Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2023

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Classics, Philosophy, and Religion

Department Chair or Program Director

Romero, Joseph

First Advisor

Jennifer Barry

Second Advisor

Mary Beth Mathews

Major or Concentration



This paper examines the change in the meaning of the word “unnatural” in Romans 1:26-27, and establish both an idea of what the Apostle Paul intended and a definition for how the word is used in modernity. There are five sections, each one building off of the next: Background, Analysis of the Text, Scholar’s Reading of the Text, Understanding and Usage in Antiquity, Modern Definition and Understanding, and Conclusion. The paper discovers that Paul’s intention with the word “unnatural” can be summarized as “any sex which is non-procreative, outside of marriage, and goes against gender roles.” However, a modern definition is that in Romans 1:26-27 “unnatural” refers to primarily to homosexuality.