Since our service was observing the Feast of Cornelius the Centurion, Jan explained what we know about the two men who the Bible identifies as Centurions, positing they may have in fact been the same person, and - by exploring some variables in possible translation - positing that the relationship between Cornelius and the "slave" whom Jesus heals may have been slightly more romantic in nature than that between a soldier and his servant would imply. The Greek word pais, which modern English translations of the Bible take to mean "slave" or "servant" is argued by some scholars to actually be an affectionate term for the younger member of a male couple.
For further reading, Jan suggests the following:
- Jesus, the Centurion, and his Lover
Jack Clark Robinson in the Gay & Lesbian Review
- The Gay Centurion: Did Jesus Bless A Gay Relationship?
Gay Christian 101
- Cornelius the Centurion
James E. Kiefer in Biographical Sketches of Christians of the Past