1:1Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 1:2which he promised afore through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 1:3concerning his Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 1:4who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead; even Jesus Christ our Lord, 1:5through whom we received grace and apostleship, unto obedience of faith among all the nations, for his name's sake; 1:6among whom are ye also called to be Jesus Christ's:
Prayer of Thanksgiving
1:8First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world. 1:9For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of his Son, how unceasingly I make mention of you, always in my prayers 1:10making request, if by any means now at length I may be prospered by the will of God to come unto you. 1:11For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; 1:12that is, that I with you may be comforted in you, each of us by the other's faith, both yours and mine. 1:13And I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you (and was hindered hitherto), that I might have some fruit in you also, even as in the rest of the Gentiles. 1:14I am debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 1:15So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you also that are in Rome.
The Power of the Gospel
1:16For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 1:17For therein is revealed a righteousness of God from faith unto faith: as it is written, But the righteous shall live by faith.
The Guilt of Humankind
1:18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness; 1:19because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them. 1:20For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse: 1:21because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened.1:22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 1:23and changed the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.
1:24Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves: 1:25for that they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.1
1:26For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: 1:27and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due.
1:28And even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 1:29being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 1:30backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 1:31without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, unmerciful: 1:32who, knowing the ordinance of God, that they that practise such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also consent with them that practise them.
1. Peter Gomes has written:
Nine biblical citations are customarily invoked as relating to homosexuality. Four (Deuteronomy 23:17, I Kings 14:24, I Kings 22:46 and II Kings 23:7) simply forbid prostitution, by men and women.
Two others (Leviticus 18:19-23 and Leviticus 20:10-16) are part of what biblical scholars call the Holiness Code. The code explicitly bans homosexual acts. But it also prohibits eating raw meat, planting two different kinds of seed in the same field and wearing garments with two different kinds of yarn. Tattoos, adultery and sexual intercourse during a woman's menstrual period are similarly outlawed.
There is no mention of homosexuality in the four Gospels of the New Testament. The moral teachings of Jesus are not concerned with the subject.
Three references from St. Paul are frequently cited (Romans 1:26-2:1, I Corinthians 6:9-11 and I Timothy 1:10). But St. Paul was concerned with homosexuality only because in Greco-Roman culture it represented a secular sensuality that was contrary to his Jewish-Christian spiritual idealism. He was against lust and sensuality in anyone, including heterosexuals. To say that homosexuality is bad because homosexuals are tempted to do morally doubtful things is to say that heterosexuality is bad because heterosexuals are likewise tempted. For St. Paul, anyone who puts his or her interest ahead of God's is condemned, a verdict that falls equally upon everyone.
And lest we forget Sodom and Gomorrah, recall that the story is not about sexual perversion and homosexual practice. It is about inhospitality, according to Luke 10:10-13, and failure to care for the poor, according to Ezekiel 16:49-50.
See Gomes, Peter J., "Homophobic? Re-Read Your Bible", New York Times (1992, August 17): Accessed 2017/08/26. http://www.nytimes.com/ref/opinion/op-classic-gomes.html
Following Entry: Romans 2