Gay Relationships in the Bible
Were Ruth and Naomi lesbians? Were John and Jesus lovers? Was the Apostle Paul a latent homosexual? How about Jonathan and David?
An increasing number of writers, in their attempt to justify homosexually and the Bible, endeavor to prove that there are examples of homosexual relationships in the Bible. Is what they write true or are they grasping for straws? It is worth noting that the people who seek to make something out of what does not readily appear to exist nearly always are people who readily discredit the Bible. Few of those people take a high view of the Scriptures.
I don’t believe the Bible merely contains the Word of God. I believe the Bible is the Word of God … and I am a homosexual. Whether or not the Bible contains accounts to legitimize relationships is very secondary to me. I do not need such accounts to legitimize who and what I am.
Now let’s look at what some believe are homosexual relationships in the Bible:
- First were Ruth and Naomi lesbians? Were they involved in a lesbian relationship? I think not! Ruth had accepted the God of Naomi. She had been married to one of Naomi’s sons who had died. Naomi was a Jew (Ruth 1:6) whereas Ruth was a Gentile (Ruth 1:4, 15, 22). Ruth’s in the line through which Messiah would eventually be born (Mt: 1:5). Ruth’s allegiance to Naomi was knit because of the fact that she had become a spiritual Jew herself. The story of Ruth and Naomi is a very beautiful account of a deep, abiding friendship that developed between mother and daughter-in-law. This story has nothing to do with an intimate sexual relationship between these two women. If it had been a lesbian relationship that would have been fine, however we need not make something out of that which probably did not exist. See Ruth 1:12; 2:8-9, 19a, 20; 4:10-18.
- The second assumption of some is that there was something going on between John and Jesus. Remember it is possible for two men or two women to have a loving friendship with each other without sexual intimacy. Jesus undoubtedly had a special fondness for John. Jesus saw John as one who would become the apostle of love. There is nothing in scripture that indicates or infers that Jesus ever had either a heterosexual or a homosexual encounter with anyone. Jesus was human but he also was deity.
- A third assumption is that the apostle Paul was a latent homosexual. If anything Paul was probably asexual. He was so involved after his conversion to Christ that he felt he had no time to be involved in maintaining a family.
- How about Jonathan and David? If there is any account of a homosexual relationship in the Bible it is this account. I don’t know if there was a homosexual love between these men. They probably were not homosexuals. Both David and Jonathan had wives and were married heterosexually. That David and Jonathan deeply loved each other few will deny.
The Bible tells us that David “…was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features.” (I Sam. 16:12). In another place this comment is made, “He looked David over and saw that he was only a boy, ruddy and handsome…” (I Sam. 17:42).
We read about Jonathan and David’s first meeting in I Sam: 1-3: “after David had finished talking with Saul (the father of Jonathan), Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and Jonathan loved David as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father’s house. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.”
I’m enough of a romantic to appreciate the beauty of the beginnings of this very lovely and beautiful relationship that developed from this point on between these two men. Why do so many Christians refuse to concede the possibility of two men or two women deeply in love with one another?
-- Jerry Cook