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Jude 1:7 (King James Version)

Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

This is the only scripture referencing Sodom and Gomorrah which indicates some form of sexual perversion as their “sin.”

This “fornication” is the only instance of its kind in the Bible listed in the Strong’s, no. 1608: ekporneuo. It means to be utterly unchaste, giving one’s self over to... Fornication.

“Strange” is: heteros. (Strongs 2087) It means ‘of uncertain affinity’ and the closest match to a single word would be ‘other’ and also can mean: different, altered, or else. Hetero acts as the first part of other compound words in the Greek language, and is always simply as ‘other’ like heteroglossos ‘other tongued’ meaning an unknown (or at least undeciphered) language.

“Flesh” is: sarx. (Strongs 4561) This is the most common of the ones translated “flesh” and refers to the body, differentiating it from the spirit, and can mean ‘the meat of an animal as food,’ human nature with its frailties, carnal, flesh.

So the KJV’s ‘strange flesh’ is a correct (though not terribly descriptive) translation from the Greek — a different kind of flesh. The New International does a ‘fair’ job in its translation...

“In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.”

The Living Bible on the other hand includes a very serious error...

“And don’t forget the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, all full of lust of every kind including lust of men for other men. Those cities were destroyed by fire and continue to be a warning to us that there is a hell in which sinners are punished.”

There is nothing in the original text of Jude 7 which suggests “lust of men for other men.” But apparently because of the perpetuated misnomer of ‘Sodomy’ and the mention of “strange flesh,” the translator of the Living Bible from his own biased understanding, and not from what the Greek plainly indicates, published this incorrect conclusion. Sarkos heteras is flesh of another kind, and so it is impossible to construe this passage as a condemnation of homosexual sex Sarkos homo, which itself would be pursuit of flesh of the same kind.

The widely accepted explanation among theologians and others, for this instance of “strange flesh” is...

At the time the book of Jude was written, many believed some of the women of Sodom had engaged in intercourse with male angels. This is derived from Genesis 6:1-4, where the “Sons of God” took the daughters of humans as wives. Some think this was the final act which brought God’s judgment on the earth in the form of a great flood, and some Jewish writers believed this was also the sin which sealed Sodom’s fate. According to first century legend, some of the women of Sodom (and other wicked ancient cities) were thought to have had sex with beings who were made of a “different flesh” — angelic flesh. It is of course a certainty that the final act in their history of going after strange (or angelic) flesh, was the men of Sodom wanting to sexually dominate the two “angelic” guests. (Nissinen, pages 91 to 93, discussing Jewish writings from 200 to 1 BC which associate the sin of the people of Sodom with that of people before the flood of Noah. Also Kelly, A commentary of the Epistles of Peter and Jude, pages 258-259; Fred Craddock, First and Second Peter and Jude, page 139; Richard Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, page 54; Michael Green, The Second Epistle General of Peter and the General Epistle of Jude, page 180; Cranfield, I and II Peter and Jude, page 159; Richard Hays, The Moral Vision of the New Testament, page 404.)