Do you acknowledge pedophilia in any way? If not, why do you say that the centurion Jesus talked to in Matthew 8 had a gay lover?

by Richard
(not the Founder of this website)
(Florida)

Beware of train-wreck theology

Beware of train-wreck theology

Your question implies that if gays view the Centurion and his servant as a partnered same sex couple, then gays must be pedophiles.

I've dealt with the false analogy of your question on the Beastiality page of this website.

Definiton of Pedophilia


Our modern word pedophilia comes from the Greek word paidophilia, παιδοφιλία, from pais, παις, meaning child and philia, φιλία, meaning love.

Pedophilia describes someone, male or female, who has a wrong, forbidden, ungodly, inordinate sexual interest in prepubescent (underage) children. The DSM of the American Psychiatric Association describes pedophilia as a paraphilia not a sexual orientation.

Some, but not all, non-gay christians have the mistaken idea that gay people as a group are pedophiles. I encourage you to read my pages about the gay centurion on this website or in my book for a better understanding.

Your question seems to assume that pais almost ALWAYS refers to a young child AND NOT a teenager or a full-grown adult male. As we shall see, authorities on Greek language and culture make it clear that is not the case.

Just the facts please


According to Sir Kenneth Dover, perhaps the greatest heterosexual scholar on ancient Greece:
“The pais in a homosexual relationship was often a youth who had attained full height.” p. 16.

“The junior partner in homosexual eros is called pais (or of course, paidika) even when he has reached adult height and hair has begun to grow on his face.” p. 85, Greek Homosexuality

Dr. Robert Gagnon, the leading evangelical anti-gay crusader of our time says this about pais.
“boy” (pais) could be used of any junior partner in a homosexual relationship, even one who was fullgrown.” Dr. Robert Gagnon, The Bible And Homosexual Practice, p. 163, footnote 6.

Quoting my book


I discuss the Biblical story of the centurion and his pais on pages 193 - 221 of my book, Gay Christian 101 - Spiritual Self-Defense For Gay Christians.
"There are two reasons why Matthew 8 is rarely discussed as we discuss it here. Gay Christians tend to ignore the passage because they fear non-gays will view them as child molesters.

This common slur, that homosexual men in general tend to molest little boys is as baseless as saying that heterosexual men in general tend to molest little girls.

On the other hand, non-gay Christians ignore this passage because if pais, in this context, means beloved or same sex lover, it places Jesus in the position of healing a man in a same sex sexual relationship and praising the faith of the same sex partner, without condemning the relationship.

It is interesting that modern Christians shy away from the historical meaning of pais because they cannot imagine Jesus condoning a same sex relationship. Yet modern Christians have no problem accepting that Jesus condoned the master-slave relationship in this story.

Some Christians object that pais in the Bible could never mean beloved or same sex lover because that would imply that Jesus condoned pederasty, love between an adult male and a younger male.

However, pais in the context of Matthew 8 and Luke 7, does not indicate illicit love between an adult male and a child. No decent person would condone such behavior and neither Matthew nor Jesus condoned child abuse in these passages." - Gay Christian 101, p. 194.

Final Thoughts


Gays and lesbians are not pedophiles any more than heterosexuals are child molesters. Pedophiles represent a sick and depraved group that every decent person, gay or non-gay, condemns.

It is wrong for anti-gay christians to compare gays and lesbians to pedophiles. Christian integrity requires folks who make that comparison to stop because it is not true and someday, all Christians will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give account to God, 1 Cor 3.

Return to Gay Christian FAQ Page.


We've answered the question about pedophilia.
Return to Gay Christian 101 Home Page.


Comments for Do you acknowledge pedophilia in any way? If not, why do you say that the centurion Jesus talked to in Matthew 8 had a gay lover?

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Jul 04, 2009
Can we define pais?
by: Richard

(author of original question)

[ God's Promise concerning His Servant ] " Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold;My chosen one in whom My soul delights I have put My Spirit upon Him;He will bring forth justice to the nations.
Isaiah 42:1

" BEHOLD, MY SERVANT [PAIS] WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN; MY BELOVED IN WHOM MY SOUL is WELL-PLEASED; I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT UPON HIM, AND HE SHALL PROCLAIM JUSTICE TO THE GENTILES. Matthew 12;18

In this reference, Jesus is called the Pais (servant) of God. Jesus is the servant of God just as the sick person was the servant of the Centurion.

The servant (pais) of the centurion was not NECESSARILY a same sex partner or lover. He could have been a young slave boy or the son of a beloved slave of the Centurion. You are of the assumption that the word pais means gay lover because you want it to mean that. Your argument is taken from one word [pais]saying that it MUST mean the same in all texts of Scripture that it means in Classical Greek.

Yet no other Scriptural verse with PAIS in it is used to confirm your finding.

I do not assume that all gays are child molesters! That is totally inaccurate and incorrect.


[Rick Said: "The way you state your question makes it clear you believe gay people molest children" ]

I never made a judgment call on anyone and I never said that all gay people molest children! You said that! I merely wanted clarification on the issue, which I did not receive.

[Rick said:"Your question assumes that pais ALWAYS refers to a young child AND NOT a teenager or a full-grown adult male. A bit of study would disabuse you of that false notion."]

Let us see what James A Strong has to say on the issue of Koine Greek.

[James Strong Pais a boy, or (by analogy) a girl, and a child, specifically a slave or servant (esp. a minister to ta king and by eminence, to God child, maid, maid servant, man servant, son or young man]

[Rick said:"Some Christians object that pais in the Bible could never mean beloved or same sex lover because that would imply that Jesus condoned pederasty, love between an adult male and a younger male"]

In some Pagan Greek cultures, it might have that connotation, however in the Bible it never does.

[Rick said:"It is dishonest for anti-gay christians to compare gays and lesbians to pedophiles"]

First, I have not been dishonest. I am not anti-gay, as you are supposing, and I do not compare gays and lesbians to pedophiles.
Not once did I call any person a pedophile! I merely questioned the language of the word used in Matthew 8 and Luke 7.

If we extend the definition to all quotes in the New Testament using pais, then we are in trouble!! That makes Jesus a gay lover of God because He is the Pais (Servant) whom God sent the one in whom He is well pleased.

You have to answer to God, not to me. I am merely a tool in the hands of a Mighty God, not one to slander or curse anyone.











Jul 07, 2009
Answering Richard's Question
by: Rick Brentlinger

Richard-

My answer to your question was defensive because many christians falsely accuse gay men of being pedophiles. I sincerely apologize if I misunderstood your intentions.

I do note that you did not interact with the facts in my answer and the quotes from leading authorities that one of the meanings of pais IS same sex lover.

The leading anti-gay evangelical, Dr. Robert Gagnon, agrees with gay Christians that an important meaning of pais IS same sex partner. Does that impact your thinking on this question?

In the context of the first century and in the context of pais being used to describe the much loved "servant" of a Centurion, one of the most likely meanings is, same sex lover. The word certainly does not mean girl or young male child in the Matthew or Luke context.

What good would a young male child be to a Roman Centurion? He needed someone mature enough and strong enough to feed and exercise his horses, keep his tent clean, assist in packing and transporting his "stuff" when they march, etc.

That leaves two possible meanings, male servant/slave or same sex lover. The fact that Matthew and Luke stress the loving care the Centurion had for his sick "servant" and the fact that the Centurion, Matthew and Luke are careful to use the word pais to differentiate the sick "servant" from the other doulos/servants of the Centurion make it likely that this pais was the gay lover of the Centurion.

If the pais was simply another servant, why use the word pais instead of doulos, which is used by the Centurion to describe his other servants?

If the Centurion, Matthew and Luke agreed with you about the meaning of pais, there is no reason to use the word pais in this story. I contend pais is used because God the Holy Spirit intended us to understand that they lived in same sex partnership.

In my book and on this website, I offer a different opinion from traditional beliefs and support my opinion (in my book) with historical citations about Roman Centurions in the first century, quotes from famous Greek writers who used pais with the meaning of same sex lover, information about Greek idiomatic expressions, quotes from Greek writers about how ancient Greeks regarded and treated their servants and historical information about the Herodian dynasty employing homosexual servants.

I would love to hear why you believe pais in Matthew 8 and Luke 7 can only mean the same thing as doulos.

Your brother in Christ,

Rick Brentlinger

Jul 08, 2009
Reply to RB
by: Richard

Rick,



If you refuse to believe me saying that I do believe all gays are child molesters, then you ar judging me and on no grounds except your prejudice of me.

I did read the links and the authorities said it CAN BE same sex lover, not IS. You can question my movites all you want, however that only shows me that you are judging my motives and me at the same time.
Note: Their statements are made in the context of classical or helenistic Greek and not koine Greek, the language that the Bible was written in.

Why do you use history and not the Bible when defending your position?

[I would love to hear why you believe pais in Matthew 8 and Luke 7 means the same thing as doulos].


I don't believe that the word pais means the same thing as doulos. I never equated them as being the same. Luke points out that the person healed was a pais and a doulos.

I showed a differentiation between the two and showed that both David and Jesus are called Pais of God or servants of YHWH.

Notice they are not called the doulos of God. Ever wonder why?

There are many other Scriptures I tried to fit in however only 3000 word limit here. Oh well.

In Christ

Richard

Jul 09, 2009
Let's Deal With The Facts
by: Rick Brentlinger

Richard-

You asked the question, Can we define pais?

Pais occurs 24 times in 24 verses in the Greek New Testament. The KJV translates it this way:

Matthew 2:16 - the children
Matthew 8:6 - my servant
Matthew 8:8 - my servant
Matthew 8:13 - his servant
Matthew 12:18 - my servant
Matthew 14:2 - his servants
Matthew 17:18 - the child
Matthew 21:15 - the children
Luke 1:54 - his servant
Luke 1:69 - his servant
Luke 2:43 - the child
Luke 7:7 - my servant
Luke 8:51 - the maiden
Luke 8:54 - Maid
Luke 9:42 - the child
Luke 12:45 - the menservants
Luke 15:26 - the servants
John 4:51 - Thy son
Acts 3:13 - his Son
Acts 3:26 - his Son
Acts 4:25 - thy servant
Acts 4:27 - thy holy child
Acts 4:30 - thy holy child
Acts 20:12 - the young man

According to your quotation from Strong, pais carries many different meanings, although Strong did NOT list one of the most important meanings of pais, same sex lover.

That doesn't mean pais never means that in the Bible - it simply indicates Strong's opinion that it doesn't mean that in the Bible.

Since most translators translated pais in Matthew and Luke as servant, and since you've already stated that "Luke points out that the person healed was a pais and a doulos," do you concede the possibility that pais can also mean both servant and same sex lover in these passages?

If not, how do you define pais in Matthew and Luke?

Your brother in Christ,

Rick Brentlinger

Jul 13, 2009
Answer for Rick
by: Richard

[Since most translators translated pais in Matthew and Luke as servant, and since you've already stated that "Luke points out that the person healed was a pais and a doulos," do you concede the possibility that pais can also mean both servant and same sex lover in these passages? ]

No I am not conceding that at all.


Most commentators understand this word to be in reference to a child servant or a servant who is younger than an adult. In fact, the word "child" is the main definition given in the standard language dictionaries for pais. Additionally, Luke uses pais to describe Israel as God's servant in Luke 1:54 and David being the Lord's servant in Luke 1:69. Surely you wouldn't conclude there was a homosexual relationship between the Lord and Israel or David?

Luke's gospel records that this was a servant dear to the centurion. In describing the servant of the centurion, Matthew employs the unique word pais. From these two bits of information, most gay apologists concludes that this was a centurion and his homosexual partner in view here, because a) the servant is dear to the centurion's heart, and b) the word pais to describe the servant is a special word of endearment.


A much better way to understand the centurion's servant is that he was perhaps an adopted son. Hence the reason he would be dear to the centurion's heart, as well as described as a unique and special servant


Just because a centurion is described as having endearing feelings for a faithful servant does not mean he was a gay man looking to have his partner healed.

As I see it, this is purely the figment of an over active. . . imagination.


Once again, there are no cross reference passages that will tell us that what 'pais' or 'beloved' in that passage mean other than the context itself.

We must read Scripture in context and compare it with other Scripture.




Jul 13, 2009
Learn to think Outside The Box
by: Rick Brentlinger

Richard-

Your suggestion that perhaps "the pais was the centurion's adopted son" is one possible meaning, just as "the pais was the centurion's same sex lover" is a possible meaning.

But as you point out, there is no cross reference which favors your opinion (pais means adopted son) over the opinion of gays who believe pais in this context means same sex lover.

2000 years after the fact, we cannot prove to everyone's satisfaction that the centurion and his servant WERE a gay couple or WERE NOT a gay couple.

An important part of reading scripture in context is factoring in the cultural and historical context which frames the pais stories, Matthew 8 and Luke 7.

Jesus constantly confronted the Jews and the Pharisees with "outside the box" illustrations which rattled their brains, made them furiously angry and yet were truths the Jews rejected as outside the realm of possibility. I think you may be rejecting a truth about the meaning of pais because it doesn't fit your preconceived notions about God and the Bible.

Luke 4 records the first public sermon of our Lord's ministry. Jesus illustrates His sermon by pointing out that God blessed a Gentile widow and healed a Gentile leper - God's amazing grace extended to unclean Gentiles in the Old Testament.

His Jewish hearers interrupted His sermon and tried to kill Him. The idea that God might love Gentiles and extend His grace to them was outside the box thinking which they could not accept.

When Jesus illustrated His teaching, He told stories which made outcasts and societal rejects His heroes. In Luke 10, Jesus made a Samaritan outcast the hero of His story, while a Jewish priest and a Levite were the villains.

In Luke 17, Jesus makes a societally rejected Samaritan leper the hero of His story. Imagine the difficulty His Jewish hearers had, getting their minds around the fact that God in human flesh told stories which made heroes of the most despised people in Palestine.

Perhaps the Holy Spirit chose to illustrate great faith by telling the story of a Roman Centurion and his same sex lover, to illustrate that the God who loves and saves Gentile outcasts also loves, saves and blesses outcast gays and lesbians, bisexual and transgendered people.

Sorry if that irritates you and rattles your brain but perhaps it would be much better if grant God the privilege of extending His amazing grace to whomever He wishes.

Really now, if the Centurion and his servant were gay lovers whom Jesus blessed, would you stop loving and serving God?

Jul 14, 2009
Outside the Box?
by: Richard

Outside the Box is what got JW's in trouble as well as Mormons and other cults.

[Your suggestion that perhaps "the pais was the centurion's adopted son" is one possible meaning, just as "the pais was the centurion's same sex lover" is a possible meaning.]

In that case, our opinions remain opinions and not established biblical findings. .

[An important part of reading scripture in context is factoring in the cultural and historical context which frames the pais stories, Matthew 8 and Luke 7].

I agree as long as the context of history does not interprite the Scripture but agrees with it. That would be the only way history and culture could be a help to us in understanding the Scripture verse.

[Jesus constantly confronted the Jews and the Pharisees with "outside the box" illustrations which rattled their brains, made them furiously angry and yet were truths the Jews rejected as outside the realm of possibility.]

Jesus, when confronting the Jews always spoke within the context of the Law, never outside the Law. Jesus used Scripture to refute the Pharisees' teachings, not some "outside the box" illustrations. Jesus went back to the Law itself and not their interpretation of it.

Isaiah 11:10,12 comes to mind. "And in that day there will be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles (goy) seek: and his rest shall be glorious"
v.12 "And he shall set up an ensign for the nations (goy), and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four winds of the earth. "

[When Jesus illustrated His teaching, He told stories which made outcasts and societal rejects His heroes. In Luke 10, Jesus made a Samaritan outcast the hero of His story, while a Jewish priest and a Levite were the villains. ]

Heb. 11 tells us of Rahab who was mentioned because of her faith, an outsider who was mentioned as one favored by God. She was a harlot ofcourse. Does God's recognition of her faith somehow make harlotry alright in His eyes? I doubt it.
The same might be true of the Centurion if he was a gay man. Jesus might have seen his faith and yet not approved of his lifestyle. Agreed?

If he was and Jesus knew it, it means that all can be saved including a gay man. That is all it means.
I know some gay people who have not changed and I know of others who have.. Are those who have changed their orientation wrong?

Again there is no reference to Jesus blessing the two gay people, if thatis what you say happened. Jesus merely saw the faith of the Centurion, not his sin and the focus was not on sin but faith.

Anyone can be saved, including a harlot or a robber, a murder,or a homosexual, I have no doubt. However their sin must not continue after salvation.

God is a God of grace and mercy, not of tolerance and He does not wink at sin.



Jul 14, 2009
Stop treating modern gays like ancient goys
by: Rick Brentlinger

Richard-

In the Book of Acts, believing Jews struggled to understand how God could love and save goys (Gentiles) without requiring saved goys to keep the Old Testament Law, Acts 15.

In the twenty first century, believing Christians struggle to understand how God can love and save gays without requiring saved gays to keep Old Testament Law (many Christians insist that OT Law prohibited all male-male sex instead of merely prohibiting male-male sex in worship of the fertility goddess).

"First century Greek readers of Matthew’s Gospel would have picked up on the pais references which most twenty-first century English readers miss. Pais and paidika were used by writers in ancient times to refer to a lover (like the Centurion and pais story) in a homosexual relationship."

"Should we ignore their (Matthew and Luke's) choice of words because it makes some Christians uncomfortable? Does understanding the common meaning of pais as “beloved or same sex lover” place the Centurion and pais story squarely in the cultural context Matthew and Luke addressed? Certainly it does."

"Should we assume Matthew and Luke were unaware of the common sexual implication of using the word pais when they wrote the Centurion and pais story?

That understanding does not make sense. It does make sense to explore the relevance of Matthew and Luke’s word choice in their Centurion and pais story, in the context of the cultural and historical setting in which it occurred.

The New Testament was written in the Roman Empire. The Romans occupied Israel at the time the Centurion and pais story occurred. Greek language and Roman and Greek cultural mores impacted the writing of the New Testament. Greek words like pais convey the flavor of Greek cultural influence. If Matthew and Luke intended to tell us the gay Centurion and pais story, we should at least be open to hearing that truth.

Because the Centurion used the word pais (instead of doulos) to describe the servant he so highly valued, because Jesus commended the faith of the Centurion and because Jesus did not condemn the sexual relationship implicit in the Centurion’s use of the word pais, one faithful scriptural understanding of Matthew 8 is that God can and does bless loving homosexual relationships which are within the Biblical moral framework - committed, faithful, non-cultic."

Again I ask you, If the Centurion and his servant were gay lovers whom Jesus blessed, would you stop loving and serving God?

Jul 15, 2009
Answering Rick
by: Richard

Rick,

[Because the Centurion used the word pais (instead of doulos) to describe the servant he so highly valued, because Jesus commended the faith of the Centurion and because Jesus did not condemn the sexual relationship implicit in the Centurion’s use of the word pais, one faithful scriptural understanding of Matthew 8 is that God can and does bless loving homosexual relationships which are within the Biblical moral framework - committed, faithful, non-cultic."]

Jesus did not come to earth to condemn, but to save! Why would He not condemn many while at the same time condemn others? He wouldn't. A lot of people Jesus met were caught in sin and Jesus condemned none of them. That does not mean He condoned their sin. It simply means He had salvation in mind, not condemnation.

In other passages using the exact context, Matthew calls Jesus the Pais of God, beloved one. (highly valued)
Also Luke calls David the pais of God and David was beloved by God.and highly valued
Israel again is called 'pais of God' and Israel was beloved by God. and highly valued.
See the similarities?

Now compare them with Matthew 8 and Luke 7 and you will see that both Matthew and Luke had similar definitions in mind when talking of the pais of the Centurion as he did of the pais of YHWH.

The servant of the Centurion was beloved by the Centurion, which is the reason he used the word 'pais'.

[Again I ask you, If the Centurion and his servant were gay lovers whom Jesus blessed, would you stop loving and serving God?]

No I would not and for one reason alone. Peter said it best! When Jesus asked them "shall you leave me also?" Peter said, "Where else shall we go Lord? You alone have the words of eternal life."

Sep 21, 2009
Disagree
by: Anonymous

"Jesus might have seen his faith and yet not approved of his lifestyle. Agreed?"


It seems to me that Jesus would've said something along the lines of, "Go and sin no more" if he didn't approve of the lifestyle.

Sep 22, 2009
God cannot Lie
by: Richard

Jesus is God in the flesh. If God did not condone this act, Jesus would not condone it either! That is a given.

The fact that Rahab is considered a woman of faith and is mentioned in Hebrews 11 would seem to indicate that God allows harlotry!

However, when we read the Scriptures in context and know what God said, then we know that harlotry is not allowed any more than the gay lifestyle is.

God made them male and female and said 'for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife. The two shall be one flesh.

Jesus said that marriage is between a man and woman, which is what the Old Testament says.


Sep 24, 2009
Richard - You're reading your private interpretation into Scripture
by: Anonymous

Richard-

You wrote: "Jesus said that marriage is between a man and woman, which is what the Old Testament says."

Of course, when we read Matthew 19:5, we discover that Jesus most assuredly did NOT say that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Jesus was asked a specific question: "Can a man divorce his wife for every cause?

No one asked Him: "Jesus, what is the ONLY kind of marriage you will bless?"

If they had asked Him that, then Jesus' answer would mean what you say it means but Jesus wasn't answering the question: "What is the ONLY kind of marriage you will bless.

You're reading your interpretation into the passage and then insisting that your interpretation is what the passage says.

I am offering a different interpretation, not as a cold, hard Biblical fact but as a much more likely understanding of the text, given the common meaning of the Greek word, pais, in the first century and given the way the Holy Spirit, Matthew and Luke use a different Greek word for the beloved servant who was sick.

When Jesus confronted the woman taken in adultery, in the very act, John 8:1-11, He said to her: "Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more."

Jesus DID point out to her that adultery is sin and admonished her not to do it again.

When Jesus talked to the woman at Jacob's well in John 4, He DID point out that she had had five husbands and the guy she was living with then was not her husband, John 4:18.

The point is that Jesus certainly DID point out people's sin when He felt it necessary.

So, had He felt that an intimate same sex partnership was sin, Jesus would certainly have pointed that out to the Centurion, Matthew 8:5-11.

But Jesus did not say it was sin.

Mar 07, 2010
Let Scripture Speak
by: Richard

Rick, You wrote: "Jesus said that marriage is between a man and woman, which is what the Old Testament says."

Of course, when we read Matthew 19:5, we discover that Jesus most assuredly did NOT say that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Both old and new Testaments condemn a man lying with man. Jesus state that a marriage is between a man and a woman, which is what the Old TEstament says. Jesus aaid 'A man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife and the two shall become one flesh, they are no longer two but one flesh. '

That indicates to me that Jesus had in mind the marriage as depicted in the Old Testament, Adam and Eve, Eve being made for Adam since it is not good for man to be alone.
God created a woman for man! That should speak volumes and Jesus confirmed this by His statement in Matthew 19.

If the Old Testament shows that there had been a relationship between two men or two women that God approved of, then show me. When Jesus confronted the Pharissees, they were testing Him and He came back with Scripture, not hyperbole.

I am not reading my own interpretation of Scripture. I have learned how to extract from Scripture what is there, which is called exegesis.
You are inferring that since Jesus never mentioned gay marriage, that it is somehow alright in the eyes of God. This is reading into Scripture what is not there. (eisegesis)

Scripture does not confirm this. It actually speaks against it.
So if Scripture supports it, then it is scriptural. If it does not, then it ns not. Plain and simple

Richard


Mar 08, 2010
Good job of avoiding the issue
by: Rick Brentlinger

As usual you've done an excellent job of avoiding the issue. I note that you refuse to address the points I made both in my last comment and on the pages about this topic on this website.

You keep asserting your opinion, hoping that someone somewhere will accept your opinion as gospel truth.

1. You ignore the fact that Jesus was not asked, "What kind of marriage will God bless?"

2. You ignore the fact that Jesus was asked a particular question about divorce "for every cause."

3. You ignore the fact that Matthew 19 shows us Jesus rebuking and condemning heterosexual Jewish men for their sinful divorce practices. Matthew 19 is NOT about homosexuality and is NOT about the sanctity of gay marriage.

4. You ignore the historical fact that in Bible times, the Hebrew word, saris, and the Greek word, eunuch, included same sex attracted men and women.

Not a problem Richard. Those of us who have "had our senses exercised by reason of use, to discern good and evil," are well aware of your tactics.

Dec 03, 2010
*
by: robyn

if we can all agree that pais does indeed have many meanings, then we can agree that the servant in question could have been a lover, as well as an adoptive son or just highly regarded servant.
And I am not certain how you could tell in which context they are using the word, so it's meaning in this context can be used to support either view.

However, couldn't you take the fact that Jesus, when meeting people who lived in sin, would tell them to sin no more, but he did not do this to the Centurion, and use it to discern the meaning of pais that is being used.

Isn't it possible that, if Jesus considered homosexuality a sin, and he met with these people, and did not remark on the sin, that their was no homosexual sin present, and that the word pais could serve to mean servant?

I am not posting to argue or condemn or judge.
I am a gay Christian and upon reading all of the comments, this was just the conclusion that I drew.

I feel like the story of the Centurion is way too open for opinion to be a solid statement for either side of the argument.

Dec 04, 2010
You may want to consider this
by: Rick Brentlinger

Interesting points Robyn yet I think you've overlooked at least three important facts.

1. The juxtaposition of the Greek word pais with the Greek word doulos is a strong indicator that pais in the context of Matthew 8 and Luke 7 means more than servant. The other servants are called doulos. His lover is called pais.

2. Even Dr. Gagnon, the most prolific anti-gay writer alive today, agrees that in the first century pais could mean same sex lover.

3. Then too, wise students of scripture go with the preponderance of the evidence instead of requiring 100% certainty.

Dec 31, 2010
LOL
by: Greg

So, after reading this entire debate, I'd like to offer some of my own opinions. Let me start by affirming that I am a gay Christian.

Now, there are a couple things I want to address. First, Richard asked why Rick was using extra-biblical sources to help defend his position. Any basic course in nonfiction writing, logic, or their ilk makes it clear that to use your initial argument to support your evidence for your argument is a fallacy and therefore makes your position invalid.

The second thing I would like to say is that in the case of the Centurion and his servant, I believe that because there is credible information to sufficiently support both positions it is impossible to derive the true meaning of the word choice in this passage.

Third, Richard asked if God condoned ANY homosexual relationship in the bible. In the books of Samuel, David and Jonathan have a very romantic relationship. David even states at Jonathan's funeral that he loved him more than any woman. This same David became King of Israel and was deeply blessed by God.

May 23, 2011
Pais defined or not
by: Rich

Without digging into my history books I am fairly confident that the kind of homosexuality discussed above was an acceptable practice in Rome. That was probably one of the reasons that a orthodox Jew would not enter a Gentile's home.

Jesus was a fisherman of men, he was not shy about anything - including breaking the orthodox rules. The Centurion either through an interpreter or directly requested Jesus to heal, his servant, man lover, or child lover, whatever. The Centurion demonstrated and confessed his unworthiness when stopped Jesus from going to his house and when he said "I am not worthy that you enter my house. Just say the word."

I assure you that after this encounter with the Lord, if there was a homosexual relationship it ended. You see. Jesus always cleans his "fish" after he catches them.

May 23, 2011
Truth is better than guesswork
by: Rick Brentlinger

Thanks Rich, for the interesting input. I also believe Jesus catches fish and then cleans them up. David alluded to this when he sang:

I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:1-3

But to make salvation mean that people stop being gay when they get saved or that God breaks up gay relationships when He saves one of the partners is only your unsubstantiated opinion.

You're making an argument based on private interpretation without any scriptural evidence instead of basing your argument on scripture rightly divided, 2 Timothy 2:15.

Why would you assume, without digging into your history books, that you are right on this issue? I believe the scriptural path is much wiser:

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Cor 2:5

Does becoming a Christian make you heterosexual?

God saves gays but do you think he wants them to stay gay?

Did God intend men or women to have committed same sex partnerships?

Why are straight Christians so dismissive of gay Christians?

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