A scholarly response on what the Hebrew and Aramaic Bible says concerning LGBTI people.
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The Bible contains selected knowledge and hence doesn't contain everything. There was an existing culture that the Bible sprung out of and hence embraces. Since our culture is a continuum of that culture of the past we have a good idea of what the words would be to describe the unions and partners of heterosexuals and LGBTI people. Western culture and the culture of the ancient nations is / was tolerant of LGBTI people. We know that heterosexuals and LGBTI people use the same relationship terminology today; so I don't see any reason why the terminology would be different back then. Additionally, we know that most of the words about or describing the covenants, partners and words of endearment are the same for heterosexuals and LGBTI people in the Bible. Furthermore, some of the concepts that are true about heterosexual relationships can also be shown to be true about same-sex relationships by using deduction. All this shows that God accepts peoples different sexual orientations. Given that same-sex relationships have been erased in the Bible translations; more knowledge of these relationships are continually being uncovered.
When people were married, they made a covenant (agreement). The vows in a modern marriage would be similar to the covenant of the past. Additionally, when the two parties get married, the relatives of both of the families become "in laws." People don't become "in-laws" if the parties are just boyfriend and girlfriend. (Malachi 2:14 KJV) speaks about a heterosexual marriage by the statement: "... the wife of thy covenant." We can deduct that same-sex marriages consisted of the same things. Shaul (Saul) said to David, "you shall be my son-in-law by two [of my children]" (1 Sam. 18:21 Masoretic Text). Shaul was referring to David being his son-in-law by his son Jonathon and his daughter Michal. Now how does one become an "in law?" It is by marriage. So we can deduct that David and Jonathan must have made a marriage covenant.
The two or more people in the covenant are known literally as show-ta-pe (partners) in the Aramaic language. Show-ta-pa (ms) means a "husband" and its feminine spelling show-tap-ta (fs) means a "wife" (Malachi 2:14). (3 Macc. 4:8 Aramaic) literally says: "But the partners (husbands) of these [brides] were being led and coming by force..." These brides were espoused and married before their bridal feasts or entering into the bridal chamber because verse six talks about the brides having husbands (gow-re). If you still have doubt, the Greek text translated the Aramaic word "partners" as suzugeis "yoke-fellows, husbands" at (3 Macc. 4:8).
Separately, it is important to note that in the Bible, God nowhere set up statutes for a priest to marry couples; though I'm not against the practice. There are also some things that English readers don't see. Generally, when it says a man married a woman, the Hebrew word used says the man took the woman. The Hebrew word la-qakh, which means “he took,” is underneath the words “he married” in the following verse: “Now afterward Hezron went in to the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead, whom he married when he was sixty years old; and she bore him Segub.” (1 Chronicles 2:21 NKJV). Also, in the Hebrew text, the words man & husband are from the same word (ish); and the words woman & wife are from the same word (ish-shah) in our English Bible. An example is in this verse: “Then Sarai, Abram’s wife (ish-shah -woman), took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband (ish - man) Abram to be his wife (woman), after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan." (Genesis 16:3 NKJV). No marriages in ancient societies closely match our modern equivalent.
The Old Testament records verses that show that not all unions were between a man and a woman. The following are a couple examples. “If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or your lawful wife, or your friend, who is as your own soul, entices you secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which you have not known, you nor your fathers;” (Deuteronomy 13:6 Lamsa). The underlined words your friend, who is as your own soul in the Aramaic literally means: “your lover according to your soul [heart, emotion(s)].” The word raḥ-ma, translated here as “friend,” also means a lover (in a relationship), as shown here: “His mouth is like sweet honeycombs; his garments are lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.” (Song of Solomon 5:16 Lamsa). For some, it is hard to distinguish when the word raḥ-ma is referring to a friend or when it is referring to a lover in a relationship. I believe the context gives the clue.
"For if you shall indeed turn away and shall be joined [in alliance] to the remnant of the nations, those who are remaining, those among you, and you shall be joined by marriage (make marriages) with them, and you shall go into (penetrate) them, and they [shall go into (penetrate)] you." (Josh. 23:12). There are multiple layers of meaning that this statement can and does mean. The Hebrew word kha-than "to be joined by marriage," is used. It's from this verb that we get the words kho-then "husband, bridesgroom, son-in-law, etc." and kho-then-eth "wife, mother-in-law, etc." Aramaic has this same root word, khthan, and it means "to be united, joined, married." So don't get confused by how James Strong's renders the Hebrew word kha-than, as: "to contract affinity by marriage, etc.;" which is accurate, but not literal.
The Hebrew word bo definitely does mean to "enter into, penetrate," as in vaginal or anal sexual intercourse (Gen. 29:21, 23, 30; 38:2, 8). It can also mean to "come to." This verse literally says that if the Yisraelites turn away from God and the men shall be joined (married) with them [men], and you shall penetrate them, and they [shall penetrate] you." All of the underlined words and conjugations are masculine. One thing to notice is that this verse is a confirmation that the anus, like the vagina, aren't just an "exit," they are both also an "entry." Nevertheless, the word "go into" can also include the meaning of "come to," and hence includes men coming to and associating with other men.
The above cited verse can also refer to heterosexual men marrying women and penetrating (lying with) them along with both of them coming to each other and associating. Masculine words, whether in the singular or plural, also include females.
The New Testament also has verses that can be interpreted to include heterosexual and homosexual marriage unions along with men or women marrying transgender persons. Or they are inclusive of both heterosexual and homosexual unions. 2nd Corinthians 6:14 literally says this: "And you shall not be married men (sons of the yoke) with those who are not believing [mhaym-nin mp]. For what partnership has righteousness with evil? Or what intimacy has light with darkness." The words "married men" and "those who aren't believing" are both grammatically masculine; though masculine words can also include females. I believe that is the case here, but I will get to that later. This verse is literally talking about male homosexual marriages. There is a feminine verb spelling for: "those who are not believing." If this verse was talking only about heterosexual men not being in a marriage with female unbelievers, then the verb spelling and pronunciation would be mhaym-nan "believing" [fp].
The following are a couple examples of the root word za-wig (yoking, marrying) and the related word zu-wa-gha (marriage); so you can see how the words "sons of the yoke" mean "married men, etc." 1st Timothy 4:3 says: "And they [will be] forbidding to be married (yoked, paired, coupled) ..." (Mark 10:9) has Yeshua discouraging divorce by saying: "Therefore what God was joining together (yoking, uniting), let not man be separating." Finally, Paul said this: "Marriage is [held in] honor by all and their [marriage] bed is pure, but God will be judging fornicators and adulterers." (Hebrews 13:4).
The word "sons" can refer to" men (offspring) of any age." So "sons of the yoke," in regard to homosexual unions, refers to "married men." Additionally, there are other marriage/relationship words used in this verse. The word show-ta-pu-tha means: "partnership, communication, marriage, conjugal intercourse, etc." It's referring to the relationship between "partners, spouses." Also, the Aramaic word khul-ta-na means: "intimacy, mingling, contact, intercourse, meeting, etc." It's from the root word khlat "to mix, join, unite, associate with, have to do with and have intercourse with." That's the word used to refer to the "mixing" of races (families); such as when the Yisraelite men "mixed" with the foreign women and produced offspring.
The words "sons of the yoke" can refer to "children of the yoke," hence "married men and married women." Plus, the word "believers" can refer to either male or female believers. Again, masculine words can refer to males and/or females. The word "sons of" is used in the statement "sons (children) of Yisrael." That statement and like constructed statements include both males and females. So 2nd Corinthians 6:14 is talking about married men or married women being joined together in marriage to either male or female believers. The statement is constructed perfectly to refer to "men marrying men," "men marrying women," "men marrying trans-women," "women marrying trans-men," etc. The Aramaic word ay-len "those," is a "common (neuter)" pronoun; meaning it refers to both males and females. It's the only Aramaic word that I'm aware of that isn't grammatically either masculine or feminine ONLY. If this statement was referring to only "men marrying men," then the masculine pronoun ha-non "those" would have been used. The word "those" is the key word that is letting us readers know that 2nd Cor. 6:14 is referring to the various marriages of all the sexual orientations.
Romans 13:9 says this: "For also that statement which says that 'You shall not commit adultery,' and 'You shall not murder,' and 'You shall not steal,' and 'You shall not covet,' and if there is another commandment, it is being performed [by you] if you do this following statement - 'You shall love your near one like yourself.' " (see also Eph. 4:25, etc.). The Aramaic word qa-ri-wa "near one" is from the word qa-riw "near," and has three main meanings. All of them could be meant here. It can mean a "neighbor [as near]." It can also mean a "relative [as near of kin]" (1 Ki. 16:11; 2 Ki. 10:11). And finally, it can mean an "intimate one (close one, lover, wife, husband) [as near]" (Song 1:8 , 14 , etc. - the Hebrew word for "my loveor my lover" is translated literally as "my near one" in P'shitta & LXX ). When "you love your intimate one like yourself" you won't commit adultery against that person and you will have self-control so as not to covet (desire, lust) after someone else's spouse.
In regards to when qa-ri-wa means an "intimate one, lover" for the statement "You shall love your intimate one as yourself," that statement is grammatically masculine. The words "you shall love" is in the third person masculine singular form (3MS). The word "intimate one, neighbor, relative" is also grammatically masculine. However, masculine singular or plural words also include females; so this statement is all inclusive. But quite literally, when referring to lovers, this verse is telling a homosexual man to love his intimate one (boyfriend, husband) as himself.
Lesbians and gay men also married the opposite sex to have children so they could dispose of their property (wealth) to them. They likely were more inclined to marry each other since they wouldn't want to have sex with the opposite gender once kids were born. There was no natural insemination back then. A lesbian marrying a heterosexual man or a gay man marrying a heterosexual woman would result in their partners suffering through sexual abstinence. The following is a verse which I believe supports this: "Even the weak (or effeminate) man among you and very luxurious, his eye shall be evil against his brother and against the wife of his bosom, and against the remnant of his children that he (the enemy) shall let remain." (Deut. 28:54). The Hebrew word rak means "weak, effeminate, soft, tender, and delicate." James Strong's Concordance leaves out the meaning of "effeminate" but the Aramaic word maạdan means "effeminate, dainty, pleasant" (CAL). Also, along that line, this Hebrew word was translated into Latin as delicatus - "delicate, soft, tender, delightful, pleasing, effeminate, etc."
Hebrew words and statements often have multiple layers of meaning. This verse can refer to some heterosexual men who are "weak" but it can more so refer to effeminate gay men. Consider that this "man" is also said to be VERY delicate (luxurious, pampered). I get the definition of "pampered" from the Aramaic text, which has the word mpa-naq "luxurious, tender, delicate, delightful, pampered, treated with affection, indulgent, given to pleasure, feeding luxuriously." Those same Hebrew and Aramaic words are also used to describe the "delicate (soft, tender) woman (Deut. 28:56).