Some might argue that even to raise the question of Jesus' sexuality is to introduce an anachronism. But who says anachronism is wrong? Only if one is "playing by the rules" of modern historical criticism can anachronism even be raised as a delegitimating factor. Why should a modern person, a modern Christian or non-Christian, be worried about anachronism?At first glance this statement seemed absurd to me. Of course we will try to avoid anachronism as best we can if for no other reason than this: my historical portrait of Jesus has to make sense to me. Further, when I write, I have several mentors looking over my shoulder in spirit. This is to say that "me" in this case is a collective identity projection. I will always be trying to make my historical subject make sense for myself and the ghosts I carry with me. If my Jesus seems at odds with what I've been taught of his historical context, I've got some explaining to do.
But not all anachronisms are created equal. We can trot out examples of Moses' wristwatch in The Ten Commandments or da Vinci's seating arrangement of The Last Supper. But these are too easily debunked. What about sex and gender? The difference between gender and sex (although there is an obvious overlap) is that gender refers to how folks understand their identity while sex can be limited to physicality. It may well be that the ancients did not make this distinction. (Although one wonders about the difference between arsenokoitēs and malakos in Paul's thinking.) But sometimes I wonder whether an undue fear of ancient/modern analogues is more of a hindrance than a help. Sure there must be many attitudes and postures with regard to human nature that are analogous. Should we assume that our experiences are chronologically idiosyncratic until proven otherwise? Isn't it better to acknowledge some basic analogies and then nuance the differences from there?