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What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality [Paperback]

Daniel A. Helminiak
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 125 pages
  • Publisher: Alamo Square Press; 1st Edition edition (20 Oct 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 096247519X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0962475191
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 270,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Examines biblical references to homosexuality.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By Dr. Richard Dudley VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Helminiak takes a straightforward scriptural approach by tackling the main witnesses (Genesis, Leviticus, Romans, 1 Corinthians and Timothy) in turn. Rejecting the literal view of Scripture he argues for the historical-critical approach, mainly with a detailed analysis for the meaning of words and their wider application elsewhere in the Bible. Additional contextual elements are brought in – for example ritual purity in the Old Testament – where necessary. However this is not a book about the OT and NT background to sexuality and ethics. Nor is it a book about the modern debate around Christianity and homosexuality, although it provides detailed background information on the scriptural elements that some have sought to use in justifying their condemnation of homosexuality.
The style is straightforward and easy to read, with Helminiak mainly presenting his own views, with the occasional short reference to other (usually contrary) viewpoints. This book is not a literature review, or balanced “state of play” of the academic, or popular, debate. To keep the text clear, he avoids footnotes and references but has a helpful short annotated bibliography of the main modern texts on the subject.
He stresses the need to see the scriptural usage in context, and manages – usually, but not always, convincingly – to portray both the OT and the NT as considering homosexuality (more accurately male-male genital acts) as socially unacceptable (in its context) and not a sin before God.
His overall conclusion is that the Bible really has very little to say about homogenital acts and nothing about homosexuality as we would consider it today. In this he follows others, such as Scroggs.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Giving hope for gay Christians 31 Mar 2000
The central focus for this book is Christ's Love, a fact that most legalist Christians forget. This author takes a deeper look into some of the bible passages in a clear and accessible way. I found particularly useful the chapter about Romans. It also points out how dangerous is the literal way of interpreting the bible. I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to think deeper and gain a true understanding of these passages.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid! 16 July 1999
By A Customer
I can't remember the last time I found a book that captured my attention as this one. I was absolutely thrilled to find such a treasure! For someone who is gay and is involved in church and religion is is an absolute MUST to read. It sure opened my eyes ... I feel I am well-equipped to support myself during any "heated-debate" .... My friends and family all want to read this book too.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This small book is an excellent source of scholarly understanding of how the Bible speaks on this subject. By looking at paralell examples of the ways in which certain words are used it becomes clear that the writers were not using the expressions in the way we understand them today. Helmeniak points out that the word Homosexual first appears in the nineteenth century which makes it unlikely that the concept as we understand it even existed when the Bible was written. He also observes that many other behaviors are subjected the same or similar proscriptions which we uniformly consider absurd in today's culture. For example: a woman in a red dress is an abomination as is eating shrimp. Yet it is only homosexuality that carries that stamp today. I consider the book an excellent resource for any person who is struggling with their homosexual feelings, or those of a friend or family member because of the Bible's apparent condemnation. For example, Helminiak points out that Paul had no example of loving, committed Gay partners to observe so he could not possibly have been refering to such relationships when he denounces the practice.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Required reading for those that think the Bible condemns what we today call homosexuality--and for those who must defend themselves against such condemnation. This short book is so thorough that it's almost overly reasoned. The only drawback for some readers will be the complexity of the background information. The methods of Biblical interpretation, and their validity, are explained particularly well. Argues convincingly that there is _no_ such thing as simply "reading the Bible without interpreting it." The literal, fundamentalist method makes the obviously flawed claim that the Bible means "just what it appears to mean, in translation, to us today"; in fact, the Bible means what it meant to 1st-century (and older) Palestinians who spoke ancient Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic--the language of Jesus.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A nice try, but ... 8 Sep 2012
A nice try and some interesting arguments. It's always good to have more means of parrying the blows of homophobic Christians. But I can't help feeling that if the Bible really were the word of God, it would be much clearer and kinder to gay people, and that the better solution would be to leave the Bible behind.

Natasha Holme
Author of 'Lesbian Crushes and Bulimia: A Diary on How I Acquired my Eating Disorder'
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Helminiak: Lying for Gays
When I received this book, the first thing I noticed was glowing endorsements from Spong and Countryman, neither of whom are exactly conservative theologians. Read more
Published on 9 Oct 2010 by rossuk
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
This is an absolutely inspiring book - it exposes some disgusting inaccuracies that people use to justify their persecution of homosexual men and women. Read more
Published on 25 May 2008 by C. A. Govan
2.0 out of 5 stars A clever play on words, but I wonder what God really thinks?
Our God is a god of love! And Jesus died for ALL Sinners, Hetro and Homosexuals alike. But that does not mean that He approves of sin, especially in us Christians, be it the Self... Read more
Published on 22 Nov 1999 by pipindidcot@lineone.net
3.0 out of 5 stars A refreshingly frank look at the Bible's take on BGLT
I found this book most interesting as a means of refuting the claims of the hate mongerers currently known as the moral majority and the christian right. Read more
Published on 3 Jun 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Read the book first!
I probably would atually give this book a four star review, but I give it five just because I felt the need to countact the previous review, which comes from someone who not only... Read more
Published on 22 Mar 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonably accurate
A fair representation of Biblical thought as explored from a non biased viewpoint. Very helpful for those needing some guidence whether just coming out or simply attempting to... Read more
Published on 9 Dec 1998
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