What does the bible say about homosexuality & transgenderism? This bible study is designed to be used in small group, Sunday school and interactive bible study formats, to help people fully understand the verses used by scriptural literalists to condemn gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people. The overarching thesis of the study is that these verses, when understood in their historical and cultural contexts, only describe exploitative and abusive forms of sexuality, not loving same-sex partnerships. Click here to get started.
This bible study was originally published by Open Door Communities and written by Micah and Katharine Royal, who hold the copyright for the information. A special thanks to Micah and Katherine for allowing us to republish it here. In some parts of this study, where the authors reference handouts or online resources, we’ve attempted provided links to current online resources. Please feel free to send us an email if you find a broken link. We’ve also made some minor edits for style and clarity.
Does God Discriminate Against Gay People?
Session 1 of Homosexuality & Transgenderism: A Bible Study.
Hook: Ask anyone willing to, to share about a time they experienced prejudice or discrimination of any type.
Ask: In what ways have you seen the bible used to support such action? Do you think that is a proper use or misuse of the people?
Explain: Today and in the next couple of weeks we are going to be looking at seeing if the bible teaches prejudice against homosexuals or homosexuality and discrimination against gays and lesbians. Many people today believe it does.
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What the Bible Says About Homosexuality.
Session 2 of Homosexuality & Transgenderism: A Bible Study.
Ask: Have you ever been misrepresented by someone else? What happened? What did it take to get that misrepresentation corrected?
Explain that during your last lesson, you discussed how God is not a God who discriminates against any of God’s children and how God’s scriptures have been twisted by others throughout history to try and say God supported their prejudice.
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The Book of Genesis and Gay Marriage.
Session 3 of Homosexuality & Transgenderism: A Bible Study.
Before you begin, Ask if anyone had a chance to look at the verses given for homework and if any had found any that struck them or challenged them particularly. Ask also if using the five tools helped them understand the passages any better.
Explain that today you are going to be looking at what, if anything, the first book of the bible says about homosexuality.
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What Does the Bible Say About Sodomy?
Session 4 of Homosexuality & Transgenderism: A Bible Study.
Icebreaker: Have folks share about a time they were an outsider in a new area and felt out of place.
Ask: What are some things people did that made you feel excluded or left out? That made you feel welcome?
Explain: The next Scripture you will look at is often quoted about sexuality, but, as we will see, has much more to do with hospitality and being a good neighbor.
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Abomination in the Bible.
Session 5 of Homosexuality & Transgenderism: A Bible Study.
Begin by asking for one or two people to review, in a few sentences, what we have seen so far in our look at the bible’s treatment of homosexuality.
Explain: Today we are going to be looking at some of the most controversial texts that deal with sexuality in the bible – descriptions of particular forms of same-sex contact found in what is known as the “Holiness Code” of the Old Testament. In particular, we are going to look at Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13.
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Session 6 of Homosexuality & Transgenderism: A Bible Study.
Icebreaker: Ask the group members whether they are right-handed, left-handed, or ambidextrous. Ask them if they have ever had a time they had to do with one hand what they normally do with their dominant hand. What was difficult about it? What was easy? In what ways would they say this was “against their own nature”?
Explain: We’ve spent the last several weeks looking at what the Bible does and doesn’t say about homosexuality. There are still a couple more passages that we need to discuss in order to be able to understand the references that people often make when they say that God condemns homosexual behavior, or homosexuals in general. Today we’re going to focus on one passage specifically.
Continue reading Unnatural Lusts
Malakoi and Arsenokoitai: Welcome in Heaven?
Session 7 of Homosexuality & Transgenderism: A Bible Study.
Icebreaker: Share about a time you wanted to join a club or group but were not admitted because of something physical – such as your age, your gender, your ethnicity, your background.
Hook: At one point, there were signs throughout towns and hamlets all over the deep South emblazoned with the words “White Only”. These were signs warning African-American people in those towns that “those type of people” were not welcome in those restaurants, those hotels, and those restrooms. And if any black man or woman walked toward that door, they would find it slammed in their face.
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Gay Saints (And Bi-Positive Ones).
Session 8 of Homosexuality & Transgenderism: A Bible Study. (For a more complete list of queer- and transgender-identified saints, see our Queer Saints and Martyrs page.)
Icebreaker: Who is someone that was a strong role model to you growing up? What are some things they role-modeled for you? How did that help you grow as a person?
Explain that in Christian tradition, Christians have always found role models in the saints, or heroes of faith, who modeled walking with God in various circumstances in history. Explain that not only does the bible not condemn same-sex romantic relationships, but it also provides models of individuals who have faithful, God-centered loving relationships with people of the same sex. Today we are going to be looking at a few of these models of faith in Scripture, as well as one from history, and examining what lessons these gay, bisexual, and bi-affectionate saints teach us.
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What Does the Bible Say About Transgenderism?
Session 9 of Homosexuality & Transgenderism: A Bible Study.
Icebreaker: In every culture, there are stereotypes of what it means to be a “real man” or a “real woman”. In the one you grew up in, what is the stereotype for “manliness”? For “womanliness”? Do you think many people live up to these stereotypes well? Why or why not?
Explain that right now you are going to quickly discuss one aspect of the GLBT community which is often overlooked – the transgender community – and what messages the Bible has for them.
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