jesus was gay. elton john says so

Elton John claims Jesus was gay.

Elton John claims Jesus was gay. Photo copyright 2008 News Group Newspapers Ltd and/or its licensors.

well, there you have it. in case you had any questions about jesus’ sexual orientation, now we have the answer…at least according to elton john.

jesus was gay.

according to the sun article:

Elton, 62, declares as he pours out his heart to a magazine: “I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems.”

He adds: “Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don’t know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East – you’re as good as dead.”

so, according to elton john, if you’re a compassionate, super-intelligent man who understands human problems, you’re gay. looks like all of you were right about me all these years. ;-)

(btw, roslyn, there’s probably something i should tell you… ;-)

i’ll dispense with making the standard ‘gay jesus’ jokes (like, ‘well, he did wear sandals, talk about love, hang out with his 12 partners, was environmentally conscious, greeted other men with kisses, and loved bette midler albums,’ etc.)

it is, however, a question worth asking, and one that many scholars have examined for decades now (although many of them have been unfairly ridiculed for doing so). likewise, the issue of homosexuality and homesexual christians is not going away, and the church (local congregations and denominations) must stop ignoring the problem and come up with some concrete answers. (you all know where i stand on this one.)

but what does one make of a single jewish man who never married (at a time where this was expected), hung out with other men, never produced a son (outside of the da vinci code), and never condemned homosexuality, despite the fact that both the hebrew bible (the christian old testament) and the new testament both criticized the practice sharply? can these practices be seen as evidence of homosexuality on the part of jesus, or were they the traits of an itinerant preacher from the north speaking about counter-cultural aspects of love, aversion to wealth, and the suppression of bodily desires?

it’s a legitimate question. so while we may have fun with elton john wanting jesus to be gay, we should not dismiss the question out of hand, nor should we ridicule those scholars seeking to examine these questions within a religious context. rather, we should examine the evidence and have the conversation. at least that way our decision about jesus’ sexuality will be based in facts and observations, and not on celebrity proclamations and/or fears, hatred, and prejudices.

17 Responses

  1. Homosexuality was punishable by death under the Mosaic Law. While the Romans may not have agreed to executing Christ for this, it would have been a major piece of propaganda leveled against early Christians by their persecutors, one would imagine we would have some record of this.

  2. Observation: you don’t need me as a beard; you already have a very nice one of your own.
    Also, at 28 days til ‘I do’, I don’t care if you decide you’re more attracted to farm animals. We’re getting married. ;)

  3. This came up in 2004:

    A growing group of Biblical scholars believe that Christ may have had at least one sexual relationship with another male.

    Noted Methodist theologian Rev. Theodore Jennings Jr. and Dr Morton Smith, a world renowned Bible scholar, say [sic – even though Smith was dead!] there is irrefutable evidence that Jesus was at least bisexual. Dr Rollan McCleary of the University of Queensland, in Australia, says he has discovered through his research that three of the disciples were gay.

    I wrote about it on my blog.

  4. Elton is looking into a well. As a law abiding Jew with a God given mission to call people to return to God, the law of Torah, it seems rather unlikely that Jesus was according to Torah, an abomination. And as Sidney implies, if he was homosexually inclined, it seems odd that there is no account of it in history. His loving and compassion and forgiving are all perfectly plausible historically as a law abiding Jew.

    But most importantly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Bob!!

  5. thanx steph. :)

  6. I’ve found it very interesting that so many people are concerned with the historical veracity of Elton John’s comment. To me this misses the entire point and misunderstands John and his perspective (and possibly his point). John simply images Jesus – apparently his symbol for the divine reality – as a gay man. This is not a statement of literal fact any more than paintings of Jesus as blonde and fair-skinned are. My thinking on this is all about how we image our symbols of the divine, and can is elaborated upon here:

  7. First of all, I would like to say you obviously have some strong opinions and views that are clearly outlined in your articles. I consider myself a conservative Christian (full time…not part time), father, and husband. I try to surround myself with the same type of people and feel they would view me in the same light. However, the problem I have is understanding, why would any true Christian entertain the notion that Jesus was a homosexual, had homosexual tendencies, or had homosexual relations? In a sense, as an educated biblical scholar, do you agree this could be construed as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which is the ultimate sin (Mark 3:22–30). Also, the bible clearly states homosexuality as a sin (Lev 18:22). Albeit, the bible does list homosexuality, as a less punishable sin than the previous, but a sin never the less. Homosexuality has been listed as a sin in both the Old and New Testaments. If one believes the bible is the inherent word of God, Jesus was without sin. 1 Peter 2:22 says, “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth”. Then how could any Christian say Jesus may have been gay? Just because Jesus walked with 12 men, wore sandals, and spoke of love, does not make anyone homosexual. And, to mention he only spent time with 12 men, shows the lack of understanding. Jesus had a documented following of thousands / masses. Did he not feed over 5,000 men at one time with only 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread? The first 12 Disciples of Jesus are simply his inner group. Besides, the leaders of the church are, according to scripture, to be men… and straight men at that.

    As for my next comments on marriage / divorce, I am referring to your article on California’s Prop 8. I apologize in advance; I do not know much about the issue because I am not in California and am concerning myself with our own issues. And yes, whether or not the issue is about gay marriage, tax hikes, building of roads, or full-day Kindergarten, I do use the Lord as a guide. I do pray and ask for guidance. I do use the bible for instruction, not only in politics, but in life. As I read in your article, you reference marriage as even being wrong, according to Paul. The bible lists numerous times, God allows, agrees with, and most of all created “traditional” marriages. Genesis 2:23–24 (NIV) tells us “… she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh”. As a teacher of God’s word, Paul did not feel marriage was right for him or the citizens of Corinth, because at that time, their state of corruption and immorality was extremely high. Paul even mentions in 1 Corinthians 7:12, “…I, not the Lord…”, which means he [Paul] is commanding this, not the Lord. Paul is only giving instructions to the city of Corinth, which was home to the Temple of Aphrodite. This temple, known for the more than 1000 prostitutes residing there, needed help following God’s path and they did not need to be distracted with the trials of having a spouse (Even though marriage is wonderful is A LOT of work). The church of Corinth was also made up of ex-fornicators, ex-idolaters, ex-adulterers, ex-homosexuals, ex-thieves, and ex-drunkards. What a wonderful location for Paul to begin a Christian ministry. That was following Jesus…entering into the den of Satan and preaching His word. Since I spoke of marriage, I believe I need to touch on the topic of divorce as it is also mentioned in your earlier articles, too. Yes divorce is also a sin, according to the bible…In most cases. The Bible gives two clear grounds for divorce: (1) sexual immorality (Matthew 5:32; 19:9) and (2) abandonment by an unbeliever (1 Corinthians 7:15). Does committing the sins of divorce, “untraditional” marriage, homosexuality, or the countless others not mentioned, condemn us from reaching the Kingdom of God. No, of course not! The Holy Bible clearly defines, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) but Jesus died for our sins on the cross so we may have eternal life (John 3:16).

    In conclusion, we as Christians need to stop promoting, condoning, and allowing Satan to enter our lives with such garbage as Elton Johns comment (or whatever controversy is currently being passed around). I am not saying I want to “violate anybody’s civil rights” such as taking away their freedom of speech. Of course I don’t. If that were the case, I would not be allowed to enter my response on the issue. Nor, do I feel we, as Christians, should condemn Elton John for the blasphemous comments. Only God can be the world’s judge. What we do need is, to stop the responses that say more exploration is needed into the issue of whether Jesus may have been gay. Or, whether or not gay marriage should be allowed by the state, as a union. If we examine these problems at hand with a Godly approach and do not stray from His word, the outcome will be pleasing to God.

  8. hi j,

    1) i don’t think jesus was gay. i’m pointing out the absurdity that we should take sir elton’s word for it.
    2) i don’t think we should dismiss the question. rather, we should investigate the question. that way, when the evidence points to jesus not being gay, we have evidence to which we can point instead of simple fears and feelings.
    3) blasphemy against the holy spirit ha nothing to do with homosexuality. rather, it has more to do with the renunciation of one’s faith. (i.e., you can’t be ‘forgiven’ for opting out of the system.)
    4) the bible does indeed list homosexuality as a sin, just as it does eating pork. the bible also says to not get divorced, and not to remarry if you do divorce. and yet, i don’t see a ballot measure banning divorced xns from remarrying. why do many fixate on homosexuality when ‘sell all that you own and give it to the poor’ is ignored as a commandment for xns?
    5) as for divorce, please not that neither jesus or paul ever married, and paul explicitly argued against marriage. he did state that if xns must marry, they should have only one wife (and not follow traditional jewish tradition of multiple wives (i.e., jacob, david, etc.)
    6) see #1 above.

  9. Hey, Prof, any thoughts on the Hellenistic dualism that influenced Hebraic monotheism as it relates to the possibility of people “…promoting, condoning, and allowing Satan to enter [their] lives…?” Can one truly be a monotheist while according the bogeyman of “satan” any real power?


  10. BC-

    Let me begin by saying, “thank you”. There are not many commentarians that reply as quickly as you did to any of their postings, if they do at all. Not that I have had much experience in blogging. I believe these are the fist postings I have ever made, anywhere, even though I have read a few more. I guess i never felt convicted enough to point out my interpretations.

    If I may reply to your reply, I still am not completely comfortable with your statements. I agree Elton John was absurd in making the statement of Jesus being gay. Why, as Christians should we investigate the point. Could this not be construde as ‘sinking to his level’. As a God fearing person, and follower of God’s word (as much as I humanly can), I believe the inherant word of God, aka the Holy Bible, should be enough evidence. Jesus was without sin, period. No fears, feelings, or prejudices. We should not have to defend our faith by investigating such a claim It defends itself. In fact, I am estatic when people criticize and / or ridicule me about my faith. When non-believers do this it shows me Satan is trying to infiltrate me because I am one of God’s children.

    In the statement of not eating pork as a sin, I know this was used as a comparison but that reminds me of Romans 14:14-23 where Paul writes, “…no food is unclean…”, even though the Old Testament does make the reference to pork as being unclean. If anyone believes this is still considered a sin… YES, I am a sinner in many regards. We all are. However, my sins have cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

    In the regards of a ballot that would deny divorces, excluding for the biblibcal exceptions, a quick answer would be I am all for it. However, I thankfully have never been put in a situation where divorce was an option. I have been married (my first) to a woman, who was previously married, for almost 12 years. She was divorced from her first husband for his multiple infidelities. I am sure there are those that would conclude that is unbiblical. YES, I am still a sinner.

    Once again, thanks for the interest is in what is being posted on your site. And, I hope you aren’t taking any of my comments / postings as an attack or questioning on your teachings. I even typed in proper caps / lower cases to hopefully prevent the idea I was yelling because, unlike you I type in all CAPS (its a work issue).

  11. oops! after reading this something did not sound right.

    I have been married to the same woman for almost 12 years. I dont know how long her previous marriage was.

    sorry for the error.

  12. I’m continually amazed at our current-day Western culture’s obsession with sex. (More on other cultures in a moment.) We’ve been programmed to view every aspect of life–from buying a car to doing the laundry– through a sexual lens. No wonder Elton and many others are off their collective rockers (puns are always intended). What we have is a blazing failure to grasp such concepts as biblical morality, that its adherents did and do take it serioulsy, that yes we can master our desires, and that cultural norms in the Middle East, both thousands of years ago and today, demand(ed) far more modesty than the West currently finds acceptable. No wonder much of Islam has taken the contrarian position and over-reacted with hyper-modesty. (Whew!)
    Now, that the stupid sex-obsession stuff is out of the way, let’s talk about Christ’s purpose in coming in the first place.
    Among the reasons for His incarnation was the job of taking a bride. That would be the Church. Jesus sealed the marriage contract with his own blood, and all who believe in Him as Messiah are, in effect, accepting His terms of the betrothal.
    Following the Jewish marriage custom of His earthy time, Jesus then went back to His Father’s house to prepare a home for His new bride. When the Father says the time is right, Jesus will return to collect His bride and hold the marraige feast in Heaven.
    Please see John 14:2-3: “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” The late Zola Leavitt taught that this wording comes straight from Jewish custom.
    So while Jesus was here, He didn’t take an earthly bride, or an earthy groom for that matter. That’s not what He came for. He was already engaged. And being without sin, He would not have broken that most serious of commitments.

  13. And since Elton John is a CELEBRITY (TM)…

  14. Dear Dr. Robert?
    I respect your solid education and wide experience. But me your position is not clear!
    For what you duplicate this statement of Elton John against Jesus Christ?
    Game on holies of Christians?
    You protect the rights of gays and with ease discredit a name of the Christ.
    You say, that you not for this statement.
    It not you have told.
    But it hangs on your site!!!
    It means to you it is necessary?
    You do not hang out at yourselves a fascist swastika?
    I understand such swastika to you is not necessary!
    You perfectly know – Jesus was a Jew, but Pharisees could not find in Him a sin to betray His death penalty… On your site Elton John has found…
    It is read by thousand men!!! Considering your authority, they not reading discussion, will understand it as the statement.

  15. This is a response to what “J” wrote above. His quote,

    “As a teacher of God’s word, Paul did not feel marriage was right for him or the citizens of Corinth, because at that time, their state of corruption and immorality was extremely high. Paul even mentions in 1 Corinthians 7:12, “…I, not the Lord…”, which means he [Paul] is commanding this, not the Lord. Paul is only giving instructions to the city of Corinth, which was home to the Temple of Aphrodite. This temple, known for the more than 1000 prostitutes residing there, needed help following God’s path and they did not need to be distracted with the trials of having a spouse (Even though marriage is wonderful is A LOT of work).”

    Why does it appear as if people who want to believe the Bible as the “inerrant” word of God always find a way to interpret certain verses that benefit their own agenda yet will claim other verses as exact with no possibility of a different interpretation?

    If Paul was speaking to a specific group of people at a specific time about specific problems that group was having, wouldn’t that mean that everything Paul wrote was dealing only with that time in history and only those problems? Paul wasn’t giving instructions to the world and the people of today, but to the people of his time about specific problems.

    I cannot possibly believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God. I know enough of the history of the Bible to know that men worked it for all it was worth, and used it to manipulate their own ideals and agendas. To claim God wrote the Bible is to be ignorant of the actual events that brought the “Bible” together.

    I believe in God. I can’t explain why, but I do, but that doesn’t mean I have to believe in the Bible or other men’s ideas of what God should be. I refuse to believe in a God made in man’s image.

    And I honestly don’t think the Bible is clear about homosexuality or what we call homosexuality in modern times. I do know the Hebrew Bible was meant for Jews and not Gentiles, so to use it as a basis for Christian teachings is beyond hilarious.

    Seems to me the plot to create Christianity came from other people, not from Jesus. If people really wanted to be “Christ-like”, wouldn’t they be Jewish?

    And what if Jesus was a homosexual? Would that truly change his message?

    If Jewish men were to be married by the age of 30, why didn’t Jesus follow that law?

    Too many times people use their fears to judge history instead of their brains.

  16. I think the best answer to the question of why Jesus never married is b/c he is waiting for his bride (the church) to be presented to him. The church IS the bride of Christ. Enough said. thanks!

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