You may think this a trick question but, you know all of the times you’ve read about the betrayal and arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, do you remember coming across a naked young man running around in the background?
No? Me neither!
Well he didn’t escape the notice of a growing and rather vocal lobby who seem to be obsessed with the idea of a Gay Jesus.
They quote this obscure passage from the Gospel attributed to Mark, Mark 14:51 to be exact.
“And there followed him a certain young man, having a fine linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: and he left the fine linen cloth, and fled from them naked.”
The Greek word used here is “Sindona” (Strong´s #4616) and it is used to describe the naked young man’s fine linen robe (worn at night), which, to be fair to the Gay lobby, does seem a bit strange. Why would this young man be in the Garden of Gethsemane (an olive grove) at night in his PJs?
Some Christian scholars have suggested that the Gospel writer (of Mark) was trying to prefigure the young man in the tomb later in the story but this doesn’t work. In Mark 16:5 the angelic young man is wearing a “Stolé” – a long robe worn by men of rank, so there is no comparison.
The first thing that comes to mind is why was Jesus in an olive grove in the early hours of the morning with his closest students?
Well, to answer that question here’s a little background information: In the Hebrew culture of the first century CE, an olive press had to have a ritual bath (Mikvah) nearby in order that the production of olive oil would be kosher. For wine and olive oil to be Kosher the workers must be ritually clean. (To read more on this HERE)
The other thing to note is that it is normal for Hebrew people, even today, to get up in the night to study Torah and to pray.
As it turns out, last year the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum uncovered the remains of a first century Mikvah at the base of the Mount of Olives. The olive press and the Mikvah are right next to the Temple at Jerusalem.
It is evident then that if Jesus and his team were praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, they would have first had to use the Mikvah. Obviously, the High Priest would have known that. And, if you want to arrest a well-armed group of men, what better moment could you choose than to ambush them than at the precise moment that they would be unarmed and naked – in the bath.
We know that the students of the Jesus of History were armed because in Luke 22:36 Jesus jokes that it would be better to be naked than without a sword:
‘And he said to them, “But now, he has a purse pick it up and if not, a beggar’s bag and if he has none, let him sell his cloak and buy a sword.”
When the Temple Guards try to arrest Jesus and his students a sword fight ensued and one of the temple guards was injured – his ear was cut off. But, rather than make peace, the Jesus of History demands to know why the temple guards had come to arrest him in the night, when they could have taken him at any time in the Temple.
Contrary to popular Christian belief the text in the Gospel of Mark says nothing about Jesus healing anyone during the arrest. He was no pacifist and certainly this scene does not suggest he was gay.
It seems evident to me that the writer used the literary device of the naked youth to emphasize the fact that the Nazarenes were unprepared and vulnerable. When read without Christian preconceptions, the violence of the confrontation, as written, is obvious.
And here’s the thing, to read homosexuality into a naked Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane is to impose our own post Christian sensibilities back in time, but it is not just the Gay lobby who are obviously fatally historically illiterate, the pseudo-scholars of Christian academia have been ignoring the realities of Hebrew culture and history for two thousand years.
If you found this blog interesting, you might like to read about one of the other pieces of Gay evidence, the Beloved Disciple.
We have also produced a documentary video on the subject so go to our YouTube Channel to see that – Was Jesus Gay?
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