Same-Sex Intercourse Involving Jewish Men 100 BCE–100 CE

Sources and Significance for Jesus’ Sexual Politics

In: Religion and Gender
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  • 1 University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

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It is commonplace in New Testament scholarship to assume that Judaism at the turn of the Era univocally condemned same-sex intercourse among men, whether scholars use this supposition to argue that Jesus felt likewise or was uniquely accepting of the practice. The present article provides the original-language text, English translation, and brief commentary for evidence of same-sex intercourse involving Jewish men around the turn of the Era, pointing to the varying testimonies of Josephus, Martial, a graffito, Tacitus, and the Warren Cup. The paper concludes with a reflection on the relevance of the study for understanding Jesus’ sexual politics. This article contains graphic literary and visual depictions of sexual intercourse.

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