Was Jesus Gay?

Debating issues regarding sexuality

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JJ50
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Was Jesus Gay?

Post #1

Post by JJ50 »

Jesus apparently had a specific disciple, presumably a guy, whom he loved,he never condemned homosexuality, of course there is nothing wrong with being in a relationship with someone of the same sex, so I wonder if he was gay? If it could be proved he was, I wonder how those Christians who are anti-gay bigots would react?

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Post #31

Post by Mithrae »

bluethread wrote:
Mithrae wrote:
I think the point is that you didn't quote or provide a reference, merely claimed Maimonides said such-and-such. After Wootah's comment I tried to find where Maimonides had said that, and after two minutes concluded that it would be utterly impossible to find :lol: However on Wikipedia I found that, quite contrary to your claim, "Chazal prohibited two single males from sleeping under the same blanket.[citation needed]"
Sorry, I thought Willum was just concerned about the Scriptural reference. The rabbinic reference is from http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/homosexuality. I didn't think anyone was really interested in this detail. Well, here it is.

"To this end R. Judah forbade two bachelors to sleep together under one blanket (Kid. 4:14); but the view of the sages prevailed that there was no need for such a safeguard against homosexuality (Kid. 82a). Maimonides (Yad, Issurei Bi'ah 22:2) still followed the Talmud in holding that "Jews are not suspect to practice homosexuality," and therefore permitted two males to be closeted together. By the 16th century conditions had evidently changed to induce Caro, after recording this view, to add: "Nevertheless, in our times, when lewdness is rampant, one should abstain from being alone with another male" (Sh. Ar., EH 24). Yet, a century later R. Joel *Sirkes again suspended the restriction, except as a praiseworthy act of piety, on the ground that "in our lands [Poland] such lewdness is unheard of " (Bayit Hadash to Tur, EH 24)."

According to this, it was R. Judah who stated that prohibition. I mentioned that prohibition in my post. Maimonides stated, "Jews are not suspect to practice homosexuality," which was the point I was making.
Thanks! I should've thought to look there, but I was Googling for Maimonides "two men" bed.

Strictly speaking, you originally said "later rabbi's suggested that, given the influence of nonjews, it would be best if two men not meet alone." But if that reference to Kid. 4:14 refers to Kiddushin of the Mishna and Rabbi Judah is Judah ha-Nasi (died c. 217CE) then it would seem that his views would be a lot more relevant to Jesus' time and culture than those of Maimonides. Even if most rabbis of the 2nd century felt that the extremes of prohibiting a shared bed were unnecessary, the argument that "such relationships were not things that were even considered" doesn't seem to hold up.

It's also worth noting that even if Jews were somehow genetically or dispositionally less inclined towards homosexuality (which is dubious, considering for example comparable prevalence in Israel), if ever there were a period in history in which the "influence of nonjews" were likely to change that it would have been in the centuries following the Greek conquest of Judea and ongoing prominence of Greek culture even after the Roman conquest - certainly moreso than when the surrounding cultures were Muslim and Christian!

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Post #32

Post by bluethread »

Mithrae wrote:
Strictly speaking, you originally said "later rabbi's suggested that, given the influence of nonjews, it would be best if two men not meet alone." But if that reference to Kid. 4:14 refers to Kiddushin of the Mishna and Rabbi Judah is Judah ha-Nasi (died c. 217CE) then it would seem that his views would be a lot more relevant to Jesus' time and culture than those of Maimonides. Even if most rabbis of the 2nd century felt that the extremes of prohibiting a shared bed were unnecessary, the argument that "such relationships were not things that were even considered" doesn't seem to hold up.

It's also worth noting that even if Jews were somehow genetically or dispositionally less inclined towards homosexuality (which is dubious, considering for example comparable prevalence in Israel), if ever there were a period in history in which the "influence of nonjews" were likely to change that it would have been in the centuries following the Greek conquest of Judea and ongoing prominence of Greek culture even after the Roman conquest - certainly moreso than when the surrounding cultures were Muslim and Christian!
When I said later rabbis, I was referring to Caro (1488-1575) who is quoted as saying, "Nevertheless, in our times, when lewdness is rampant, one should abstain from being alone with another male" (Sh. Ar., EH 24). The problem with your references to modern Israel and the influence of Greek culture in Yeshua's time is that they are both overgeneralizations. Modern Israel is a secular state and is populated with many reform Jews, not to mention the recently invented reconstructionist Jews. In Yeshua's time, most sects frowned upon Hellenization, including its sexual proclivities. The Herodians would be the exception, who were tolerated only because they were protected by the Roman state. That is what is behind Yochannan's accusation of Herod. Being so brazen with regard to accusing Herod, it is hardly reasonable that he would say of his cousin, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.", if Yeshua were homosexual. That said, I will grant you that Hellenization has been the bane of Judaism, even before Alexander created the empire. In fact, the golden calf and Balaam are well ingrained as lessons in not corrupting Adonai's ways.

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Post #33

Post by marco »

bluethread wrote:
Being so brazen with regard to accusing Herod, it is hardly reasonable that he would say of his cousin, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.", if Yeshua were homosexual. That said, I will grant you that Hellenization has been the bane of Judaism, even before Alexander created the empire.
John reprimanded Herod for his adultery and his unlawful marriage. There is no reason why he would have necessarily known of Christ's homosexuality, especially if it were concealed. He may well have been homosexual himself. In addition it is rather unfortunate that you equate an actual transgression with a way of life over which a person has no say.

Hellenization seems also to be regarded as a basic flaw or sin. The Greeks and Romans did much for us. I'm not sure the Israelites did anything. Having said this I am second to none in my admiration for the courage and resolve of Israel today.

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Post #34

Post by bluethread »

marco wrote:
bluethread wrote:
Being so brazen with regard to accusing Herod, it is hardly reasonable that he would say of his cousin, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.", if Yeshua were homosexual. That said, I will grant you that Hellenization has been the bane of Judaism, even before Alexander created the empire.
John reprimanded Herod for his adultery and his unlawful marriage. There is no reason why he would have necessarily known of Christ's homosexuality, especially if it were concealed. He may well have been homosexual himself. In addition it is rather unfortunate that you equate an actual transgression with a way of life over which a person has no say.

Hellenization seems also to be regarded as a basic flaw or sin. The Greeks and Romans did much for us. I'm not sure the Israelites did anything. Having said this I am second to none in my admiration for the courage and resolve of Israel today.
Ah, the secret sin and uncontrollable acts arguments. People on this very site question whether Yeshua even existed, yet we are to accept that the "Lamb of God" secretly violated Torah? Also, are you saying that a man can resist his attraction to his sister-in-law, but homosexual drives are so irresistible that even the "Lamb of God" can not resist acting on them? Regarding the Greeks and Romans, yes, the Socratic method, roads, viaducts, sewer system and shield wall were great innovations. However, the Greco-Roman sexual innovations can hardly be called the basis for great human advancement.

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Post #35

Post by marco »

bluethread wrote:

Ah, the secret sin and uncontrollable acts arguments. People on this very site question whether Yeshua even existed, yet we are to accept that the "Lamb of God" secretly violated Torah? Also, are you saying that a man can resist his attraction to his sister-in-law, but homosexual drives are so irresistible that even the "Lamb of God" can not resist acting on them?
By suggesting, reasonably in my view, that Jesus was homosexual I am not simultaneously asserting the Lord acted on his allotted nature. He seems to have kept a firm control of his emotions, with the exception perhaps of his behaviour in the Temple that was being used as a market.

Wilde could resist anything but temptation but I think people can happily show restraint, if that is what they wish. Homosexuality is like having blue eyes or being left handed. In the 19th century doctors tried to "cure" it as an illness. We don't, nowadays, though some devoutly religious places, taking their cue from the Holy Bible, kill homosexuals. Had Jesus publicly avowed what he privately felt I should imagine his crucifixion would have come sooner.

bluethread wrote:

Regarding the Greeks and Romans, yes, the Socratic method, roads, viaducts, sewer system and shield wall were great innovations. However, the Greco-Roman sexual innovations can hardly be called the basis for great human advancement.
I think homosexual attraction would have been with us as long as there were human societies. It was not a Greek invention though of course it is called "Greek love." The fact that homosexual activity was proscribed in the Holy Bible suggests it was in evidence.

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Post #36

Post by bluethread »

marco wrote:
By suggesting, reasonably in my view, that Jesus was homosexual I am not simultaneously asserting the Lord acted on his allotted nature. He seems to have kept a firm control of his emotions, with the exception perhaps of his behaviour in the Temple that was being used as a market.

Wilde could resist anything but temptation but I think people can happily show restraint, if that is what they wish. Homosexuality is like having blue eyes or being left handed. In the 19th century doctors tried to "cure" it as an illness. We don't, nowadays, though some devoutly religious places, taking their cue from the Holy Bible, kill homosexuals. Had Jesus publicly avowed what he privately felt I should imagine his crucifixion would have come sooner.
I do not believe that His emotions were out of control when He challenged the duplicitous creation of a "court of the gentiles" and the use of such an area as a place to engage in commerce. I see this as an example of what Dr. Laura means when she says, "Violence can be a reasonable response to an unreasonable situation." Regarding a visceral response to male and female anatomy, that is a preference. Therefore, I do not think having blue eyes is the same, while being left handed is a reasonable argument. That said, one must use one's right or left hand in public in the normal course of one's activities, where as one does not have to engage in sexual activities with another person privately or in public. Even at that, I know of no left handed person who does not shake hands using their right hand. So, even if sexual proclivity is genetically determined, sexual activity need not be.

Now, if you are asserting that Yeshua had homosexual proclivities despite engaging in no activities or statements to that effect, I await the presentation of "The Gospel According to Marco", where Yeshua's proclivities in that regard are presented without verbal or physical indications thereof.

I think homosexual attraction would have been with us as long as there were human societies. It was not a Greek invention though of course it is called "Greek love." The fact that homosexual activity was proscribed in the Holy Bible suggests it was in evidence.
Yes, but the fact that it was not regulated indicates that the behavior was indeed outright prohibited. The assertion of reconstructionist Judaism, which is not seriously opposed by the reform Judaism, is that the behavior is not outright prohibited.

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Post #37

Post by marco »

bluethread wrote:
I do not believe that His emotions were out of control when He challenged the duplicitous creation of a "court of the gentiles" and the use of such an area as a place to engage in commerce.
Well in the favourable testimony of his behaviour, they seem to have been. But I wasn't there.
bluethread wrote: Now, if you are asserting that Yeshua had homosexual proclivities despite engaging in no activities or statements to that effect, I await the presentation of "The Gospel According to Marco", where Yeshua's proclivities in that regard are presented without verbal or physical indications thereof.
You are indeed most harsh on poor Marco, bluethread, expecting him "to reap where he has not sown, and gather where he has not strawed."

It is hard to prove the putative Christ's existence never mind what he had for breakfast. One cannot affirm with mathematical certainty what Christ felt. Tales from his adolescence would have given us a clue but tales from his adolescence are not, alas, with us. God knows why.
bluethread wrote:
Yes, but the fact that it was not regulated indicates that the behavior was indeed outright prohibited. The assertion of reconstructionist Judaism, which is not seriously opposed by the reform Judaism, is that the behavior is not outright prohibited.
The many books I have read of the sufferings of people condemned for what they had no say in, namely their innate inclinations, tell me that modern thinking is an advance. There are many things to worry us in this world and I would have thought that, among the least, would be one man's love for another. And if Almighty God frowns from heaven on this, then he has too much time on his divine hands.

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Post #38

Post by bluethread »

marco wrote:
The many books I have read of the sufferings of people condemned for what they had no say in, namely their innate inclinations, tell me that modern thinking is an advance. There are many things to worry us in this world and I would have thought that, among the least, would be one man's love for another. And if Almighty God frowns from heaven on this, then he has too much time on his divine hands.
As your last post affirms, there is nothing to indicate that Yeshua even had homosexual desires, let alone engaged in homosexual activity. Now, you may very well believe that some individuals can not refrain from engaging in homosexual activities. Also, you might consider it do be an improvement of societies for individuals to not have to endure sufferings due to having engaged in those activities. However, I do not see how this in any way indicates the nature of Yeshua's sexual desires, let alone His activities. In addition, it is interesting that you use the rather vague word "love" in this context. Are you asserting that one man can not have love for another man, if that love is not amorous in nature?

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Post #39

Post by marco »

bluethread wrote:

As your last post affirms, there is nothing to indicate that Yeshua even had homosexual desires, let alone engaged in homosexual activity.
I think we are moving from what I outlined to what I do not uphold. I think that the few pieces of information that we have on the unmarried Jesus may point to his being homosexual. It is impossible to say whether he involved himself erotically with others: possibly his famed restraint and not his inclinations dictated his course. One can certainly say that there is no proof. His biographers refrained from giving a physical description of the man so why would they psychoanalyse him?

For you the proposition is unlikely. For me it seems reasonable. Neither of us can affirm anything with cold certainty.
bluethread wrote:

In addition, it is interesting that you use the rather vague word "love" in this context. Are you asserting that one man can not have love for another man, if that love is not amorous in nature?
It is rather unkind to attribute absurdities of opinion to me. As you know the word love enjoys a rainbow of colour in its meanings. The only information we have of Christ's emotional responses are his weeping over a man and a mention of a man "whom Jesus loved." Of course we can interpret these in various ways. This is called a difference of opinion. The proposition that Jesus was homosexual is perfectly reasonable. It may have made him the gentle person he was, not Borgia's brother as you want to suggest. Who knows?

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Post #40

Post by bluethread »

marco wrote:
bluethread wrote:

As your last post affirms, there is nothing to indicate that Yeshua even had homosexual desires, let alone engaged in homosexual activity.
I think we are moving from what I outlined to what I do not uphold. I think that the few pieces of information that we have on the unmarried Jesus may point to his being homosexual. It is impossible to say whether he involved himself erotically with others: possibly his famed restraint and not his inclinations dictated his course. One can certainly say that there is no proof. His biographers refrained from giving a physical description of the man so why would they psychoanalyse him?

For you the proposition is unlikely. For me it seems reasonable. Neither of us can affirm anything with cold certainty.
Well, I have provided reasonable justifications for my viewpoint, complete with cultural references. You seem to have nothing more that the lack of machismo as support for your view. What makes this even more interesting is that, at least in Spartan culture, homosexuality was a sign of machismo.
bluethread wrote:

In addition, it is interesting that you use the rather vague word "love" in this context. Are you asserting that one man can not have love for another man, if that love is not amorous in nature?
It is rather unkind to attribute absurdities of opinion to me. As you know the word love enjoys a rainbow of colour in its meanings. The only information we have of Christ's emotional responses are his weeping over a man and a mention of a man "whom Jesus loved." Of course we can interpret these in various ways. This is called a difference of opinion. The proposition that Jesus was homosexual is perfectly reasonable. It may have made him the gentle person he was, not Borgia's brother as you want to suggest. Who knows?
It is heartening to see that you would consider equating one man's love for another with homosexual attraction absurd. However, I generally do not make presumptions regarding the views of those I have discussions with, but rather enquire as to what is meant. That said, I am still a bit confused as to why you used the cases of third party assertions regarding Yeshua's love (phileo) for a dead man and a reference to Yeshua's love(agape) for one of his talmudim as indications of homosexual in nature. Again, with no unkindness intended, how does one make such a connection, since the Greek for sexual desire is eros? This also speaks to your pointing to a lack of evidence regarding Yeshua's psychological state. Unlike English, Greek does address that in it's use of these terms. Therefore, it appears that at least the texts appear to indicate Yeshua's psychological state in both of these cases as not amorous in nature.

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