What On Earth Is A Eunuch?
Acts 8:38 says "they went down both into the water," which is not portrayed by the artist.
Eunuchs were often gay men or lesbian women. Why do some Christians believe that? The word eunuch, in the New Testament, is from the Greek word eunouchos, eun, for bed, and echein, to keep.
A eunuch is literally ‘a keeper of the bed.’ Eunouchos conveys the idea of superintendent of the bedchamber, bed keeper, bed guard.
What Does The Definition Of Eunuch Mean?
The Greek word eunouchizo
The Greek word eunouchizo literally means to castrate a man. In ancient times, castration was accomplished by crushing the testicles to make them inoperative or by cutting off the testicles. Sometimes, the penis was also removed in the castration process. Without testicles, a man is incapable of producing sperm and is therefore incapable of procreation.
Eunouchizo is used historically and in scripture to refer to castrated men and uncastrated men, one class of whom, Jesus described as born eunuchs, who had not been physically castrated by man. That is one important reason some Christians believe eunuchs are gay men and women.
Eunouchizo is sometimes used metaphysically, to describe one who voluntarily abstains from traditional marriage.
The Hebrew word saris
The Hebrew word saris. According to the Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius Hebrew Lexicon, the Hebrew word for eunuch is saris and its derivatives. Saris is believed to be an Assyrian loan word. A secondary meaning of saris, from the Hebrew, is to castrate but Jesus speaks with divine authority when He teaches that not all eunuchs are castrated, Matthew 19:12. According to Jesus, some eunuchs are born that way, in distinction from a man who has been physically castrated.
Jewish rabbis in ancient times used the word saris to describe both castrated individuals and uncastrated individuals, men the rabbis referred to as natural eunuchs. The Hebrew word saris-eunuch, is found 45 times in the Old Testament, translated in the King James Bible as eunuch 17 times, chamberlain 13 times, officer 12 times and Rabsaris, 3 times. Eunuchs are mentioned 10 times in six verses in the New Testament.
Some Eunuchs Were Gay Men
Is that a biased assertion by gay Christians attempting to alibi their sin or is there scholarly support for such a statement?
Dr. Robert Gagnon, prolific anti-gay, evangelical Christian author, admits on his website, that “born eunuchs” in the ancient world were probably gay.
"Probably "born eunuchs" in the ancient world did include people homosexually inclined, which incidentally puts to the lie the oft-repeated claim that the ancient world could not even conceive of persons that were congenitally influenced toward exclusive same-sex attractions." - Dr. Gagnon
"For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”
"The first category - those eunuchs who have been so from birth - is the closest description we have in the Bible of what we understand today as a homosexual."
Many scholars reject the belief that some eunuchs are gay, insisting instead that eunuchs were always castrated men or men born with genital birth defects, which rendered them incapable of siring children.
Scholarly conjecture that a eunuch can only be a physically castrated man or a genitally deformed man but never a physically intact gay man is only conjecture. It has no basis in fact.
Even anti-gay Dr. Gagnon admits that "born eunuchs" were probably homosexuals.
When an anti-gay evangelical with the scholarly credentials of Dr. Robert Gagnon, a man who stedfastly opposes all homosexual practice as sinful, admits that the Biblical category of "born eunuch" probably included homosexuals, that is an important admission.
In the Jewish New Testament, translated by David Stern, Matthew 19:12 tells us the first class of eunuchs (born eunuchs) do not marry
According to David Stern’s translation, Jesus says that some males are born into the world “without the desire” to marry a woman. Stern understands a born eunuch to be a man born without the desire to marry a woman.
Now doesn’t that sound like a gay man, born without the desire to marry a woman?
According to Jesus, this is a perfectly natural situation, beause the individual is born that way. Being a born eunuch is not the result of personal choice (since they were born that way). And according to Jesus, being “born a eunuch” exempts eunuchs from the Adam and Eve marriage paradigm, Matthew 19:11-12.
9 Timeless Truths About Eunuchs
Let us be clear. Not all eunuchs were gay men or lesbians.
Helpful Links for further study
I am saying that the Holiness Code was aimed at Israel, in a specific place, the land of Israel, in a specific time period, while Israel was in the land, living under the Law. And what some Christians wrongly interpret as a universal prohibition of all gay relationships is, in reality, a prohibition of shrine prostitution in worship of the Canaanite fertility goddess.
Those who believe that the Centurion’s pais was only a servant and not the same sex partner of the gay Centurion, cite Greek lexicons to prove their case. Since most Biblical Greek lexicons do not mention beloved or same sex lover as possible meanings of pais. most nongay Christians insist same sex lover could not possibly be the meaning of pais.
4. Family Values in the Bible are so different from Traditional family values as taught by Focus On The Family that modern Christians would totally reject the "family values" practiced by Abraham and Sarah, Ruth and Boaz and many of the heroes of faith in the Old Testament.
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