About yesterday’s post. It was my first attempt to explain, step-by-step, the reason I am convinced, by the evidence, that Jesus was a gay Jew.
I commend anyone whose first response to that idea is extreme skepticism. The notion that Jesus was a gay Jew sounds outrageous, even laughable.
But remember the scripture,
“The first to speak in court sounds right— until the cross-examination begins.” (Proverbs 18:17)
You’ve already heard from fundamentalists and traditional literalists.
Regarding Jesus. First of all, remember that no one preserved a narrative about the “pre-Crucifixion” persecution, trials and martyrs in the gospels. Past conflicts were transformed, often becoming futuristic warnings of persecution in the future. These things had already happened. By changing a word here and a verb tense there, entrapment in the past becomes the ghost of persecution yet to come.
The actual story was too awkward to tell. It was awkward for the Temple-state to acknowledge it’s subservience to Rome. It was awkward for the gospel writers to explain what business Jesus had mentioning gays and lesbians. “Wouldn’t he know what kind of people they were?”
But they did preserve a number of tell-tale details. The scribes disguised awkward details. The favorite technique of Pharisees and “Christian” scribes was to scatter pieces of the story’s soul in strange places, or right in the open, where only lawyers and friends could discern them.
All three sources deal with the courts. Philip the Tetrarch was a judge. Yohanan b. Zakkai was a prosecutor. The Bethsaida Four were defendants.
Talmud describes the charges: sexual transgression, unnatural coupling.
Luke identifies the defendants as two men in one bed and two women grinding together. He doesn’t call them defendants, but only certain people “seize” thing. Who seizes property, or seizes assets, or seizes evidence? In the gendered couplet, two people are seized.
Josephus tells us that Philip would decide a case, either ruling guilty for punishment or acquit them after they were accused unjustly.
Luke says that the two men in one bed and the two women grinding together were treated differently. One was seized, and the other was released.
The date of the execution s are based on the timing of Bethsaida’s elevation to imperial city status. The city charter would have cemented Roman hegemony over Bethsaida, and Rabbi Yohanan wanted to preserve a little say for Jerusalem, for Torah, and for the Pharisees. If he could get a conviction on the gentile sexual transgressors in a Roman jurisdiction, this win could be parleyed into real muscle in the future governance of Bethsaida.
The date comes from a coin that Philip minted to commemorate Bethsaida’s new status in 30 C.E.
Rabbi Yohanan needed to obtain these gentile convictions in time to have those provisions incorporated into the city charter. The Roman senate had to approve that charter, and once it was approved, that was it.
The big question: how do we know Jesus was gay? It’s complicated, but it’s not rocket science.
Why was the gendered couplet written? As a government-issued trial summary for use by the locals.
Who wrote it? Court officials, that is scribes, probably employed by Philip, since it was in the government’s interest to effectively communicate legal policies to the local population.
Why did this legal summary come to be included in the Q source?
We have two basic options. Either Jesus repeated Philip’s verdict at some point, or he did not. If he did repeat the verdict, then he is remembering the martyrdom of someone significant. He repeated the sentence of execution, but not the martyr’s name.
We don’t know the martyr’s name. Or do we?
I’m pretty sure we do. That’s why I believe in the gay Jew Jesus.