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Semantical debate still exists regarding the term "homosexuality." The word "homosexual" itself is a relatively recent one, with it's first know occurrence apparently being in an 1869 pamphlet in the German language, and attributed to native Austrian Karl-Maria Kertbeny. This word is understood to have entered English via a translation of Krafft-Ebing’s "Psychopathia Sexualis". Homo in Latin means "man", but in Greek it means "same", while the word "sexual" is from a late Latin word. This Greek and Latin hybrid annoyed H. Havelock Ellis, author of “Studies in Psychology” (1897) who protested, '''Homosexual''' is a barbarously hybrid word, and I claim no responsibility for it.” (

This term, which was used within the field of personality taxonomy, and which could be used to denote any same gender environment, eventually came to be used almost exclusively in regards to same sex attraction and it's activity. This use is as yet unsatisfactory, as such use lacks the distinction between nonsexual homosexual social activity, denoted by the term "homosociality," versus same gender love, "homophilia," and which may be romantic, and that of homoeroticism, MSM ((clinically for male sex with men), denoting homosexual erotic activity, that of same gender sexual relations. The term "homosex" (as in man or same sex) is more rarely used, but is mostly used in this article for same gender relations or homoeroticism, as most of this article deals with the sexual practice of homosexuals. Sodomy might normally have been used, but this term (in the KJV, which is used herein) originally defined a male temple prostitute engagingly in homosex. TOC^

Sexual morality in the Bible

From the beginning, God created the male and female as uniquely compatible and complimentary, and only joined them in the sanctified sexual union of marriage. (Gn. 1:27,27; 2:18-24; 1Cor. 11:8-12; Eph. 5:31) All sexual relations with others outside that bond are revealed to be fornication, which is unconditionally (regardless of motive or circumstance) prohibited and condemned. (Gn. 34:1-4,13,31; 38:15,18,24; Lv. 19:29; 21:9; Dt. 22:13-30; Num. 25:1; Jdg. 8:33; 2Chrn. 21:11; Prov. 7:10-12; Hos. 1:2; Ezek. 6:9; 16:17,36; 20:7,18; 23:7; Mat. 5:32; 15:19; 19:9; Jn. 8:41; Acts 15:20; 15:29; 21:25; Rom. 1:29; 1Cor. 5:1,11; 6:9,13,18; 7:2; 2Cor. 6:16; 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1Thes. 4:3; Heb. 12:16; 13:4; 1Pet. 4:3; Rev. 9:21, etc.)

In the Bible, a ''harlot'' or ''whore'' (KJV) was a women who had sex before marriage, and included prostitutes. (Gn. 34:1-4,13,31; 38:15,18,24 Num. 25:1) If a man engaged in such with a single women, he was required to marry her for life, while the death penalty was mandated for the man (or both if consensual) for engaging in sexual relations with a women who was betrothed (contracted to marry) to another, or for a women who married under the false pretense of being a virgin, and her husband objected upon discovering otherwise. (Dt. 22:13-29) Likewise, spiritual fornication was that of infidelity to God in making an idol to be one's god, (Ezek. 6:9; 23:30; 37:23) with Israel being covenantally "married" to God. (Jer. 3:14; Ezek. 16:8)

In the Gospel of Mark 7:20-23 (cf. Mt. 15:19), Jesus declares that sin begins in the heart, and the iniquities that proceed out of the heart include fornications, which being plural, includes all sexual relations outside marriage. While broader descriptions exist (i.e. "the bed of love": Ezek. 23:17) sexual intercourse is what is usually indicated (by euphemisms) in laws against illicit sex, yet it is generally held that this is not limited to such, but prohibits all sexual eroticism outside marriage (in which it is exclusively sanctioned: Prov. 5:15-20: SoS), and which all "uncleanness" (Rm. 1:24; Eph. 5:3) covers. (Adam Clarke, Matthew Henry, John Wesley, Eph. 5:3; Albert Barnes, Rm. 1:24)

Though more than one wife was allowed in the Old Testament, and even concubines were wives (Gn. 25:1; cf. 1Ch. 1:32; Gn. 30:4; cf. Gn. 35:22; 2Sam. 16:21, 22, cf. 2Sam. 20:3), the Lord Jesus restored that to the original standard of one man and one women, for life. though most understand the fornication clause as allowing divorce in the case of martial infidelity, as fornication can include adultery. (DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE UNDER GOD By L. S. Boardman) In so doing, (Mt. 19:4-9) Jesus defined the male and the female as constituting the "what" of "what therefore God hath joined together", and which, along with other verses, excludes same-sex marriage or any other sexual unions.

Lionel Windsor observes, "the fundamental contention is about hermeneutics, about the interpretation and use of Scripture, in which two views are basically manifest." (The Bible and Homosexuality The Current Debate, by Lionel Windsor (2005) In examining pro-homosexual polemics, it becomes abundantly evident that the revisionist school of homosexual apologetics operates out a radically different exegetical basis than which enduring historical Biblical scholarship has evidenced as a whole, and which sees such revisionism as foundationally faulty and aberrant. (Psa 11:2-3) (Robert A. J. Gagnon, The Authority of Scripture in the 'Homosex' Debate"; Thomas E. Schmidt, THE hermeneutics of homosexuality: recent trends)

As James R. White and Jeffrey D. Niell state,

The net effect of this revisionist approach is a novel and destructive twisting of Scripture...The Bible is being reinterpreted according to urges that are "against nature" and then said to support the homosexual agenda...Despite the revisionists' protests to the contrary, their position is in actuality based upon human desire rather than upon biblical authority and interpretation. (The Unthinkable Has Become Thinkable)

Those who hold to the traditional position of unconditional prohibition of homoeroticism usually work from a strong adherence to the theological foundation of Divine Biblical inspiration and infallibility, in which God, as the author of Holy Scripture, made His will for man evident and to be obeyed, especially as concerning basic doctrines and laws on attitude and behavior. This position holds that proper exegesis requires the consistent use of proven rules of interpretation hermeneutics, and that such confirms the transcendent relevancy of the Bible, and that it's moral laws are immutable. Rather than every man doing that which is right according to his judgment, (Dt. 12:8; Jdg. 17:6) man is to be subject to the holy, just and good laws of God, (Rm. 7:12) which are to His benefit when obeyed, and to man's detriment when forsaken. (Dt. 28) In so seeking to live by every word of God, (Mt. 4:4) it becomes evident that a basic literalistic approach to Biblical exegesis is required, so that while interpretations are understood within the context of their respective literary genres, a wide range of metaphorical meanings of the historical narratives are disallowed. By such exegesis, historically Christian theologians overall have also seen the laws of God manifested as within different categories, basically those of immutable transcendent laws, out of which cultural applications are made, and ceremonial laws, which were typological of Christ and His working under the New Covenant. (Colossians 2:16,17; Hebrews 9:10) (The Authority Of God's Law Today, Greg L. Bahnsen)

In regards to the issue of sexual unions, this historical or traditional position, especially as substantiated by conservative Christians, holds that the Bible establishes and consistently confirms that only the women was created from man and for man, as his uniquely compatible and complementary paracletal "helpmeet". And that only this joining of two opposites halves is shown to be what God designed and decreed to make man (for those who so choose to marry) sexually complete, and which no other physical creation could fulfill, (Gn. 2:18-24; Mt. 19:4-6; 1Cor. 11:9; Eph. 5:31) and which purposefully created physical and positional complementary distinctions (1Cor. 11:1-12) precludes fulfillment by same gender unions. In addition, the explicit and abundant evidenced for the establishment of marriage for heterosexuals, by which sexual union is sanctified by God, is seen to stand in stark contrast to the lack of any establishment of marriage between "homosexuals". This conspicuous absence is not found to be constrained by cultural considerations, but rather is due to homosexual relations being foundationally contrary to the aforementioned foundational design and decrees of God. (The Bible and Homosexuality by J. Glenn Taylor, Assoc. Prof. Of O.T. at Wycliff College. U. of Toronto)

In addition, and consistent with the understanding that God made basic doctrines and laws for human behavior evident and to be obeyed, the laws and principals concerning human sexual partners are seen as moral, universal and transcendent from the time of their institution, and directly applicable to today's cultural contexts. In examining such, it is evidenced that from the beginning all sexual relations outside marriage were and are consistently categorized as fornication. (1Cor. 7:2). And in contrast to heterosexual unions, in the places where homoerotic relations are most explicitly dealt with (Lv. 18:22; 20:13; Rm. 1:26,27) they are only condemned, with this condemnation also being universal in scope, and not restricted to certain cultural, behavioral or motivational conditions. (Should We Support Gay Marriage? NO! Wolfhart Pannenberg; Newsweek/Miler response, Prof. Dr. Robert A. J. Gagnon; Straight or Narrow?,Thomas E.Schmidt; )

German theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg stated, "[T]he biblical statements on this subject merely represent the negative corollary to the Bible's positive views on the creational purpose of men and women in their sexuality." (Why Sodomy Can Never Depict the Relationship Between Christ and His Church, AgapePress)

The final report of the Baptist Union of Western Australia (BUWA) Task Force on Human Sexuality concludes that while all mankind is prone to sin, “the Bible is clear that sin involves choice, and it unequivocally condemns homosexual behavior as sin.” (Final Report of the Task Force on Human Sexuality, Baptist Union of Western Australia, July 1997, ref at

Evangelical Bible scholar Greg Bahnsen ( sums up the position of traditional Biblical exegesis in stating, "God’s verdict on homosexuality is inescapably clear. His law is a precise interpretation of the sexual order of creation for fallen man, rendering again His intention and direction for sexual relations. When members of the same sex (homo-sexual) practice intercourse with each other...they violate God’s basic creation order in a vile and abominable fashion." (Bahnsen, Homosexuality: A Biblical View; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1978), p. 36.) In P. Michael Ukleja's summation, “Only towering cynicism can pretend that there is any doubt about what the Scriptures say about homosexuality. The Bible has not even the slightest hint of ambiguity about what is permitted or forbidden in this aspect of sexual conduct." (“Homosexuality and the Old Testament,” BSAC 140 (July 1983): 259.)

Rabbi Dr. Nachum Amsel states, "If not for the fact that homosexuality is prevalent in Western Society today, there would be little controversy about this Torah sin. It is clearly forbidden and never condoned anywhere in the Torah. (Homosexuality in Orthodox Judaism)

Calvin Smith concludes, "the weak revisionist exegetical arguments, together with far more convincing traditionalist rebuttals, have led me to affirm the traditional view more firmly than ever. (Concluding remarks, Homosexuality Revisited in Light of the Current Climate)

Duncan Heaster comments, “In the light of all this evidence, the question must be asked: Why is there such a desire to twist the evidence? A related question is why so many studies aiming to prove the 'born gay' theory have been found to be faulty (see below); and why the surveys which aim to prove that a relatively high percentage are born gay have been demonstrably 'rigged'. It all indicates that the researchers and theologians are being driven to support their preconceived theories rather than being led empirically by genuine Biblical and psychiatric research.” Duncan Heaster, “Debating Bible Basics


Those who seek to find support for sanctioned homoeroticism in Scripture typically view the Bible as a book that allows a much broader range of interpretation and denial of Biblical commands and their immutability, and many evidence that they allow a vast range of metaphorical interpretation within historical narratives. Fundamentally, such revisionists overall typically express a denial of the Bible as the ultimate authority on morals, viewing it more as the expression of a prescientific (ignorant) age, with its laws, in particular as regards homoerotic relations, being culture bound, and categorized as non-applicable for today. While some primary prohomosex scholars do confess that it appears, "Wherever the Bible clearly seems to refer to homosexual activity, we must recognize a judgment of condemnation", (McNeil, drawing from the word of Dutch scholar Herman van Spijker, referenced by By Stanley J. Grenz, Welcoming But Not Affirming, p. 83) or that "It might seem that only a series of verbal pyrotechnics could eliminate the seemingly obvious reference to homosexuality in Romans 1, (Scroggs, The New Testament and Homosexuality, p. 14) yet they contend that aggravating circumstances or other aspects provide reasons why injunctions against homosex cannot apply to "loving, monogamous homosexual relationships." Much effort is expended in seeking to relegate Biblical injunctions (sometimes referred to as "clobber passages") against homosex to only a formal cultic context, or only pertaining to pederasty, or to heterosexuals acting contrary to the orientation, while on the other hand they usually profess to see homosexuality within most any close heterosexual relationship in the Bible. In addition, while contending about what the Bible says, few pro-homosex writers believe that the Bible is Divinely inspired, and some use pagan stories and their interpretation of them to favor the practice they seek to justify, expecting that Israel would be like their pagan neighbors in this. The lack of any established sanction for homosex in the Bible is often explained as being the result of editing by homophobic editors, (B.A. Robinson; Thomas Horner; Steven Greenberg) and by deeming that writers of holy writ were too ignorant on the subject of homosexuality for their censure of it to be valid. (Victor Paul Furnish, The Moral Teachings of Paul: p. 85)

More radical in this regard is Professor Walter Wink, who states "I have long insisted that the issue is one of hermeneutics, and that efforts to twist the text to mean what it clearly does not say are deplorable. Simply put, the Bible is negative toward same-sex behavior, and there is no getting around it." And that "Paul wouldn't accept a loving homosexual relationship for a minute." However, he joins similar revisionists who disallow that the Bible as offers a coherent sexual morality ''for today'', especially as regards homoeroticism, which teaching Wink terms “interpretative quicksand”. Instead, he joins others in asserting that people possess a right to sex that can supercede Biblical laws, and essentially proposes that sexual ethics are best determined by one's own subjective understanding of Christian love. (Walter Wink, "To hell with gays" and "the Bible and homosexuality") Daniel Helminiak's theory of ethics is similar, which Olliff and Hodges notes "is, at its very foundation, self-refuting. While he professes Christianity, he has adopted the autonomous man's position for the basis of his ethics." A Further Look at Pro-Homosexual Theology, Derrick K. Olliff and Dewey H. Hodges

Likewise, pro-homosexual author Daniel Via states, "that Scripture gives no explicit approval to same-sex intercourse. I maintain, however, that the absolute prohibition can be overridden, regardless of how many times it is stated, for there are good reasons to override it." (Dan Otto Via, Robert A. J. Gagnon, "Homosexuality and the Bible: two views," pp. 38,94) This requires the same type of discredited reasoning as Wink, and Via's opposing co-author Robert Gagnon responds by noting that Via is an absolutist about no absolutes," and while Scripture clearly manifests otherwise, by arguing that nothing is intrinsically immoral no sexual act can be categorically considered as immoral, including the consensual incestuous relationship of a man with his mother, which was so sinful that it required severe spiritual discipline. (1Cor. 5) ( (Homosexuality and the Bible: A Real Debate)

While few pro homosexual writers concede that the Bible is contrary to same sex behavior, virtually all reject any Biblical censure of it. Author Robin Scroggs states, “Biblical judgments against homosexuality are not relevant to today’s debate.”(Robin Scroggs, The New Testament and Homosexuality (Philadelphia: Fortress, l983) p. 127.) William M. Kent, a member of the committee assigned by United Methodists to study homosexuality, explicitly denied the inspiration of any anti-homosex passages in the Bible, and their application today. John Boswell stated, regarding the Bible, that "one must first relinquish the concept of a single book containing a uniform corpus of writings accepted as morally authoritative." (John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1980), 92) John Barton states that the Bible is "a big baggy compendium of a book, full of variety and inconsistency, sometimes mistaken on matters of fact and theology alike." (John Barton, "The Place of the Bible in Moral Debate," Theology 88 (May 1985), 206) Gary David Comstock, Protestant chaplain at Wesleyan University, termed it "dangerous" to fail to condemn the apostle Paul's condemnation of homosex, and advocated removing such from the canon. (Gary David Comstock, Gay Theology Without Apology (Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 1993), p. 43. Episcopalian professor L. William Countryman contends, “The gospel allows no rule against the following, in and of themselves: . .. bestiality, polygamy, homosexual acts,” or “pornography.” (Dirt, Greed, and Sex (Fortress, 1988) Christine E. Gudorf flatly denies that the Bible is the primary authority for Christian ethics. (Balch, Homosexuality, Science, and the "plain Sense" of Scripture p. 121) Bishop (Ret.) John Shelby Spong denies all miracles, including the virgin conception and literal bodily resurrection of Christ, as well as the Divine inspiration of Scripture, and denies that there are any moral absolutes (Michael Bott and Jonathan Sarfati, "What’s Wrong With (Former) Bishop Spong?") and relegates the clear condemnation of homosexual relations in Romans 1 to being the product of the apostle Paul's “ill-informed, culturally biased prejudices.” (Spong, Living in Sin? A Bishop Rethinks Human Sexuality, 149-52)

In response, conservative scholars and writers writing in the field of homosexuality and the Bible have evidenced that such positions are contrary to demonstrable sound exegesis, with pro-homosex polemics being a manifest example of those who are even now "handling word of God deceitfully", (2Cor. 4:2) with the resultant inversion of Biblical morality by revisionists effectively negating immutable moral laws of the Bible, in favor of a love that can actually rejoice in iniquity. cf. 1Cor. 13:6) (cf. "No Universally Valid Sex Standards? A Rejoinder to Walter Wink's Views on the Bible and Homosexual Practice", Gagnon) Those who make reliance upon one's own inclinations as the basis for morality manifest a form of idolatry, that of making man the ultimate arbiter of what is right, rather than the Almighty. (Num. 15:19; cf. Dt. 12:8; Jdg. 17:6,25; Is. 5:21; Jer. 17:9) The basic injunctions against male homosexual partners are declared to have been penned under the inspiration of God, and which transcends human wisdom, (cf. Dt. 12:8; Jdg. 17:6; Prov. 12:15; Mt.4:4), in contrast to God ordaining morality according to majority vote. (James B. DeYoung, Homosexuality, p. 290) In addition, consistent use of certain hermeneutics and logic employed by pro-homosex apologists could also work to disallow the immutability of most any moral command (as most had "aggravating circumstances" in their establishment, and often, as with illicit sex laws, motive is irrelevant), and the Bible itself as a moral authority. Like the harlot whose covetousness constrained her to assent to the destruction of a child rather than let her opposing claimant have it (1Ki. 3), the end result of pro-homosex polemics is that it effectively negate the authority of the very source they seek to use for their own purposes. (Homosexuality and The Bible: Walter Wink refuted) This effect may be understood as a desired one, as consistent with a homosexual agenda , and a form of homosexual historical revisionism.

Dr. Albert Mohler (Master of Divinity and Ph.D. in "Systematic and Historical Theology;" president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky) describes pro-homsex polemics as contending that “either the biblical texts do not proscribe homosexuality...or the texts do proscribe homosexuality, but are oppressive, heterosexist, and patriarchal in themselves, and thus must be rejected or radically re-interpreted in order to remove the scandal of oppression.” He goes on to conclude that, “The passages are not merely re-interpreted in light of clear historical-grammatical exegesis - - they are subverted and denied by implication and direct assault.” (Fact Sheet on Homosexuality,

Pastor Joseph P. Gudel notes, "It is extremely revealing to note that almost every pro-gay group within the church shares one thing in common: they reject the Bible as being fully the Word of God...Likewise, the many pro-homosexual books that have come out almost all reject - or even ridicule - the church's historic stance on the inspiration and authority of Scripture." (Homosexuality in Society, the Church, and Scripture, The Authority of Scripture, Christian Research Institute Journal)

Alex D. Montoya (Associate Professor of Pastoral Ministries at The Masters Seminary) prefaces his essay on the subject by stating,

"Developments in the secular society in its acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle have put pressure on the evangelical church to respond in some way. Homosexual spokespersons have advocated varying principles of interpretation to prove from the Bible the legitimacy of their lifestyle. They have resorted to either subjectivism, historic-scientific evolving of society, or cultural biases of the Biblical writers to find biblical backing for their position. Scripture condemns homosexuality is such passages as Genesis 19; Lev 18:22; 20:13; Rom 1:18-32; 1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10; 2 Pet 2:7; and Jude 7. The true biblical teaching on the subject requires the church to condemn the sin of homosexuality, convert the homosexual, confront erroneous teaching, and cleanse itself. The church must be careful not to adopt the customs of the world.” (The Master's Seminary Journal (TMSJ), 11/2 Fall 2000, Homosexuality and the church) TOC^

Sources of pro homosexual interpretations relevant to homosexuality and the Bible are abundant, (see Why the disagreement over the biblical witness on homosexual practice? A Response to Myers and Scanzoni, What God Has Joined Together?, by A. J. Robert Gagnon, p. 29) such as Derrick Sherwin Bailey, (1910 - 1984), Homosexuality and the Western Christian Tradition) former Jesuit priest John J. McNeill, (Doctorate in Philosophy, Louvain University in Belgium; Former Jesuit priest) Robin Scroggs, (Professor of New Testament at Chicago Theological Seminary) Episcoplian Professor L. William Countryman, (Professor of New Testament, Church Divinity School of the Pacific) Roman Catholic priest Daniel Helminiak, (Assistant Professor of Psychology) and lesser know writers who usually reiterate their polemics. The revisionist scholar who is primarily noted for first advancing their novel view (1955), was the Anglican priest Derrick Sherwin Bailey. In addition to him, perhaps the basic primary source for most of the main pro homosexual polemics represented here is John Eastburn Boswell. Born in Boston in 1947, and educated at Harvard, he was later made a full professor at Yale, where he founded the Lesbian and Gay Studies Center. Described as a devout Roman Catholic, Boswell was yet an openly announced homosexual. He wrote a number of books seeking to negate Biblical injunctions against homosexuality and to justify it, with one of his last books being, "Dante and the Sodomites" (1994). Boswell died of complications from AIDS on December 24, 1994, at age 47.

It is noted that most of the pro-homosex polemicists (charged with "turning the grace of God into lasciviousness" (Jude 1:4) ( are by souls who yet profess to be Christians. Such is a manifestation of that which the apostle Paul foretold, "Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." (Acts 20:30)

Among evangelical responses to the above, the foremost contributor is Robert A. J. Gagnon, (Associate Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. B.A. degree from Dartmouth College; M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School; Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary; "The Bible and Homosexual Practice") though he is not a full Biblical fundamentalist, and holds to the JEDP theory ('the 'Documentary Source Hypothesis'') as do most of his adversaries. In addition to his numerous and extensive reproofs ( of pro homosexual claims is Thomas E Schmidt (Professor of New Testament Greek at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California; "Straight and Narrow?"), James B. de Young (Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon: "Homosexuality: Contemporary Claims Examined in Light of the Bible and Other Ancient Literature and Law"), David E. Malick (Assistant Professor of Field Education, Dallas Theological Seminary; "Condemnation of Homosexuality in Romans 1:26-27, and in 1 Corinthians 6:9"), Guenther Haas (Associate Professor of Religion and Theology at Redeemer College; "Hermeneutical issues in the use of the Bible to justify the acceptance of homosexual practice), F. Earle Fox, David W. Virtue (various degrees; "Homosexuality: Good and Right in the Eyes of God?"), Dave Miller Ph.D. (“Sodom—Inhospitality or Homosexuality?"), apologist James Patrick Holding (,;"Were David and Jonathan Gay Lovers", etc.), and other apologists. (See Gagnon, "Why the disagreement over the biblical witness on homosexual practice?", p. 28) TOC^

Table of Contents


Part 4

Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13

Leviticus Summation

Part 1


Sexual morality in the Bible

Interpretive Foundations

Principal Sources

Part 5

Sex Laws versus Slavery

Silence of Jesus Argument and Love Hermeneutic

Part 2

Genesis: the Unique Union of Man and Women

1 Corinthians 11

Celibacy, Polygamy, and Procreation

Eunuchs and Exegesis

Proclivity and Permission Polemic (Social Justice) Summary

Part 6

Romans 1

1Corinthians 6:9 and

1 Timothy 1:10

Part 7

False postulations or assertions of approved homosex:

Ruth and Naomi

David and Jonathan

Daniel and Ashpenaz

1 and 2 Kings

Jesus, the centurion and his servant

Jesus and John

Was Paul gay?

Part 3

Genesis 19

Judges 19

Jude 1:7

Ezekiel 16:49 and Inhospitality Texts

Extra Biblical historical sources