His personal life has been the subject of speculation for centuries, and now a leading theologian is claiming that that Jesus was gay, "or at the very least" queer.
Dr. Reverend Bob Shore-Goss, an openly gay senior pastor, who has a doctorate degree in Comparative Religion from Harvard, told Vice
that Christ "subverted masculinities and gender codes" during the time that he lived, when there was not a modern understanding of sexuality.
"At the very least, Jesus was queer, the Queering Christ
author said. "That is to say: He broke the rules of his culture, of heteronormativity. He subverted masculinities and gender codes in his culture. Queer doesn't necessarily mean sexual orientation, but it can include that.
"St. Paul, I would say, would probably be described as a closeted homosexual today, but they didn't have those words at the time."
He continued: "There was no concept of sexual orientation, but there was a concept of gender. So, in the Bible, when a man sleeps with another man like with a woman, it's an abomination. See, the emphasis is on a man betraying his status: He has feminized himself. So it's a gender violation as opposed to a sexual violation.
"The code of masculinity is very strong in the ancient world. Now, homoerotic relationships in the ancient world are really common, especially in the Greek and Roman worlds.
Explaining that passages of the Bible could be used to support his theory, Dr Shore-Goss added: There's hints of it, and then there's readings into it. The hints come from John's Gospel with the "beloved disciple." He and Jesus have an intimate relationship, although there are questions as to who the disciple actually is.
"Anyhow, the beloved disciple is lying on the chest of Jesus at the last supper and is supposedly in his "inner tunic," which is what we would call underwear today. It's a very intimate gesture, and it's a special gesture of affection between the two."
The professor concluded that Christians who claim the Bible condemns homosexuality do not understand its position as a historical document.
"It's funny, because fundamentalists go back and misread these things and get hysterical about it because they do not understand the historical context. They misuse it and they misrepresent their own ideology," he said.
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