Monday, April 6, 2015

Did Jesus Talk about Homosexuality?

Apr 6, 2015 @ 0:13 by

One is no longer surprised to read in discussions about same-sex relations — in church or in society at large — that Jesus did not bring the matter to the surface. In fact, some have said he never said a word about it. Some, of course, draw a conclusion from this: Therefore, it was not important to him (and should not be to us). There is a case to be made for such a conclusion about Jesus but arguing from silence to what should be done today is a careless game to play.

But let’s dig back to the question: Did Jesus talk about homosexuality? I shall present today a mild case that in fact he possibly did.

Before we get started, it needs to be emphasized that Jesus never explicitly says anything about same-sex relations though there are three texts that could mention or imply same-sex relations. We are dealing here then with ancient texts, evidence, and historical probabilities. I will move from the least likely to the most likely — if he did talk about it. [I have a chp on this topic in A Fellowship of Differents, but there the discussion is about Paul with only a clipped footnote on Jesus, where I mention Matt 11:7, and left it at that ... I could have gone on and on but it was a footnote.]

One more prefatory word. The most significant scholar in the world on this topic for biblical studies is William R. Loader, who has written more than a half a dozen books on this topic, and he has summarized all of his decade long studies in a short book called Making Sense of Sex. The more extensive one for New Testament studies is called The New Testament on Sexuality. His books are not reduced to discussions about same-sex relations but are about the breadth of Jewish beliefs about sexuality. Along with my commendation of his historical research must come this: (1) he thinks the Bible and Judaism of that time are uniformly and unequivocally against same-sex relations and (2) he is personally progressive about the topic, which means this: he thinks the Bible is against it but he thinks the Bible got this one wrong.


Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2015/04/06/did-jesus-talk-about-homosexuality/#ixzz3WXVsaZw7

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