A friend of mine showed me some Bible verses that I found rather interesting. His bible said it was approved masculine love. The verses are 1 Samuel 18:1-4, and 1 Samuel 20:35-42. Please let me know what your thoughts on this.
Yours in Christ,
First I want to say because a few verses either show favorably or unfavorably towards a subject, does not mean the “Bible” supports or doesn’t support something. The Bible is a collection of sacred writings that come from different time periods and are written by different authors trying to explain from their point of view who God is and how we as humans relate to and journey with God. The views of each of these authors are as varied as the authors themselves. Always remember that the Bible is a history and guide to our faith. The Bible is not the end-all and be-all on any subject of faith. It may be divinely inspired but hardly divinely written.
With that said, it is obvious from the story that is being told in I Samuel that indeed there was a great love between Jonathan and David. Given the timeframe in history, this type of love being shared between two powerful men is not surprising and or shocking. The fact the story is there does lend itself to saying same gender love does not appear to be a “problem” for God or the Jews (certainly the author of Samuel) of that time period. As the story goes when Jonathan dies David’s lament is “that his love for Jonathan surpassed that of a women.” In addition their souls being knit together and Jonathan taking a position of submission with David are all indications of a same gender love that indeed is very similar to that which is experienced by gay men through the ages. Remember it was Jonathan that was in line for the throne and he gave that up for David. I think it is pretty obvious as to what was going on.
So does this mean the Bible approves of “masculine love”? Who cares? What is more important than approval is the fact the love was real and deep enough to be share as an experience of one of God’s own by the author of this sacred writing. Further, when the councils came together to approve those writings as canon this book with THIS story was not left out. That in my mind speaks far more dramatically then if “the Bible” approves. The story has stood the test of time, and that is a wonderful witness to this fact: What is important to God is love.
Editor-in-Chief of Whosoever and Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church of Atlanta, Rev. Paul M. Turner (he/him) grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He and his husband Bill have lived in metro Atlanta since 1994, have been in a committed partnership since the early 1980s and have been legally married since 2015.