Did Paul have gay urges?
In the Book of Acts we are informed that Paul had Timothy circumcised:
1: And he came also to Derbe and to Lystra: and behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewess that believed; but his father was a Greek.
2: The same was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
3: Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and he took and circumcised him because of the Jews that were in those parts: for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
(Acts 16:3 American Standard Version)
Paul circumcised Timothy because he was facing stiff opposition from the Jews. Thus, in order to avoid getting into more troubles Paul had Timothy circumcised, even though Timothy’s father happened to be a Greek Gentile. But why was the circumcision debate important for the Jews whom Paul wanted to pacify?
To some Gentile readers, this circumcision debate might seem peripheral. Some men are circumcised, others not – so what? In order to see the revolution that Paul was effecting within Jewish circles (or satellites) we turn to the old rabbinic texts. The rabbis considered circumcision so important that they declared 6 that were it not for the blood of the covenant – that is to say, the blood which flowed from Abraham’s penis when, at God’s insistence, he circumcised himself – heaven and earth would not exist. The teaching of Judaism was that a child must still shed the blood of a covenant…even if he is born without a foreskin, and even if for some medical or other reason he is circumcised before the mystical eighth day. Even the angels are circumcised….
Converts to Judaism in the Roman period had to undergo circumcision….Strangely enough, in Palestine rules were more liberal than in the Diaspora, and there were Proselytes of the Gate, as they were known, who were allowed to ‘become Jews’ without circumcision. But such was not the general rule. It was widely believed that the admission of uncircumcised men into Jewish religious worship ‘impeded the arrival of the Messiah’. While ‘semi-converts’ were allowed, those who observed the Sabbath and the dietary laws, they were to be regarded as heathens if after a twelve-month period they had not undergone circumcision. These stringent rules did not deter converts….
(A. N. Wilson, Paul The Mind Of The Apostle, Pimlico. 1998. ISBN 0-7126-6663-X p. 128)
So now we need to ask, how was circumcision practised then? What was the method used in those days to circumcise someone? This is explained in detail by A. N. Wilson who writes:
By Roman times, circumcision was done with a metal knife, and, if we believe that Paul did insist on Timothy undergoing circumcision, it is perhaps worth reminding ourselves of the three essential parts of the ritual, without which it is not complete. The first part is milah, the cutting away of the outer part of the foreskin. The is done with one sweep of the knife. The second part, periah, is the tearing of the inner lining of the foreskin which still adheres to the glans, so as to lay it wholly bare. This was (and is) done by the operator – the mohel, the professional circumciser – with his thumb-nail and index finger. The third and essential part of the ritual is mesisah, the sucking of blood from the wound. Since the nineteenth century, it has been permissible to finish this part of the ritual with a swab, but in all preceding centuries and certainly in the time of Paul it was necessary for the mohel to clean the wound by taking the penis into his mouth. In the case of a young adult male such as Timothy the bleeding would have been copious. 12 We can easily imagine why Paul’s Gentile converts were unwilling to undergo the ritual; and, given the more liberal attitudes towards the Torah which had already begun to emerge among the Hellenists of Syrian Antioch, it is not surprising that the custom of circumcision should have started to wane. It took the extremism of Paul to think that the knife of circumcision would actually ‘cut you . . . off from Christ’. But could any greater contrast be imagined between this belief and the traditional Jewish view that those who did not weild that knife delayed the coming of the Messiah?
(Ibid., p. 131)
In other words, Paul had to take the penis of Timothy in his mouth in order to circumcise him! Note also how strongly Paul opposes circumcision elsewhere in the New Testament:
2: Behold, I Paul say unto you, that, if ye receive circumcision, Christ will profit you nothing.
3: Yea, I testify again to every man that receiveth circumcision, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
4: Ye are severed from Christ, ye would be justified by the law; ye are fallen away from grace.
5: For we through the Spirit by faith wait for the hope of righteousness.
6: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith working through love.
(Gal 5:2-6 American Standard Version)
However, when it came to saving himself from some trouble, Paul immediately had Timothy circumcised so that the Jews would not bother him further. Since we are aware of Paul’s intense opposition to circumcision no matter what, surely his circumcision of Timothy indicates his hidden homosexual desires that he wished to fulfill at least once in his life time. That he had deep and intense desires to take a penis in his mouth, so when an oppurtunity came along, he decided to avail it. Hence he now had a good excuse to take a penis in his mouth and no one could object to that. We can suppose that Timothy, a grown man, had an erection within Paul’s mouth and eventually ejaculated therein. One cannot claim that someone other than Paul circumcised Timothy because it is clearly stated that it was Paul who circumcised him. There was no pressing need for Paul to circumcise Timothy if indeed he was opposed to the practice as staunchly as related in Galatians. But that he did go along and conducted the circumcision gives us a reason to pause as it suggests he had gay urges.
Now it is our turn to say, Whatever interpretation Christians may have given to Paul’s action later on (correctly or incorrectly), the fact that Paul would put the penis of an adult man in his mouth is shameful and disgusting to say the least.
They should have put him to death:
New International Version (NIV)
13 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
Also visit these sites:
|His character was torn apart
by inner conflicts. One trouble was that he suffered on occasion from what he describes as a “scolops”, a “thorn” in the flesh, a disability of which he three times asked God to relieve him, without success. Certain Fathers of the Church and many subsequent writers thought it referred to sexual temptation.
The great Pauline scholar, Arthur Darby Nock, although unwilling to commit himself on the meaning of the particular phrase in question, has lent his authority to this interpretation of Paul’s general attitude: “The point of difficulty for him perhaps lay in sexual desire, of which he speaks.”
Paul’s hostility to sex cannot be entirely attributed to his belief in the imminence of the Second Coming. His unmistakably pejorative attitude does raise insistent questions about his own tastes and practices. Suppressed and frustrated sexual desire, then, may be the “thorn in the flesh” of which Paul complains.
– Michael Grant
< Sculpture of Paul by Michelangelo
|John Shelby Spong is the Episcopal bishop of Newark. While many gay people’s experience of churches has been negative in the extreme, Bishop Spong has been an amazing voice of loving, authoritative common sense, especially on sexual matters such as homosexuality, and biblical themes like the virginity of Mary. He writes of Paul:
|Remember one thing about Paul:
he was just a guy, like you or me. Even saints are only human, and Paul was DEAD WRONG about some things. He was totally repressive of women and of sex. (“A man is better off having no relations with a woman.” 1 Cor. 7:1. Hardly what most Christian churches preach today, though personally I can relate.) He accepted the validity of slavery. He was sure that the Messiah would return to end the world any day, which proved very awkward as the years kept rolling by and no Jesus. His brief writings against homosexuality seem to be condemnation of pagans who would not accept his religion (which is entirely unlike the religion Jesus preached).
But rather than dish Paul for his first-century foibles, we might better recall 1 Corinthians, Ch 13:
“Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous, it does not put on airs, it is not snobbish. Love is never rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not prone to anger; neither does it brood over injuries. There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure. There are in the end three things that last: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.”
St. Paul by Albrecht Durer, who was also gay…. > > >
WAS ST. PAUL GAY? CLAIM STIRS FURY
Published: February 02, 1991
Throughout his ministry as an Episcopal priest and bishop, John S. Spong has been surrounded by controversy as he has labored on the leading edge of movements to bring blacks, women and homosexuals into the full life of his church.
But now that he has written that St. Paul, the apostle and first great teacher of Christianity, was a “self-loathing and repressed gay male,” even his defenders are expressing shock. Many are saying that this maverick voice of mainstream Christianity is fast losing credibility and may soon be regarded as little more than a street corner prophet whom everyone sees but no one hears. Bishop Spong, the 59-year-old head of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, has managed to keep a loyal and attentive following despite a swirl of Spong-centered disputes both nationally and in his home diocese. Understanding Paul
Conservative bishops, for example, asked that Bishop Spong be censured for ordaining a sexually active gay man, but the House of Bishops refused, deciding instead to merely “disassociate” itself from his actions. And, in his own diocese, at least one priest has sued Bishop Spong in court, charging that he illegally withheld parish funds. Most of his priests, however, have stood by him, either out of genuine admiration or, some suggest, fear.