Author "Calling the Rainbow Nation Home"
The last remaining passage found in the Old Testament that is used against homosexuality is found in Deuteronomy 23:17.
This verse is rarely used anymore against homosexuality because its now widely understood that the word Hebrew word qadesh (Strong's #6945) means "a devotee by prostitution" or a "shrine prostitute". Most versions of the Bible now reflect this translation.
Before this however, the King James version read “sodomite” rather than “temple prostitute”. For those who believed that the sin of the Sodomites was homosexuality, this verse appeared to be condemning homosexuality. You can see from this how errors in translation begin to create a ‘snowball’ affect, compounding an error many times over.
This isn’t to take away from the actual verse itself. Shrine prostitution was a wide spread problem during the time of the Patriarchs. It was widely believed that having sex with the temple prostitute (either male or female) conveyed a blessing from the god of that particular temple to the participant. God was against the Israelites participating in such activities for a variety of reasons.
It’s easy to see why God forbade such practices because temple prostitution is in direct conflict with the great commandment of Agape love (Matthew 22:37-40; Galatians 5:14; John 13:34). Items #1 and #2 were in direct violation of the first commandment of love. That being that we are to have no other god(s) above God Himself. Item #3 violates the second commandment of Agape whereby we are to love ourselves as we love others. Getting (or giving) venereal diseases isn't a very loving act either to yourself or the one you have relations with!
In conclusion, we can see that this verse does not pertain to homosexuality. I strongly believe the other six verses will eventually be corrected as well.
For a more in depth look at this subject read "Calling the Rainbow Nation Home"
by Rev. Sundby
Counter reset 9/16/05