Ben Witherington on Homosexuality and Scripture

Ben Witherington gives a good seven minute video on Homosexuality and Scripture.

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  • Bw16

    Hi there,
    Just wondering how one goes about defining “homosexual behavior”. Does this include consensual same-sex activity that does not involve touching…? Or… Hmmm I’m genuinely confused. It’s just that I am engaged in a homosexual relationship but we are not practicing as it were (but doing it for real). Is this permitted?
    Bw16

  • Albo

    Take away the welcoming tone and this is just plain old bigotry. I think you and your readers should look at the following:

    http://robgagbag.wordpress.com/

    I’m not sure if it is a spoof or not but you might learn something about the craziness of your own position.

  • Richard Fellows

    Witherington says, <>

    But where does Jesus say any of this? Am I missing something? Is Witherington here using an argument from silence? Is he inferring that because it is not recorded that Jesus offered gay marriage as an option he (Jesus) must have rejected it? A married gay couple in Palestine at the time would surely have been beaten up or killed, so the concept of gay marriage was surely unthinkable. Gay marriage was as impractical as flying in an airplane and Jesus’s silence on both is not an argument that he would disapprove of either.

    Witherington is wrong about Eunuchs. They did have sex and, indeed, were preferred homosexual partners. Seneca the Elder complains that “leading citizens employ their wealth against nature; they have legions of eunuchs and amputate them so they can be apt for a longer passivity” (castration caused boys to keep their boyish looks for longer). This, incidentally, is an example of how same-gender sex in the ancient world was strongly associated with social domination and unfaithfulness. It was quite different from the concept of gay marriage that is being proposed today.

  • Richard Fellows

    Sorry, I’ll try sending that comment again. Witherington says, “When Jesus is asked “how is it appropriate for people who are your disciples to relate to one another”, he gives us exactly two options – fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness. Read Matthew 19 – it’s pretty clear – the only alternative to heterosexual monogamy … is singleness of the sake of the kingdom.”

    But where does Jesus say any of this? Am I missing something? Is Witherington here using an argument from silence? Is he inferring that because it is not recorded that Jesus offered gay marriage as an option he (Jesus) must have rejected it? A married gay couple in Palestine at the time would surely have been beaten up or killed, so the concept of gay marriage was surely unthinkable. Gay marriage was as impractical as flying in an airplane and Jesus’s silence on both is not an argument that he would disapprove of either.

    Witherington is wrong about Eunuchs. They did have sex and, indeed, were preferred homosexual partners. Seneca the Elder complains that “leading citizens employ their wealth against nature; they have legions of eunuchs and amputate them so they can be apt for a longer passivity” (castration caused boys to keep their boyish looks for longer). This, incidentally, is an example of how same-gender sex in the ancient world was strongly associated with social domination and unfaithfulness. It was quite different from the concept of gay marriage that is being proposed today.

  • Carole Hulslander

    Thanks Professor Witherington for getting to the point and saying what others know to be true without the fear of what it might mean to you. I respect your passion for the Scripture and for your dedication to the truth. You have also shown yourself to be compassionate towards all people and count yourself among all of us sinners. I am honored to be one of your many students. Abraham Lincoln was recorded telling a story about a friend who called a cow’s tail a leg. When Mr. Lincoln asked the gentlemen why he called the cow’s tail a leg, the gentlemen replied because I believe it to be a leg, to this Mr. Lincoln replied “Sir you can call it a leg all day long but it will never be a leg, you see it has always been a tail and calling it a leg will not make it so.”