The gay centurion in Matthew: Ancient literature that supports the rendering of “pais” as “male lover”

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Recently, in a July 31 posting on Facebook in which Stephen Parelli said a Ugandan activist had sent him a positive write-up on “When Jesus met a gay Centurion” taken from the book The Children Are free: Reexamining the Biblical Evidence on Same-sex Relationships by Jeff Miner and John Tyler Connoley, Jeff Miner, one of the authors of the book, responded to the general conversation around the posting with the following comments:

ACCRA, GHANA.  by REV. STEPHEN PARELLI.  AUGUST 7, 2016.

Hi friends! Sometimes it helps to see how a word was used in the ancient literature. Here are two Greek poems that use the word “pais” in exactly the manner described in our book. Hundreds more examples could be cited. By the way, please also note the supporting scholarly citations footnoted in our book that support interpretation proposed. Two example poems follow:

Jeff Minor
co-Author (with John Tyler Connoley) of “The Children Are Free:  Reexamining the Biblical Evidence on Same-sex Relationships”

Alas for this difficult and misfortunate malaise of mine!
This is the second month a feverish passion has possessed me For a pais of mediocre beauty, although from head to toe
He is solid charm all over, and sweet the smile upon his cheeks. . . .
For yesterday in passing he glanced at me through his eyelashes
Surreptitiously, ashamed to stare me straight in the face, and blushed.
Thereupon infatuation grabbed a little more of my heart. . . . .

And the poem continues.

But as we noted, the word Theocritus used to describe the male with whom he was infatuated was “pais,” which is the word a man would use in ancient Greco-Roman culture to describe another male with whom he was taken or with whom he had a relationship.  It’s all over the ancient literature. Here’s another example from the poet Meleager [Mel-EE-ager], who writes this beautiful love ballad:

The cables of my life, Miscus, are fitted to you,
In you too is the last breath of my soul.
For yes, by your eyes, pais, which speak even to the deaf,
and, yes, by your shining brow,
If ever you cast a clouded look upon me, I see winter,
But if you look kindly, sweet spring has bloomed.

_________________________________
Roman Centurian 200 x 200This short but powerful blog was put together by Rev. Stephen Parelli, August 7 and 8, while he was staying in Kwabenyan, a suburb of Accra, Ghana.  It was published to the Internet from Kwabenyan, Accra, on Monday, August 8, 2016.
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