Thank you for visiting BiblicalEthic.org!

Yes, dear reader, there is a consistent Biblical ethic, despite all the claims you may have heard to the contrary. This site is here to introduce you to my concise explanation of which Biblical commands are intended to be timeless and universal, contained in the book What's on God's Sin List for Today? It is also here to help you link to other related pieces I have written on Biblical ethics (again, see Links).

Why would a guy like me who is so thrilled to be saved by the grace of God, ever end up writing so much on Biblical ethics? God only knows!

Tom Hobson, Ph. D., Retired ECO Pastor and Professor of Biblical Studies, Belleville, Illinois


  • From the cover of the book:

    Christians get confused about exactly what to do with the commands in the Bible. Do we need to give up pork and shellfish? Is it a sin to eat roadkill, or to eat blood sausage? Is it a sin to wear mixed fabric? Is cross-dressing a crime? What about tattoos? What do we do with that command not to boil a kid in its mother’s milk? And if none of these commands is for Christians today, then which Bible commands are for today?

    This book is designed to help you find solid answers to the question, “Which parts of the Bible’s teaching are timeless and universal, and which parts are only for the people to whom the Bible was first written?” We will examine the laws in the Old Testament, the New Testament sin lists, and how they speak to issues such as sex, alcohol and drugs, obscene language, and gambling as they existed in the first-century world, as we seek to discover what’s on God’s sin list for us today.

    What's on God's Sin List for Today? is available directly from the publisher, Wipf and Stock. It is also available both in hard copy and on Kindle from Amazon, and in hard copy and on Nook from Barnes and Noble.

  • Our Radio Program

    As of February 26, 2023, Tom's radio broadcast "Biblical Words and World" on KUTR in Salt Lake City is now history.  However, you can still download transcripts or audio of any program from those two years of broadcasts by going to Radio Archives (see above). You can also email Tom via the Contact link in the upper left of your home page.

  • NEW Mormonism Book by Tom Hobson

    Tom Hobson's second book, The Historical Jesus and the Historical Joseph Smith, is now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-a-Million. Find out more about the book at www.historicaljoseph.org!

  • Patheos Blog Link

    My recent year of posts on my Patheos blog "Biblical Words and World" is now history. You can continue to access it at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tomhobson/. Here, you will find 109 brief Biblical word studies and cultural windows into the Biblical world. Take some time to explore, month by month!

  • What Did Jesus Really Say About Homosexuality?

    Some claim that Jesus never said one word about homosexual behavior. But not only did Jesus clearly teach the sexual ethic taught by the Torah, "The two [man and woman] shall become one flesh [a lifelong unbreakable union]," but Jesus also uses a word on his sin list in Mark 7:22 that appears to be his synonym for homosexual behavior and other sexual offenses beyond fornication and adultery. You can read the evidence in my article "Aselgeia in Mark 7:22," published in Filologia Neotestamentaria. You can find a layperson's version of the article posted here on my Patheos blog, Biblical Words and World.

  • Sexual Morality Resources

      • An article by J. Budzisewski called "Designed for Sex" makes the case for Christian sexual morality entirely from natural law, without the reader having to believe the Bible.
      • An article in Cosmopolitan (Oct 1976) by Judith Krantz called "Living Together Is A Rotten Idea" makes a case against cohabitation that is still valid today. I do not agree with her belief that fornication is OK, but despite her holding that point of view, she still makes a logical case why cohabitation is not a wise decision.
  • Historicity: Does It Matter?

    Some ask if it really matters whether events in the Bible really happened. Couldn't they simply be inspired fiction, and still express profound truth? Outside the Bible, that can often be true. But Biblical teachings lose much of their authority if we suppose that they were fiction. Read more in my 3-part series in the Presbyterian Outlook:


    This article of mine in Theology Matters describes how the Bible's two canons were formed, not by top-down commands of an emperor or council, but by churchwide grassroots recognition of which books were inspired by God, which was then ratified by authorities later on.

  • Punitive Expulsion

    One way we can tell which OT commands are meant to be timeless and universal is by the penalties attached to them. Commands with a death penalty are obviously the most serious. But what is this penalty "cut off from (one's) people"? This question became the topic for my Ph.D. dissertation. Two chapters of that dissertation have been published:

  • Kosher in the Greek?

    This article of mine in ZAR 19 (2014): 307-312 explores the meaning of the Septuagint's translation of two items on the kosher food lists in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 as the "giraffe" (a kosher mammal) and the "snake-fighter" (a kosher insect).

  • Outlook Blogs

    The Presbyterian Outlook has published a number of blogs of mine on Biblical law and related topics. Titles include:

      • "Same-Gender Marriage in Ancient Rome"
      • "Exploding a Progressive Myth" (the false claim that nobody knew about loving, mutual same-sex desire in Biblical times)
      • "The Eunuch"
      • "Some New-Old Spin on Biblical Law" (some valuable insights from Rushdoony and theonomy)
      • "The Rights of the Poor"
      • "Compassion at Gunpoint"
      • "Economic Equality"
      • "High-Tech Deceitful Measures"
      • "Whom Would Jesus Bankrupt?"
      • "Capitalism"
      • "Health Care"
      • "Oppression"
      • "Favoritism"
      • "Patriotism?"
  • The Pastor Who Convinced Lincoln

    The Outlook also features my research on the huge (extremely rare!) book written by Lincoln's Springfield, IL pastor to defend the truth of the Bible in an article entitled "The Pastor Who Convinced Lincoln." The article's first paragraph is missing online, which reads: "Several years ago, an article in the Presbyterian Outlook described how the Rev. James Smith, a Presbyterian pastor in Springfield, Ill., played a key role in converting Abraham Lincoln out of his original skepticism toward a greater confidence in Biblical faith."

  • What Wesley Preached and Practiced About Money

    In these 2 articles, Charles Wesley White describes how John Wesley (the original Methodist) lived simply, and gave the vast majority of his money away.  He offers practical advice on how we can reorder our finances.