FYI: What is sodomy? How is it defined in the Bible?

FYI: What is sodomy? How is it defined in the Bible?

The word sodomy does not appear in the King James Version of the Bible, as well as the NKJV, NASB, NIV and at least several other translations. According to, this English word did not exist before the 1300’s A.D.

Webster’s Dictionary defines sodomy as having sex (either orally, through the anus, etc.) with a person of the same gender (homosexuality, lesbianism) or with any kind of animal (bestiality). This definition of the term is roughly supported in the Scriptures.

As early as Abraham and Lot (roughly 1900 B.C.), sodomy was considered a sin (Genesis 19:1 – 7). God also reiterated that this practice was against His will when He gave His laws to Israel. Although the Bible sometimes alludes to this behavior, it clearly condemns the practice (Genesis 13:13, 19:5, 19:7, Leviticus 18:22, 20:13 and so on).

The city of Sodom was so well-known for its open and shameless indulgence in this wicked behavior that it lent its name to those throughout history who pursue it (sodomites).

This sin, an offense against nature, was many times connected with idolatrous practices. This is why the Biblical term ‘sodomite’ (Deuteronomy 23:17, 1 Kings 14:24, 15:12, 22:46, 2 King 23:7, etc.), in the Hebrew, means a (male or female) devotee (prostitute) to licentious idolatry. Although allowed and encouraged in some non-Biblical or non-Christian religions, it was never tolerated in the worship of the true God.

The book of Leviticus, which was given directly by the Eternal, contains his instructions for all mankind and not just for Levitical priests or Israelites. It states the following about sodomy between humans and includes what we would call bestiality.

No man is to have sexual relations (sodomy) with another man; God hates that . . . If a man has sexual relations with another man, they have done a disgusting thing, and both shall be put to death . . .

If a man has sexual relations with an animal, he and the animal shall be put to death. If a woman tries to have sexual relations with an animal (a form of sodomy), she and the animal shall be put to death (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, 15 – 16).

The New Testament clearly reveals directly to us what happens to those who reject the knowledge of God and His command that this type of behavior is a sin (Romans 1:24, 28).

Sodomy, meaning copulation with someone of the same gender, is clearly condemned in the Bible. Sex through the anus within marriage (man and woman), however, is not prohibited in Scripture (though it still may not be wise to do).