4. Possibly Gay Bible Stories
I believe that it is fun to play with the Scriptures to see what they might hold
for us if we are willing to use our imagination. -Thomas Bohache1
The Bible is a big book that is filled with stories. So it's not surprising that some of them involve,
or appear to involve, homosexuality in one way or another. In most cases, though, it's a matter of
interpretation (and imagination). So let your imagination run wild as you read these stories. Imagination
is often the key to a gay interpretation.
Ishmael and Isaac: What did Sarah see?
Strange fire before the Lord
There's something about Joseph
Saul and David
David and Jonathan
Elijah stretched himself upon the child three times
Elisha and the dead boy
The Centurion and his slave
What about the Magi?
Ishmael and Isaac: What did Sarah see?
Sarah (she was called "Sarai" back then) was the first of a long line of barren women who were desperate for children.2
(In the Bible, it is always the women who are barren, never the men.) So she sent Abraham ("Abram") "in unto" her slave, Hagar, so that she could
"obtain children by her." Abraham did as he was told and impregnated Hagar.
Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram,
Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram
hearkened to the voice of Sarai. Sarai ... took Hagar her maid the Egyptian ... and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went
in unto Hagar, and she conceived. Genesis 16:1-4
Soon Sarah became jealous of Hagar, treating her so badly that Hagar ran away. Then an angel appeared and told Hagar to return to her
abusive mistress. So she did, and amid this messed up family life situation, Ishmael was born.
When Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face. And the angel of the LORD found her ... And he said ... Return to
thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands ... Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael.
Fourteen years later, God helped Sarah get pregnant, and Isaac was born.3 Then one day, after Isaac was weaned,
Sarah saw the teenage Ishmael "mocking" his two-year-old brother.
The child [Isaac] grew, and was weaned ... And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham,
The Bible doesn't say what Ishmael did to "mock" his little brother, Isaac. But whatever it was it upset Sarah so much that she told
Abraham to abandon Ishmael and his mother, Hagar.
Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son.
Some have suggested that Ishmael's "mocking" of his younger brother Isaac was of a sexual nature, noting that the same word (tzahak)
is used to describe the behaviour in this verse is used in 26:8 to describe Isaac's
fondling of his wife, Rebekah.4
Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was sporting with Rebekah his wife.
If so, that might explain Sarah's hostility toward Ishmael. But whatever it was, God agreed with Sarah, telling Abraham to abandon Hagar and Ishmael.
And God said unto Abraham ... hearken unto her voice. Genesis 21:12
Maybe God saw what Sarah saw.
Strange fire before the Lord
During the Exodus, Moses took seventy elders up to the mountaintop to see God, along with Aaron and his two sons, Nadab and Abihu.
Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel: and there
was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the
children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink. Exodus 24:9-11
Little else is said about Nadab and Abihu until Leviticus 10, where God burns them to death for offering "strange fire before the Lord."
And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon,
and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them,
and they died before the LORD. Leviticus 10:1-2
The Bible provides no clue about what this "strange fire" might have been, but Howard Eilberg-Schwartz suggests in God's Phallus (pp.189-193)
that it was some type of sexual offense against God -- either failing to avert their gaze while viewing God's nakedness, exposing their
own nakedness to God, or making some type of sexual advance to God.
And that would put the "strange" in "strange fire", now would'nt it?
There's something about Joseph
Joseph was Jacob's favorite child whom he loved more than all his other children, and he made no attempt to hide it from his other sons.
He even made a special "coat of many colors" just for his favorite son. Because of this special treatment, Joseph was hated by his brothers.
Now Israel [AKA Jacob] loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of
many colors. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably
unto him. Genesis 37:3-4
Joseph's coat of many colors
Jacob famously gave Joseph a "coat of many colors," which, according to the argument that I will be calling Gay Joseph Theory (GJT),5
was actually a dress or robe with long sleeves, like that of David's daughter, Tamar -- a dress that kings made for their virgin daughters.
And she had a garment of divers colours upon her: for with such robes were the king's daughters that were virgins apparelled ... And Tamar put
ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours. 2 Samuel 13:18-19
According to the GJT, Jacob, dressed his favorite son in fancy girls' clothes,6
in opposition to the law in
, which says: "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man
put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God." If so, Joseph was a transvestite and an abomination to God.
Be that as it may, one thing was certain: Joseph was annoying. He kept telling his brothers about his dreams where they all worshipped him.
And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them, Hear,
I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood
upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign
over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. And he dreamed yet another
dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance
to me. Genesis 37:5-9
The plot against Joseph
So Joseph's older brothers decided to get rid of him.
They got their chance one day when Joseph came to meet them while they were taking care of the flocks.7
Joseph went after his brethren.... And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh. Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say,
Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams. Genesis 37:17-20
But before they killed him, one of the brothers, Reuben, talked the others out of it. He suggested that they just throw Joseph in a pit
and leave him there. (Reuben planned on coming back and rescuing him later. See the NIV translation)
Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he
might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again. 37:22
"Don't shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don't lay a hand on him." Reuben said this to rescue
him from them and take him back to his father. 37:22 (NIV)
So the brothers stripped Joseph of his girlish robe and threw his highness into a pit.
When Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; And they
took him, and cast him into a pit. 37:23-24
A little later, while they were eating lunch, a caravan of Ishmaelites passed by on their way to Egypt.
And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from
Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt. 37:25
Judah suggested that they sell Joseph to the Ishmaelites, and his brothers said, "OK."
And Judah said unto his brethren ... let us sell him to the Ishmeelites.... And his brethren were content.
Then the story gets confusing. Some Midianites pass by and remove Joseph from the pit and sell him to the Ishmaelites.
Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the
Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt. 37:28
Reuben went to the pit and saw that Joseph was gone, so "he rent his clothes." (Tore his clothes.)
And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes. 37:29
The other brothers weren't upset, though. They just took Joseph's coat, killed a goat, dipped the coat in the blood, brought the bloody coat back to Jacob,
and said, "Hey, look what we found. It looks like Joseph's gay coat, doesn't it?"
His brethren ... took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; And they sent the coat
of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no.
Jacob recognized the coat and assumed that an animal ate Joseph. So he rent his clothes and put sackcloth on his loins. (This is the
first stage of biblical grief. The next is putting ashes on your head and falling on your face.)
And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces. And
Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins. 37:33-34
Then the Midianites sold Joseph to the captain of Pharaoh's guard, Potiphar.
The Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard. 37:36
(I know, the Midianites sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites in 37:28
, but I guess the Ishmaelites sold him back
again to the Midianites who then sold him to Potiphar.)
But then, just when you thought you had the whole Midianite/Ishmaelite thing straightened out, there's this verse to confuse you again.
And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him
of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither. 39:1
So I guess the Midianites sold Joseph one more time to the Ishmaelites.
(The GJT says that one of the main reasons that Joseph was hated by his brothers was that he was gay.8 The
Midianites/Ishmaelites took a liking to Joseph because they too were gay, and were, therefore, attracted to Joseph.9)
Joseph in Egypt
Be that as it may, Potiphar found Joseph attractive too.
Joseph found grace in his [Potiphar's] sight ... He left all that he had in Joseph's hand ... And Joseph was a goodly person,
and well favoured. 39:4-6
There was more to it than that, though, according to the Gay Joseph Theory:
[W]e are returned to Joseph's initial career as one who 'found favor' in the eyes of Potiphar (39:1-6). ...
While we may suppose that finding favor in the sight of someone is but a metaphor, it also ... is suggestive of erotic attraction.10
Potiphar's wife also thought Joseph was quite attractive.
His master's wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. Genesis 39:7
But Joseph didn't like sex with women11
(or he didn't find Potiphar's wife attractive, or he didn't want to commit adultery, or....), so he ran
away from her.
And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled. Genesis 39:12
Girolamo Forabosco (1605-1679) Story of Joseph & Potiphar's Wife
Potiphar's wife accused Joseph of trying to rape her, so he was thrown into prison. But the jailer took a liking to him. (GJT:
He was gay, too.)12
But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
Later, when Joseph was called to interpret Pharaoh's dream, he shaved and dressed up a bit. (Which according to the GJT is something only
gay men like to do.)13
Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and
changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. Genesis 41:14
And Joseph became Pharaoh's favorite guy.
Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain
about his neck. Genesis 41:42
Abraham Bloemaert, Joseph and his brothers in Egypt, ca. 1600
Pharaoh gave Joseph a wife who gave him two sons. According to Jennings, he did this to hide his continuing homosexual affair with Joseph.
The attempted reheterosexualization of Joseph occurs again in relation to Pharaoh, who gives Joseph a wife.14
But later, Joseph's father (Jacob/Israel) took his children from him, as though he was their father, not Joseph. This made Joseph
(according to the GJT) the surrogate mother and wife to his own father.
Now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt,
are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. Genesis 48:5
Here's a Jennings quote to clarify that for you:
Jacob functions as the father in the place of Joseph. Quite dramatically, the sons born to Joseph become instead sons born to Jacob.
Insofar as Joseph has any role here it is that of 'wife' of Jacob and 'mother' of the two sons.15
Saul and David
Saul and David had a rough and rocky relationship, with lots of intrigue, warfare, and murderous plots. But some say there was a softer side to it
-- that David and Saul were actually lovers. It's a strange tale that is seldom told and seldom believed. Much of the argument hinges upon a single verse:
David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer.
1 Samuel 16:21
According to Keith Sharpe in The Gay Gospels
, armour bearers were young men that were chosen for their good looks, who served as
homoerotic companions to the older soldiers who selected them.16
Saul selected David as his, saying to Jesse, David's father:
Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight. 1 Samuel 16:22
Donatello - David
But there's more to it than that. Apparently verse 16:22 can be translated to read, "David came to Saul and had an erection before
It all depends upon a single assumed vowel in the Hebrew text.
But Saul wasn't David's only (alleged) homoerotic companion; he had a similar but much more notorious affair with Jonathan.
David and Jonathan
This story seems, to me anyway, the most likely of of all of the possibly gay Bible stories. There was
a special relationship between Jonathan
and David. And it
involved a love of one kind or another. But what was the nature of that love? To decide that, we need to go through the relevant material in the Bible.
Knit with the soul of David
This is the first mention of the relationship between David and Jonathan in the Bible. Apparently it was love at first sight.
The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
1 Samuel 18:1
As a sign of his love, Jonathan took off his robe, garments, and girdle, and gave them to David.
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 ... and his girdle. 18:3-4
Lord Frederick Leighton (Jonathan's Token to David, c.1868)
Jonathan (obviously) delighted much in David.
Jonathan ... delighted much in David. 19:2
The special relationship between Jonathan and David continued to grow. Jonathan swore he'd do whatever David wanted him to do,
and together they went out into the field, where they swore, once again, their love for each other.
David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes ... Then said Jonathan
unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee. 20:3-4
And Jonathan said unto David, Come, and let us go out into the field. And they went out both of them into the field.
And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
To the confusion of thy mother's nakedness
Saul was angered by his son's relationship with David and said, "do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine
own confusion of thy mother's nakedness?"
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?
Here is how Jennings in Jacob's Wound
makes sense out of the "confusion" and "mother's nakedness" business.18
[I]n having an erotic/sexual relationship with David, Jonathan has had a relationship with someone who has had sexual relations
with his father, and thus he has exposed his father's nakedness. ... Intimacy with David exposes the nakedness of David's first
lover (Saul) and thus of that sexual partner of Saul's who is also Jonathan's mother.
David and Jonathan "La Somme le Roy", 1290 AD
So Saul and David were lovers.19
Then Saul's son, Jonathan, fell in love with David, which caused the confusion
of Jonathan's perverse mother's nakedness. Or something like that.
And they kissed one another until David exceeded
David and Jonathan "kissed one another, and wept with one another" when they parted for, what they thought might be, the last time.
And they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded. 20:41
And here's what an article at ReligiousTolerance.org says about the whole David "exceeded" thing.20
The original Hebrew text says that they kissed each other and wept together until David became large. The word which means
"became large" in this passage is "gadal" in the original Hebrew. The same word is used elsewhere in the Hebrew Scriptures to refer to
King Solomon being greater than all other kings. Some theologians interpret "gadal" in this verse as indicating that David had an erection.
Jonathan Lovingly Taketh His Leave of David by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld
Passing the love of women
David loved Jonathan more than women. (And he loved lots of women!)21
I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful,
passing the love of women. 2 Samuel 1:26
Although conservatives deny that there was a homosexual relationship between Jonathan and David,22
liberals are certain
that there was. Here, for example is what Tom Horner says in his book Jonathan Loved David
: "There can be little doubt, except on the part of
those who absolutely refuse to believe it, that a homosexual relationship existed between David and Jonathan."23
Elijah stretched himself on the child three times
When Elijah was staying at a widow's house, her son became ill and died.
The son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. 1 Kings 17:17
Elijah told the woman to give him the dead child. He then took the boy to his room and laid him on his bed.
And he [Elijah] said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.
Elijah then stretched himself upon the child three times, and asked God to bring him back to life.24
And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again.
And God heard him and cured the boy.
And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. 1 Kings 17:22
Here is Keith Sharpe's response in The Gay Gospels
Why does Elijah insist on doing this in private, and why does he get on top of the boy three times? ... Obviously it looks like some kind of sexual act which might be real
Theodore Jennings suspects that the boy's warming flesh was an erection, like old King David's heat in 1 Kings 1:1-4
After the first intimate action in Elisha's bed, we are told that the lad's flesh becomes warm. ... [T]he warming of the body
by bodily proximity seems to aim at sexual arousal as the sign of bodily vitality.26
Elisha and the dead boy
Elisha27 was Elijah's disciple, and when it came to raising little boys from the dead, his master must have taught him well.
The story begins when a woman from Shunem befriends Elisha. She immediately recognized him as a man of God, so she fed him and asked her husband to give him a place to stay.
Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.
And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and
let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither. 2 Kings 4:8-10
So Elisha stayed in the room they made for him.
And... he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there. 4:11
Elisha wanted to repay the woman and her husband. So he asked his servant, Gehazi, to look into it. Gehazi said, "Well, she has no children and her husband is old."
He said to Gehazi his servant ... What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old. 4:12-14
Which gave Elisha an idea. He'd make the old woman pregnant!
He said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door. And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son.
The woman thought that was a crazy idea. She and her husband were too old to have kids.
And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid. 4:164:16
But Elisha made her pregnant anyway. And she had a baby boy. (In the Bible boys always result from miracle pregnancies.)28
And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life. 4:17
Years later, the boy was out helping his dad when he grabbed his head and cried out, "My head, My head."
When the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers. And he said unto his father, My head, my head. 4:18-19
By the time they got back to the house, the boy was dead.
And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. 4:20
The woman put her dead son on Elisha's bed and went to find Elisha on Mount Carmel.
And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out. So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel.
When she found him, she said, "Why did you give me a son? I didn't ask for one!"
Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me? 4:28
Elisha responded by telling his servant Gehazi to gird his loins, go back to Shunem, and lay Elisha's staff on the face of the child.
He said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way ... and lay my staff upon the face of the child. 4:29
So Gehazi traveled to Shunem and laid Elisha's staff on the dead boy's face. (The body must have been a bit stinky by now since Shunem is about 20 miles from Mount Carmel.)29
And Gehazi ... laid the staff upon the face of the child. 4:31a
But shucks! The magic trick didn't work.
But there was neither voice, nor hearing. 4:31b
Gehazi went back to Mount Carmel to tell Elisha the bad news.
Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, The child is not awaked. 4:31b
So Elisha returned to Shunem to take care of things himself. When he arrived, he went into the room, closed the door, and prayed to God.
And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD.
Then he lay down on top of the dead boy's body, put his mouth on the boy's mouth, his eyes on the boy's eyes, and his hands on the boy's hands.
And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands. 4:34a
While still in this position, he stretched himself upon the dead boy's body until the flesh began to warm.
And [he] stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm. 4:34b
But Elisha still wasn't through. He got off of the boy and walked around a bit.
Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro. 4:35a
Then he lay down on top of the warming body until the boy sneezed seven times.
And [he] went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times. 4:35b
And with that, the boy opened his eyes.
And the child opened his eyes. 4:35c
Now that was a strange story, wasn't it? But it might be even stranger. Here's how Keith Sharpe explains it in The Gay Gospels, "Obviously the staff ... is a symbol for Elisha's penis.
However ... without the rest of his body being there to call down the full force of Yahweh's energy the penis substitute is impotent."30
The miracle required the real thing. When Elisha supplied that, the boy's dead body became warm. And when the boy came to life for real, he sneezed seven times.
Jennings, as usual, goes a bit further suggesting that there was more to this sneezing thing than meets the eye.
Sneezing ... is like another act -- the act of ejaculation. [E]jactulating seven times is a sign of rather extraordinary vitality. ... Elisha's act of getting upon the boy ... is an
act of sexual arousal, whose success is represented not only by erection ... but also by multiple ejaculation.31
Anyway, the story shows how much God loves homosexuality. But then I guess that's kind of obvious, what with Leviticus 20:1332 and all.
The Centurion and his slave
A somewhat contradictory story is told in the gospels of Matthew and Luke about a centurion and his male slave. The centurion asked Jesus (directly in Matthew, indirectly in Luke) to cure his ill slave,
which Jesus did (immediately in Matthew, a bit later in Luke).
Here's the story from Matthew:
And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith
unto him, I will come and heal him ... And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
And here's the story from Luke:
A certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would
come and heal his servant ... And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick. Luke 7:2-10
What was the nature of the relationship between the centurion and his slave? Keith Sharpe in The Gay Gospels says that the relationship between the centurion and his slave was "a same sex loving
relationship."33 And Jeffrey John in The Meaning in the Miracles suggests that "the probability that the relationship was homosexual would not have escaped Jesus, Matthew,
There's a story in the book of Acts about a centurion named Cornelius.
There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion. Acts 10:1
Peter thought it would be unlawful to let a gentile into the church, but God showed him otherwise. No one is to be rejected, not even gentiles.
He [Peter] said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that
I should not call any man common or unclean. 10:28
So Peter baptized Cornelius.
Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.
And so the question is this: Would Peter have felt the same way about homosexuals? Would he have baptised Cornelius if he knew he was gay?
Sharpe believes that Peter would have done so, and considers Cornelius to be a prototype of gay Christians, who are still "waiting for Peter" to let them in.35
And what about the Magi?
I'll end this chapter with the last (and most improbable) of the possibly gay Bible characters -- the Magi.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented
unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:11
Yes, it turns out that "Jesus had gay fairy godmothers," as evidenced by the fact that they "had the forethought to go shopping before they visited the baby
Okay, so that's (almost37) all the gay and possibly gay Bible stories,38 except for the stories about eunuchs, that is. They are presented in the next chapter.
- Thomas Bohache, "To Cut or Not to Cut" in
Take Back the Word:
A Queer Reading of the Bible, p.228.
- Barren women in the Bible: Sarah (Genesis 16:1); Rebekah
(Genesis 25:21); Leah (Gen 29:31);
Rachel (Genesis 30:1); Manoah's wife, Samson's mother
(Judges 13:2); Hannah, Samuel's mother
(1 Samuel 1:5); Elizabeth, John the Baptist's mother
- Abraham was 86 years old when Ishmael was born.
And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.
And he was 100 years old when Isaac was born.
The Lord visited Sarah ... and ... did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age.
And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.... And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his
son Isaac was born unto him. Genesis 21:1-5
So, according to the Genesis story, Ishmael was 14 years older than Isaac.
- The Hebrew verb tzahak ... can mean 'to laugh with' as well as 'to fondle sexually,' as it does in the story
about Rebecca and Isaac fondling each other in Gerar (Gen. 26:8)" Gerald Larue,
Sex and the Bible,
p. 99; See also Jonathan Kirsch, Moses: A Life, p. 48-51.
- For details on the Gay Joseph Theory (GJT) see Theodore W.Jennings, Jr.,
Wound: Homoerotic Narrative in the Literature of Ancient Israel, pp. 177-196.
- "We seem to be left with the rather astonishing bit of news that Joseph is wearing ('classy') girls' clothes." Ibid., p. 181.
- Jacob sent Joseph to check up on his brothers who were tending flocks in Shechem, which was about fifty miles north of Hebron. When
Joseph arrived in Shechem, he found out that his brothers weren't there, but were another thirteen miles away in Dothan. The entire trip
must have taken poor Joseph a week or so.
- "Jacob/Israel has produced the queer Joseph, transvested him.... And the progeny of Israel have engaged in the first instance
of queer bashing." Ibid., p. 182.
- "But what is remarkable about Joseph's subsequent career is that he survives by being taken under the wing of a succession of more
powerful males. ... Thus it seems that at every phase of his career, Joseph is carried upon a wave of masculine desire." Ibid., pp. 183-4.
- Ibid., 183.
- "Joseph has no apparent desire for the woman [Potiphar's wife] who throws herself at him." Ibid., p. 188.
- "[H]e seems to do well on account of his benefactor, the chief jailer. In this, Joseph's experience seems not too unlike
that of men in prison even today; survival depends upon a powerful male benefactor, who may exchange protection for sexual favors." Ibid., p. 184.
- "When Pharaoh summons Joseph to himself to undertake the interpretation of a dream, he takes the precaution of presenting
his notorious beauty to best advantage: 'When he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh.' (41:14). ...
Joseph's being made once again the favorite of a more powerful male." Ibid., p. 184.
- Ibid., p. 189.
- Ibid., 189.
- "The role of amour bearer at that time meant a lasting close emotional homoerotic bond that was established
between an older warrior and a handsome younger male, chosen for his good looks, who would be his constant companion." Keith Sharpe, The Gay Gospels:
Good News for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered People, pp. 126-7.
- "The Hebrew of 16:21 could have originally been intended to read ... 'and he had an erection in his presence.'" Kamal Salibi,
The Historicity of Biblical Israel, pp. 138-39.
- Theodore W. Jennings, Jr., Jacob's
Wound: Homoerotic Narrative in the Literature of Ancient Israel, p. 17.
- See Possibly Gay Bible Stories: Saul and David
- ReligiousTolerance.org: Same-Sex Relationships
in the Bible/David and Jonathan/1 Samuel 20:41
- No one knows how many wives and concubines David had, but he had at least ten of each.
Michal, 1 Samuel 18:27
Abigail, 1 Samuel 25:42
Ahinoam, 1 Samuel 25:43
Maacah, 2 Samuel 3:3
Haggith, 2 Samuel 3:4
Abital, 2:Samuel 3:4
Eglah, 2 Samuel 3:5
"And David took him more concubines and wives." 2 Samuel 5:13
Bathsheba, 2 Samuel 11:27
"David ... took the ten women his concubines...." 2 Samuel 20:3
"None of these texts, taken singly or as a collective whole, provide persuasive support for a homosexual
relationship between David and Jonathan." Robert A. J. Gagnon,
The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics, p. 153.
Jonathan Loved David: Homosexuality in Biblical Times, p. 20.
- A similar story is told about Paul in Acts with the reviving of Eutychus.
Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. Acts 20:10
- Keith Sharpe, The Gay Gospels:
Good News for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered People, p. 132.
- Theodore Jennings, Jr., Jacob's
Wound: Homoerotic Narrative in the Literature of Ancient Israel, 103.
- Elisha is perhaps best known for sending two bears to kill 42 boys for making fun of his bald head.
As he [Elisha] was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up,
thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and
two children of them. 2 Kings 2:23-24
- Here is a list of the Bible's miracle births. All resulted in baby boys.
Isaac, Genesis 18:10-15, 21:1-2
Jacob and Esau, Genesis 25:21-26
Joseph, Genesis 30:22-24
Samson, Judges 13:2-24
Samuel, 1 Samuel 1:5-20
The Shunammite woman's son 2 Kings 4:14-17
John the Baptist, Luke 1:5-13
Jesus, Luke 1:27-38
- Map - Shunam to Mount Carmel
- Sharpe, The Gay Gospels, 133.
- Jennings, Jacob's Wound, 104.
- "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."
- Sharpe, The Gay Gospels,121.
- Jeffrey John, The Meaning in the Miracles, 159.
See also "Matthew and Mary of Magdala" by Thomas Hanks in Take Back the Word, 191. "Matthew recognized the sexual dimension of the centurion's love for his slave and presented
Jesus as blessing the relationship."
- "Cornelius is in a real sense the prototype of gay Christians." Sharpe, The Gay Gospels, 184.
- Wilson, Outing the Bible, 95-6.
- There are a few more stories, but they involve the re-interpretation of entire books. The following quotations are taken from Take Back the Word:
Exodus: "The themes of enslavement, exodus, wilderness wanderings, promised land, and exile, parallel the stories of queer Christians who risk the security of their closets to
find wholeness in relation to God and the believing community." Mona West, "Outsiders, Aliens, and Boundary Crossers: A Queer Reading of the Hebrew Exodus", 73.
Song of Solomon: "[Q]ueer folk have every reason to take up the Song of Songs with confidence that it affirms our own ways of loving, desiring, and bonding sexually with others." Christopher King,
"Love as Fierce as Death: Reclaiming the Song of Songs for Queer Lovers", 142.
Ezekiel: "The book of Ezekiel is about an exiled community moving from devastation to reconstruction; it is the story of a community affected by HIV reconstructing its future."
Jim Mitulski, "Ezekiel Understands Aids", 153.
Jonah: "In this essay, Sharon Bezner reads the story of Jonah as a modern-day queer parable in which Jonah is identified with the religious right and the Ninevites are queer people living
in San Francisco." From the introduction to "A Queer Reading of the Book of Job", 161.
Galatians: "Paul's letter to the Galatian churches has a particular message of liberation for queers who are seeking to reconcile their sexuality and their spirituality, just as it
did for those original readers who were wondering what they had to do as Gentile outsiders to embrace the new Christian faith. ... We do not have to circumcise the foreskins of our
sexual orientation in order to be acceptable to Almighty God." "To Cut or Not to Cut: Is Compulsory Heterosexuality a Prerequisite for Christianity?", Thomas Bohache, 228, 235.