Two rather odd things about Jesus Christ

christopheranton By christopheranton, 1st Jan 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

One of the most controversial figures in history has been Jesus Christ. Some say He never existed, despite the evidence. Others claim that He condemmed things that He actually affirmed
How very odd?

The truth can sometimes be disturbing.

Perhaps the most written about personality in history is Jesus Christ, and yet despite the plethora of ink that has been spilled on the subject of this person, the very mention of His name can excite very different emotions. Some love Him with all their hearts as their Lord and Redeemer, others use his name as a stick to beat anyone who tries to live life outside of a very smothering form of morality, that they say is the only way of living that He would approve of. Still others will maintain that He was never an historical figure at all. That the stories of His life and works were invented by control freaks, with but one purpose, to extend and consolidate the servitude of the masses in slavish ignorance.

It is to counter both of these views that I am writing this article. I do not propose to express any opinion directly as to whether Jesus was, or is God. But I do wish to address, first the issue of the historicity of Christ, and secondly evidence that He may very well have given warm approval to a form of relationship not generally lauded by the majority of His adherents today.


The Historicity of Jesus Christ.
It is one of the oddest things in the world that the person who has the best contemporary attestation of anyone from his era should be considered by anyone to be a fictional character. Yet that is undoubtedly the case with Jesus. If I had a dollar for everytime I have come across someone either writing or saying that Jesus Christ is a "Fairytale character", I would be a millionaire by now. If I stood up and lectured about Augustus or Cleopatra, and even hinted that I doubted their historical authenticity, the men in white coats would probably come to take me away before I had finished my sentence. But the earliest written information we have that testifies to the life and careers of both these personages date from later than The Gospels that tell of the life of the Carpenter from Nazareth.

The first of The Gospels to have been written is The Gospel of Mark. This has been reliably dated to the sixties AD, and was likely written by someone who actually knew the principal character.


Matthew's Gospel was written around the eighties AD.
Luke's Gospel was also written around the eighties to nineties AD. Parts of Luke's and Matthew's accounts were probably based on Mark as there is a great similarity in certain passages.


The Gospel of John was most likely written in the nineties.
The Epistles of Paul were written in the fifties AD.


There is a debate amongst scholars as to the date of composition of The Book of Revelations. Some put it as being written prior to the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 Ad. Others date it to the reign of The Emperor Domitian in the nineties.


The Acts of The apostles were probably written around 62/64 AD.


In addition to these canonical sources there is reference to Jesus in Josephus's "The Wars of the Jews" written around
75/80 AD. Josephus was a jewish man who collaborated with Rome, and was very hostile to early christians.
In addition to these sources there are extant innumerable near contemporary references in a variety of non canonical gospels, i,e The Gospel of Thomas, and The Gospel of Philip.
There is also a reference to Christ in the undoubtedly hostile Annals of Tacitus,(A roman historian).

Ok, so we have all these written sources to use as evidence for Jesus Christ, who some people doubt existed.
So what do we have for those undisputed historical figures, The Emperor Augustus, and Cleopatra Queen of Egypt.
Our knowledge of the lives and careers of these famous and powerful personages are derived from three main sources,
The "Histories" and "Annals" of Tacitus, "The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius, and "The History" of Dio Cassius.


Tacitus was writing around the mid second century AD, so he was testifying to the lives of people who had died at least one hundred years before, Augustus in AD 14, and Cleopatra in BC 30.
Suetonius was writing also in the later second century AD, and Dio Cassius in the third century AD.
How peculiar that people can not doubt the details in the lives of these people, yet their histories are written down much later from their deaths than the histories of Jesus.
Perhaps some people prefer to disbelieve. It is not, however, scholarly to do

Jesus approved of Homosexual Relations.

“Not everyone can accept this teaching, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.” (Matthew 19:11-12)
The above passage has in recent years caused a lot of controversy in christian circles. Most of us have the belief that a eunuch is a castrated male human. That was the case for a large part of recent history. We have only to think of the harems in Ottaman Turkey or Imperial China to know that. But that wasnt always what the word meant. That is not what Jesus understood it to mean. In ancient times the term eunuch referred to men who had no interest in sexual relations with women.

"there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others" = castrated males.

"and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven" = celibate, as in priests.

"For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth" = homosexual men

Note, no condemmnation, just a simple statement of the facts.



There is also the curious story of the roman centurion and his sick servant.

In the roman army it was the rule that serving soldiers were not allowed to marry. This ban was in force until it was abolished by the Emperor Septimus Severus in 197 AD. It was not unusual for soldiers to have relationships with people they were not allowed to marry. This sometimes included same sex relationships.

In the accounts in the Gospels the word used to describe the beloved servant of the roman centurion in Matthew and Luke was the greek "pais". When they referred to other servants they used the word "Doulus". There is no other instance in the entire New Testament where servants are regarded as any other than "doulus",( which means simply servant or slave). The word "pais" however in ancient greek is always used to refer to same sex lovers.

The following three examples will illustrate the point.

Thucydides writes of Agathon, 445-400 BC, the pais, same sex lover of Pausanias, King of Sparta, in History of the Peloponnesian War. Their relationship began when Agathon was 18 and continued for twenty years.

Eupolis, a playwright, 446-411 BC, references Agathon, an exceptionally good-looking man who, in his late teens, was the paidika or pais of Pausanias. Their same sex relationship continued to flourish when Agathon was in his thirties.


Aeschines, 390-314 BC, Athenian poet, in Against Timarchos, charged rival politician Timarchos with having lived off his relationships with older men. In such relationships, the older man was called the erastes or the lover, and the younger man was called the eromenos or paidika or pais, the boyfriend. Paidika is derived from pais.

There are others that I could show as well, but I think these three should be sufficient for now.

Nowhere in the story of the centurion does Jesus say "You are an abomination. Take your servant and wait at the gates of Hell" instead he says "I have found no greater faith than this in all Israel".
The servant/same sex lover gets cured.

Makes you think. Doesnt it?

Tags

Acts Of The Apostles, Annals Of Tacitus, Augustus, Book Of Revelations, Centurion, Christ, Cleopatra, Curing The Centurion, Dio Cassius, Eunuch, Gospel Of John, Gospel Of Luke, Gospel Of Mark, Gospel Of Matthew, Gospels, Historicity Of Jesus, Homosexuality, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Jesuss Attitude To Homosexual Relationships, Josephus, New Testament, Roman Historians, S Servant, Strange Facts About Jesus Christ, Suetonius, Tacitus, Three Categories Of Eunuch, Two Odd Things About Jesus, When The Gospels Were Written

Meet the author

author avatar christopheranton
Born in Ireland, but living in London since 1986, my main interests are reading, studying history, politics, and theology, and looking after the welfare of my cat. I like to write on a variety of subjects, make general observations on lifes dilemmas....(more)

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Comments

author avatar Carol
1st Jan 2011 (#)

Thank you for that very interesting article, and a Happy New Year to you

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author avatar christopheranton
1st Jan 2011 (#)

Thank you Carol

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author avatar Denise O
2nd Jan 2011 (#)

Yes it does make one think.
Very interesting and fact based article. Good work my friend.
May you and yours have a happy and healthy new year.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar christopheranton
2nd Jan 2011 (#)

Thanks Denise, and Happy New year to you also.

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author avatar Highlander1
3rd Jan 2011 (#)

Very Thoughtful work. Have a great New Year.
L.M.L.

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author avatar christopheranton
3rd Jan 2011 (#)

Thanks Highlander1, and
Have a great New Year yourself.

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author avatar SiddiQ
5th Jan 2011 (#)

This is intriguing. Well done and Happy New Year!

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author avatar christopheranton
5th Jan 2011 (#)

Thanks SiddiQ.

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author avatar angelnjuly
5th Jan 2011 (#)

He probably has the most intrigues among the most popular personalities in the world. I was not with Him when He was here, but I do believe in Him. Interesting article Chris! Stick to what you believe~ Happy New Year!!!

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author avatar christopheranton
5th Jan 2011 (#)

angelnjuly.
Thanks for all your supportive comments,
and Happy New Year to you also.

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author avatar Retired
5th Jan 2011 (#)

Very interesting article

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author avatar christopheranton
5th Jan 2011 (#)

Thank you Lucia.

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author avatar Greenfaol
10th Jan 2011 (#)

Another excellent article, another thought-provoker. I honestly believe that Jesus was a real person. i also believe he hated no-one, would not turn his back on anyone and was a genuinely good person. I also feel that all good people do not judge another adults sexuality with other adults.

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author avatar christopheranton
10th Jan 2011 (#)

Thanks Greenfaol.
That is just the kind
of attitude that they could do
with more of in the world.

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author avatar Retired
11th Jan 2011 (#)

Very interesting piece.

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author avatar christopheranton
12th Jan 2011 (#)

Thank you for reading Martin

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
2nd Mar 2011 (#)

Interesting and awesome!

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author avatar christopheranton
2nd Mar 2011 (#)

Rathnashikamani.
Thanks for your supportive comment.

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author avatar J A Ridley
30th May 2011 (#)

I think Jesus was a real dude, I run into him periodically in my meditations:) He was for sure trying to teach us something about love and wasn't much into the whole judgement thing. Nice article with lots of good data, thank you

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author avatar Tranquilpen
27th Aug 2011 (#)

Christ Offer, (Your name) Ever wonder about that? Christ is as real as you are, as is also your depiction of his purported life and times. With regards to the accuracy of your portrayal of eunuchs, that is also relatively conclusive. There is however another angle, a "key" of sorts, of which I feel confident, that you will discover, since only a very minute few, who posses a deeply tenacious spirit, have discovered throughout history. None of His Disciples ever found it, nor even the members of His own family, Mary his mother (see grave writings) nor Joseph (see three days out of the city before He was discovered missing???) Ah, yes, the other eunuch, (see Nicodemus and eunuch sitting on chariot reading Bible) To discover what, not whom, this other eunuch was, you need to understand what the characteristics of a eunuch symbolizes. For a clue, you need to look at the symbolism of Jesus's parables and in particular, "Sower" and the "Seed". Discover this and you will have IT.

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author avatar christopheranton
30th Aug 2011 (#)

JA ridley. Thanks for the comments.

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author avatar christopheranton
30th Aug 2011 (#)

Tranqulpen.
I shall look up what you point out.
Thanks for that.

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