The Bible and Homosexuality
The Bible is said to be the foundation stone upon which the Church of God rests. It is often quoted to encourage and build up faith in God. We read about the importance of the Bible to our Christian walk at I Timothy:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.Despite the stated purpose of the Bible as a great unifier, as a source to settle all matters of doctrine and lead us into Christian maturity, it often misused and employed to feed confusion, prejudice, and religious partisanship. The Bible is sometimes used to condemn and destroy faith in those with differing doctrinal understandings. Seemingly one can prove (or disprove) anything by quoting from its passages! Even worse, with so many conflicting versions of the Bible today, who knows what to believe!
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Not so long ago if you spoke the English language your Bible translation was almost certainly the Authorized or "King James" Version. If you spoke another language, your Bible was probably a translation of the KJV. There were a few other versions used by Christians, more as study aids, but the KJV was the Bible. When Christians said, "God said it, I believe it, that settles it!" what they believed were the words of the King James Bible. When they debated doctrine, the King James was the authority both sides referenced. Using a different translation was always considered supplementary evidence. There was still great doctrinal diversity about what the Bible taught, but the source material was deemed unassailable. That is no longer the case due in large part to the non-christian publishing houses like Zondervan press. Such companies have made billions of dollars by replacing the King James with inferior paraphrases.
Because of Zondervan and other companies, there are almost as many Bible versions as there are Christian denominations now! Unlike the single voice of the Authorized King James Version that, since 1611, led the faithful godward, Christians now listen to scores of competing voices, each claiming to be the Word of God. It all seems very confusing at times! The end result is spiritual relativism, the belief that there is no way of knowing what God actually intended in the pages of the Bible.
Some will argue that it doesn't matter which Bible version one uses. They are all the same, its just that the new paraphrases use modern English and hence are easier to understand. But is this true? Consider the following examples. Below I contrast the Authorized King James Version, translated from the time honored Textus Receptus, with the New International Version, a paraphrase of diverse and dubious sources, because through heavy-handed marketing and propaganda, the NIV has amazingly become the most popular version of the Bible in the world. It is however only one of the New Age Bible paraphrases currently undermining the historic Christian faith:Psalm 12:6-7:
KJV: The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
NIV: And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. O LORD, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever.
- Note the difference, God will preserve "them," the words of the Lord as opposed to God will keep "us" safe. A completely different meaning.Isaiah 7:14:
KJV: Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
NIV: Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
- Note that the KJV calls her a "virgin" while the NIV has it as a "woman." This is due to the ongoing debate over the meaning of the word almah. Once again the NIV paraphrases according to interpretation rather than translation. Its true that the word "almah" does not directly translate as "virgin," however its root "alam" means something which is "concealed, kept out of sight, protected." This Hebrew word refers quite clearly to a young "protected" maiden, probably around the age of twelve to fourteen, i.e. a virgin. If Mary was not a virgin, then she was not an "almah" but in any case, she certainly wasn't an adult "woman."Isaiah 14:12
KJV: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!
NIV: How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn!
- Note that the name of the Morning Star has been removed, thus bringing the individuality of Satan as our personal adversary into question. Such paraphrases support the belief that Satan is merely the anthropomorphism of evil.Micah 5:2
KJV: ... Bethlehem ... out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been of old, from everlasting.
NIV: ... Bethlehem ... out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.
- Note, will this king rule in Israel (as the benevolent Messiah) or will he rule over Israel (as the despotic Antichrist). Will he be an eternal being (as Christians believe) or will he simply from an ancient race of people etc.? In the KJV we note that this king will be male, whereas the NIV lacks this information. Once the Antichrist arises, such changes in meaning could lead to his acceptance.Matthew 17:21
KJV: Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!Matthew 18:11
KJV: For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!Matthew 23:14
KJV: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!Mark 7:16
KJV: If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!Mark 7:19
KJV: Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats.
NIV: For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body. (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean.")
- Note the clear intrusion into the Bible of the NIV editor's interpretation of this verse. The parentheses are in their text of the NIV.Mark 9:44
KJV: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!Mark 9:46
KJV: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!Mark 9:46
KJV: But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!Mark 15:28
KJV: And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!Luke 4:4
KJV: And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
NIV: Jesus answered, "It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone."
- Note the removal of 'the word of God.' An interesting deletion considering what the NIV does to the written word to God!Luke 4:8
KJV: And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind Me, Satan: for it is written...
NIV: Jesus answered, It is written ...
- Note that once again the NIV removes references to Satan as an individual protagonist. Harmonious with the teachings of Secular Humanism and the New Age Movement, the NIV teaches us that Jesus was engaged in an inner struggle with his own "demons," rather than in a confrontation with another being. This is a fundamental change in biblical doctrine.Luke 17:36
KJV: Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!Luke 23:17
KJV: (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!John 5:4
KJV: For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!Acts 8:37
KJV: And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!Acts 15:34
KJV: Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!Acts 18:21
KJV: But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.
NIV: But as he left, he promised, "I will come back if it is God's will." Then he set sail from Ephesus.
- Note the omission of why Paul was going to Jerusalem: to "keep" or observe the Jewish feast. This is an example of the NIV removing evidence that the disciples continued to observe the Jewish feasts after Jesus' resurrection. Whatever one believes on this subject, the NIV is clearly altering biblical doctrine by how it paraphrases such texts.Acts 24:7
KJV: But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!Acts 28:29
KJV: And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!Romans 1:27
KJV: ...men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
NIV: ...Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
- Note that the NIV alteration of this verse is a bit less obvious than in some of the others. One needs to consider the Greek here. These worshipers were "working that which is unseemly." The use of the word "working" (Katergazomai) shows that there was a specific end result in mind, i.e. earning the blessings of the Pagan deities (the sole subject of this section), the normal reason for all idolatry. All they received for their "work" however were venereal diseases "...and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was fitting..." There is nothing in this verse to justify the paraphrase, "...the due penalty for their perversion." The KJV says they received the "recompense of their error which was meet" or fitting. Nothing about "perversions" here. The sex cults throughout the empire were hotbeds of sexual diseases and the worshipers often became infected with STDs.
The NIV completely ignores the word Katergazomai in their paraphrase, even though it is the key word in the verse. I offer a detailed study of Romans 1 elsewhere. Again, regardless of what one believes on this topic, it is inexcusable for the NIV to purposely misrepresent what the Bible says and thereby to stoke the fires of prejudice.Romans 16:24
KJV: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
NIV: Verse DELETED by the Editors of the NIV!I Corinthians 6:9
KJV: Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
NIV: Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
- Note how the NIV adds words whole cloth to the text without a shred of textual support. There are Greek words denoting "homosexual," however none of these are in the Bible. Again, regardless of what believes on this topic, adding words to the Bible in order to support ones personal beliefs is a blasphemous sin and does a great disservice to the Christian community!I Corinthians 9:27
KJV: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection ...
NIV: No, I beat my body and make it my slave ...
- Note that keeping a thing in submission or under ones control is not the same thing as enslaving it. We are supposed to subdue and maintain dominion over the earth, but that must does mean we are to enslave its inhabitants (Gen. 1:28).Galatians 5:12
KJV: I would they were even cut off which trouble you. [those requiring circumcision of Gentile Believers in verse 11]
NIV: As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!
- Note that this is an extreme condemnation against those who felt Christians should observe the Torah not shown in the KJV. In the KJV Paul expresses his frustration at the so-called Judaizers, wishing they would stop trying to sway the Gentile Believers to their position as the matter had already been settled by the Church elders. This harshness in the NIV completely contradicts the ideals of Christian love. By this emphasis the editors of the NIV might well be accused of promoting antisemitism.Ephesians 3:9KJV: ...God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.
NIV: God, who created all things.
- Note the removal of Jesus' role in the creation. The NIV seems intent on reducing Jesus status.I Timothy 3:16
KJV: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
NIV: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.
- Note the omission of "God" in this verse. For those who believe that Jesus was God incarnate, this is a major loss as it is one of the clearest supports for the deity of Jesus in the Bible. In the NIV there is no evidence that "he" was God, merely one placed in humans flesh, even this point is dropped from related verses (comp. I John 4:3 in the NIV).I John 4:3
KJV: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist ...
NIV: but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist ...
- Note that once again the NIV rejects the notion that God is come in the flesh, a standard pillar of the various Church creeds. Those who reject Jesus 'are not of God,' but his taking on of human flesh, implying that he had once existed in a form without human flesh, is omitted.I John 5:7
KJV: For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
NIV: For there are three that testify:
- Who are they? The Church has historically pointed to this verse as a clear biblical reference to the Holy Trinity, as the King James has it, to the Father, the Word (Jesus), and the Holy Ghost. In the NIV their identities are unknown.Revelation 22:14KJV: Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life ...
NIV: Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life ...
What is apparent however is that the Christian Church is becoming progressively more hypocritical, that its losing its faith and losing its social impact even as it embraces these new Bibles. This is not a coincidence. In the Book of Revelation spoken by Jesus to John, we read of the Church of the Last Days:
So in light of all this I ask you, do we really need the Bible? Would we be better off without it?
When considering this question we need to remember that if you're a Christian, the Bible did not save you, Jesus did! People seem to forget this some time. We are not to worship the Bible! Its a tool, and spiritual help.
May I repeat this? The Bible didn't save me, Jesus did!
Now don't get out the stakes for my crucifixion just yet, I'm not denying the importance of the Holy Scriptures, God forbid! But the Bible tells us about Jesus, it leads us to salvation by sharing a written record of God's dealings with the people of this planet. That glorious Book declares to us that salvation is the free gift of God and is not attainable through any book, even the Most Holy Bible.
No, the Bible has never saved a single soul.
But can we discover the heart of God without it?
We read at Acts 10:
9 On the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray.
10 But he became hungry and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance;
11 and he saw the sky opened up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground,
12 and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air.
13 A voice came to him, "Get up, Peter, kill and eat!"
14 But Peter said, "By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean."
15 Again a voice came to him a second time, "What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy."
16 This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into the sky.
17 Now while Peter was greatly perplexed in mind as to what the vision which he had seen might be, behold, the men who had been sent by Cornelius, having asked directions for Simon's house, appeared at the gate;
18 and calling out, they were asking whether Simon, who was also called Peter, was staying there.
19 While Peter was reflecting on the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Behold, three men are looking for you.
20 "But get up, go downstairs and accompany them without misgivings, for I have sent them Myself."
Peter was a good Jew. He knew the Law of Moses. He knew that it was a sin for him to eat the creatures on that blanket. He also knew it was a sin for him to preach the Good News of the Jewish Messiah to Gentiles. He could have quoted the Scriptures back to God to prove it! But now he had a tough decision to make.
Should he say, "Sorry God, no can do. I'm a devoutly religious Jew and Leviticus says..."
But what did God say to Peter? God didn't reply that there were older, more reliable manuscripts that said it was all right eat these things. God didn't go to Strong's Concordance and break down the literal meanings of the words to demonstrate that God was the Lord of all the earth, hence it was OK to share with the Gentiles... No!
God said, "What I have called clean do not you call unclean!"
God knew the Torah better than Peter did, and yet God said to him, "Kill and eat these un-kosher foods! Share the truth with the outsiders!" The Torah was superseded by the sovereign Will of its author, God. God had said these animals, and hence the Gentiles being alluded to, were no longer treifah, now they were kosher, so they were pure, no matter what the Bible said! Oye!
Now, these Gentiles that soon showed up at Peter's house weren't dummies either! No doubt knew they were asking Peter to violate the Levitical law by their request, but God had told them to go, so they went. Which will you obey, the law or the lawgiver?
And so what happened? Peter violated the letter of the Law, preached the Gospel to non-Jews, and beginning at verse 44:
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message.
45 All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered,
47 "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?"
48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.
The Holy Ghost fell on the Gentiles! Seemingly the Spirit of the Living God violated the Torah! But God is not limited and the Torah was given to help the earth and its caretakers. Jesus made the point quite clearly in his teachings:
Remember what Jesus said? By their fruits you can know his disciples.
What God has called holy, do not dare to call unholy! By the Spirit of God we can know the truth of a thing by its fruits and by the witness of our spirits. Yet even so, our own cultural and religious belief systems come into play. The best advice is to leave the judging of others to God! (1 Corinthians 4:
1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
Surely we must have the Bible to teach us how to be faithful stewards! How will we be able to know the will of God in our lives without it?
Scripture says clearly at I John 2:27:
"As for you, the anointing which you received from God abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as God's anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in God."
For those who surrender their will and ego to God, the indwelling Spirit of Truth will teach all things and, in harmony with that sweet Spirit, we may peaceably abide in God. Such a person is like Peter, knowing the Law but following the Spirit.
But you may say, the human heart is too vile and deceptive, one can't trust it!
And yet the Bible says, at I John 3:
18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
19 We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before God
20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God...
When our hearts and minds are focused on God, when the desire of our hearts is know and love God more fully each day, then our hearts, our inner voices, will guide us correctly.
The question is, can, or better will, we trust in God to such an extent?
The Christian mystic Thomas Merton (1919-68) wrote in Seeds of Contemplation:
"Contemplation is the highest expression of ones intellectual and spiritual life. It is that life itself, fully awake, fully active, fully aware that it is alive. It is spiritual wonder. It is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being."
It is by searching our hearts that we know the mysteries and the will of God.
So then, what about the Bible? Does this exclude it? Does this make debates over translations and paraphrase irrelevant?
God forbid! The Bible is our lifeline! The Bible is the guide that makes sure our inner life does go off kilter! The Bible however must be rightly understood as a guide and a spiritual helper to the Holy Spirit within.
We read at II Tim. 2:15:
And that word of truth is the Holy Bible. Paul continues to tell Timothy at 2 Timothy 3:16:
So the Bible is essential to our spiritual lives. We must 'rightly divide this word of Truth' and not take it out of context for our own purposes as is too often done. The Bible is an absolutely holy thing, a material object to be cherished and consulted. Should that holy helper become compromised, should its teachings be altered, its principles perverted and its waters polluted, then our spiritual life will suffer terribly. This is why it is so very vital to hold onto the King James Version of the Bible and relegate the others, at best, to the conditional use as study aids.
How are we saved? How do we draw closer and closer to God?
19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;
20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in God's sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets
22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 being justified as a gift by God's grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in Jesus' blood through faith. This was to demonstrate Jesus' righteousness, because in the forbearance of God God passed over the sins previously committed;
26 for the demonstration, I say, of God's righteousness at the present time, so that God would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.
28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is God not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,
30 since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.
31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.
We establish and confirm the legitimacy of the Torah by acknowledging our inability to fulfill its righteous requirements!
So what does this mean? It means that it is only by God's Grace that any of us are saved, whoever we are, Jew or Gentile, and that Grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).
So then, while the Bible truly is the Word of God and is conducive to our spiritual development and salvation, it is God alone who saves us, by an undeserved act of grace and mercy, not the Bible. It is God who instructs us, not the Bible. We should not become like the Bible-thumpers who use the Word of Love as a tool for bigotry and hatred. We must rather use it for love and peace, to draw ever closer to God.
Those who abuse the blessed Word of God through their hatred and spiritual darkness would do well to heed these words of John the Beloved. He sounds a stern warning in Third John:
9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
Far too many people have "been put out of the churches" and told that God does not love them, that God made a mistake in their design, that it takes money or knowledge to be a Believer, that they must play politics or deny what they inwardly know to be true, but friend the Bible tells me differently! The Bible, as well as my personal experiences with God, tells me that God so loves us ALL and that Jesus came to set us ALL free just as John 3:16 and 17 says. I'm free today! We are free and one day we'll all know the Truth! I bet we will ALL be surprised by what it is!
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Only a small percentage of the divergent verses contained in the NIV have been listed here. If you know of other verses I should include in this list, of if you'd like to contact me for other reasons please Click here
For more information on this topic you might try the following links: