Thursday, February 7, 2008

David and Jonathan, Jesus and John

One of the country's most senior bishops has argued that the Bible sanctions same-sex relationships, using the bonds between Jesus and John the disciple, and David and Jonathan as examples.

The Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Rev James Jones, a conservative evangelical, expressed the views in a book, A Fallible Church, in which he apologised for objecting to the appointment of the gay cleric Dr Jeffrey John as Bishop of Reading. He was one of nine bishops to sign a public letter criticising the proposed consecration.

Read the article Bishop of Liverpool apologises for opposing gay cleric - The Guardian - 5 february 2008

About the possible homosexuality of Jesus, see Was/is Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus Christ) gay? and also the chapter entitled "Gentle Jesus" in Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century by Graham Robb (the New York Times review of the book can be found here).

Most consciously homosexual depictions of a "Greek" Jesus date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The novelist Jean Lorrain imagined him in 1893 as a hermaphroditic Cupid, a beardless, heavy-lidded Adonis with 'a kind of ambiguous charm'. The American Catholic "R.S.", quoted in Havelock Ellis's "Studies in the Psychology of Sex", thought that Jesus should look like 'some Praxitelean demigod or Flandrin's naked, brooding boy'. He might have appreciated the soft-porn painting "L'Ecole de Platon" by Jean Delville (1897). Swathed in a pinkish robe and flanked by twelve nude disciples with body-builder muscles, 'Plato' is evidently supposed to be Jesus Christ. (p. 245, hb ed.)
The chapter also contains extracts from The Secret Gospel of Mark such as this one:
And going immediately where the young man was, [Jesus] stretched out his hand and raised him up, taking him by the hand. The young man looked on him and loved him, and loved him, and began to beseech him that he might be with him. They came out of the tomb and went into the young man's house for he was rich. After six days Jesus laid charge upon him. and when evening came the young man comes to him with a lined robe thrown over his naked body; and he stayed with him that night, for Jesus was teaching him the mystery of the kingdom of God.

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