- Jesus' sexuality
New Testamentdoes not explicitly indicate that Jesushad any sexual relationships or desire and Christians have traditionally believed that he remained celibateuntil his death., and explains himself with these words:
Mosespermitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.":"The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.":"Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage (or have made themselves eunuchs) because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it. (NIV)"
Jesus' praise for those who have made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven has, for many centuries, been interpreted by Christian theologians as a metaphor for
chastity, since the term "eunuch" normally referred to a castrated man. [In the ancient Middle East and Asia, eunuchs often served as officials overseeing harems, or in other Royal positions. See: [http://lexicorient.com/e.o/eunuch.htm Encyclopaedia of the Orient] ] Some Christians (including, according to a few sources, Origen) went farther than this by interpreting Jesus' words literally and hence physically castrating themselves as an act of devotion. [J. David Hester (2005). "Eunuchs and the Postgender Jesus: Matthew 19:12 and Transgressive Sexualities". Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Vol. 28, No. 1, 13-40 (2005)] The early Church Father Tertullian, who wrote that Jesus himself lived as a eunuch, [Tertullian, On Monogamy, 3: “...He stands before you, if you are willing to copy him, as a voluntary "spado" (eunuch) in the flesh.” And elsewhere: "The Lord Himself opened the kingdom of heaven to eunuchs and He Himself lived as a eunuch. The apostle [Paul] also, following His example, made himself a eunuch..."] likewise encouraged people to adopt this practice. [Tertullian, Adversus Marcionem i.29.]
The beloved disciple
Some contrary interpretations are based on the references in the
Gospel of Johnto the " disciple whom Jesus loved" (John 13:23, 19:26, 21:7,20). The most common interpretation of this phrase is that it refers to John the Apostle, and that it simply refers to an especially close friendship or a father-son type relationship. This interpretation is supported by the particular verbs chosen in the Greek text, φιλέω ("phileo") or ἀγαπάω ("agapao"), which refer, respectively, to human friendship, and to "pure" love. Christians interpret the latter as spiritual, divine love—the love that God has for people, citing usages of the term in passages such as John 3:16 ("For God so loved the world..."). [ [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%203:16 John 3:16] ] People holding the opposite opinion point out that the term "agape" in modern Greekis used for "I love you", which they then apply to the ancient Koine GreekNew Testament although the two languages are separated by 2,000 years of linguistic evolution. [For general information on Koine-Greek, see: http://www.studylight.org/lex/grk/ Koine-Greek Lexicon] Of the four Greek words for love, there is a separate word for sexual lust - "eros".
Denis Diderotand Jeremy Benthamgave voice to this interpretation of the relationship between Jesus and John. [Louis Crompton, "Homosexuality and Civilization", p. 111.]
It has been suggested in some works such as "
Jesus the Man" (criticized by historians for its sensationalism atop weak evidence [ [http://www.anchist.mq.edu.au/251/Thierful.htm Review of Barbara Thiering's books ] From the text: "an eccentric theory based on weak historical evidence, sloppy logic, and wild guesswork"] ) and " Holy Blood, Holy Grail", as well as in fictional works, such as " The Da Vinci Code", that Jesus married Mary Magdalene.
Gnostic Gospel of Philip(believed to have been written in the 3nd century or later, and hence later than the canonical Gospels) states that Jesus kissed Mary Magdalene. Considering the gnostic nature of writing, most do not consider this a sexual remark and interpret it as a common Middle-Eastern cultural practice common between a teacher and his pupils. [Eric Lyons, [http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3059 "The Real Mary Magdalene"] , at "Apologetics Press"] [ [http://www.rejesus.co.uk/davinci/index_2.html :: Jesus : expressions:: ] ]
The naked youth
Secret Gospel of Mark, fragments of which were contained in the controversial, recently-discovered Mar Saba letterby Clement of Alexandria, has led to various interpretations concerning the views of an ancient group called the Carpocratians. The "Secret Gospel of Mark" states that Jesus taught the "secrets of the Kingdom of God" alone to a partially clothed youth during one night. Some modern commentators have suggested this represents a sexual encounter, while others interpret it as a baptism, [Robert J. Miller, "The Complete Gospels", Polebridge Press 1994, p. 411. ISBN 0-06-065587-9.] or an allegoryfor a non-sexual initiation into a gnostic religion.
Some academic theologians see a connection between the youth of the "Secret Gospel of Mark" and the mysterious youth following Jesus during his arrest, who loses his cloak while trying to escape, mentioned in the Canonical
Gospel of Mark; and the young man or angel clad only in white that Mark mentions was found in the Empty Tomb. While some have seen this as allegory for the process of initiation into religious knowledge, and many have dismissed the youth(s) in Mark as insignificant, others have seen them as the male lover of Jesus, and the same "beloved apostle" mentioned in John. None of these alternative theories are supported by most mainstream scholars [Wilson, "Jesus: the evidence", p. 87] The author of "The Bible and Homosexual Practice", Robert A.J. Gagnon of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, responded to questions about this theory.
Gagnon says [ [http://www.spiritrestoration.org/Church/All%20About%20Church%20Articles/Was-Jesus-Gay.htm Was Jesus Gay? ] ] "the idea that Jesus was a
homosexualor engaged in homosexual acts is complete nonsense" and no "serious biblical scholar" has ever proposed this."
Cultural and historical background of Jesus
Blessed Virgin Mary
Homosexual readings of Jesus and John
Religion and sexuality
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