Gays & Lesbians in Luke

Please note that these are older posts, and may not reflect my subsequent conclusions on the trial of the Gay Jew Jesus.

Jesus did not speak the words in Luke 17:34-35. Those words are a trial summary about Jesus and his companions.

I tell you, in that night,

there shall be two men in one bed;

the one shall be seized and the other shall be left

Two women shall be grinding together;

the one shall be seized, and the other left.
(Luke 17:34-35, Darby)

Here is what I have posted so far on The Gay and Lesbian Couples in Luke 17: 34-35.
Two Men in One Bed at Night

Two Women Grinding Together at Night

40 Responses to Gays & Lesbians in Luke

  1. Pingback: Homofile og lesbiske fjernet fra Lukasevangeliet « en transkjønna reise i tro

  2. Derrail says:

    (Heb. mittah), for rest at night #Ex 8:3 1Sa 19:13,15,16 etc; during sickness #Ge 47:31 48:2 49:33 etc.; as a sofa for rest #1Sa 28:23 Am 3:12 Another Hebrew word (er’es) so rendered denotes a canopied bed, or a bed with curtains #De 3:11 Ps 132:3 for sickness #Ps 6:6 41:3 In the New Testament it denotes sometimes a litter with a coverlet #Mt 9:2,6 Lu 5:18 Ac 5:15 The Jewish bedstead was frequently merely the divan or platform along the sides of the house, sometimes a very slight portable frame, sometimes only a mat or one or more quilts. The only material for bed-clothes is mentioned in #1Sa 19:13 Sleeping in the open air was not uncommon, the sleeper wrapping himself in his outer garment #Ex 22:26,27 De 24:12,13

    grinding 229 αληθω aletho al-ay’-tho

    from the same as 224; ; v

    AV-grinding 2; 2

    1) to grind

    It was the custom to send women and female slaves to the mill houses to turn the hand mills.

    the bed is dealing with sickness source starter pack download it then speak. Homosexuality is perverse as sin in it’s fullness is. Logos is word and God became flesh his word took on flesh. Likewise do you repeatedly take and reverse order. Calling yourselves logos and assuming flesh each of you playing God and no other. Yet refusing to destroy yourselves as Yahshua was deny yourself pick up your cross and die quickly. You don’t even fast which is to cover your mouth don’t eat or drink for more than a week. Your not logo’s keep silent.


  3. John says:

    If you notice, you use the phrase “very familiar,” and then “less familiar,” at the onset of your argument. Historically, a “familiar” was a supernatural entity that assisted witches. My concluding, therefore, that you are a witch, would make just about as much sense as your conclusion that Jesus mentioned “gays and lesbians,” in Luke from grinding and lightning and eagles!

    Matthew clears up the “ambiguity” of Luke with the word “mill.” You’re really desperate to make the Scripture say something that’s not there…


    • Ron Goetz says:

      You left out two other pieces of evidence. The four pieces of evidence together do establish a theme. 1) Sodom has strong man-on-man sex content. 2) Two men in one bed has made straight men feel uncomfortable for centuries, with it’s man-on-man sex connotations. 3) Two women grinding together, well, that has strong female sexual content. and 4) Together, Zeus and Ganymede are the ultimate Greco-Roman symbol of male romantic relationships.

      I don’t think students of the synoptic gospels have been able to determine which was written first, Matthew or Luke, so I can’s say for sure whether Matthew wrote in reply to Luke or vice versa. But I am sure of the associations of Sodom, two men in one bed, female grinding, and Zeus and Ganymede.

      But you’re already familiar with that!


  4. John says:

    You said, “…the four elements must be interpreted in context, in the context of one another.” But they also need to be interpreted in the context of their own intended usage. Pardon my NIV usage:

    1. Lightning in Luke 17.
    Luke 17:24 For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.
    This harmonizes with Matthew:
    Matthew 24:27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
    Irregardless of which author wrote his Gospel first, Matthew gives a clarification of Luke. The Son of Man’s “day,” or “coming,” will be like lightning, in that it will be visible to all. There will be no need to say, “here he is,” or “there he is!” His Coming, his Day will be obvious. Not even a hint to any Roman deity.

    2. Eagles in Luke 17.
    Luke 17:37   “Where, Lord?” they asked. He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”
    The word can be translated as either eagles or vultures. Eagles could also represent the Roman army coming in to devour Jerusalem. Vultures would be normally associated with dead bodies – again context. Also, “aetos,” is not in the same line of thought as lightning. Putting lighting and eagles together from this chapter goes beyond Jesus giving a hidden parable, and enters the realm of Jesus sending subliminal messages to his disciples.

    3. Two in one bed.
    Luke 17:34 I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. I don’t see “men” in the Greek. KJV italicize men to indicate it “ain’t” there. NASB, claiming to be the most Formal Equivalent version, excludes the word “men.” There are two men in the field in Matthew 24:40, but I’m just seeing those guys in the bed together.

    4. Women grinding.
    Again, Matthew clears it up. It may have been an ambiguity had God not inspired Matthew’s Gospel to be written, including, “mill.”

    5. Sodom.
    There are homosexual overtones to the word Sodom, Sodomy, etc. Luke 17 is referring to Sodom’s unexpected destruction, in context to the unexpected “coming” of the Son of Man.

    In summary: Dude, it’s just not there! It’s like finding Bible Code, you can make it say whatever you want it to say, but that’s not what it actually says. What is motivating you to try and find “gay and lesbian themes” in Scripture?


    • Ron Goetz says:

      I’ve already addressed each of your objections in the various threads, my friend. Your response seems to be simply to say, “I don’t buy it. I’ll go along with the traditional interpretations,” which is, of course, your prerogative.

      The context and proximity of these four elements to one another is important, or else any appeal you ever make to the importance of “taking it in context” is empty. You seem to assume you know their “intended usage.” I have offered linguistic, historical, and Biblical evidence in support of Christ’s acceptance of gay and lesbian believers, and you seem to think that simply offering the standard interpretation of some Protestants is adequate rebuttal.

      1. You have separated the opening and closing symbols from one another. They belong together. Lightning and Eagle were the quintessential symbols of Zeus and Ganymede.

      John, I’ve used this illustration before. Let’s say I read a short story. The opening sentence mentions a “crown of thorns.” The final sentence mentions a “cross.” No matter what else is in the short story, I know that somehow the crucifixion of Christ is important. Same here. The lightning and the eagle were the symbols of Zeus, and the eagle of Ganymede. “Luke’s Small Apocalypse” is a recognized unit of scripture, and Luke placed these symbols from Roman religion at the beginning and the end. I’m not saying that Luke accepted Roman religion, simply that he used two, immediately recognizable symbols. I have given you some historical information you may not have had before. If you read and interpret the New Testament out of its historical context, well, I don’t think anyone thinks that is a reasonable approach to Bible interpretation.

      2. “Two men in one bed.” This can be translated either people or men. It’s fifty-fifty, until you take it in the context of three other pieces of evidence that have a gay-related understanding. Again, I see you taking this out of its immediate context.

      3. Women Grinding: Compare this difference: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:3) with “Blessed are you who are poor, because the kingdom of God is yours,” (Luke 6:20). These do not mean the same thing. “Harmonizing” them negates the valid and importance difference between material poverty and spiritual poverty. If you don’t believe Jesus was interested in people’s material poverty, I suggest you go back and read the gospels and the Hebrew prophets. John, when did Jesus cleanse the temple, at the beginning of his ministry or at the end, or did he do it twice? (Most scholars do not believe he did it twice.) The differences between the gospel accounts teach us important things about the priorities and convictions of the synoptic writers.

      4. Sodom: You seem to acknowledge that the man-on-man sex element from Jewish culture really is there. Once we know our history better, we realize a parallel, similar man-on-man sex element from Roman/gentile culture is also present in the lightning and the eagles. Luke is known as “the Gospel to the Gentiles.” From there the scale tips on how to render verse 34 (based on context), and the women grinding just falls into place.

      My motivation to blog: I’m passionate about seeing God’s truth set people free.

      John, take care and God bless.


  5. John says:

    O.K. let’s just start with the lightning and the eagles. Yes, the cross and crown of thorns obviously go together, that’s clear even from the surface. As I said before, I don’t see how the lightning and eagles match each other in this passage, even on a subliminal level. Sure Zeus’ symbol is lightning, and his cupbearer’s eagles. But what is in the text to demonstrate that these two words are meant to go together? The other “gay” references? This sounds a bit circular to me.

    I guess anyone who looks at clouds in the sky long enough will start to see faces and such. What you call, “linguistic, historical, and Biblical evidence,” I call a series of non sequiturs. I don’t mean to be rude, but I do believe the traditional Christian view of human sexuality as taught by Jesus, when he sites Genesis, that God created them male and female.

    I’m telling you, “You have a great imagination, but those aren’t faces, they’re just clouds!”


    • Ron Goetz says:

      John, please re-read my post, The Lightning Bolt and the Eagle. To review: Zeus and Ganymede were the chief example of male romantic relationships in Roman culture. If you lived in first century Rome or Corinth or Tarsus and you heard “Zeus and Ganymede,” you immediately understood what was being discussed, because you’d heard the story: male intimacy.

      One of the rules of doing an exegesis is to answer the following question: “How did the original audience understand the passage?”

      So for us today the question is not, “What do lightning and eagles mean to me?” The question for us today to answer is, “What did lightning and eagles mean to Luke’s gentile and Roman readers 2,000 years ago?”

      In the post above I showed numerous examples of Zeus & Ganymede, the eagle and the lightning bolt. They were on the money that Roman citizens and subjects used every day. Ganymede and the Eagle were on jewelry, pottery and ceramics, sarcophagi, floor tiles, and coins.

      It is no wonder that for us today, Ganymede and the Eagle/Zeus don’t resonate, or communicate to us. As symbols they are almost meaningless to us. But 20th century English-speakers were not Luke’s original audience. His audience lived 2,000 years ago in the Roman empire. If these symbols were on the coins you used at the market every day, appeared on the cameo your mother wore, were on the tomb of your grandfather, and were the statues in the government plaza, the temple, and the roadside shrine, they would practically jump off the page in Luke 17.

      The illustrations of first-century artifacts I posted are not “clouds,” nor are they “non-sequiturs.” This is not “circular” reasoning. The coins, cameos, and candle holders in the above-mentioned posts are concrete examples of Ganymede in Roman culture, not the product of my “great imagination.”

      John, I could eventually write a separate post for each illustration, explaining what Ganymede and the Eagle, or Zeus, the lightning bolt, and the eagle mean relative to the eagles and lightning in Luke 17, but not soon.

      So, Sodom has a strong element of man-on-man sex. The story of Zeus and Ganymede has a dominant element of man-on-man sex. So the two major cultures Luke was addressing, Jewish culture and gentile culture, each have their main cultural “man-on-man sex” story featured in this short passage in Luke.


  6. John says:

    First, thank you for the time and patience you’ve applied to this discussion. I appreciate you replying to these question I’ve raised.

    Having said that, I see no evidence whatsoever, from the Gospel of Luke, that Jesus or Luke intended the lightning and the eagles to be in the same sentence, or even the same line of thought. I can imagine the original Jewish disciples, or the later Gentile readers / hearers saying, “Jesus just mentioned lightning! Forget the fact that he’s attaching his previous thought to the word lightning with the connective word gar (for). Although he’s saying not to go after these reports that Jesus is back, because his return will be as obvious as lightning which lights up the sky, what he really means is ‘Think about Zeus!’ I’m expecting him to mention the eagles anytime now!” I just can’t come to that conclusion!

    Matthew uses the same two words lightning and eagles (vultures, I still say), writing to a Jewish audience. If you harmonize Matthew’s account with Luke’s you get lightning and eagles closer together, maybe even in the same line of thought… The only problem is you can’t just harmonize for convenience. Continuing the harmony of these two Gospels brings the word, “mill” from Matthew into the grinding, and puts the activity between the two women back into the realm of a General Audience rating. So the harmony that seems to get your lightning and eagles together, looses your intended definition of women grinding.

    Just some food for thought…


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Thanks for our feedback, John. You’ve been the spur I needed to address some “loose ends” of my discussion.

      God bless you and your church.


  7. John C. Poirier says:

    I agree with those who think that the connections you’re trying to make are far-fetched. They’re really, really far-fetched.

    But there’s another problem. The phrase “one will be taken, the other left” does not refer to some rapture-like snatching up of the righteous. In the ancient world, “to be taken” was a euphemism for “to be killed”. Jesus was simply saying that some will be killed during the coming war, and that there’s no way of knowing who. He does not imply that those who are killed are in any way less righteous than those who are left alive — thus his advice to the righteous that they run for the hills. Therefore, if your thesis of same-sex allusions were right, that would say nothing at all about any of those involved being considered righteous.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      John, thanks for your feedback. Regarding the idea that the connections I demonstrate are far-fetched, I must reply.

      First, I have demonstrated that

      1) “grind” was a very common euphemism for sex in ancient languages, most importantly in Hebrew and Greek, which supports the lesbian double entendere in verse 35;
      2) “two men in one bed” has as its O.T. antecedents Lev 18:22 and 20:13, which specifically place two men in one bed מִשְׁכְּב;
      3) “two men in one bed” and “two women grinding together” immediately follow a detailed account of Lot and the destruction of Sodom with fire and brimstone, an episode which some contemporaries may have associated with man-on-man sex (see Jude 7), which puts the activities of two same-sex couples at night in the immediate context of one of the most lurid stories of the Hebrew scriptures; and
      4) the opening and closing images of Luke’s Small Apocalypse (lightning and eagles) are the ultimate Roman cultural symbol of same-sex relationships, personified by Zeus and Ganymede.

      John, these are all facts, with the possible exception of “two men in one bed,” which the RSV, the NIV, and all subsequent translations have deliberately “remedied.”

      Second, all these elements appear in the space of fifteen verses. That’s a very small space for so many elements with same-sex significance to appear.

      Third, all the elements that have this same-sex theme are unique to Luke [edit: except for the lightning/eagles imagery, which appear together in Matthew 24:27-28]. This suggests to me that this same-sex theme was deliberate, and that someone (Luke or a Lukan redactor) or some community (the Q community) crafted it in its current shape. (“Two women grinding” is in Matthew 24:41, but Luke’s version lacks the direct object mill, which makes Luke’s version a bit more sexual.)

      Fourth (and this is significant for those who subscribe to the Q hypothesis), all four same-sex elements appear in what is known as the Q Apocalypse (which is the core of Luke’s Small Apocalypse). I believe that the Q Community was responsible for assembling the four same-sex elements together in this pericope.

      Fifth, in the reconstructed Q Apocalypse, the lightning and the eagles appear side by side, and are at the beginning of the apocalypse. These Roman symbols of same-sex relationships appeared together in the original source.

      In my opinion, the connections are there. It isn’t hard to see how the nocturnal activities of two same-sex couples relate to the stories of man-on-man sex understood by Luke’s audience of Jews and gentiles.

      John, you’ve described these connections as far-fetched. Etymologically speaking, you’re right. I have fetched this information from the distant past–distant but accessible. And I have linked to sources accessible to every reader if they want to confirm what I have written.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      John, regarding “one will be taken, the other left.”

      I haven’t subscribed to the idea of the rapture for a long time. The phrase I have adopted for myself is The Great Separation, which is of course consistent with a number of Jesus’ parables. I’ve been scolded for referring to “the rapture” (even though I usually attach a disclaimer). One academic, whom I respect, referred to it as a “bizarre” belief. Of course, it’s not bizarre where I come from!

      It wouldn’t surprise me at all if you’re right about its meaning in ancient times. But even if you are correct, we still have a situation where Jesus discusses the destruction of Sodom and the nocturnal activities of “two men in one bed” and “two women grinding together” without uttering a word of caution or rebuke to homosexuals. And while some people might call this an argument from silence, I don’t see this passage ia silent at all. Luke 17:23-37 is a clear, if subtle, affirmation of gay and lesbian believers.


  8. I’m enjoying the respectful conversation about a topic that often gets very heated. Nothing much to add as I’m not well versed on the bible but hope others will add to the conversation in a way that shares different points of view to help me gain more knowledge and have a more informed opinion. Thanks.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Patty, I am genuinely glad you’re getting something out of all this. Your encouragement is very timely.

      As for the tone of these threads, I avoid venting, name-calling, and just voicing opinions. And most people respond likewise. “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.” (Proverbs 18:22)

      In college I read the O.T. book of Jeremiah, and this verse had a profound effect on me. “If you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman.” (Jeremiah 15:19)

      I realized that a lot of worthless words came out of my mouth. I talked too much, and I didn’t think before I spoke. I actually went for several weeks where I didn’t speak much.

      I wish I could say I was a changed man, but I wasn’t. But as a friend of mine likes to say, “baby steps.”


      • I think the author should ponder the obverse of this verse and try a new occupation…“If you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman.” (Jeremiah 15:19)


  9. Anna Renee says:

    You’ve got a new follower!


  10. Herman Villas-Boas says:

    I came across this blog by pure chance, and I’m glad I did, it’s been a revelation to me!

    I must say that I’m positivelly fascinated by everything that I’ve read so far on this, and other pages/subjects of this blog, and particularlly by the calm, patient and civilised way in which the discussions about Bible issues take place. And what a lesson it has been for me! I agree entirely with Patty Gullick above, and enjoyed your reply to her, too.

    Although I’m living in Portugal now, I come from South Africa where the Bible was a cause for heated, vociferous and often violently ofensive and/or holier-then-thou type discussions/arguments/debates, in the Country’s several public forums, the press in general, radio & tv stations, etc., from all of which, one couldn’t learn anything new, just became even more confused, particularly during the days of apharteid, when quite often, the SAME passages in the Bible would be argued to justify oposite sides of the fence!!!

    So now you’ll understand why I say, how refreshing it was to “stumble” upon your blog, Ron, thank you so mutch. I’m your fan, and like Anna above, you’ve got a new follower.

    Herman Villas-Boas


  11. Frankie P. says:

    I’m afraid I’m not a disciple of yours. There’s enough evidence to the contrary for me that homosexuality was, is and always will be an “abomination” before God. As our society continues to change toward gay and lesbian acceptance, one can see how decent men of faith might wish it to be otherwise than traditional and historical theology concludes. Yet in the end, homosexual acceptance is man made and this interesting theological newly concocted twist (no matter how imaginative) is just another attempt at it.

    I wish I could come down on the side of gays and lesbians theologically and morally, but to do so would be to be unfaithful to the biblical text overall and thousands of years of historical Christianity. I cannot, no matter how I might wish to, tell gays and lesbians that God is ok with their lifestyles when God abhors (hates in the strongest terms) said lifestyles. It wouldn’t be loving not to be truthful to them in an attempt to give them a false hope of acceptance when damnation and hell awaits. I for one will not lull them into a false sense of Divine acceptance with this much on the line, even when societal pressure exists to do otherwise. For me it is not the loving thing to do. I would rather be told the truth and warned than to be placated with what amounts to new, man made imaginative “fables” just to make me feel better here.

    This world is only for a short time while eternity is forever. Let God be true and every man a liar.


    Rev. Dr. Frankie L. Perdue


  12. Christiaan says:

    Classy John.


  13. Bracken says:

    I’m a straight Christian Republican in support of gays. This makes me happy that you proved some of the toughest arguments to fight.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Bracken, you’re one of the people I try to write for, people who only need a little more information to be at peace with what the Spirit of God is telling them. Thanks so much for your response.


  14. your mind makes the gutter look normal


  15. Talk about a stretch! Dude, most of your work, that I’ve read, is solid but you lose credibility trying to make scripture say something it doesn’t. Here’s the NLT:

    34 That night two people will be asleep in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding flour together at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.[a]”

    Luke 17:35 Some manuscripts add verse 36, Two men will be working in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Compare Matt 24:40.


    • Ron Goetz says:

      If you will read the posts on “Two men in one bed” I have discussed this at length. I have documented roughly 20 translations that translate it “two men in one bed.” While it can be translated “two people” or just “two,” it can also be translated “two men.” And I have actually documented the anti-gay bias of Bruce Metzger, the translator who initiated the shift from the KJV’s “two men” to the NRSV’s “two.”

      I have thoroughly documented my conclusions. This thread is strictly introductory. That is why I have provided links to more thorough discussions I have posted.


  16. Pingback: Gays & Lesbians in Luke « Queer Church News

  17. Pingback: Reading Scripture With A Queer Eye | Queering the Church

  18. Soldierof Christ says:

    To those that voice your true opinions…bless God for you! For I know and see the FRUITS of this page. Only God, the true God knows the err on this page. All you alternate lifestylers that believe and put these things in your heart are doom. You don’t like the truth, you try to rearrange the truth and put words in God’s mouth. Change verses, like the rest of the world to continue to live in your SIN!! Hell is real, and if you continue to try to live as this dark world does…you are bound to go there. I was once in this lifestyle..and it is not the way to live. And God hates it, like he hate liars, thieves, fornicators, and so forth. I pray hard for you to open your eyes and let Jesus shine his love in your hearts. Bash me onhow I feel. I tell you the truth…God hates it and he hates when people change or speak for him. You honestly think He needs us..? No, we need Him….you think He wants us to be apart of this rotten world? No, he calls us to walk and live separate from evil and what is in this world….Which I don’t see from a lot of so called SAVED people. Once saved, not always saved….few will find that narrow path….few will be with God….few will take every WORD seriously that God says…..Following the way of man will DOOM you eternally!
    Sorry if I come off like this! I just don’t understand Man and his lies…fables! Satan has fooled the so-called elect and the foolish of this world. What ever happen to repenting the right way…not your way! If you honestly repented the RIGHT way… will NOT continue to live in SIN!!!!! I write this with love and compassion….I write this to tell all the truth….if you do not take heed….HELL is only making more room for you! With love!

    Btw…if your truly living God’s way…believe me you will be hated like Jesus was! People will get mad because they know they are living in sin, twisting words to fit their sinful ways….they will call you all types of names…I live for Christ…I love Him…and I tell you I don’t hate you…I want you to see the light…not darkness….do what’s right! People love a lie…because they love the dark…People hate the truth….because they want to sin!!!!

    may you truly read the scriptures right…Reprove for the True God…and you will find the truth!


    • Ron Goetz says:

      “Soldier of Christ,” you sound so much like another poster, Varon, that I don’t know what to think. Why post anonymously like this? It kinda diminishes the courage and bravery of your stand for Christ.

      I’ve approved your heart-felt warning, but this is the last one, “Soldier of Christ.”

      God bless you as you prepare your next sermon!


  19. Maybe if I had a homosexual son, I would try to twist the Bible to accept his lifestyle. I don’t know.


  20. Samuel says:

    I just hope there is still place in your heart to other interpretation other than sexuality or gay sex.

    Just wishing… 🙂


    • Ron Goetz says:

      Samuel, people are free to interpret the scripture as they wish. The Protestant tradition holds this freedom high. In our relationship with God, our acceptability is not dependent on our interpretations or our doctrine. Matthew 25 tells us that the King knows who ministered to the needs of the least among us.

      The main idea in Luke 17:34-35 is Christ’s acceptance of sexually active gays and lesbians on the same basis as everyone else. That is a deeply held conviction that is not likely to just “go away”! 🙂


  21. Samuel says:

    Well, it is always your option to go the “lesbian and homosexual” way and miss what it really says in Luke… it is always your option to put on those glasses and see everything coloured pinky. But watching life through pinky glasses is not going to solve your issue brother. If you miss the Spirit, you miss it all!

    What you want is the Spirit. Oh… and through the Spirit Luke 17:34-35 is so easy to see. He laughs at your interpretations, brother! They are quite funny, really!



  22. Tiggy says:

    I would dispute that most lesbians grind.


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