Jesus Healed a Pedophile’s Lover?

A friend, Justus Stout, wrote this article. I thought it was of interest, so I am posting it here with his permission:

The LGBT community has just produced undeniable biblical evidence that Jesus condoned gay marriage. With scribe-like insight, Jay Michaelson brings to light a passage that clearly shows Jesus condoning the gay lifestyle of a Roman centurion by healing his same-sex lover.

Well… not quite.

Jay Michaelson, a writer for Huffington Post’s “Gay Voices,” recently wrote an article titled “When Jesus Healed a Same-Sex Partner.” The entire article can be viewed here.  Although he refers to some excellent passages, his conclusions are misguided at best. At worst? Unashamed fabrication.

Here is how Michaelson recounts the story:

The story of the faithful centurion, told in Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10, is about a Roman centurion who comes to Jesus and begs that Jesus heal his pais, a word sometimes translated as “servant.” Jesus agrees and says he will come to the centurion’s home, but the centurion says that he does not deserve to have Jesus under his roof, and he has faith that if Jesus even utters a word of healing, the healing will be accomplished. Jesus praises the faith of the centurion, and the pais is healed. This tale illustrates the power and importance of faith, and how anyone can possess it. The centurion is not a Jew, yet he has faith in Jesus and is rewarded.

So what’s the big deal? Michaelson excitedly presents an interesting textual fact that has somehow evaded the eye of church scribes and intellectuals for almost 2,000 years: the person that Jesus healed was gay! This is how he makes his argument:

 But pais does not mean “servant.” It means “lover.” In Thucydides, in Plutarch, in countless Greek sources, and according to leading Greek scholar Kenneth Dover, pais refers to the junior partner in a same-sex relationship.

See, by healing the centurion’s same-sex lover, Jesus condones a kind of sexual intimacy other than heterosexuality! (Of course, this already raises an interesting question: does healing prove endorsement? Did Jesus condone every action of every person he healed? Seems like a stretch.)

First of all, the examples Michaelson gives (Thucydides and Plutarch) are pulled from Classical Greek, which is a separate study from the Koine Greek in which the New Testament was written. Even his “leading Greek scholar” (Kenneth Dover) is distinguished for his studies in Classical Greek. To “cross-pollinate” these two studies is a serious academic oversight. The use of a term in Classical Greek can greatly vary from the same term’s usage in Koine Greek, evident in something as seemingly trivial as the word the. The word pais is an example of this.

As with any term that has more than one possible meaning, we can best decipher an author’s intended meaning by seeing how he uses the same term elsewhere. In order to find out what Matthew and Luke mean by their use of pais, it would behoove us to look at their own use of this word in other contexts. Fortunately for our study, both authors use the word in several other places. Let’s take a look:

Matthew’s first use of pais is in Herod’s decree to kill all the male pais in the land (2:16). Was this a mass killing of young lover boys? Obviously not. Herod was trying to kill any and all boys around Jesus’ age in order to kill Jesus.

The next use (Matthew 12:18) is a quote from Isaiah, when God demands us to “Behold, my pais whom I have chosen.” Do we even want to suggest that God’s relationship with Jesus is a homosexual/pedophiliac one? That’ll be a difficult argument to make, to say the least.

Up next is when Herod hears about the miracles of Jesus and tells his servants (pais) that he thinks it is a returned-from-the-dead John the Baptist (14:2). It would make more sense for Herod to be discussing this issue with his civil servants instead of gossiping the news with his harem of young male lovers. The rest of Matthew’s uses of pais are similar: they refer to young boys or servants, with no evidence as to their sexual dealings with older men.

In the gospel of Luke, the word is used in reference to God’s pais Israel (make sense of that one), and God’s pais, David (again… are we to say David was the boy-lover of God?). Then we have the story of Jesus, when he remained in Jerusalem instead of returning home with his family (Luke 2:43). Unless you want to make the argument that Jesus (in his young days as a theological prodigy) was being molested by his teachers, pais in this context simply means boy.

Finally, in Luke 8:54 we have a similar story to that of the centurion. A ruler’s daughter dies. Jesus goes to the ruler’s house and, in the presence of the father and mother (and a few disciples), says the resurrecting words: “Pais, arise.” Now, unless Jesus is to be accused not only of pedophilia but also necrophilia, we would have to conclude that pais simply means “child.”

Just as the English word mistress doesn’t have to refer to a woman in an extramarital relationship, the Koine Greek word pais doesn’t always refer to a young boy who has sexual relations with older men. In fact, in the New Testament, it never does.

It seems Mr. Michaelson wanted something from Scripture that wasn’t really there: a proof-text for homosexuality being okayed by Jesus. Michaelson really doesn’t care what the Bible says about morality, though. He shows his cards when he says (concerning his take on the “pais” relationship): “This is not a relationship that any LGBT activist would want to promote today.” So wait, even if you are right about this word and about Jesus condoning this relationship, you would immediately refuse to promote such a relationship? Hold on… do you even care what Jesus thinks?



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  • Gordon

    These people are desperate to find validation for their iniquity within scriptural based Christianity. Of course, it is not there. They think because they can sway a few ecclesiastical organizations via political maneuvering and emotional arm twisting, they can “alter” the truth, but they fail again!

  • ARMYOF69

    Even if the person in question were a homosexual, I believe that Jesus would still have performed that miracle, because of the faith shown by the centurion.

  • IrishRush

    I agree that the word pais is being (purposely) misinterpreted, but let’s go with it and re-examine the conclusion. Suppose Jesus did knowingly heal the lover of a gay centurion. What lesson should we take from this? I would say that God loves us all and wants us all to be with Him. Healing the pais / lover gives him more opportunity to renounce his lifestyle and ask forgiveness for his sin.
    This is also why Catholics / Christians oppose the death penalty. It removes the opportunity for repentance.

    • Ross

      It doesn’t take “life in prison” to repent of your sins. If you murder you repent THEN pay with YOUR life.

      • IrishRush

        Not for everyone, no. But who, more than God, has the right to make that decision to end a life?
        Also, the individual who murdered was wrong – at the risk of sounding trite, two wrongs don’t make a right. Killing that individual also does not accomplish anything. I know from first hand experience (my father was killed, the individual responsible was also, later) that the remaining loved ones don’t miss the murdered one less.

  • Michael G.

    In the early part of this ‘piece’ all I could think was… “What a bunch of Krap! (That English for the word, Crap!). Michaelson’s arguments are non-sequetor (that’s Latin for “It does not follow”). Homosexuality is never condoned by God, let alone even suggesting that Jesus Himself was involved in it in any way, shape, or form. That’s an insult! It would take a totally twisted mind to come up with this one. I want to research the word (pais) farther, for my studying of Koine Greek, I know that the Greeks were sticklers for accuracy in language. (Pais) is a word I’ve not run into before, so I’m unfamiliar with it. I have my own work cut out–that’s okay.
    Don’t ever try to tell me that Jesus condoned homosexuality, pedophilia, or any other Krap (again another use of the English word Crap) like that again! Thems fightin’ words!!
    So if anybody wants to challenge me; I’m older than you, so it will be a fair fight!!!!
    If you think I’m kidding…take your best shot!

  • wildwill

    Any one here without sin cast the first stone.All have sinned and come up short but when you continually live and stay in and make excesses for your sin is when you can not be forgivin for that sin.No matter what that sin is.And yes it is a sin. Just like alcoholism ,drug use,lies ,cheats,killers ,rape ,leading this country down the wrong path,etc.

  • Victor Magilke

    This just more vile Hollywood filth denigrating Christians and defaming Jesus. These same producers and directors castigated Mel Gibson for producing The Passion of the Christ. There was nothing anti-Semitic about his movie. What is mind boggling to me is the right wing Christians still support these vile people and give them a pass. I don’t, and anyone that believes Jesus is the son of God shouldn’t either. I’m sure God doesn’t give them a pass.

  • Child of God

    this is an obomination unto God Almighty, and whoever wrote that sick journalism needs to repent because the person that created this lie will stand before God and give an account for this kind fo blalsphemy.. Shame on whoever wrote that.. garbage.. Jesus is the creator of life and is the only way to heaven. no matter what you think i dont care. you can be muslim or atheist i dont care but here’s some news for you agniostics , and atheists out there. one day you will wake up and be in the presence of the one and only creator of the universe and whether or not you beleive me and again i don’t care, you will give an account for your sins, all of them.. and if you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and saviour then there is a place that you will go to.. and it is not Heaven so i will leave the other place to your imagination !! the bible is expliicit about homosexuality and just read it. Homosexuality is not of God !!. it’s all in the book of life, called the Holy Bible.. It will change your life..

  • Greg137

    Misquoting the scriptures is the foundation for the worst forms of heresy.. Common words and phrases have been recycled for centuries.. And Gays have been trying to hide their disgusting acts of perversion behind common words and terms to blend in with societies for thousands of years… Nothing new when you think about it… Imagine how angry the Father would be for these imbeciles trying to portray Him, The LORD as some kind of deviant… I would NOT want to be in their shoes… The Bible does, however, tell the queer folk to abstain from all sexual contact… Yes, so the Bible basically says to the gays, “No sex for you..”

    • Victor Magilke

      The liberals and sexual deviants always misquote scripture to their liking.

  • Victor Magilke

    This just more vile Hollywood filth denigrating Christians and defaming Jesus. These same producers and directors castigated Mel Gibson for producing The Passion of the Christ. There was nothing anti-Semitic about his movie. What is mind boggling to me is the right wing Christians still support these vile people and give them a pass. I don’t, and anyone that believes Jesus is the son of God shouldn’t either. I’m sure God doesn’t give them a pass.

  • Steve

    @Stephen below – Thank you for insight crtique of this article.

  • kakistocraphobe

    Let him who is without sin throw the first stone.

    But never forget that He who is without sin WILL cast the last stone if you don’t follow Him.

    • Jeffrey Liggens

      People who do not choose eternal life by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, will have by default, chosen death eternal. It is their own sin (like a megaton stone) that will cause their plunge into the depths of Hell. Blame that on the person, not Jesus Christ.

  • Jeffrey Liggens

    “Pais” in the Koine Greek means child, and not exclusively male. The “pais” could be female. Nevertheless in the reference of Matthew 8:7, Jesus refers to the pais as “him”, indicating the child was a male. It is no secret that some slave owners of all eras sexually abused their slaves. For the sake of argument, this could have been the case here. The centurion certainly had extreme guilt from whatever his life style was, that he forbade Jesus from entering his home. The fact is, the child, if being molested by his master, had no say in the abuse. It would appear that, for Jay Michaelson to look upon holy scripture, and not feel the convicting power of the Holy Spirit of his depraved sin, in his blasphemous attempt to find some kind of approval of what God has in no uncertain terms stated is an abomination unto Him, that he may be beyond saving, by the Lord Jesus Christ. It appears that Jay Michaelson, in a word, is reprobate. Even a hardened reprobate. And if God has given him over to this, like them whom are spoken of in Romans 8:18-32, he is eternally damned, though he be yet physically alive.

  • ljr3

    You’re observation that healing does not equate blessing is valid. However, equating “homosexuality” and “pediophelia” (modern terms) is an example of how we can read our cultural conditioned understandings into an ancient text. The distinction between Koine and Classical Greek is misunderstood. The former simply refers to the everyday speech as opposed to more formal speech. All interpretation is contextual (as you clearly demonstrate). So who was Jesus healing? A slave, servant or just a boy?

  • DeeDee

    When Jesus healed, He said “Go and sin no more”

    • Victor Magilke

      Amen DeeDee.

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