The King James Bible - The King and his Boyfriend

by fulltimestudent 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • kaik

    "Bisexuality seems to be quite unremarkable in Stuart times."

    Renaissance era was extremely interesting time which produced several bisexual or gay men into the highest imperial circles in their time. The Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolph II (+1612), or Henry III of France(+1589).

  • Vidiot
    They were all just following the (Biblical) example of David and Jonathan. :smirk:
  • Heaven
    They were all just following the (Biblical) example of David and Jonathan. :smirk:
    As well as Paul and Timothy.
  • fulltimestudent
    Vidiot: They were all just following the (Biblical) example of David and Jonathan.

    That's an interesting point, Vidiot. The Jonathon-David love story is an interesting story for those intrigued by the use of literary criticism in reading biblical texts.

    Of course, if someone has a faith based view of the Bible, their minds are immediately shut to any other view than the standard JW view of these texts.

    But if you look at the text from say the perspective presented by narrative theory (the idea that we live our lives in a story that we write according to what we know and hope for) then different possibilities can be seen immediately. For example, 1 Kings 14:24 makes it clear that male to male sexuality was common in Israel:

    There were even male shrine prostitutes in the land; the people engaged in all the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. NIV

    So our reading of the David-Jonathon love story requires that we acknowledge that they could have understood that it is possible for two men to be in love with each other and have a romantic liaison.

    The story of David and Jonathon predates that in the Biblical record but read 1 Samuel 18:1-4, with this questioning attitude. What are we reading here? Two men promise to love each other as they love themselves. Their very souls are bound together. They start to live in the same place. They exchange personal items (clothing) as gifts. What's being described? If David was a woman, you'd think it was a marriage ceremony, would you not? I leave you to draw your own conclusions:

    1And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. 3Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 4And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his apparel, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle. JPS Tanakh version.

    To add fuel to the (sexual -haha) fire. According to a near universal protocol that we can find in ancient times, David (the younger) would be the bottom and Jonathon (oldest) the top. Go figure the type and anti-type.

  • fulltimestudent

    Another view, still based on narrative theory, is that we all love a good story. It doesn't matter how its presented to us. Today its likely to be a film or TV version. But in times past, they were usually oral stories told by a travelling teller or whoever,

    Stories got passed around, and re-told and incorporated into other stories. See if you can think of another version of this story, which I'm re-telling in bits because i havn't got time to type it all out

    "The Lord of Heaven above impregnated the daughter of the Lord of the Waters below, and a son was miraculously born, But an evil king killed the prince's father ... and the orphaned prince was cast into the wilderness at birth. There, instead of harming him, the wild beasts took care of him. ..."

    That story came from Central Asia. But its possible to find elements of the story from other cultures. We cannot prove that they were borrowed elements or merely reflecting individual hopes and dreams. But if the cultures are in close contact with each other, as say the Israelites, the Egyptians and the Greeks of Asia minor, then we may suspect that borrowing of elements for stories took place.

    The David/Jonathon story for instance seems to reflect elements of a story from the Iliad in Hellenic culture that tells of the 'love' between Achilles and Patroclus

    And that is a well-known love story that was likely told and re-told by travelling story tellers as they travelled up and down the eastern coast of the Mediterranean.

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