The Biblical arguments now used to condemn male-
male penetration are the same types of arguments
as those used in the past to justify slavery.  In fact
the authors (Moses and Paul) of the Biblical books
which condemn or criticize male-male penetration*
also say that owning slaves is okay**.  

Therefore people who argue that male-male
penetration is bad because the Bible says so and
what the Bible says is true, those people must
recognize that the Bible also says that owning
slaves is okay.  

If they don’t agree with slavery, they can’t condemn
male-male penetration just on the basis of the
Biblical condemnation or criticism of such sex.

*Lev 18:22, Lev 20:13, Rom 1:26-7, 1 Cor 6:9 and 1 Tim I:10
**Lev 25:44–46 and 1 Cor 7:21, Eph 6:5, I Tim 6:1

Also see this informative article on why you cannot
logically oppose both slavery and homosexuality.

Main pro-slavery arguments

  • God gave permission for Israelites to buy
    foreigners as slaves.  They became the
    permanent property of their owners.
    (You may buy slaves from the nations around
    you. You can bequeath them to your sons
    as inherited property and can make them
    slaves for life … Lev 25:44-46)

  • There are no passages in the Bible which
    condemn or criticize people for owning other
    people as slaves.

  • Jesus appears to have accepted slavery as
    part of his society and culture.  There is no
    record of him opposing it.  In fact, Paul implies
    that Jesus approved of slaves honoring and
    serving their masters (1 Tim 6:1-3)
    Jesus told parable stories with slaves in them
    (e.g. a king and his slaves – Matt 18:23-34;
    relationship between slaves and masters –
    Luke 17:7-10; slaves sent as messengers –
    Luke 20:9-12; slaves entrusted with master’s
    money – Matt 25:14-30).
    Jesus healed a centurion’s slave (Luke 7:1-10).
    Jesus called his disciples slaves (John 15:15).

  • Paul and the apostles accepted, and implicitly
    endorsed, the system of slavery and they
    instructed masters and slaves about their
    duties.  They did not proclaim that slavery was
    an evil.
    (Slaves, obey your masters … and masters,
    give up threatening your slaves – Eph 6:5-9;
    Col 3:22-25; 4:1;
    Slaves are to be subject to their masters in
    everything whether the masters are good or
    harsh – Tit 2:9-10; 1 Pet 2:18-19
    Slaves should remain in their existing
    condition1 Cor 7:20-24)
    Paul returned a runaway slave to his master –
    Philemon 1:12

  • There is no record of the early churches
    condemning slaveholders for owning slaves or
    the churches ordering them to free their slaves.

  • Slave masters becoming church members in
    apostolic times shows that owning slaves was,
    and is, not sinful.

Main anti-slavery arguments

  • The concept of slavery is inconsistent with
    Jesus’ commands to love (care for) others as
    yourself and to do to others what you would
    want them to do to you.  These commands, if
    practiced, would have led to the abolition of

  • Slavery is wrong because it reduces the
    human life of some people to mere property
    and those people are bought and sold as mere

  • Israelites being able to have other Israelites as
    slaves was not true slavery.  They could
    voluntarily enter into servitude to pay their
    debts and were to be treated as servants.  
    They had to be released from service after 7
    years and could be bought out of servitude at
    any time by their close relatives.

  • Because there is no record of Jesus opposing
    slavery, it does not mean that he supported it.

The above pro- and anti-slavery arguments are derived largely
from Willard M. Swartley,
Slavery, Sabbath, War, and Women:
Case Issues in Biblical Interpretation
go to home
Author: Colin Smith
penetration arguments
Moses and Paul said
that people owning
other people as slaves
(property) is okay
Moses and Paul said that
male-male penetration is bad
Slavery was accepted
by Moses, Paul and the
Israelite people as a
normal part of their
culture.  The practice of
slavery by the Israelite
people was similar to its
practice in surrounding
cultures but it was
kinder (e.g. one rest
day every 7 days)
Male-male penetration was
condemned by Moses, Paul
and probably the Israelite
people.  This condemnation
was basically similar to its
condemnation in
surrounding cultures but
was wider (covered both the
active and passive
Jesus seems to have
accepted slavery as a
normal part of his
culture, shown by his
parables referring to
Jesus probably agreed with
his culture's view that
male-male penetration is bad