Friday, August 1, 2014

The Bible does not condemn Homosexuality: Condoned Homosexual Affection

Possible Homosexual relationships in The Bible.

I wasn't originally going to cover this at all, but I've decided I should.

None of these are provable beyond any shadow of a doubt, they're all ones that have been speculated about before; on all but the first I’ll cover my position is, it's very likely. An important thing to remember is people didn’t think in “Orientations” like we do now, it was much more normal for Sexuality to be "Fluid". And men weren’t as insecure about their masculinity. I for one don’t like to put people in boxes; I think most people are more capable of being “Bisexual” then they might realize.

Ruth and Naomi

Some people see a Lesbian affection here, but I think that Ruth saw Naomi as a surrogate mother. At any rate, Ruth's expression of devotion to Naomi is often cited in wedding ceremonies. Symbolically, their relationship is how the relationship between the Church (Ruth) and Israel (Naomi) is supposed to be.

David and Jonathon

Probably the most infamous Bromance in the Bible (Yes I actually used that word in reference to a Biblical relationship). There are 3 things in the narrative mainly that make people see a possible romantic affection between the 2.

1. 1 Samuel 18: 1-4 “And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father's house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.”

The thing about Jonathon disrobing here is that it’s symbolic of his normal right as Saul’s successor being given to David.

2. 1 Samuel 20:30 “Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother's nakedness?”

This is often read as Saul suspecting such a relationship, and not being happy about it. But the main issue here is he’s accusing Jonathon of betraying his own family. An unrelated note “son of the perverse rebellious woman” is a pretty good literal translation of the Hebrew phrase used here, but the thing lost in translation is that it’s also a vulgarity, some translations have rendered it “Son of a Bitch” but I don’t think even that is harsh enough to convey Saul’s intent here, but also that expression has become more of a generic insult then what Saul is saying.

3. From David’s song mourning Saul and Jonathon’s deaths. 2 Samuel 1:26 “I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, surpassing the love of women.”

That too can be interpreted different ways. Also the timing to remember is this was written well before what would become David's most significant female relationship, Bathsheba.

People who like to compare various Biblical narratives to other myths from Pagan mythology, like to equate David and Jonathon with various mythical heroic Bromances, which are also often interpreted to have homosexual undertones. Gilgamesh and Enkidu, Herakles and Iolaus, Achilles and Patroclus, Orestes and Pylades, Alexander and Hephaestion ect… Modern examples of relationships following this pattern include Hamlet and Horatio, Echolat and Simolor Holmes and Watson, Batman and Robin, Frodo and Sam, House and Wilson ect… The flaw in such an analogy is those follow a more clear Mentor/Student or Hero/Sidekick pattern, in this Biblical example Jonathon is older and yet is the lesser figure.

Daniel

Chapter 1 verse 9 “Now God had brought Daniel into favour and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. ” Again, we don’t have a great deal of detail, but it is interesting.

The New Testament

Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10, Tell the story of a Centurion who asked Jesus  to heal his “Servant” and shows greater faith then all the children of Israel as he knows Jesus can heal him without even being present. The word translated servant has some ambiguity involved, it was common in Rome for soldiers to be engaged in homosexual relationships with younger servants or pupils. Some think this was such a relationship and I think that’s highly possible.

Then there is what Jesus says in Matthew 19 verses 11 and 12. “All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Clearly more then standard definition of “Eunuch” is what Jesus has in mind here. Some see it as simply referring to people for whom a vow of Chastity would be easier than others, or people who are Asexual. But some see him as possibly having Homosexuals, or Transgender/Transsexual or Intersex people ect… I think all those readings could have some truth to them.

I feel like adding, that any Christian who objects to transgender people by saying “God doesn’t make mistakes” does not fully understand Genesis. God only directly created 2 people, Adam, and then Havvah who he cloned from a sample of Adam’s DNA. We are merely imperfect copies of Adam, because of the Fall in Genesis 3 genetic mistakes often happen, and screw ups in the Gender defining chromosomes/hormones ect… can certainly be among those. Remember Biblically we all consist of 3 components, the Body, the Spirit and the Soul. So yes I think a person meant to be a Man could be born in a biologically female body, or visa versa.

And I don’t think such a person seeking an operation would be wrong. A person born blind seeking an operation to restore their sight certainly isn’t. I feel now like directing readers to John Chapter 9.

2 comments:

  1. English translations describe these relationships differently. Since the prohibition against male homosexuality and incest wasn't lifted until The New Testament, I think it would be foolish to claim that these relationships were anything but platonic. Culture and custom should also be taken into consideration.

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    Replies
    1. The word Platonic doesn't mean what you think it means.

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