today. Revised Edition ed. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.
Duberman, M., Vicinus, M. & Chauncey, G. eds., 1989. Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past. London: Penguin Books.
Gagnon, R. A., 2001. The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Text and Hermeneutics. Nashville: Abingdon Press.
Hays, R., 1996. The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation, A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics. San Francisco: HarpurSanFrancisco.
Jordan, M. D., 1997. The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press.
Moore, G. O., 2003. A Question of Truth: Christianity and Homosexuality. London & New York: Continuum.
Via, D. O. &. R. A. G., 2003. Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.