Jesus' sexuality

Jesus' sexuality

The canonical New Testament does not explicitly indicate that Jesus had any sexual relationships or desire and Christians have traditionally believed that he remained celibate until his death., and explains himself with these words:

:"Moses permitted 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: [ 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 John to 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..."). [ [ John 3:16] ] People holding the opposite opinion point out that the term "agape" in modern Greek is used for "I love you", which they then apply to the ancient Koine Greek New Testament although the two languages are separated by 2,000 years of linguistic evolution. [For general information on Koine-Greek, see: Koine-Greek Lexicon] Of the four Greek words for love, there is a separate word for sexual lust - "eros".

The philosophers Denis Diderot and Jeremy Bentham gave voice to this interpretation of the relationship between Jesus and John. [Louis Crompton, "Homosexuality and Civilization", p. 111.]

Mary Magdalene

It has been suggested in some works such as "Jesus the Man" (criticized by historians for its sensationalism atop weak evidence [ [ 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.

The 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, [ "The Real Mary Magdalene"] , at "Apologetics Press"] [ [ :: Jesus : expressions:: ] ]

The naked youth

The Secret Gospel of Mark, fragments of which were contained in the controversial, recently-discovered Mar Saba letter by 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 allegory for 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 [ [ Was Jesus Gay? ] ] "the idea that Jesus was a homosexual or engaged in homosexual acts is complete nonsense" and no "serious biblical scholar" has ever proposed this."


ee also

*Cultural and historical background of Jesus
*Blessed Virgin Mary
*Immaculate conception
*Historical Jesus
*Homosexual readings of Jesus and John
*Religion and sexuality

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