NLT 1 Samuel 18:1–4
After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them, for Jonathan loved David. 2 From that day on Saul kept David with him and wouldn’t let him return home. 3 And Jonathan made a solemn pact with David, because he loved him as he loved himself. 4 Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt.
Why is this ponderable?
If the author of 1 Samuel had lived in the 21st Century, he might have used bromance to explain the bond between them: “a close, emotionally intense, non-sexual, male bonding relationship, distinguished by a particularly high level of emotional intimacy.” This is ponderable because of the details provided by the author and the fact that it is the only relationship described this way in the entire Old Testament.
In the New Testament, we encounter “the disciple whom Jesus loved” in John 21:20–23 Although biblical scholars disagree about the identity this disciple, he is described this way in six different places in the Gospel of John. Some biblical scholars ponder if this could be a reference to Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary. Jesus wept when he learned that Lazarus had died before he arrived at his home. In fact, the death of his friend Lazarus was so devastating to Jesus that he called him back from the tomb. We do not hear about Lazarus again after this event which is also ponderable. Perhaps the Apostles were warned by Jesus to keep this event under wraps lest the people begin to follow Lazarus and fall away from Him.