Does Genesis 2 Support Same-Sex Marriage? An Evangelical Response -- By: Brian Neil Peterson

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 60:4 (Dec 2017)
Article: Does Genesis 2 Support Same-Sex Marriage? An Evangelical Response
Author: Brian Neil Peterson

Does Genesis 2 Support Same-Sex Marriage?
An Evangelical Response

Brian Neil Peterson*

* Brian Peterson is associate professor of OT and Hebrew at Lee University, 1120 N Ocoee St., Cleveland, TN 37311. He may be contacted at

Abstract: The rapid moral and cultural changes in Western society have not left the evangelical church unscathed. Instead, an increasing number of scholars, self-professed evangelicals included, are lining up to offer their affirming interpretations of the key biblical texts related to the same-sex discussion. One area in particular that has seen a seismic shift within evangelical circles is the push for the acceptance of “Christian” same-sex marriage. The purpose of marriage to combat loneliness as found in Genesis 2 vis-à-vis the mandate of procreation in Gen 1:26–28 represents the heart of the debate. Does Genesis 2 support same-sex marriage on the basis of kinship ties as opposed to procreation as taught in Gen 1:26–28? This paper argues that affirming scholars have misinterpreted Gen 2:18–25 as promoting only kinship ties and not procreation as well. Moreover, Gen 2:18–25 must be read in light of Gen 1:26–28. Indeed, Gen 2:18, 20, and 24 serve as the basis for promoting procreation and physical fittedness within marriage. This paper will also show how a number of ancillary arguments used as biblical “support” for same-sex marriage are either false dichotomies or are simply wrong when placed against the rubric of Scripture. Only one paradigm for marriage appears within the Bible, namely, heterosexual marriage established by God himself in Gen 2:24 and reaffirmed by Jesus in Matthew 19 and Mark 10.

Key words: same-sex marriage, Genesis 1:26–28, Genesis 2:18–25, creation, homosexuality

In light of the rapid moral and cultural changes in the West—one of which has been the redefining of marriage—in recent years it has become popular for biblical interpreters to turn to the Bible for approval of these seismic shifts in the landscape of the...

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