The “scared book,” the “Holy Bible” has been translated in many languages. As of November, 2014, the United Bible Societies declare the “Holy Book” has been translated in more than 2,530 languages to date. In that, the translations include 55 different forms of sign language. However, only 531 languages have the complete text. While the estimate is 2,883 readers only have one book of the Bible, currently, there are 1,800 languages around the world that are still waiting for a translation in their native language. Twenty-first century America, with all our modern technology and varied linguistic learning tools such as Rosetta Stone, Babbel, Busuu and various others, it is still a complex ability of learning, interpreting or translating classical Hebrew or the biblical Hebrew languages. Which poses a question, why are there still then 1,800 with no form of or piece of the canon?
With that being said, some languages such as Spanish, Chinese, Russian and English, the translations of the Bible include the word homosexual. That’s incorrect because the word homosexual is nowhere in the original Hebrew or the original Greek. Part of the reason is because the original Hebrew language contained only 22 letters, and those letters were based on sound. Also, those same 22 letters were consonants, with no vowels. Not to mention, in some areas where the scriptures were written, there was still the use of hieroglyphics. The biblical Hebrew language remained pure until the Babylonian Exile in 587 BC.
- The word homosexual didn’t exist when the Bible was written (New Testament about 2,000 years ago, and parts of the Old Testament from 1,400 to 400 BCE).
- It wasn’t until 1869 that Dr. Karoly Benkert, a Hungarian physician, created the term by combining “homo,” the Greek word for same, with the Latin “sexual.”
- The word homosexual did not come into use in the United States until the 1880s.
- The word homosexual was first used in the English Christian Holy Bible in 1946.
- In the Greek language, there are words for same-sex behavior, but they never appear in the original text of the New Testament.
- The concept homosexual didn’t exist when the Bible was written.
- If you see the word homosexual or homosexuality in the Bible, it is because translators chose those words to reflect their own homophobic feelings and ideas.
- Where in the Bible might you find the word homosexual used incorrectly:
- The Hebrew word “kedah” means “temple prostitute” and is sometimes inaccurately translated as “sodomite” or “homosexual.”
- In 1 Corinthians, sodomite or homosexual are sometimes used, but they are incorrect translations of the Greek “malakos” which means something closer to “effeminate” or the Greek practice of “pederasty,” which is older men having sex with boys and is not consensual gay sex between peers.
- 1 Corinthians also refers in Greek to “arsenokaitai” which appears nowhere else in the Bible or in Greek writings about homoerotic sexuality, but probably means “male prostitute.”
- Jude 7 sometimes refers to homosexual flesh that the Sodomites pursued. This is an inaccurate translation of “hetera sarx” which means, literally, “strange flesh” to describe the flesh of the angels who were sent by God to evaluate Sodom and Gomorrah.
- In Timothy 1:9-10, translators sometimes use homosexual for the original Greek words “pornoi,” “arsenokoitai” and “andrapodistai,” meaning male prostitutes, males who hire male prostitutes or the slave dealers who procure them.
Including the word homosexual in the Bible is the choice of translators and is not a reflection of the Bible. It is acknowledgement that one can not translate a word from Hebrew and Greek into the English if there is no English equivalent.
The misinterpretation of this word has caused more physical and spiritual slayings, in and out of the religious areas as we know it, for same-gender individuals’ than one cares to recall. Persons who could not find love in their families after coming out, went to the church, only to find no love and affirmation there either. Many of them, for the lack of love, support, care and concern for their well-being, turned to deviant behavior and some even worse — suicide or homicide.
If you have read this article, I am here to tell you that the Creator of the universe loves you just the way you are. You have sacred worth in His mind. He claims you as His own, scripture proves it. He created you as a human being. The Creator, from a “Christian” perspective, is omniscient (all knowing). He knew you were going to be same-gender loving before you came into existence. So, He desires to have an intimate and personal, loving relationship with you.
— Rev. Jeffrey D. Harris is a regular contributor to UNITE VA, FUSE Magazine and Baltimore Outloud. Copyright © 2016 [Rev. Jeffrey D. Harris]. All rights reserved.