Evangelicals and non-binary identity

I cannot find any discussion of this subject on the Ship: if I've missed it perhaps a kind shipmate can direct me. If I'm in the wrong place perhaps a kind host can put me right.
Firstly I am not referring to masculine and feminine traits (whatever that means) that many of us believe are present in most individuals. Neither am I asking about transgenderism.
It has been claimed that Genesis ("male and female He created them") can be held to teach that individuals can be both male and female or neither in identity. I'm struggling to understand this and, in one sense, it may not be essential that I am clear in my own mind: what I am wanting to know is expressed in the following:
My question is: how common is this teaching in churches and, specifically, is it taught in evangelically-based churches, where my experience tells me that 'male' and 'female' are always to be clearly defined.
I would be surprised if it is ever a subject for teaching and discussion but perhaps I've not moved in the right circles.
Those who know more about the subject of non-binary identity please feel free to correct me.
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Comments

  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    The answer is no it is not taught. Mostly because it is an unusual understanding of the passage. God create a man and a woman. It is a stretch to say that it means any thing other than that. I have never come across this teaching in any church I have been in across any style. I went to RC church schools and it was not taught there.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited September 9
    Certainly I have never picked up that interpretation of the Creation story although it is intriguing! Quite the opposite: it is usually used to insist that God created two distinct sexes (and thus argue against intersex, transgender and gender dysmorphia; and for complementarian understandings of marriage).
  • Certainly I have never picked up that interpretation of the Creation story although it is intriguing! Quite the opposite: it is usually used to insist that God created two distinct sexes (and thus argue against intersex, transgender and gender dysmorphia; and for complementarian understandings of marriage).

    It's hard to see how you can "argue against" intersex - that's a verifiable biological fact.

    Personally I always find it odd that believers in a God who is described in both traditionally masculine and feminine terms should be so squeamish about the idea that God created some people in his image who also have a mix of those things traditionally considered male and female.
  • It's a typical, naive, desperate projection on to the ancient text that means no such thing. Knowingly playing with the text is fine of course.
  • Arethosemyfeet: I agree, very odd.
    As for the assertion that this is a stretch or naive or desperate projection, I don't agree. There was a scholarly article written and discussed some few years ago: I may be able to provide a link; it's all about the Hebrew - very scientific!
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    I've never heard the sentence "male and female He created them" used to advocate that God created people to be simultaneously male and female. Since Genesis 1 opens with God creating by making a series of separations, light and darkness, water above the heavens from water below etc. and since even Stone Age humans could see that they were visibly divided into approximately equal numbers of male ones and female ones, the more usual understanding is a great deal easier to support.

    I have frequently heard it expounded that God is both male and female, and that it is only with our creation that we are divided into two genders. So both men and women are made in God's image. These days, that would be pretty orthodox but I don't know how much that interpretation is of long standing or just a response to relatively modern pre-occupations.


    Different eras and different cultures seem to get interested in different theological topics. Sorry to say this, and all that, but I don't think past ages - or anyone much until the last 25-30 years - would have been all that interested in the specific question you're asking. So @nontheistfriend in your saying
    "I would be surprised if it is ever a subject for teaching and discussion but perhaps I've not moved in the right circles,"
    I think you're probably right.

    I'd also suspect that there'd not be much difference here between 'evangelical' and anyone else on this, unless 'evangelical' is just being used as a code word for 'things right-thinking shipmates don't like'.

    An interesting question might be how that interpretation would play with feminist theologians, who often take the line that there is a specifically female way of seeing 'life, the universe and everything', and that everybody has missed that.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    There's more traction with the other creation account, I think, where Eve is made out of Adam's rib; one could argue that prior to this separation of male and female Adam was both.
  • As a variant on what Enoch says above; I've seen older rabbinical readings that imply that the first humans (Genesis 1:27) were both male and female, and then they are divided into the sexes in Chapter 2.
  • 1) Evangelicals don´t object the fact that some people are born intersex. What most of them object is the idea that one can be born perfectly male or female, but then switch to the opposite sex, or identify with none.
    2) Sticking with traditional christian beliefs doesn´t make one an "evangelical". The phenomenon of historical churches in the northern hemisphere leaving one traditional christian belief after another is in fact an exception in worldwide christianity, which might give northern hemisphere people the impression that the only ones who still hold to traditional beliefs are "evangelicals". But on a worldwide scale, it´s still the norm that traditional, non-happy clappy evangelical churches, still hold to traditional christian doctrines.
  • Ah, but who is to say whether those 'traditional Christian doctrines' are right, or not?

    As regards the OP, we might do well to remember that Genesis dates from a very long time ago, in terms of human history, when folk had a different world-view from ours. The people of the Bronze Age probably didn't have much experience of non-binary sexuality, though it would be interesting to learn what, if anything, was known!

    ISTM that the text from Genesis means what most here take it to say, to wit, 'Male, and Female, He created them'. See how useful the Oxford Comma can be?
    :wink:
  • As a variant on what Enoch says above; I've seen older rabbinical readings that imply that the first humans (Genesis 1:27) were both male and female, and then they are divided into the sexes in Chapter 2.

    Here (scroll down to get the English translation).
  • 1) Evangelicals don´t object the fact that some people are born intersex. What most of them object is the idea that one can be born perfectly male or female, but then switch to the opposite sex, or identify with none.
    2) Sticking with traditional christian beliefs doesn´t make one an "evangelical". The phenomenon of historical churches in the northern hemisphere leaving one traditional christian belief after another is in fact an exception in worldwide christianity, which might give northern hemisphere people the impression that the only ones who still hold to traditional beliefs are "evangelicals". But on a worldwide scale, it´s still the norm that traditional, non-happy clappy evangelical churches, still hold to traditional christian doctrines.

    I'm not sure where the idea of being "perfectly male or female" is described - any references? Also, the idea of switching sex doesn't describe transgender.
  • Certainly I have never picked up that interpretation of the Creation story although it is intriguing! Quite the opposite: it is usually used to insist that God created two distinct sexes (and thus argue against intersex, transgender and gender dysmorphia; and for complementarian understandings of marriage).

    It's hard to see how you can "argue against" intersex - that's a verifiable biological fact.

    Personally I always find it odd that believers in a God who is described in both traditionally masculine and feminine terms should be so squeamish about the idea that God created some people in his image who also have a mix of those things traditionally considered male and female.

    We all have a mix of things that are traditionally considered male or female. Which doesn´t make us all transgender or intersex. That´s exactly what evangelicals and christians in general argue. If you were born male, you are male, no matter how many traditionally feminine traits you have, and vice-versa. Of course, this does not apply to God, since nobody believes he´s actually male or female. Maybe it´s precisely because the writers of the Bible didn´t have any paralel for a personal being who isn´t either male or female that they kind of had to choose one gender to describe God. Just like in many languages, non-animated objects also have gender in grammar.

    And I do find it odd that non-believers in the christian God usually feel like they have to teach believers how to believe right. It´s almost like you were sayng "Look, I don´t believe a single word of your holly book was actually inspired by a God, I don´t even believe there is a personal God of the type that could inspire books at all, but I assure you that if you interpret your holly book the right way, you´ll end up believing and having exactly the same opinions as me in every controversial subject".


    In other words, you have to interpret the Bible "the right way" (the liberal way) in order to arrive at the same conclusions you would if you had no holly book at all and just went with the flow of culture. It´s no wonder most people nowadays would just skip the God-bit and enter directly in the secular progressive mindset, without having to pay tithes and waking up early on sunday to go to a church were you´ll learn nothing that you can´t elsewhere.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited September 9
    See how useful the Oxford Comma can be?
    I'm not entirely sure that the ancient Hebrew scribes were perfectly at ease with its usage (Oxford not existing then).

  • I'm grateful for the responses.

    In the OP I said :
    It has been claimed that Genesis ("male and female He created them") can be held to teach that individuals can be both male and female or neither in identity.

    I think that this is true.

    KarlLB:
    There's more traction with the other creation account, I think, where Eve is made out of Adam's rib; one could argue that prior to this separation of male and female Adam was both.

    The argument also has been made that the original created being was neither male nor female.
  • I'm grateful for the responses.

    In the OP I said :
    It has been claimed that Genesis ("male and female He created them") can be held to teach that individuals can be both male and female or neither in identity.

    I think if you want to state that you should answer the question 'claimed by who?'
    The argument also has been made that the original created being was neither male nor female.

    I don't see that here, are you asserting it? On what basis? The link I provided claims that they were both.
  • That surely depends on what is meant by 'original created being', as something crawling out of the primeval slime might well be neither male or female, at least as we understand those terms.

    Or do you believe that there was, indeed, a created 'Adam'?
    See how useful the Oxford Comma can be?
    I'm not entirely sure that the ancient Hebrew scribes were perfectly at ease with its usage (Oxford not existing then).

    Very true, but the same could be said for modern-day scribes, despite the invention of Oxford...
    :wink:

  • KarlLB wrote: »
    There's more traction with the other creation account, I think, where Eve is made out of Adam's rib; one could argue that prior to this separation of male and female Adam was both.

    No, no, no, no, no; Eve was genetically male with androgen insensitivity syndrome or Swyer syndrome. I mean duh-er! The infertility was magicked away.
  • Perhaps that's why the pair of them didn't mind walking around nekkid. It was only when she, as it were, became 'female', that they were embarrassed at their nekkidness.

    Though I can't think why...
  • This is a link to an article and following discussion which seems to argue that before the creation of the woman humanity was neither male nor female (i.e. in the image of God).
  • Does anyone these days actually believe in Adam, and Eve, as individuals, created (in a most peculiar manner) at a certain point in time (about 4004 BC, according to some, IIRC)?
  • Once you start down the literal path, it's amazing where you can end up.
  • Indeed it is.
    :worried:
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    The Bible never mentions transgender so any attempts to condemn transgender people by reference to "traditional Christian Beliefs" is pure revisionism.

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Does anyone these days actually believe in Adam, and Eve, as individuals, created (in a most peculiar manner) at a certain point in time (about 4004 BC, according to some, IIRC)?

    Well no; you'd have to decide which account of their creation you believed for starters.
  • 1) Evangelicals don´t object the fact that some people are born intersex. What most of them object is the idea that one can be born perfectly male or female, but then switch to the opposite sex, or identify with none.

    Trans people would tell you that they are not born "perfectly male" or "perfectly female" in your terms.

    Intersex people exist. You're not arguing with that. It is also true that intersex people do not neatly fall into either your male or female biological classification, and this statement holds true regardless of whether or not a particular intersex person has been assigned a binary sex.

    This is fact. My theology must permit this, otherwise it has a problem.

    Once you admit the presence of intersex people who are neither "perfectly male" or "perfectly female", it doesn't seem to much of a stretch to suggest that there might be other groups of people who also don't fit in your "perfectly male" vs "perfectly female" binary classification.

    Christians have, over the years, believed all sorts of things based on our understanding of scripture. Some of those things are wrong. We made an error with our interpretation of scripture. The Earth is not 6000 years old. Random old women in villages were not, by and large, practicing witchcraft. And so on - pick your own falsehood that we used to think was true. There are plenty to chose from.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Slavery, religious genocide, empire building...
  • What @Leorning Cniht said.

    BTW, please would someone define 'perfectly' male (or female)?
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Slavery, religious genocide, empire building...

    Those are not falsehoods. They're in the Bible, and therefore True™.

    (But ISWYM).
    :wink:

  • Certainly I have never picked up that interpretation of the Creation story although it is intriguing! Quite the opposite: it is usually used to insist that God created two distinct sexes (and thus argue against intersex, transgender and gender dysmorphia; and for complementarian understandings of marriage).

    It's hard to see how you can "argue against" intersex - that's a verifiable biological fact.

    Personally I always find it odd that believers in a God who is described in both traditionally masculine and feminine terms should be so squeamish about the idea that God created some people in his image who also have a mix of those things traditionally considered male and female.

    We all have a mix of things that are traditionally considered male or female. Which doesn´t make us all transgender or intersex. That´s exactly what evangelicals and christians in general argue. If you were born male, you are male, no matter how many traditionally feminine traits you have, and vice-versa. Of course, this does not apply to God, since nobody believes he´s actually male or female. Maybe it´s precisely because the writers of the Bible didn´t have any paralel for a personal being who isn´t either male or female that they kind of had to choose one gender to describe God. Just like in many languages, non-animated objects also have gender in grammar.

    And I do find it odd that non-believers in the christian God usually feel like they have to teach believers how to believe right. It´s almost like you were sayng "Look, I don´t believe a single word of your holly book was actually inspired by a God, I don´t even believe there is a personal God of the type that could inspire books at all, but I assure you that if you interpret your holly book the right way, you´ll end up believing and having exactly the same opinions as me in every controversial subject".


    In other words, you have to interpret the Bible "the right way" (the liberal way) in order to arrive at the same conclusions you would if you had no holly book at all and just went with the flow of culture. It´s no wonder most people nowadays would just skip the God-bit and enter directly in the secular progressive mindset, without having to pay tithes and waking up early on sunday to go to a church were you´ll learn nothing that you can´t elsewhere.

    It's perfectly possible to learn homophobia and transphobia in the secular world too. I got them from secular culture before my faith led me away from them.
  • Ah, but who is to say whether those 'traditional Christian doctrines' are right, or not?

    As regards the OP, we might do well to remember that Genesis dates from a very long time ago, in terms of human history, when folk had a different world-view from ours. The people of the Bronze Age probably didn't have much experience of non-binary sexuality, though it would be interesting to learn what, if anything, was known!

    ISTM that the text from Genesis means what most here take it to say, to wit, 'Male, and Female, He created them'. See how useful the Oxford Comma can be?
    :wink:

    Christians have been on the wrong side of history a lot of times. And indeed some beliefs have been re-evaluated due to new scientific knowledge. I don´t think most christians actually believe in a 6 day creation story literally. I don´t think new scientific evidence contradicting the literal meaning of a Bible story is something harmful to faith. But see: SCIENTIFIC. I don´t see how left-wing ideology that guides christian progressives would fit any definition of science.

    And of course, people at the Bronze Age had a very different world-view from ours. Which doesn´t mean we are right and they were wrong about everything. Do you think Contemporary Age is the first in human history where people got absolutely everything right?

    People at the Bronze Age didn´t have the same scientific knowledge we have. But they didn´t have an IDEOLOGY to preach them that sexuality was fluid, or that dividing people into 2 gender categories was something opressive. Perhaps, they just acted like they saw fit when it came to sexuality, acording to their nature.
  • Perhaps they did, and perhaps that's not such a bad way of dealing with it.

    Or, to put it another way, maybe - people are as they are, and should be met where they are, rather than where any narrow-minded 'creed' thinks they should be.

    YMMV.
  • What @Leorning Cniht said.

    BTW, please would someone define 'perfectly' male (or female)?

    Do you seriously not know the difference between a male and a female human being? Or are you simply tryng to catch someone sayng something that you could use to acuse them of being transphobic, homophobic or anything-phobic?

    Even tough what is a male and what is a female is a pretty obvious thing for most persons, I am pretty aware that ANY possible definition would lead to rage in post-modern socially liberal environments. Even if you chosed a very "progressive" definition, there´ll always be someone who is even more radical when it comes to their progressiveness to be outraged by it.



  • What @Leorning Cniht said.

    BTW, please would someone define 'perfectly' male (or female)?

    Do you seriously not know the difference between a male and a female human being? Or are you simply tryng to catch someone sayng something that you could use to acuse them of being transphobic, homophobic or anything-phobic?

    Even tough what is a male and what is a female is a pretty obvious thing for most persons, I am pretty aware that ANY possible definition would lead to rage in post-modern socially liberal environments. Even if you chosed a very "progressive" definition, there´ll always be someone who is even more radical when it comes to their progressiveness to be outraged by it.



    *sigh*
    It's the word 'perfectly' that I'm querying. I thought that was made quite clear by my use of quotation marks.


  • 1) Evangelicals don´t object the fact that some people are born intersex. What most of them object is the idea that one can be born perfectly male or female, but then switch to the opposite sex, or identify with none.

    Once you admit the presence of intersex people who are neither "perfectly male" or "perfectly female", it doesn't seem to much of a stretch to suggest that there might be other groups of people who also don't fit in your "perfectly male" vs "perfectly female" binary classification.

    I fail to see the logic. The fact that there are intersex people must mean that there are other people who are intersex too? (sounds obvious). Or the fact that there are intersex people must mean that men and women can deliberately make themselves intersex? Does it mean that, since there are some intersex people, nobody is truly male or female? If there are no clear definitions of male and female, how is it even possible to be "in between" (inter) sexes?

    This idea doesn´t make sense. Christians acknowledge that God made the eyes in human being for them to see. If you´re secular/atheist/progressive-christian, then evolution has developed the human eye so that humans could see things. But then there are people who are born blind. It is not offensive to state that these people have imperfect eyes (since there is no moral condemnation in this). And it would be crazy to state that people who were born with perfectly seeing eyes would ask for a surgery so that they could become blind.

    Most intersex people have sexual development disorders or a chromosome anomaly. It´s not a matter of what they feel, or them being ideologically opposed to gender norms. It´s just a biological fact.

  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    Straw man attacks on progressives doesn’t help anything.

    Male and female are biological categories and would normally be defined by having stereotypical sex characteristics associated with each sex (male and female). Presumably, then, “perfectly” must be the Grecian Males and Females, sculpted from the fertile marble of mind.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited September 9
    @1986_overstaged said '...it would be crazy to state that people who were born with perfectly seeing eyes would ask for a surgery so that they could become blind.'

    Body dysmorphic disorder sufferers might disagree with you. Some have been known to go to the lengths of trying to get parts of themselves - which they perceive as imperfect - surgically removed.

    But I digress.
  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    Fortunately, however, this very narrow definition means that anyone not born “perfectly” is free to do as they please with their body! Since that’s probably everyone, no need to worry.
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited September 9
    It has been claimed that Genesis ("male and female He created them") can be held to teach that individuals can be both male and female or neither in identity. I'm struggling to understand this and, in one sense, it may not be essential that I am clear in my own mind: what I am wanting to know is expressed in the following:
    My question is: how common is this teaching in churches and, specifically, is it taught in evangelically-based churches, where my experience tells me that 'male' and 'female' are always to be clearly defined.
    I would be surprised if it is ever a subject for teaching and discussion but perhaps I've not moved in the right circles.

    My church says it is evangelical on its website and we have discussed this issue in the context of a group Bible study on Genesis, a while back now.

    I have decided I personally am a "textualist", in other words I want to look at what the text says.

    Genesis 1:27 says God created mankind "male and female". This is in the context of everyone and everything being fruitful and multiplying, an important concept in the thought of the time, and which for humans, back then, obviously required biologically male and female.

    I think 'natural law' is still a meaningful concept, as is biological 'otherness'. I accept there can be other ways of nurturing 'otherness' and that there's a lot more to diversity and complementarity than male and female, nevertheless I think that so long as offspring are liable to emerge from what @orfeo once memorably described as "a bit of heavy breathing round the back of the bike shed" (and that this "heavy breathing" is, on the whole, fun...) this 'natural law' is going to be prevalent for the foreseeable future.

    (NB this is not a value judgement but, from where I'm sitting, simply an observation).

    However, Genesis 1 doesn't say anything about roles or identities beyond the function of reproduction and stewardship of the earth (incumbent equally on both male and female).

    It's not until Genesis 2, after all that malarkey with 'Adam' (NB, Adam literally means 'human', not 'the man') and the animals, that we for the first time get the words 'ish' (man) and 'isha' (woman) (v23 and v21 respectively).

    So yes, in the Genesis 2 narrative sequence, man and woman as such are not there right from the outset, and it could even be argued, perhaps not very convincingly, that intersex is the original human state.

    Some complementarian evangelicals add all sorts of differentiation of roles to the biological difference of sex, but there isn't really much to support this in the early chapters of Genesis, apart from the woman being the one who actually bears children.

    What I take away from these chapters, and Genesis 2 in particular, is that identity is not first and foremost a matter of sex or gender. A point returned to in the New Testament, notably when Paul declares that in Christ there is neither... male nor female, we are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).

    I recognise that biological sex and/or gender are extremely, sometimes painfully important for some, but for many others, they simply aren't. If we haven't discussed these issues more in a church context it's mostly because they haven't particularly arisen. I don't think we have a "clear definition" of "male and female" in the way you suggest. The important thing in Genesis is humankind, albeit with the biological differences referred to above.

    (Advance warning: I'm not going to be very available over the next several days to add more to this discussion).


  • Eutychus: thanks.
  • @1986_overstaged, what is the prickly, illiberal "wrong way"? A dogmatic method of understanding God through the use of scripture by not applying the same modern hermeneutics used to understand any ancient writings, symbols and scriptures? A belief structure dependent upon Church dogma and creedal doctrine? Not embracing the methodologies of Enlightenment science, including empirical evidence and the use of reason, as the basis for interpreting the Bible, life, faith and theology?
  • People at the Bronze Age didn´t have the same scientific knowledge we have. But they didn´t have an IDEOLOGY to preach them that sexuality was fluid, or that dividing people into 2 gender categories was something opressive. Perhaps, they just acted like they saw fit when it came to sexuality, acording to their nature.

    ....

    I take it you've not read very much Graeco-Roman literature, then ...
  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    Ricardus wrote: »
    People at the Bronze Age didn´t have the same scientific knowledge we have. But they didn´t have an IDEOLOGY to preach them that sexuality was fluid, or that dividing people into 2 gender categories was something opressive. Perhaps, they just acted like they saw fit when it came to sexuality, acording to their nature.

    ....

    I take it you've not read very much Graeco-Roman literature, then ...


    Good point! Of course, they didn’t really have a notion of sexuality in the same way we did, but they certainly didn’t think only opposite genders could have sex and still be moral, or whatever.
  • People at the Bronze Age didn´t have the same scientific knowledge we have. But they didn´t have an IDEOLOGY to preach them that sexuality was fluid, or that dividing people into 2 gender categories was something opressive.
    "Ideology" is a charged word and usually used to insult. But I will ignore that for now and use the word, as it's the one handed to me.

    Where do you think that ideology came from? Somebody open a drawer and there it was? No. The idea that sexuality is fluid came from people finding that they didn't fit into the IDEOLOGY of binary, mutually-exclusive sexes. Many of them tried very hard, and wanted with all their might to fit into the old ideology, but failed. As we pieced together the stories of more and more of these people, we finally came to realize the world was NOT flat, and we needed to adjust our theories. Sorry, we realized that human sex and sexuality was not a simple, rigid binary. This isn't an IDEOLOGY any more than heliocentrism is an idiology. It's a discovery leading to a paradigm shift.
  • Or, in the case of some people, not leading to a paradigm shift.
    :grimace:
  • Are we talking about the Sexes or Are we talking about Gender roles?

    Seems to me there are several gender roles that are acknowledged in the Bible

    For instance even Jesus says there are some who choose not to be sexual. Sounds like Asexuality to me. Then there is the Eunuch in the Acts of the Apostles who, through no fault of his own) has been denied his masculinity.

    I would hold that Jesus healed a young male sex slave of a Centurion soldier no questions asked.

    It was not all that unusual for unmarried males to have same sex relationships before they were married. Look at the story of David and Jonathan.
  • Where?

    He wasn't a slave.

    What about it?
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Are we talking about the Sexes or Are we talking about Gender roles?

    Seems to me there are several gender roles that are acknowledged in the Bible

    For instance even Jesus says there are some who choose not to be sexual. Sounds like Asexuality to me. Then there is the Eunuch in the Acts of the Apostles who, through no fault of his own) has been denied his masculinity.

    I would hold that Jesus healed a young male sex slave of a Centurion soldier no questions asked.

    It was not all that unusual for unmarried males to have same sex relationships before they were married. Look at the story of David and Jonathan.

    You really are making some assumptions there. Not least there is no direct biblical evidence that David and Jonathan were lovers. You are going outside the text and into the realm of drawing conclusions. Never a good idea.

    Again choosing not to have sex is more likely about discipline.

    The healed slave, again conjecture not backed by the text.
    You are entitled to your own opinions but I am not sure you can back them up from the original
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. We know from contemporary writings outside of the Bible that such relationships were a thing, if not a common thing, amongst Roman and Greek society.

    So white the conjecture is not backed by the Biblical text, it can be surmised from other sources.
  • And David and Jonathan? And we can surmise what we like, this Roman was pro-semitic, he'd gone dingo.
This discussion has been closed.