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Document Details :
Title: Die Liebe von David und Jonatan als Frage der modernen Exegese
Author(s): NISSINEN, Martti
Volume: 80 Issue: 2 Date: 1999
In the recent debate concerning the relationship of David and Jonathan as described in 1 Sam 18-20 and 2 Sam 1 the main issue has been whether or not the love between these male persons should be characterized as 'homosexual'. Since the concept of homosexuality is not inherent in the biblical text but rather reflects the modern interpretation of gender, its use has been justly questioned. It is argued in this article that neither the story of David and Jonathan nor such texts as Gen 19,1-11, Judg 19 and Lev 18,22 and 20,13 can be interpreted as reflecting an overall concept of homosexuality. The relationship of David and Jonathan may be understood as a socially acceptable male bonding between equals, in which mutual love and affection is depicted with some homoerotic traits but in which the differentiation of active and passive, i.e. male and female sexual roles plays no role. The biblical text does not disclose homosexual orientation, thus it is up to the modern reader to decide to what extent the relationship of David and Jonathan corresponds to what is today called ‘homosexuality’.