Was the centurion really gay and if so, why did Paul speak against homosexuality?


Rick Brentlinger Answers -

A centurion in Bible times was a non-com officer in the Roman Army (kind of like a gunny sergeant in the Marine Corps today), who commanded 100 men. Centurions are mentioned 21 times in 21 verses of the Bible.

The gay centurion is found in Matthew 8:5 and Luke 7:2. There are sound reasons to believe this centurion was a gay man. Here is some information most Christians have not considered about the possibility that the Centurion was gay.

There is another centurion mentioned who was present at the crucifixion of Christ, Matthew 27:54. While it is possible this centurion is the gay centurion from Matthew 8:5, these events happened two thousand years ago and there is no way to prove it one way or the other.

The apostle Peter had the privilege of leading another centurion to saving faith in Christ, Acts 10.

The apostle Paul interacted with three centurions, Acts 22:25, 24:23 and 27:1 but there is nothing in scripture to indicate that these centurions were the same individual as the centurion in Matthew 8.

Did Paul speak against homosexuality?

It is a common misconception that the Apostle Paul spoke out against homosexuality. Here are some of the links where I deal with that misconception.

The Context of Romans 1

Romans 1 and Homosexuality

What did arsenokoites mean to Paul?

What did malakoi mean to Paul?

To answer your question then, nothing in the Bible indicates that Paul came in contact with the gay centurion of Matthew 8:5 and Paul did not speak against homosexuality.

The practice Paul spoke out against was temple prostitution, people engaging in illicit sexual relationships to worship the fertility goddess.

We’ve studied the centurion question. Click here to return to GayChristian101.com Home Page.

Comments for Was the centurion really gay and if so, why did Paul speak against homosexuality?

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 31, 2012
Pais Argument Invalid
by: Anonymous

Your reasoning for the Centurion being gay is faulty. Considering its usage elsewhere in the Bible, it would also imply that the Father and the Son are also gay lovers, the male children two years old and under that Herod slaughtered were someone's gay lovers, and several other outlandish applications. Simply using a single word doesn't make it idiomatic. Heck, here's an example- "You're so gay." That phrase can mean to very different things in our culture, can it not?

Rick's comment: I believe you've ignored and not engaged any of my arguments and used illogic to make up an argument no Greek scholar would buy. I encourage you to read and study the multiple pages about pais on my website for more information. Many thanks.

Oct 19, 2014
Anonymous' Claim
by: Jesse

Rick, It looks like this a couple years later, but I don't believe that you answered Anonymous' argument adequately. Anonymous made a claim that the word "pais" has many other common uses found in scripture, and that simply using the word "doesn't make it idiomatic" to imply gay lovers, as you suggest on multiple pages.

You claimed that Anonymous' argument is illogical, but you did not back this up by refuting her/his point. Instead, you assumed that Anonymous has not read any other pages on your site, considered your arguments, nor prayed about this issue merely on the grounds that she/he disagrees with you. This is akin to the argument, "You're wrong because you disagree with me."

Perhaps that's not what you meant to express in your comment, but I believe that Anonymous' claim should be refuted properly before being dismissed as illogical.

Rick's comment: Hi Jesse - many words have multiple meanings. Meaning is determined by context. No serious person believes that the Greek word pais implies that the Father and the Son were gay lovers.

Anonymous, in my opinion, was not making a sincere argument based on facts. His argument was more of a drive by spoofing. I encouraged him to read and consider the facts I presented, something he apparently was loathe to do since he never responded. Here are three fact-filled pages about the Greek word pais.

Fact: the leading scholarly authority of the twentieth century on Greek culture says that the Greek word, pais, can mean gay lover - Sir Kenneth Dover.

Fact: The leading anti-gay Christian apologist agrees that the Greek word, pais, can mean gay lover - Dr. Robert Gagnon.

The Centurion and Pais

Pais and the Roman Marriage Ban

Fact: Matthew, Luke and the Holy Spirit use, doulos, the common Greek word for servant when describing other servants in this story yet when describing the particular servant of the centurion who was his beloved, they use the Greek word, pais, which in the context, carries the meaning, same sex lover or beloved. If he was no different than the other servants, why use a different Greek word to describe him?

The Gay Centurion

Mar 04, 2018
Literal meaning of pais
by: Anonymous

I've read several of the pages on the story of the gay centurion and I've noticed that you are quick to say that they used the idiomatic meaning of pias for that time period, yet the bible seems to only ever use the very specific and literal meaning of words from Old Hebrews and Old Greek (not to be mistaken for Modern Hebrew and Greek), which essentially means that pias in this story wasn't meant to be used in the idiomatic sense. Because the Bible was entirely written by people whom were led by the Spirit, and God is almighty and all-knowing, wouldn't you think that he would use words for their literal meanings instead of their idiomatic meanings to prevent confusion? Greek has five words for love and probably just as many that have the literal meaning of "gay lover," yet the word chosen was pias, which has the literal meaning of "servant." Just because a word in the Bible had a different idiomatic meaning for that time period, doesn't mean that was how it was intended to be translated.

Rick's comment: Hi Anonymous - I believe you haven't quite got your mind around the text and the context. There are three salient facts I encourage you to consider.

Fact #1 - the leading scholarly authority of the twentieth century on Greek culture says that the Greek word, pais, can mean gay lover - Sir Kenneth Dover.

Fact #2 - The leading ANTI-GAY Christian apologist also agrees that the Greek word, pais, can mean gay lover - Dr. Robert Gagnon.

The Centurion and Pais

Pais and the Roman Marriage Ban

Fact #3 - Matthew, Luke and the Holy Spirit use, doulos, the common Greek word for servant when describing other servants in this story yet when describing the particular servant of the centurion who was his beloved, they use the Greek word, pais.

In the context of Matthew 8 and Luke 7, pais carries the meaning, same sex lover or beloved. If he was no different than the other servants, why did God inspire Matthew and Luke to use the Greek word pais, instead of doulos, to describe him? Calling him a pais indicates a different meaning and a different relationship than if they had called him a doulos.

The Gay Centurion

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Ask A Question.

Site Build It! Site Build It!