Pederasty in the Bible
This section lists and reprints passages showing the scholarly debate over possible references to pederasty in the Bible. The articles are listed and reprinted for reference purposes only; their inclusion here does not constitute an endorsement by Unconditional Love of their theses.
Classical and biblical scholars define pederasty to mean sexual relationships between men and boys. The ages of the boys are a matter of scholarly dispute; however, it is generally agreed that some of the boys were minors.
The secondary sources and bibliographies below were written in the context of faith communities' debate over the morality of homosexuality. Their inclusion at this site is not intended to imply that there is a greater connection between homosexuality and adult-minor sex than there is between heterosexuality and adult-minor sex.
Brooten, Bernadette J. Philo's and Paul's Views on Pederasty. In these passages from Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism, the author argues that neither St. Paul nor the first-century Jewish philosopher Philo opposed homosexuality on the grounds that pederasty was abusive to boys. [Unconditional Love]
DeYoung, James B. The Source and New Testament Meaning of Arsenokoitai, with Implications for Christian Ethics and Ministry. Examining a disputed term in Paul's letters, the author argues that the word is not restricted to pederasty, because other forms of homosexuality were known in the ancient world. [The Master's Seminary Journal, pdf file]
A Discussion on Homosexuality in the New Testament. A debate on the Greek New Testament Listserv that contains several references to pederasty.
Furnish, Victor Paul. "Under the Judgment of Scripture": What Paul Had in Mind in His Passages on Homosexuality. In these passages from The Moral Teaching Of Paul, the author argues that St. Paul only condemned exploitative pederasty. [Unconditional Love]
Haas, Guenther. Hermeneutical Issues in the Use of the Bible to Justify the Acceptance of Homosexual Practice. Attacks Robin Scroggs's thesis concerning pederasty from several angles. [Global Journal of Classical Theology]
Lee, Christopher T. Paul's Malakos: Its Evolution from Classical Greece Through the Roman World. Traces the history of a word used by Paul that is traditionally thought to refer to homosexuals. Lee believes that, with pederasty in mind as a model, Paul condemned active and passive homosexuals. See especially Malakos in Paul and Early Christian Writers and Paul's Malakos. [Home Page]
Oliff, Derrick K., and Dewey H. Hodges. A
Reformed Response to Daniel Helminiak's Gay Theology. This and the
responses below include a debate over the meaning of the story of the centurion
and his servant. [The Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics]
Oliff, Derrick K., and Dewey H. Hodges. A Further Look at Pro-Homosexual Theology. [The Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics]
Halsall, Paul. Catholicism and Homosexuality Bibliography: Bible Studies. Lists reviews of Robin Scroggs's The New Testament and Homosexuality. [People with a History]
Townsley, Jeramy. Bibliography for Gay Studies: Scripture and Homosexuality. Annotated. A word search on "pederast" and "Scroggs" turns up a number of relevant entries. [Home Page]
© 2000 Heather Elizabeth Peterson