Was Jesus Gay? And Other Offbeat Theories About Him

Mighty_Emperor

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I know we have all the seasonal-tpe stories at this time of year (do they save them up?) but.........

Was Jesus Gay?

by Matt Johns 365Gay.com Los Angeles Bureau

Posted: December 25, 2004 12:01 am ET


(Los Angeles, California) As Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus few of them will be told in their churches and Cathedrals anything about the sexuality of Jesus, yet a growing group of Biblical scholars believe that Christ may have had at least one sexual relationship with another male.

Noted Methodist theologian Rev. Theodore Jennings Jr. and Dr Morton Smith, a world renowned Bible scholar, say there is irrefutable evidence that Jesus was at least bisexual. Dr Rollan McCleary of the University of Queensland, in Australia, says he has discovered through his research that three of the disciples were gay.

Prof. Smith points to a fragment of manuscript he found at the Mar Saba monastery near Jerusalem in 1958 which he says alludes to Jesus having a homosexual relationship with a youth he raised from the dead. The fragment shows that the full text of St. Mark, Chapter 10 (between verses 34 and 35 in the standard version of the Bible) includes the following passage:

"And the youth, looking upon him (Jesus), loved him and beseeched that he might remain with him. And going out of the tomb, they went into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days, Jesus instructed him and, at evening, the youth came to him wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God".

Rev. Jennings, a professor at the United Church of Christ's Chicago Theological Seminary, points to the Gospel of St. John. In his book "The Man Jesus Loved: Homoerotic Narratives From the New Testament," Jennings writes that the reference in St John about "the disciple Jesus loved" was actually a reference to Jesus' gay boyfriend.

Jennings also claims the centurion's servant who was healed by Jesus actually was the centurion's gay boyfriend and that Jesus did not denounce their relationship.

Dr McCleary spent three years researching “gay spirituality”. His book, "Signs for a Messiah" says that Jesus and at least three of his disciples were gay, and Christianity in general is built on “gay principles”.

McCleary says that Christianity needs to recognize its homosexual roots and abandon the practice of alienating gays and spreading homophobia.

British gay rights advocate Peter Tatchell says even though the information about Jesus' sexuality remains scant, "there is certainly no evidence for the Church's presumption that he was heterosexual. Nothing in the Bible points to him having desires or relationships with women. The possibility of a gay Christ cannot be ruled out."

"Since there is no proof of the heterosexuality of Jesus, the theological basis of Church homophobia is all the more shaky and indefensible," Tatchell said.

"Large chunks of Jesus' life are missing from the Biblical accounts. This has fuelled speculation that the early Church sanitized the gospels, removing references to Christ's sexuality that were not in accord with the heterosexual morality that it wanted to promote", said Tatchell.

The Vatican has denounced the research by Jennings, Smith and McCleary as "heretical". It has also been denounced by Southern Baptists and evangelical Anglicans.

When recently asked if his research might be tainted because he is gay, McCleary said: "You could see that either way. You could also say that heterosexual people have their eyes wide shut on the matter, that they don't want to see that Jesus would have been of gay disposition.

"You maybe have to be gay to read the signals and to see things and research things which other people wouldn't," he added.

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©365Gay.com 2004
Source Link is dead. The MIA article can be accessed via the Wayback Machine:

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Rrose_Selavy

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Emperor said:
I know we have all the seasonal-tpe stories at this time of year (do they save them up?) but.........

Was Jesus Gay?


Prof. Smith points to a fragment of manuscript he found at the Mar Saba monastery near Jerusalem in 1958 which he says alludes to Jesus having a homosexual relationship with a youth he raised from the dead.

--------------------
©365Gay.com 2004
Source

Not sure which is more unlikely, the homosexual relationship or the "matter of fact "mention of raising the dead?

Makes me skeptical of any assumptions or interpretations.
 

Rrose_Selavy

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Mr. R.I.N.G. said:
There is always (and we discussed this elsewhere on here) the infamous possiblly existing film HIM depicting a gay Jesus... here's Snopes article declaring it false:

http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/petition/gayjesus.htm
See my reply to your other thread - Snopes say the specific claim "Jesus will be portrayed as a homosexual in an upcoming film" is false and the evidence they examine supports that. The claim wasn't whether the film "Him" from 1974 actually existed but about the rumours which started in the mid 80s about an "upcoming" film.
 

Mighty_Emperor

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Rrose Selavy said:
Emperor said:
I know we have all the seasonal-tpe stories at this time of year (do they save them up?) but.........

Was Jesus Gay?


Prof. Smith points to a fragment of manuscript he found at the Mar Saba monastery near Jerusalem in 1958 which he says alludes to Jesus having a homosexual relationship with a youth he raised from the dead.

--------------------
©365Gay.com 2004
Source

Not sure which is more unlikely, the homosexual relationship or the "matter of fact "mention of raising the dead?

Makes me skeptical of any assumptions or interpretations.
So not just gay but a gay necrophiliac (sort of)?

The book is:

The Man Jesus Loved: Homoerotic Narratives from the New Testament
Theodore W., Jr. Jennings (2003)
www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/082981535X/
www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/082981535X/

It gets remarkably good reviews (with the odd exception) - all very odd. Anyone fancy searching out the various academics mentioned?
 

Stormkhan

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I can't help thinking that this is a modern interpretation on very old writings and the interpreters seem to have a difficulty with the concept of non-consummated, non-sexual love.

I wonder if, as teenagers, they were the ones who giggled whenever the Bible mentioned "love" and nudged each other, winking.

I'm not denying the existence or possibility of homosexuality in the ancient world. They seem to be denying alternative non-sexual interpretations of the word love. As in "I love my parents" or "I love my sister".

Stop giggling at the back there!
 

rjmrjmrjm

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Huckleberry Finn is a homosexual story between a negro slave and a underage white boy in some critical essays.

In reality you can read anything into everything. Truth of the Gospels are that there was a man called Yeshua who probably was real (Josephus etc...) who probably lived in the middle east during the 1st Century AD and managed (with help from others) to convince a lot of people that he was the messiah.

We cannot, seriously get any more FACTS from the Gospels.
 
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Considering that the jury's still out as to the Man's actual exsistence, there also being speculation that he was actually married to Mary Magdalene (his disciples were jealous of her), I think the speculation factor on this one must be up to about 99%.

There was that gay poem about Jesus, 'The Love That Dares to Speak its Name' by James Kirkup, (Mrs Whitehouse got it banned in 1976), but that was supposed to be about a Roman Centurion's love for Christ.


I'm pretty convinced that St Paul had suppressed homosexual tendencies, though. Manipulative little tic.
 

lopaka

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There's more than a whiff of 'retrospective diagnosis' about these things, isn't there?

http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12018
Link is obsolete. The current link is:


https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/post-hoc-diagnoses-of-historical-figures.12018/

(no hollering, please, I'm NOT equating homosexual feelings or behavior with a disease). A couple of weeks ago I saw a 'Was Abe Lincoln gay?' article; just before that 'Was Arafat gay?'. there have been 'Was Shakespeare gay?' pieces published and heaven knows how many similar ones over the last fifty years, all based on speculation, inference and agendas.

Andro: another *fun* biblical speculation about Mary Magdalene is to read the Gospel of John (the self-described 'beloved disciple') imagining/assuming it was actually written by MM... :)
 
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Stormkhan

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Is it just my open and honest questioning of the media but does the extreme and tenuous homosexual branding of historical documents and accounts do a disservice to the cause of acdeptance of homosexuality?

I mean, does a headline "Jesus was GAY!" make homosexuality more acceptable to mainsteam believers? Does the over-accentuation of sexuality do any good to the reasonable aim that a persons sexuality is accepted - if not enjoyed - by the mainstream media?

By all means, question and analyise historical evidence. But as soon as an extreme slant is put on it, regardless of the orgin of that slant, it puts the value of mainstream acceptance into hazard.
 

rjmrjmrjm

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lopaka said:
'Was Shakespeare gay?' pieces published and heaven knows how many similar ones over the last fifty years, all based on speculation, inference and agendas.
If you read the Sonnets there is a strong sense of homosexual feeling in them. Most literary critics will probably agree that Shakespeare was bissexual at least (most?).
 
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rjm said:
lopaka said:
'Was Shakespeare gay?' pieces published and heaven knows how many similar ones over the last fifty years, all based on speculation, inference and agendas.
If you read the Sonnets there is a strong sense of homosexual feeling in them. Most literary critics will probably agree that Shakespeare was bissexual at least (most?).
Odds on favourite to be bisexual, or at the very least, had a very steamy relationship with his patron the Earl of Southampton.

;)
 
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Anonymous

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OT -

If you read the Sonnets there is a strong sense of homosexual feeling in them. Most literary critics will probably agree that Shakespeare was bissexual at least (most?).
... "most" would be something of an exaggeration.

Venus & Adonis was dedicated to the Earl of Southampton. Nobody knows why. There are many competing possible explanations. The standard explanation (I believe) has been that it was normal to flatter a patron with a dedication.

The poem is based on part of a work by Ovid.

The bigger mystery is who is the Dark Lady of the Sonnets.

written by Bacon, of course. The greatest Englishman ever, who was the Queen's illegitimate son by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.
 

rjmrjmrjm

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alb said:
The standard explanation (I believe) has been that it was normal to flatter a patron with a dedication.
Since when have we ever done anything by standards?* :)

Alb, I am not speaking of dedications, I am speaking of actual lines in the poem containing homoerotic feelings.

Sonnet 20 is a prime example, as is Sonnet 42 both addressing the young man and the dark lady.

*Note tongue firmly in cheek.
 
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Anonymous

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yup. Not disputing that some read things in that way. But almost nothing in the Sonnets is explicit. They're very difficult to understand.

And some say that Venus & Adonis is about homosexual love.

We'll never know (I've been listening to these debates for nearly 40 years).

Imagine even trying to understand everything in, say, The Wasteland. And that's modern.
 

rjmrjmrjm

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*watches as the topic slides away*

I think we can safely say that there is more chance of the Bard being gay than Jesus. Although anything is possible.
 

Stormkhan

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alb said:
The bigger mystery is who is the Dark Lady of the Sonnets.
The Earl of Southampton in a frock and wig. Egad!
And some say that Venus & Adonis is about homosexual love.
Someone else had better tell Venus then. I'm not going to tell her that either she's a bloke or Adonis is a 'beard'!
 
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alb said:
OT -

If you read the Sonnets there is a strong sense of homosexual feeling in them. Most literary critics will probably agree that Shakespeare was bissexual at least (most?).
... "most" would be something of an exaggeration.
'The master mistress'?

I'll have alook through the sonnets tonight but there's alot of erotisism directed at both men and women however that does NOT mean that Shakespear was bisexual just as even if Jesus liked male company to the exclusion of women that he was gay.

Sexuality is a modern invension and to use it to understand people outwith the age of sexuality (what was it Foucoult called it...the queer moment? Something like that) is a blatent bit of essensalism.
 

Stormkhan

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Now some Americans are claiming that Antonio and Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice were gay because in the latest film there is a passionate kiss between men.

Tuesday December 28, 10:40 PM
Was Merchant of Venice gay?
By Claudia Parsons

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Charges of anti-Semitism are standard fare when it comes to "The Merchant of Venice" but a new film of the Shakespeare play also raises another controversial question -- was the merchant gay?

An emotionally charged kiss between two men raises the issue of their sexual orientation, but even the actors who play them do not agree about what the kiss means.

The film, which opens nationally on Wednesday, is based on Shakespeare's play about the merchant Antonio, whose friend Bassanio is deeply in debt and needs money to woo an heiress named Portia.

To help his friend, Antonio borrows money from the Jewish moneylender Shylock, who has been subjected to past prejudice and anti-Semitic insults from Antonio. In lieu of interest, Shylock, played by Al Pacino, demands a pound of Antonio's flesh if the loan is not repaid.

Despite a speech considered a classic plea for tolerance, The Merchant of Venice has long sparked charges of anti-Semitism for its unflattering portrait of Shylock. Director Michael Radford mitigates that characterization by portraying the indignities Jews faced in 16th-century Venice.

While quenching that fire, Radford fuelled another.

Early in the film when Bassanio asks Antonio for the money, Radford has the two retire to Antonio's bedroom to talk. They discuss Bassanio's plans and Antonio agrees to help. Before he leaves, Bassanio delivers a kiss that is as passionate as any with Portia.

ARE THEY, OR AREN'T THEY?

Joseph Fiennes, who plays Bassanio, is comfortable with the kiss and the idea that the two men may be lovers.

"I would never invent something before doing my detective work in the text," he told Reuters. "If you look at the choice of language ... you'll read very sensuous language.

"That's the key for me in the relationship," he said. "The great thing about Shakespeare and why he's so difficult to pin down is his ambiguity. He's not saying they're gay or they're straight, he's leaving it up to his actors."

"I feel there has to be a great love between the two characters ... there's great attraction. I don't think they have slept together but that's for the audience to decide."

But Jeremy Irons, who plays Antonio, was less convinced that the merchant was motivated by more than deep friendship.

"Be very careful if you see two men kissing each other that you don't jump to the wrong conclusions," Irons said.

"In Shakespeare's time male platonic love was the highest form of love ... Male platonic affection was regarded as a higher form of love to male-female, even husband and wife."

"It's important that there be a strong love," Irons added, but he said: "I didn't want it to be a homosexual love because that's an easy option. I didn't feel there were any clues."

"I was very surprised when Bassanio kissed me. And he only did it in one take."

Shakespeare scholars have not generally considered a homosexual motivation for Antonio, said Herman Gollob, author of "Me and Shakespeare: Adventures with the Bard", who attributed the kiss to "directorial license."

"'The Catamite of Venice' has not been thought about as another title for the play," Gollob told Reuters.

Radford, who directed the Italian film "Il Postino" (The Postman), said he felt it was important to emphasize Antonio's love for Bassanio because of the play's final act, in which Bassanio's feelings for Portia and Antonio are tested.

"Obviously you can emphasize one thing or another," Radford said, promoting the film in New York this month.
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/041228/325/f9bol.html

Has it not actually occurred to them that Shakespeare didn't write the stage directions "Antonio gives Bassanio a large dose of tonsil-tickling"?
Have they not realised yet that Shakespeare isn't a 21st Century author and in Elisabethan times the attitudes towards Judaism, brotherly love and physical contact was very different from our own?

Joe Fiennes seems to extrapolate that the two characters were gay from no evidence whatsoever and Jeremy Irons has tried to point out the existence of non-sexual brotherly love. This tells me a lot more about the actors and director than the play.

Still, more publicity for the film. What next? Four-in-a-bed sex romp in a new film of A Comedy of Errors indicates that Shakespeare was actually the alter ego of Anne Hathaway?

Grrr! I'm no Shakespeare fan but this kind of idiot pseudo-intellectuallism and analysis is bloody irritating!
 

rjmrjmrjm

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Reminds me of my A level coursework about racism in Othello. I argued that, although he is refered to in undesirable terms today, Shakespeare did not write Othello as a victim of racism. And the very concept of racism did not exist.

Furthermore, I doubt that anyone in Venice at that time would really be bothered about a Moorish Mercenary. There were probably lots of them around the med. Racism and the problems with race are a relitively modern invention (last few centuries) before that I imagine anyone who was different was treated just as different and in no way inferior because of race/colour.
 

stu neville

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rjm said:
Furthermore, I doubt that anyone in Venice at that time would really be bothered about a Moorish Mercenary. There were probably lots of them around the med. Racism and the problems with race are a relitively modern invention (last few centuries) before that I imagine anyone who was different was treated just as different and in no way inferior because of race/colour.
Absolutely right - many Italian city states at the time relied on Mercenary armies to defend them (as the Vatican still has the Swiss Guard).

Besides, would a victim of racism have risen to be commander in chief of an army, and betrothed to the daughter of a senator?

In any case, as a play Othello's more about Iago than anyone else :).

Shakespeare, to me, was more androgynous than anything else, with a deep understanding of what makes both sexes tick. Back to the old gender/ sexuality debate, eh?

As for Christ, who knows? Once you've waited a few decades to write a gospel, then dragged it through a few languages for good measure, you end up with a huge game of Chinese whispers.
 
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Anonymous

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As for Christ, who knows?
Godonly knows.

Once you've waited a few decades to write a gospel, then dragged it through a few languages for good measure, you end up with a huge game of Chinese whispers.
You have news? Surely the only evidence is that the gospels were written in Greek.
 
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alb said:
Surely the only evidence is that the gospels were written in Greek.
...then translated into Latin, then into German then into English then into christ knows what...

On the topic i mensioned before about how sexuality is determent by the sociaty in wich a person lives...

In Anciant Greece sexual relationships between older men and young boys was the norm but it wasn't regarded as defining a person's sexuality* and the role you took (top or bottom) depended on age and socal status+ (as one example)

The term 'homosexuality' was first used in 1869 (in wich year tyhe first recorded 'case' was observed.^

All references:

Fausto Sterling, A. (2000)Sexing the Body: Gender politics and the construction of sexuality, Basic books.

* p. 13
+ p. 11
^ p. 13 - 14

To quote Fausto Sterling herself:

[quote...for as far back asone can gather historical evidence...humans have engaged in a variaty of sexual practices, but...this sexual activity is bound to historical contexts. That is, sexual practices and societal understandings of them vary not only across cultures but over time as well[/quote]

(p. 12)
 
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Anonymous

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Wow Virgin Queen that's pretty much what I was about to write...

"Gay" is not a fact, it is a culturally specific term used by contemporary people to describe a specific kind of male-male sexual relationship.

There have never been "gay" people before, and never will be again in the sense that we think of them, though there have been same-sex sexual relationships in every culture since history was first recorded.

Whether or not Jesus had sexual intercourse with another male is of absolutely no relevance to modern homosexuals, heterosexuals, or homophobes.

He would have constructed the experience in a totally different way, and any 1st century Jew's experience of same sex love would bear as much similarity and relevance to modern heterosexuals as to homosexuals, ie. none whatsoever.

Claims that Jesus may have been "gay" cause nothing but confusion. It's like saying "Hey if Jesus was alive now I bet he would own a car!" It's a totally pointless statement to make as cars did not exist in ancient Judaea. (except for that one DeLorean...)
 
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Anonymous

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In Anciant Greece sexual relationships between older men and young boys was the norm but it wasn't regarded as defining a person's sexuality
Where as today, such behaviour would, correctly, define an homosexual pedarist. We also have no evidence as to whether or not the parents of any such children (or that society, in general) believed that this was acceptable desire. Which it most obviously isn't, today.
 
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Jesus instructed him and, at evening, the youth came to him wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God".
... so Jesus was up all night teaching him the mystery of the Kingdom of God. Nudge Nudge ;) ;) say no more, say no more :lol:
 

rjmrjmrjm

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alb said:
Where as today, such behaviour would, correctly, define an homosexual pedarist. We also have no evidence as to whether or not the parents of any such children (or that society, in general) believed that this was acceptable desire. Which it most obviously isn't, today.
I think that the fact that such cases are documented so well seems to indicate that homosexuality and open sexuality were acceptable to the average Greek.
 
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Hook Innsmouth said:
What does it matter whether he was or not?
Well I think the point is that if Jesus turned out to be a little gay it would be used to great effect to (rightly , IMHO) attack the Christians Church's rather poor view of homosexuality.
 
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