If conservative followers of Jesus Christ didn’t have enough to be outraged about this month, a new interview with Vice featuring a prominent religious scholar and senior pastor arguing that Jesus was gay might do the trick.
Dr. Reverend Bob Shore-Goss has been writing books about possible allusions to Christ’s homosexuality for several years, and in that time, he’s managed to turn up some interesting claims.
One of Shore’s primary examples involves the story of Jesus healing the servant of a Centurion man. This miracle is often used as an example of Christ’s love for even those considered Gentiles or unclean, but for Shore it gives important clues about Jesus’ attitude toward homosexuality.
“As a matter of fact, one of Jesus’s miracles is the healing the Centurion’s boy. It’s in Matthew and Luke. Matthew uses the word ‘pais’—you get the word pederasty from it, it means youth—to describe this boy, who is essentially a concubine to the Centurian. It’s an erotic relationship. He comes to Jesus and asks for his boy to be healed. And Jesus asks if he should heal him, and he says, ‘I’m not worthy that you should come under my roof, but say the word and my boy will be healed.’ Jesus says about the faith of the Centurion, who is in a homoerotic relationship, that ‘there is no greater faith than I’ve encountered in Israel.'”
Shore also says that there is significant evidence that Christ himself engaged in gay relationships with one of his disciples, the one referred to as “beloved” in the gospel of John.
“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.”
While Shore’s theories may seem like shock bait to some, at the core of his argument is the idea that Christ was a fully perfect being with a fully developed sexuality to go along with it. Sexuality cannot be imperfect, he says, because it is all part of a human reflection of God.
“If Jesus was fully human, he must have been fully erotic. That would mean that sexuality was a positive thing, because we need to reclaim the fact that sexuality is a great and good thing, whatever sexuality that you are. So, you see where I’m coming from? I want to say that all sexualities are an original blessing because we’re made in the image of God.”
Of course, theories about Christianity are as varied as the followers who make up the faith. Last year’s The Lost Gospel stirred up controversy worldwide for its claim that Christ did, in fact, marry Mary Magdalene and father multiple children with her. Simcha Jacobovici, one of the book’s authors, penned an editorial for Huffington Post to explain his research.
“I think the reason for all this negativity is that the proof for the historical marriage between Jesus of Nazareth and the woman known as Mary the Magdalene has become overwhelming. Even before our findings, everything — everything — pointed to a marriage, and nothing — nothing — argued for Jesus’ celibacy. The only thing that continues to argue for Jesus’ celibacy is 2000 years of theological bullying… None of the four Gospels say that Jesus was celibate.”
You can read the full interview about Jesus Christ’s sexuality at Vice.
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