The Judgment Of An Apostolic Father On Homosexuality

Similarly, the younger men must be blameless in all things; they should be concerned about purity above all, reining themselves away from all evil. For it is good to be cut off from the sinful desires in the world, because every sinful desire wages war against the [S]pirit, and neither fornicators nor men who have sex with men (whether as the passive or the active partner) will inherit the kingdom of God,* nor will those who do perverse things. Therefore one must keep away from al these things and be obedient to the presbyters and deacons as to God and Christ. The young women must maintain a pure and blameless conscience.

Polycarp | Epistle to the Philippians (c. 120 A.D.), 6.3 trans. Michael W. Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, 3rd edn (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007).


*Holmes translates πνευματος with a lower case s but I’ve followed the Pauline pattern here since he is heavily influenced by Paul’s usage.


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