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The Man Jesus Loved First Edition Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0829815351
ISBN-10: 082981535X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Theodore W. Jennings, Jr., author of The Liturgy of Liberation (Abingdon Press), has taught at the Evangelical Methodist Seminary in Mexico City. (1990)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: The Pilgrim Press; First Edition edition (June 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082981535X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0829815351
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #690,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"The Man Jesus Loved" clears away centuries of traditional Christian teaching to reexamine Jesus's positions and roles with regard to personal relationships and family values and how these relate to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Members of the Christian Right in the USA are frequently known to state that biological family trumps everything, that marriage can only be between an adult man and an adult woman, that active homosexuals are automatically condemned to burn in the flames of hell, and that women and children should be subordinate to men. Centuries of the teachings of St. Paul, many early Church Fathers, of Church Councils, of Orthodox Jewish (and Islamic) teachings, and Papal directives are cited to support these views.
The author, Theodore W. Jennings, Jr., Ph.D. is a professor of biblical and constructive theology at Chicago Theological Seminary and is a United Methodist clergyman. He is not a crank but a trained professional willing to take another look at the Jesus story before the Church became a part of the respectable Establishment of the Roman Empire. It turns out that all the above mentioned teachings of members of the Christian Right are challenged in the Gospels (and in supporting documents like the Gospel of Thomas).
Jennings starts out by examining the title character's role in the Gospel of St. John [John 13, 18-21]. It turns out that there is substantial similarity between the relationship between Jesus and the Beloved Disciple and that between a lover and a beloved in a Hellenistic gymnasium; nowadays we would say they were boyfriends or lovers.
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Format: Paperback
THE MAN JESUS LOVED is the right book by the right scholar at the right time. Theodore Jennings, a Methodist by background and New Testament scholar at the Chicago Theological Seminary, offers a useful and reliable short volume that is not only gay-friendly but friendly to all Christians who want to confront an exegesis about the "other" Disciple without the blinkers of homophobia.
Indeed, much of the book's relevance and excellence lies in its ability to speak not only to Queer Studies but to other, more traditional schools of thought in a way that will meet and exceed their expectations. Anyone who expects a tabloidish "Extra, extra, Our Lord was gay! Kept rentboy on side!" won't find that kind of Procrustean insistence here. In THE MAN JESUS LOVED, Jennings takes us through an informed close reading of various gospels, revealing multiple interpretations. He patiently and expertly unpacks a First-Century social and political milieu, offering a full-bodied view of a fully-inclusive Jesus whose ministry spoke to all people, including the marginalized, then as now.
In essence, and in addition to its considerable scholastic merit, Jennings' work acts as a kind of hermeneutic or research switchboard among several polarizing communities: Queer Studies, Social Gospel, contemporary New Testament, and of course the well-informed lay people who like to stay on top of what's going on (some knowledge of the Bible, and preferably the New Revised Standard Version, is assumed).
Whatever one's experience or jumping-off point, this is a good book to begin or refresh a view of Jesus the all-inclusive; and certainly it's a great way to consider how modern ministry today can expand to include the previously excluded and unacknowledged. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
The chasm between anti-gay and gay-supporting Christians has been growing wider in the United States because of cynical politics and religious grandstanding. This book is clearly an effort to build a bridge over that gap. It follows in the tradition of Jesus Acted Up and the works of Boswell from a scholarly perspective. Jennings explores a tradition about Jesus that has been around for centuries: that Jesus loved another man (the Beloved Disciple) passionately and faithfully. Jennings supports it with scripture and many sound observations. I was especially interested in his conclusion that the Beloved Disciple may have been Lazarus: the young man that Jesus had "raised from the dead." How does the theory of a gay Jesus fit with the much more popular idea that Jesus was wed to Mary Magdalene and had children? A bisexual Christ cannot be ruled out, and this was in fact suggested by the earlier book Jesus Acted Up. Although Jennings did not touch on all of the Old Testament writings that might have further supported his thesis, this book is certainly worth a place on your bookshelf.
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Given the book's content and title, I was expecting something off-the-wall! But nothing could be further than the truth. The author has serious academic qualifications, and the press is associated with the United Church of Christ. The idea that Jesus could be involved in a homoerotic relationship is startling, to put it mildly, but the book makes an excellent case. Even if one doesn't fully accept the book's conclusions, there's a lot of thought-provoking textual analysis, especially on Jesus's attitude toward the Law, and to so-called "family values" issues (I suspect He would be quite dismayed to see how the Religious Right has hijacked debate in this area).
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