Since most English translations of the Bible use the masculine nouns and pronouns for gender, what kind of deeper understanding can we get from the fact that in ( Romans 1:26 ) verse that starts off in an order where it

1st) first associating women in the sin of homosexuality

2nd) , and then secondly only mentions men in the sin of homosexuality

(Side Note: I just wanted to refer to 1) a formal equivalence literal translation of the Bible like New American Standard Bible 1995 ( NASB1995 ), and also 2) a dynamic / functional equivalence relatively gender-neutral / gender-inclusive politically correct translation of the Bible like Christian Standard Bible ( CSB ) )

Romans 1:26-27 ( New American Standard Bible 1995 )

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is [a]unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing [b]indecent acts and receiving in [c]their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Romans 1:26-27 ( Christian Standard Bible )

26 For this reason God delivered them over to disgraceful passions. Their women[a] exchanged natural sexual relations[b] for unnatural ones. 27 The men[c] in the same way also left natural relations with women and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons[d] the appropriate penalty of their error.

Nestle-Aland 28 (NA28) Romans 1:26-27

26Διὰ τοῦτο παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ θεὸς εἰς πάθη ἀτιμίας, αἵ τε γὰρ θήλειαι αὐτῶν μετήλλαξαν τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν,

27ὁμοίως τε καὶ οἱ ἄρσενες ἀφέντες τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν τῆς θηλείας ἐξεκαύθησαν ἐν τῇ ὀρέξει αὐτῶν εἰς ἀλλήλους, ἄρσενες ἐν ἄρσεσιν τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην κατεργαζόμενοι καὶ τὴν ἀντιμισθίαν ἣν ἔδει τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἀπολαμβάνοντες.

The aforementioned order caught my attention because most of the most English translations of the Bible first mention use the masculine nouns and pronouns for gender so why is it strangely switched in ( Romans 1:26 ) where it starts off my mentioning females first?


3 Answers 3


I don't think this is the proper reading of the passage.

Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves. 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For even their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. 27 And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy,

The patriarchal culture addressed men by default. This is why the passage says — and this is key to vindicating my issue with the premise of the question — "their women." "Their" means the men of the society, as it always does when speaking of nations or peoples in ancient works.

One must pay special attention to the "even their women" and "men also, leaving the natural use of the women," as it constitutes a kind of fixed unit where one point plays off the other, around the issue of the women of the society — but beginning with a society that submits itself to perverse desires, then honing in on "even their women" (i.e as a further depth of perversity than merely the men stooping to this level).

Jawaharlal Nehu, first priminister of India, once said, "You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women." I think this is true, but I mean it with a moral sense: when even the women of a nation aren't trying to steer the wayward men, but rather indulging in the same things themselves, and to an indistinguishably similar degree, this signals fatal, deep moral rot — when there is no guide left, everyone is doomed, like sheep without a shepherd. For usually the women attempt to stay and temper the waywardness of men, rather than the other way around, generally speaking. Or, at least, this was absolutely true in former times — as I read.


The order of temptation is the same as in 1 Timothy 2:13-14, where the woman is deceived first, thereby later causing man to sin as well. Then there is also the well-known case of the ancient poetess Sappho of Lesbos.

  • If one deems the answer too short, it could always be converted into a comment on the main post.
    – Lucian
    Nov 29, 2021 at 15:11

There is a strong case for not seeing this as female homosexuality, but "unnatural practice", that is, non-vaginal sex, with men.

This is a very convincing answer: https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/17467/46312

That women have sex with men unnaturally is then topped by men having sex with men.

I have been encouraged, probably automatically, to provide detailed information. To do so would be well nigh plagiarism. The treatment in the link above, to these same verses, is brilliant. I have nothing important to add.

  • 1
    Welcome to Bible Hermeneutics SE and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others.
    – agarza
    Nov 28, 2021 at 14:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.