Erotic activity with someone of the same sex.
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
homosexuality, a word for which there is no specific equivalent in the Hebrew Bible or in the Greek nt, since the concept of homosexuality as a “sexual orientation” originated only in the nineteenth century. Nevertheless, there are a few biblical references to people who engage in sexual acts with persons
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
HOMOSEXUALITY. The Bible says nothing specifically about the homosexual condition (despite the rather misleading rsv translation of 1 Cor. 6:9), but its condemnations of homosexual conduct are explicit. The scope of these strictures must, however, be carefully determined. Too often they have been used
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
HomosexualityThe terms “homosexuality” and “homosexual” are coinages of the 19th century c.e. and have no equivalent in ancient Hebrew or Greek. It is debatable whether the modern idea of homosexuality (an erotic attraction focused only or primarily on persons of the same gender) existed at all in antiquity.
Dictionary of Paul and His Letters
HomosexualityHomosexual activity was not uncommon in the Hellenistic world of Paul’s day, chiefly in the form of pederastic liaisons between adult males and young teenagers. Some male prostitution was also current. Yet pederasty was no longer as accepted as it had once been in classical Greece, nor
Catholic Bible Dictionary
HOMOSEXUALITY In its general sense, homosexuality refers to sexual relations between men or between women. Moral theology teaches that active homosexual acts are morally indefensible: they are contrary to the natural law, and they close the sexual act to the gift of life. They also do not represent a
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
homosexuality. There are few biblical references to homosexual behaviour. In the OT the definite references are in the story of Sodom in Gen. 19:4–11, the probably dependent incident recorded in Jgs. 19, and in Lev. 18:22 and 20:13. Both the infrequency of the references and their contexts encourage
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
Sodomitesthose who imitated the licentious wickedness of Sodom (Deut. 23:17; 1 Kings 14:24; Rom. 1:26, 27). Asa destroyed them “out of the land” (1 Kings 15:12), as did also his son Jehoshaphat (22:46).
Harper’s Bible Dictionary
Homosexualityhomosexuality, a word for which there is no specific equivalent in the Hebrew ot or the Greek nt, since the concept itself, as well as the English word, originated only in the nineteenth century. Nevertheless, there are a few biblical references to persons of the same sex who engage in
Sodomysodomy, a generic term for copulation that is not ‘natural’ and heterosexual, derived from the story of Sodom whose inhabitants sought to have sexual relations with Lot’s visitors (Gen. 19:1–11). The Bible frequently condemns male homosexuality (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:27; 1 Cor. 6:9) as well
Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary
HOMOSEXUAL — a person who is attracted sexually to members of his or her own sex. Homosexual behavior is prohibited in Scripture (Lev. 20:13) and was a major cause of the divine judgment against Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:4–5, 12–13). The apostle Paul listed homosexuals among “the unrighteous” who would
Sodomite, Sodomy
SODOMITE, SODOMY [SAHD um ite, SAHD uh me] — one who practices sodomy; unnatural sexual intercourse, especially that between two males. These English words are derived from Sodom, an ancient city in the land of Canaan noted for such depraved activities.The men of Sodom came to Lot’s house, demanding
Dictionary of Biblical Imagery
HomosexualityThe Bible rarely speaks about homosexual behavior. Accounts of intended homosexual rape in Sodom (Gen 19) and Gibeah (Judg 19) use no images, but they tell the stories with harsh and disturbing narratives that prove to be quite evocative for the rest of the canon. From Genesis, Sodom becomes
Pocket Dictionary of Ethics
homosexuality. The condition of or behavioral outworkings of sexual attraction toward a person of the same sex. The term is used in two basic ways: to designate sexual behavior involving persons of the same sex or to denote the psychobiological situation in which a person is erotically aroused exclusively
lesbian. A female homosexual, that is, a woman who is erotically aroused primarily if not exclusively by females or who engages in sexual acts with females. The term is derived from the Greek island of Lesbos, the home of the female poet Sappho, who was said to have encouraged young women of the island
sodomy. A term generally denoting male homosexual intercourse, usually through anal penetration. The derivation of the word from the Old Testament city of Sodom, which was destroyed for its wickedness (Gen 19:1–28), indicates the degree to which such acts were often deemed despicable in the Christian
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
HOMOSEXUALITY Sexual relations between people of the same sex. When discussing homosexuality, the biblical emphasis is on behavior, and the verdict is always that it is sinful.Homosexuality is a consequence of rejecting the created order. The prima facie case against homosexuality in the Scripture is
Key passages
Ge 19:4–8

Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we may know them.” But Lot went out to them …

Le 18:22

And you shall not lie with a male as lying with a woman; that is a detestable thing.

Ro 1:21–27

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their reasoning, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God with the likeness of an image of mortal human beings …

1 Co 6:9–10

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Neither sexually immoral people, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor passive homosexual partners, nor dominant homosexual partners, nor thieves, nor greedy persons, not drunkards, not abusive persons, …

Jud 7

as Sodom and Gomorrah and the towns around them indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire in the same way as these, are exhibited as an example by undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.

See also
Topics & Themes