What does the Bible say about Sodomy?
Submit Bible questions, through our easy to use form,
to our team of mature Christians known as the Email Evangelists.
Question: How does the Bible define Sodomy? How early did this practice occur in Biblical history?
Answer: Webster's Dictionary defines sodomy as having sex (either orally, through the anus, etc.) with a person of the same gender or with any kind of animal. This description roughly coincides with how the Bible defines the term when it uses it.
As early as the time of Abraham and Lot (roughly 1900 B.C.) Sodomy was considered unacceptable and a sin (Genesis 19:1-7). God also reiterated that this practice was against His will when He gave His laws to Israel.
Although the Bible usually alludes to this behavior, it without a doubt condemns the practice (Genesis 13:13, 19:5, 19:7, Leviticus 18:22, 20:13 and so on). It was a particular manifestation of wickedness through which the city of Sodom became notorious (and from which the term originated).
This sin is an offense against nature which many times was connected with idolatrous practices. This is why the Biblical term 'sodomite' (Strong's Concordance #H6945 as found in Deuteronomy 23:17, 1Kings 14:24, 15:12, 22:46, 2Kings 23:7, etc.), in the Hebrew, means a (male or female) devotee (prostitute) to licentious idolatry. Although allowed and encouraged in some non-Biblical or non-Christian religions, it was NEVER tolerated in the worship of the true God.
The book of Leviticus, which was given directly by God, contain his instructions for all mankind and not just for Levitical priests or Israelites. It says the following about sodomy between humans and includes what we would call bestiality.
13 If a man has sexual relations with another man, they have done a disgusting thing, and both shall be put to death. They are responsible for their own death. 15 If a man has sexual relations with an animal, he and the animal shall be put to death. 16 If a woman tries to have sexual relations with an animal, she and the animal shall be put to death. (Leviticus 20:13, 15 - 16)