I Kings 14:24 and 15:12 again refer to temple prostitution. The original word qadesh is mistranslated as “sodomite” (homosexual) in the King James Version, but as male prostitute, male cult prostitutes, and male shrine prostitutes in more accurate versions. As mentioned before, there is little evidence that homosexuality was involved. Again, the text has nothing to say about consensual homosexual relationships.
Source: OCRT: Bible and Homosexuality
These passages are often translated as if they refer to homosexuals, however the actual word that is being translated is qadesh, which means “holy one” or “someone set apart for a holy purpose.” In this case the word is referring to people who commit ritual acts of prostitution in order to honor their deity. The clearest translation of this concept would simply be “temple or ritual prostitute.”
These passages do not condemn homosexuality, for that matter they don’t even condemn prostitution. Instead, they condemn the practice of religious prostitution connected with the worship of a foreign god.
At this point the reader should be able to see a pattern developing. In the Genesis and Judges accounts some people choose to ignore the actual issue of hospitality and construe the accounts to condemn homosexuality. In the Deuteronomy and 1st Kings passages the actual issue of idolatry is ignored in favor of construing them as passages condemning homosexuality.
This paper is provided as a service of the Metropolitan Community Church of Topeka, authors Rev. Jonathan Loppnow and Rev. Paul C. Evans. It may be reproduced freely as long as the entire text is reproduced and unaltered, all attributions are left intact and it is not sold for profit or included in a for-profit publication.
Whosoever founder and Editor Emeritus Rev. Candace Chellew (she/her) is the author of Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians. She earned her masters of theological studies at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, was ordained in December 2003, and trained as a spiritual director through the Omega Point program of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta. She serves as the spiritual director of Jubilee! Circle in Columbia, S.C., and blogs at Motley Mystic.