The story represents, for Christianity, a tale "of homophobic genocide" signifying the "culture's desire that gay people not be".4, Thus, even if the angels had been consenting, it is wrong to read the Sodomite's demand as anything else but an act of abuse of outsiders. Rather than compare Sodom and Gomorrah to other ancient cultures and seek to justify their sexual immorality, Sodom and Gomorrah should be compared to Nineveh during the time of Jonah. Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? From the text of Genesis 19:4-9 though, if rape was the primary sin of Sodom, then the men of the city would have been just as willing to take Lot up on his suggestion to sexually abuse his daughters. Note 6. English Standard Version. So, the Bible is clear that sexual sin and homosexual behavior, in particular, was the outward sin for which they (Sodom and Gomorrah) were destroyed. First, Sodom and Gomorrah were judged because of grave sin. What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? Although their sins of pride, sexual immorality, inhospitality, and cruelty were committed against other people—ultimately, they were a direct offense against God. You're almost done! My goal is simply to figure out what the text intends to teach us. Did John the Baptist Know Jesus Was the Messiah? Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. They are repeatedly compared with Sodom and Gomorrah in their evildoing and depravity. The New Testament uses these cities … Therefore some critics have pointed this out as a Bible contradiction. Genesis chapter 18 records the Lord and two angels coming to speak with Abraham. Not all the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah centered around sexual indiscretions. For a good discussion of this see Greenberg, page 201, footnote 91. They meet Lot, a relative newcomer to the city, who insists that they spend the night in his house. The Jewish historian Josephus looks at all these factors (pride, homosexual behavior, hatred) in describing the sin of Sodom. There were actually more cities destroyed than just Sodom and Gomorrah. When the angels of God came to fetch Lot and his family, the men wanted to have sex with them. In that chapter, Simeon and Levi killed all the men of Shechem because of the rape of their sister Dinah. Why was Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt? Q. How Do We Know the Bible Is True? Zachary Pierce, “Let Us Not Be Like Sodom: Revisiting the Cultural Critique of Genesis 19:1–11 in an Age of Political Violence.” Academia.edu website, Accessed July 24, 2019, https://www.academia.edu/37585122/Let_Us_Not_Be_Like_Sodom_Revisiting_the_Cultural_Critique_of_Genesis_19_1_11_in_an_Age_of_Political_Violence. The traditional list, is summarized in the Catechism which states The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are “sins that cry to heaven”: the blood of Abel, the sin of the Sodomites, the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt, the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and … All in all, a virtual garden of Eden. It’s also the same word used in Leviticus 18:22 when addressing homosexual acts. Why did Lot offer up his daughters to be gang raped? The story of the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah is told in Genesis 18–19.Three men come to Abraham in the plains of Mamre.After the angels received the hospitality of Abraham and Sarah, the Lord reveals to Abraham that he would confirm what he had heard against Sodom and Gomorrah, "and because their sin is very grievous.". As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to fornication and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. 1 decade ago. Sexual “immorality” is a the practice of sexual acts that are not moral, not according to us but to God. Psalm 51:4). Biblically, one could see the initial validity of making this argument—but it is placing all the emphasis on verse 49 and ignoring verse 50. So here’s a big question and a tough issue: What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? (Read full chapter The first was an outworking of the second. In fact, only Lot and his two daughters survived. Anonymous. But haven’t Christians always understood the sin of Sodom to be same-sex behavior? This was the real sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. Confirmation in Other Scriptures. All sin is an offense to God and demonstrates mankind’s rebellion against him. That is how the term " sodomy " came to be used to refer to anal sex between two men, whether consensual or forced. It’s a deep valley and before these cities were overturned the Jordan branched out into a delta, watering the earth well and sprouting rich, lush greenery. An especially wicked place is described as a "Sodom and Gomorrah." Instead, the overall sin of Sodom and Gomorrah had become so great that fewer than ten righteous people lived in the city. Society today is indifferent to sin. From a biblical inerrancy standpoint, the primary outward sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is definitively settled in the book of Jude which states in Jude 1:7, “as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire”. Thus the tensions of homosexual panic amongst the men of Sodom are relieved in a way that confirms their own heterosexuality. We need to keep in mind that it was God, the righteous judge (2 Timothy 4:8) who condemned Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other cities on the plain. Pastors are sometimes said to be preaching "fire and brimstone." It occurs in Genesis 19:1-29. Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. They clearly note the reason was due to the sin of the city. Try downloading another browser like Chrome or Firefox. The biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah begins when two angels, disguised as travelers, arrive at the gates of Sodom. The names Sodom and Gomorrah (1) are bywords in our modern society. The propensity for violence, rape, and adultery (which must have also been occurring in Sodom, since there were no women present at this mob scene) are all factors here though. Terms of Service apply. So let’s start with examining that position. Please refresh the page and try again. All of these are manifestations of pride itself. In contrast to Lot's gracious hospitality, which includes preparing a feast for his guests, the men surround Lot's house … Before I answer, I just want to make a couple of comments. What Was the Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? The first was an outworking of the second. Therefore, the reference to their wickedness and ordained destruction by God beforehand (in Genesis 13:13 and 18:20) is entirely appropriate, because it was sexual sin (in this case homosexuality) which God considered “grievous” or “grave,” then later condemned and destroyed Sodom (and the other cities of the plain) for. Rather than reading the attempted rape of the angels as an instance of homosexual violence I believe it should be more accurately read as an instance of homophobic violence.5. While their sexual sins again were highlighted in Genesis 19, the real object of their sin is revealed in the pre-destruction polemic against them several chapters earlier: “But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD” (Genesis 13:13; cf. But there is hope for all mankind because God has provided a way of salvation and is patient with us “not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). God can and does judge upon the motives of the heart, but he can and does also judge on the physical actions. Answer: The biblical account of Sodom and Gomorrah is recorded in Genesis chapters 18-19. is that it was homosexuality . If you hate someone, that can lead to murder, if you lust after someone, that can lead to sexual immorality (in whatever form) that dominates one’s thoughts and existence. : DVD Set, Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions Set, How Do We Know the Bible Is True? The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah wasn't independence and isolationism, it was extreme wickedness. If you covet in your heart, that can lead to stealing. The earth was rich in nutrients, as well as precious minerals. Privacy Policy and The Lord informed Abraham that “the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous.” Verses 22-33 record Abraham pleading with the Lord … Thank you for signing up to receive email newsletters from Answers in Genesis. For Genesis 19, the ideology is homophobia; the existence of the words 'sodomy' and 'sodomite' testify to its sorry career in Christianity. The narrative in that chapter makes this claim a weak one. There were likely many cases of rape in Sodom, but it seems clear that all the men of the city (except Lot, and perhaps his sons-in-law mentioned in verse 14) had become bisexual or preferentially homosexual. The fact that the men of Sodom so quickly (and unanimously) refused Lot’s offer of his daughters shows that rape could not be the primary sin of the men of Sodom. 12 No.1 (1999). Out of more than 20 references to Sodom and Gomorrah in the rest of Scripture, none mention same-sex behavior as even part of the reason for Sodom’s destruction. The SIN of Sodom in short: Ezekiel said, while condemning the people of Jerusalem, shortly before the city was destroyed, Ezekiel explicitly stated the source of Sodom‘s guilt; “behold, this was the iniquity of those sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. In addition, the city was so wicked that its men … But is it? But, in general, most people just think of Sodom and Gomorrah and they often think that it was destroyed because of homosexuality, which is also not biblical. While this latter sin is mentioned in the second half of Ezekiel 16:49, it is not (as posited in the second quote above) the primary sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodom and Gomorrah are two of the Old Testament’s most infamously sinful cities. The Apostle Peter, echoing what Jude would also say (Jude 1:7), pins their destruction upon living ungodly (clearly having in mind their being “given over” to the physical act of sexual immorality in the form of homosexual lust). It's become popular to claim that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was something other than homosexuality. Sodom and Gomorrah were so infamous for their immorality that God destroyed them by fire (Genesis 19). Liberal theologians and scholars and biblical critics have turned the tables on Genesis 19 and conclude that it is actually teaching homophobia. Please follow the instructions we emailed you in order to finish subscribing. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/250180760_Women_of_Sodom_and_Gomorrah_Collateral_Damage_in_the_War_against_Homosexuality, Noah’s Flood: a Historical, Global Catastrophe. by Kevin DeYoung, 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality by Mike Haley. This interpretation of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah seems to make sense when viewed with what the other Biblical writers had to say about it. of something morally repugnant and is most frequently translated as “abomination” or a “detestable” act or thing. Had there been … Holly Joan Toensing, “Women of Sodom and Gomorrah Collateral Damage in the War against Homosexuality?,”. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google The threatened rape of the angels is an attempt to inscribe outsiders as queer and therefore not real men… But in attempting to inscribe the outsider as queer the Sodomites are also attempting to inscribe the queer as outsider. Other versions, such as the ESV use the terminology “pursued unnatural desire” here. A third and fourth “sin explanation” has gained popularity in recent years, primarily in liberal Christian scholarship, but it is not deduced from an exegetical reading of Scripture. The Bible is not contradicting itself when it states that Sodom and Gomorrah’s sin was sexual immorality and pride (and its related lack of concern for others). They had no interest in sexual relations with women; only after Lot offered them a heterosexual alternative did they then decide that they would now forcefully seize and rape Lot (“deal worse with you”), and this would have been in contrast to the way they had desired to "deal with them." But as mentioned above, much of this is based on reading Ezekiel 16:49 in isolation (neglecting the rest of the Bible) and comparing Genesis 19 with other ancient Middle Eastern cultures, ancient Greek cultic prostitution, and even modern Middle Eastern countries. Your newsletter signup did not work out. Michael Carden, “Compulsory Heterosexuality in Biblical Narratives and their Interpretations: Reading Homophobia and Rape in Sodom and Gibeah,” Australian Religion Studies Review, Vol. And the reason for doing so is usually apparent rather quickly. Here’s the answer. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Surprisingly, both appeal to Scripture to support their positions, most notably Ezekiel 16:49 and Jude 1:7. Some have argued that rape was the primary sin of Sodom. God considers all sexual sin abhorrent in his eyes (Galatians 5:19-21). Had there been even ten righteous people in the city, God would have spared it (Genesis 18:32). In light of the passage, the most common response to the question "What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?" Furthermore, if the sin had just been men of Sodom wanting to rape, then why judge the women of the city? There appear to be four main sins espoused, but only two by conservative Jewish and Christian theologians and scholars. And they also had Lot living among them, who though weak was described as a righteous man by the Apostle Peter. While it is true that all sin begins in the heart and then works its way outward (James 1:14–15), the outward sin reflects the inward desire. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is one of the favorite passages of persons who oppose same-sex behavior. Jude 7 . But we must keep in mind that God was also ready to show mercy. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is closely connected to the story of Abraham and his nephew, Lot. When you look at passages such as Deuteronomy 32:32-33, Isaiah 3:9-16, Jeremiah 23:14, and Ezekiel 16:49, you see multiple references to Sodom’s (and Israel’s) sin of pride and hatred. And we have the legal term sodomy for unnatural sex acts. What were Admah and Zeboiim in the Bible. Throughout the chapter, the Prophet lists many sins of the people: rebelling against God, lacking in knowledge, deserting the Lord, idolatry, engaging in meaningless religious ritual, being unjust and oppressive to others, being insensitive to the needs of widows and orphans, committing murder, accepting bribes, etc. Seeing a neighbor in need and having the ability to help with that need and refusing to do so is showing malicious hatred (Luke 10:30–37, 1 John 3:15–19). 7 0. Sodom and Gomorrah were so infamous for their immorality that God destroyed them by fire (Genesis 19). Even in that passage, inhospitality is ranked behind pride—indeed, inhospitality is only a subset of the greater sin of hating our neighbor. So, some theologians and scholars have claimed, especially based on Ezekiel 16:49, that the real sin of Sodom was not homosexual behavior, but that God judged them for pride. The people of Nineveh were also wicked (Jonah 1:2) and violent (Jonah 3:8) and yet they were spared because they repented of their evil ways and called on God for forgiveness (Jonah 3:10). The fate of these cities is held up by religious conservatives to justify the suppression of non-heterosexual people and to fan hatred of same sex eroticism and gender fluidity. Note 5. Simply put, even the women of the city were unrighteous and wicked, so the blame cannot simply be on the actions of these men. Words like haughty, bitter, venom, wanton, idleness, (when they could have been helping others) leap out of the verses as a description of a self-absorbed, hedonistic people who cared nothing for others. "What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah?" Some have even postulated that this may be one reason Lot didn’t offer his wife—she was most likely from Sodom, therefore an “insider.” To address the potential question that the rape of the women would not have been as humiliating as the rape of men during this time period and in the Middle East, we need to keep in view what happened about 100 years later in Genesis 34. Jesus taught his disciples this very thing in Matthew 15:18–20. The Bible is not contradicting itself when it states that Sodom and Gomorrah’s sin was sexual immorality and pride (and its related lack of concern for others). What city could ever be worse off than Sodom and Gomorrah? Sodom and Gomorrah along with the cities of Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar (Bela) constituted the five “cities of the plain,” and they are referenced throughout both the Old and New Testaments and the Qurʾān . But what was the primary sin of Sodom (and Gomorrah and the nearby cities of the plain)? What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? Sodom and Gomorrah: What Was the Primary Sin? They were also guilty of the sin of greed. Sodom and Gomorrah, notoriously sinful cities in the biblical book of Genesis, destroyed by “sulfur and fire” because of their wickedness (Genesis 19:24). Their refusal to show hospitality and love towards people who were vulnerable. Parents are cautioned. In time, however, many issues arose. In other words, in threatening to now rape Lot, they were admitting that their desire for the angels was pure lust, not dominance in the form of rape. Now it must be admitted that homosexual behavior was only the outward manifestation of their true sin. Internet Explorer is no longer supported. What city could ever be worse off than Sodom and Gomorrah? See … “and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter,” (2 Peter 2:6). Editor’s note: This discussion of this disturbing biblical account contains terminology that may not be appropriate for sensitive readers. Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. As it was, only four left Sodom alive, and only three made it to safety. Notice the wording of this passage in Genesis 19:4–9,3 they wanted Lot to offer them the men (angels in the form of men) as sexual playthings. Why did Abraham bargain with God in regard to Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18)? Genesis 18:20 says, “And the Lord said, ’The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.’” Indeed, not even ten righteous people could be found in the city. So yes, Sodom was judged for homosexual sin—which flowed from pride, which also led to cruelty and exploitation of their fellow men and women. At first, this was good and well. Admah and Zeboim were included but Zoar was spared. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New Revised Standard Version. Contextually, that is poor exegesis. The other men of Sodom learn about the two strangers in their midst. Volumes 1 & 2. Pride is a fountain of many sins because it effectively is saying, “I want what I want, and I will have it regardless of what God says or the cost to someone else because I am better than they are and deserve it.” If that lustful passion is for “strange flesh” or “unnatural desire” as Jude 1:7 terms it, then that can lead to homosexual behavior. 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