What does Jesus say about homosexuality?

We’ve all heard that the Bible teaches against it and all that jazz, but to my recollection, the subject isn’t really mentioned at all anywhere in the Gospels. Now, it’s been a long time since I’ve read the Bible, so I could be wrong, but does anyone know of any passages or quotes that address the issue? (again, I’m talking Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John only; no OT or Letters, thank you)

As far as I can remember, Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. He spoke against adultery, even the desire that leads to adultery. He spoke against hypocrisy. He spoke against materialism. He spoke against the Pharisees. But, the only specifics I have found on homosexuality are in the OT and the NT letters of Paul.

Of course, one could argue that by living according to Mosaic Law, he would, by default, be against it. Don’t flame me on this, it’s just a possible arguement I have seen used.

I don’t think that Jesus is recorded in the Gospels as ever explicitly saying anything on the subject, although it could be argued that he endorses the spirit of the Jewish law (if not the letter), but it would be a particularly weak argument, in my opinion.

He didn’t really talk about it, as far as I know (in any surviving gospels, at least, and certainly not in the 4 you listed)

He does say:

(Matt 19) which some people have thought refers to homosexuality, but it probably just is about not marrying and having children.

There’s also, in the same chapter:

which is about divorce, but I suppose you could read it as being about homosexuality if you really want to (in that ‘man is meant to be with women’ sense. I don’t know if anyone has, though.

Also in the version of the “Jesus heals the Centurion’s servant” story in the book of Matthew, there are some people who suggest that the word the Centurion uses (pais-it means “boy”) suggests that the relationship between the Centurion and the servant is a homosexual one, because pais was sometimes used to refer to the younger, passive partner in a homosexual relationship. That’s certainly a minority view, though, and not the majority reading (another minority view says that, in Matthew, the boy is the man’s son). At any rate, Jesus doesn’t comment on the relationship, whatever it is. He just praises the Centurion for his faith and heals the boy.

But yeah, other than those three possible references, those four gospels don’t talk about it. The Secret Gospel of Mark does refer at one point to a “naked young man”…here’s the entire passage (Taken from Clement?'s letter to Theodore)

which some people have said is a reference to homosexuality, but again, it’s a stretch, and the gospel isn’t canonical, and the letter from the person who might be Clement of Alexandria is the only reference (as far as I know) of the text.

Of course, none of this says that Jesus didn’t teach about homosexuality, but if he did, we don’t know what he said. That information, if it exists, has been lost.

Jesus, in Matt. 10:15, acknowledges the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, one of which was historically believed to be homosexuality. So, assuming he knew of their homosexuality amongst all their other countless sins, he would condemn homosexuality as a sin worthy of hell and death.

Yes, it’s a bit of a stretch. Take it for what it is worth.

Right, but in that passage, he’s talking about what will happen to towns that

in other words, towns that don’t welcome Jesus’s disciples or accept Jesus’s message.

Since both the Bible (one of the prophets…can’t remember who now), and the Talmud (which was written not long after Jesus) say that Sodom was destroyed because it was inhospitable to strangers, that interpretation of the passage sets up a parallel. Sodom is inhospitable to strangers and rejects the angels’ warnings, so it is destroyed…the hypothetical town is inhospitable to the disciples and rejects their warnings, and something worse happens to it. I don’t think that the Sodom reference in the passage is to homosexuality.

So, I suppose “Love thy neighbor as thyself” doesn’t mean, “Wank the fellow next door?” :wink:

The whole quote starting from verse 14b is:

IOW, them Sodomites (literally!) will have an easier judgment that those who refuse to see and welcome the Good News of the Kingdom proclaimed plainly to them. So, here’s even some mercy for them Sodomites in their ignorance.


“Blessed are the fabulous, the Kingdom of God is theirs to make glamorous.”

But, what if that statement was hyperbole? Jesus may have used it at times (one possible explanation for needle’s eye passage, iirc…)

Which way would it go then?

I think the message of Soddom and Gomarrah is more a condemnation of inhospitality and of mob violence/rape (which are both common enough and far more harmful behaviors). I’m not saying that the Bible is very accepting of homosexuality, but I would question whether or not the story of Soddom and Gomarrah is good evidence for Biblical condemnation. If anything, the story reflects easy attitudes towards it at the time.

Given that Jesus was willing to welcome and forgive lepers, prostitutes, and tax collectors, I daresay that I don’t think that homosexuality would have phased him much.

Jesus didn’t accept them in the sense that he was saying, “what you do is okay…stay as you are and join me.” He accepted them in the sense that he is a doctor, who comes for the sick.

He never mentions homosexuality, but if he thought it was a sin, he would feel the same about homosexuals as he did about any sinner. Repent and follow me.

I know that. What I meant was that he wouldn’t condemn them as hopelessly evil like the Jack Chicks of the world would.


Jesus didn’t mention a lot of the specific sins and so forth. But given the hard time he had knocking some sense into the Disciples on the basics, can you blame him? Even omnipotence is no match for human intransigence.

I’m ashamed of not knowing this but do mainstream Christians consider St. Paul’s letters to be scripture? (If I recall, he argued that homosexuality is a sin because it’s a form of self-love, and takes one away from love of God.)

Not that it makes any difference to my own beliefs, but it would at least make a little more explicable the stand of (for instance) the Episcopalians protesting their new bishop.

The definitive answers can be found here:

Given Jesus’ attitude towards heterosexual sex (he did say that “anyone who looks on a woman with lust commits aduldery in his heart”), it is quite a stretch to believe that, because Jesus never explicitly mentioned homosexual sex, he would not have condemned it equally.

Jesus was addressing a largely Jewish audience, who already considered homosexual acts sinful, and didn’t practice it openly. When addressing that audience, it just didn’t need to be said.

Paul was addressing a largely Gentile audicence that hitherto had not considered homosexual acts sinful and indulged in them more than (or at least more openly than) the Jews of the day, so he devotes quite a bit of time to talking about it.

Though Jesus was apparently silent on the subject, we cannot use this directly to say he had a particular stand on the subject, since Jesus also said nothing to condemn slavery. It is clear that Jesus would forgive any sinner that came to him, but it is not clear that Jesus would have considered homosexuality as a sin to even need forgiving.

I’d say that absent any surviving statements by Jesus on either the subjects of homosexuality or slavery, we don’t know what he thought of them. We might be able to figure out the general attitude of the Jewish world at the time on those two topics, but even if we knew that, we don’t know to what extent Jesus agreed with his societal views on those subjects.

I think the only GQ answer to “What did Jesus say about homosexuality” is, “Nothing specific that survives, and it’s impossible to know how he felt about it.”

(How can I resist?)

He appears to have been in favor of it.

Matt 7:20, “So then, you will know them by their fruits.”