Sodom, Sodomy, Sodomite, Sodomize

by: Dr. Rembert Truluck

Homophobic attacks on language abound in our culture. The use of the words sodomy, sodomite, and sodomize in news stories falls into the same category as the use of demeaning slang expressions based on race, gender, and religion.

Recent news accounts of the brutal beating and torture of a prisoner by police officers in New York used the word "sodomize" to describe a broom handle being rammed into the rectum of the victim to produce extensive internal injuries. I noticed that a few of the radio and television reporters avoided using "sodomize" and used "torture" instead.

If other more familiar racial slurs and slang expressions had been used, a great public outcry would have happened. But since "sodomize" is now a common and accepted distortion of language, nobody protested that I know of.

Sodomy, sodomite, and sodomize are words that never appear anywhere in the Bible.


The most recent Webster's Dictionary (tenth edition, 1996) calls itself "The Voice of Authority" and usually is. Look up the dictionary definitions of Sodom, sodomist, sodomite, sodomize, sodomy. See for yourself how our homophobic culture has distorted language by basing definitions on inaccurate Bible translations and twisted interpretations of Genesis 19:5. The emphasis in the definition is on "anal sex". Where in Genesis 19 is there any hint at all of "anal sex"? There is none. The dictionary is wrong. Just like a lot of Bible translations that are based on religion and not on the facts are wrong. Can you believe that! I can.

Webster's Dictionary shows that the first English use of "sodomize" was in 1868.


In the original text of the Bible, a sodomite is simply someone who lived in Sodom, including Lot and his family. Where the King James Version uses the term "sodomite" in Deuteronomy 23:17; 1 Kings 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7, there is no mention of Sodom or the word "sodomite" in the original text. The "sodomite" hoax is an infected blister on the Bible. Words that mislead and offend and destroy need to be cut out so that healing can happen.

The New Revised Standard Version translation (1989) used "sodomites" in 1 Corinthians 6:9 for "arsenokoitai" where the 1971 "second edition" used "sexual perverts". Many famous Greek scholars challenged the use of "sodomites" in 1 Corinthians 6:9, but the New RSV still appears in plain texts and in study Bibles (such as The New Oxford Annotated Bible) with the incorrect "sodomites" glaring painfully and inaccurately from the page.

Giving a homophobic twist to "Sodom" to create the verb "sodomize" took great care and deliberation. The abusive anti-gay slang language that modern scholarship has imported into Bible translations is "the abomination that makes desolate" for millions of closeted homosexual Christians who love God and follow Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life.

Homophobia is based on fear, which is based on ignorance. Ignorance about sexual orientation is based on distortions and perversions of biblical words and phrases. John the Baptist said concerning abusive oppressive religion: "The axe is already laid at the root of the trees (Matthew 3:10). Jesus said the same things in Matthew 7:15-23, where he cried out: "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." Then Jesus called abusive religious leaders "rotten trees bearing bad fruit." A lot of rotten religious timber has to fall before our community will be free from the perverted use of the Bible and religion against us.

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Back To The Table of Contents


The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology

by Mark D. Jordan

Steps To Recovery From Bible Abuse

by Rembert Truluck

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Steps To Recovery From Bible Abuse

Dr. Truluck's detailed discussion of Sodom

Also In This Issue:

Offering Hope and Healing to Those Hurt by Religion: An Interview with Dr. Rembert Truluck

Paul's Greek: First Aid for Mistranslation

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