Friday, March 6, 2009


1st Century
The Didache from A.D. 90 says [Didache 2:2], "You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery [Ex 20:13-14], you shall not commit pederasty, you shall not commit fornication, you shall not steal [Ex 20:15], you shall not practice magic, you shall not practice witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill one that has been born."

East: Aristides the Philosopher of Athens says in 125 [Apology 8], "Some polluted themselves by lying with males. ... Thus, O King [Hadrian], have the Greeks put forward foulness, and absurdity, and folly about their gods and about themselves, in that they have called those that are of such a nature gods, who are no gods."

East: St. Justin Martyr the Philosopher of Caesarea
says in 151 [First Apology 27 in PG 6:369B-372A],
We have been taught that to expose newly-born children is the part of wicked men; and this we have been taught lest we should do anyone harm and lest we should sin against God, first, because we see that almost all so exposed (not only the girls, but also the males) are brought up to prostitution. And for this pollution a multitude of females and hermaphrodites, and those who commit unmentionable iniquities, are found in every nation. And you receive the hire of these, and duty and taxes from them, whom you ought to exterminate from your realm. And any one who uses such persons, besides the godless and infamous and impure intercourse, may possibly be having intercourse with his own child, or relative, or brother. And there are some who prostitute even their own children and wives, and some are openly mutilated for the purpose of sodomy; and they refer these mysteries to the mother of the gods.
East: St. Clement of Alexandria says in 190 [Exhortation to the Greeks 2], "All honor to that king of the Scythians, whoever Anacharsis was, who shot with an arrow one of his subjects who imitated among the Scythians the mystery of the mother of the gods ... condemning him as having become effeminate among the Greeks, and a teacher of the disease of effeminacy to the rest of the Scythians."

3rd Century
West: Bishop St. Cyprian the Martyr of Carthage says in 253 [Letter 1:9 to Donatus in PL 4:212A],
Oh, if placed on that lofty watchtower, you could gaze into the secret places--if you could open the closed doors of sleeping chambers and recall their dark recesses to the perception of sight--you would behold things done by immodest persons which no chaste eye could look upon; you would see what even to see is a crime; you would see what people embruted with the madness of vice deny that they have done, and yet hasten to do--men with frenzied lusts rushing upon men, doing things which afford no gratification even to those who do them.
4th Century
East: Bishop St. Basil the Great of Caesarea (Doctor, Cappadocian Father, & Holy Hierarch) says in 367 [Epistle 217:62 to Amphilochius in PG 32:800A], "He who is guilty of unseemliness with males will be under discipline for the same time as adulterers."

East: Patriarch St. John Chrysostom the Great of Constantinople (Doctor & Holy Hierarch) says in

5th Century
West: Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo (Doctor of Grace) says in 400 [Confessions 3:18:8:15 in PL 32:689-690],
Therefore those offences which be contrary to nature are everywhere and at all times to be held in detestation and punished; such were those of the Sodomites, which should all nations commit, they should all be held guilty of the same crime by the divine law, which has not so made men that they should in that way abuse one another. For even that fellowship which should be between God and us is violated, when that same nature of which He is author is polluted by the perversity of lust.

1 comment:

  1. Do you believe these references refer to homosexuality per se, or to specific practices? After all, most of the references you cite seem to apply to ritualistic prostitution or sexual abuse of some kind. What's your take?

    I'm a first year Anglican MDiv student from Toronto.