The Gospel Coalition

The Story: A new revision of the King James Bible---dubbed the the Queen James Bible---edits out all references to homosexuality in order to provide a Bible translation "edited to prevent homophobic misinterpretation of God's Word."

The Background: The unnamed editors of the revision say they chose to use and retitle the King James Version to the Queen James Version because of the "obvious gay link to King James, known amongst friends and courtiers as 'Queen James' because of his many gay lovers."

The website for the "big, fabulous Bible" claims that homosexuality was first mentioned in the Bible in 1946 in the Revised Standard Version:
There is no mention of or reference to homosexuality in any Bible prior to this---only interpretations have been made. Anti-LGBT Bible interpretations commonly cite only eight verses in the Bible that they interpret to mean homosexuality is a sin; Eight verses in a book of thousands!

Ironically, the site explains that they didn't completely remove the offending verses because, "Revelation says not to 'edit the book,' and people often extend that to mean the entire Bible, not just the book of Revelation." The editors then go on to say, "We edited the Bible to prevent homophobic interpretations. We made changes to eight verses."

An example of one of their edits is Romans 1:27. Here is the verse in the KJV:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

And here is the new QJV translation:
Men with men working that which is pagan and unseemly. For this cause God gave the idolators up unto vile affections, receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

What It Means: In 1807 an English physician named Thomas Bowdler published The Family Shakspeare (sic), an edition of Shakespeare's works edited to remove some of the more objectionable content and phrases. Bowdler's work was designed to provide a more "appropriate" version of the classic texts for 19th-century women and children. In the preface to his work Bowdler announced his desire to make Shakespeare accessible "without incurring the danger of falling unawares among words and expressions which are of such a nature as to raise a blush on the cheek of modesty." His name later became a verb, bowdlerize, and synonymous with expurgation of literature.

How times have changed. In our politically correct age, texts are bowlderized not because they contain works and expressions "which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family" but rather because they offend the sensibilities of those who wish to engage in and apologize for immoral behavior.

What will we see next in this line of bowlderized bibles? Will we soon see a Emma Bovary Version that scrubs all references to adultery? A New Lucifer Translation that removes any references to pride? A Gordon Gekko Study Bible that teaches "greed is good?"

Perhaps instead of trying to justify one's sinful behavior, the editors of the QJV should have spent more time reflecting on Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 4:1-2:
Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.



Comments:

Barbara A. Davis

July 5, 2013 at 02:58 PM

Dear Jesus come quickly!
Christians need to listen for the sound of the trumpet; even more so as the evil day approaches. Praise God they are here!

[...] There’s a Queen James “Gay” Bible out, and The Gospel Coalition offers some commentary. [...]

[...] The Queen James ‘Gay’ Bible – The Gospel Coalition Blog. [...]

JMH

December 21, 2012 at 09:25 AM

Let's be accurate here, shall we? There is no such group as "we", who are spitting in the Savior's face. There are two groups of people in the world. There are the unregenerate, who are enemies of God, Christ, His cross and His people. They spit in the face of the Savior with every breath they take because without faith it is impossible to please God. Then there are His sheep, His bride. These are those who, having heard the gospel of grace, have been granted repentance and faith, and have been declared righteous before God.

There is no moral equivalency here. "Society" does not commit crimes, and "we" do not spit in the face of the Savior.

Greg Haislip

December 21, 2012 at 09:19 AM

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! My bride and I are? celebrating my SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY!? SEVEN YEARS ago Jesus set me FREE from the? sin of homosexuality, HALLELUJAH!!! Today my wife is also pregnant and we are so thankful to Jesus for this wonderful miracle. JESUS IS LORD!!! I used to be addicted to men, but 7 years ago Jesus set me FREE! (YouTube video)

mel

December 20, 2012 at 12:29 AM

Or being monogamous.

The Queen James « HE STILL SPEAKS!

December 20, 2012 at 08:16 AM

[...] The Queen James. Share this:TwitterGoogle +1TumblrStumbleUponEmailPinterestRedditLinkedInFacebookDiggPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Posted in: The Gospel Coalition [...]

Another Mike

December 20, 2012 at 04:23 PM

Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill is a great book discussing the topic of homosexuality and Christianity. It does not advocate but instead discusses by autobiography of the struggle in dealing with recognized sin.

Elizabeth

December 19, 2012 at 11:00 PM

It's like catholics do. They do obbey some parts of the Bible, but ignore others. No one can be radical, I understand that, but I don't know, this is just wrong. We're living Sodoma and Gomorra times again.

Mere Links 12.19.12 - Mere Comments

December 19, 2012 at 10:01 AM

[...] The Queen James ‘Gay’ Bible Joe Carter, The Gospel Coalition The Queen James Bible is a new bible translation “edited to prevent homophobic misinterpretation of God’s Word.” Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply. Name Required: [...]

EricP

December 19, 2012 at 07:44 AM

The glass half full of this story is that they are still interested in the other thousands of verses in the Bible. If skipping 8 verses helps them see the Gospel, then great.

Links I Like | My World

December 19, 2012 at 06:00 PM

[...] Carter on The queen James ‘gay’ bible. Not surprising someone has done this, sad, but not [...]

Vik

December 19, 2012 at 05:19 PM

Well.. even if gays read this bible and took it seriously, it would still condemn them. The bible also talks about fornication is a sin. So I would think that would still be offensive to tell a gay man and woman not to have sex with a person before marriage (or even gay marriage). So far, haven't heard a gay man or woman (even those who say they are christian) talking about the value of "waiting".

zilch

December 19, 2012 at 03:07 AM

Dave- I don't disagree: many good Christians found, and find, support in their faith to fight slavery. Good on them. But I can't find any condemnation of slavery in the Bible, and there's, of course, lots of stuff about how slavery should be done properly.

And of course, for every ardent Christian abolitionist, there was an ardent Christian slave owner who also quoted Scripture. And having read Scripture myself, I can only agree with the slave owner about what the Bible said.

Atheists are often accused of borrowing from the Christian worldview if they behave nicely. I'd say that abolitionism is a good example of the opposite: Christian must borrow from a secular humanitarian moral standard if they oppose slavery.

That's fine with me. You're welcome to behave nicely for whatever reason you want.

The Queen James ‘Gay’ Bible

December 18, 2012 at 11:03 PM

[...] Read More [...]

Liz

December 18, 2012 at 10:57 PM

i could not believe the stories in the bible when I was a young teen, still don't. I'd love to read it with a gay slant though. it will be just as valid as any other opinion of what was meant! I tried to find where to buy it but wasn't successful. hopefully more than one copy was printed :-)

zilch

December 18, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Exactly.

Jacob

December 18, 2012 at 09:53 AM

Coming soon: The NRPV (New Revised Pacifist Version)
Every reference to God's wrath has been removed. .. Wait a minute, someone already tried that; the heresy that came about was called Marcionism :)

On a serious note though. Having studied the Bible in ancient Hebrew and Koine Greek, it pretty much says what it says (in the modern translations we have) with MINOR variations. The manuscript evidence is rock solid too (we have all we need to have).

If we continue to just pick and choose what is right and wrong according to the whims of the culture we live in, we are not going to get very far in terms of advancing the Gospel message to the people around us. Things in the Bible looking antiquated to the culture is nothing new. Time and time again the Word of God stood true. It will continue to stand true.

I feel that we as Christians need to do our best to love people who struggle with homosexuality, but not condone them in their lifestyle choices. Everyone has a vice (or a few) to struggle with, homosexual temptation is not to be elevated as something that gives a person any more or less value than any other person. The point is that we struggle. It's not easy, but we don't give in and just accept sin as acceptable. And we definitely don't omit parts of the Bible that will enable us to condone a lifestyle that the culture deems acceptable.

Socrates

December 18, 2012 at 09:24 AM

I agree homophobia is sin because we are to not fear man but God alone. But homsexuality like all sin must be revealed and condemed for not doing so is to not love. As christians, we are not homophobic, must expose all sin and point sinners to Christ who forgives the sins of the truely repentant.

Jacob

December 18, 2012 at 09:11 AM

"good humanitarian reasons, even if they conflict with Scripture?"

What is really in the heart of man (or should I say "people"?)?

If we go with things that conflict with Scripture, we ourselves become the authority.

Dave

December 18, 2012 at 07:06 PM

Untrue. Many of the abolitionists who were driven by God's work in their lives and the Word to put so much on the line to end slavery would disagree.

The Queen James – Gay Bible – Has Arrived |

December 18, 2012 at 06:36 AM

[...] TheGospelCoalition.com: “An example of one of their edits is Romans 1:27. Here is the verse in the KJV: ‘And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.’ And here is the new QJV translation: ‘Men with men working that which is pagan and unseemly. For this cause God gave the idolators up unto vile affections, receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.’” [...]

Daniel

December 18, 2012 at 05:56 AM

I am not at all supporting this type of heretical behavior. My only thought on the matter is while this issue is very apparent in its disregard to having the Bible dictate the culture, what other sermons and view points does this happen each and every week in the pulpit? Make certain that if you are this fired up about this issue that all further issues should be equally as dissected. I am a firm believer that the culture should not interpret the Bible and believe all to often we stand firm on issue of complete disregard, but fail to stand on other issues (to keep this topic to remain on the QJV, fill in the blank yourself and reflect). My fear is while we can all see the spec in this issue in others, what is the plank that hinders us where we water down the scriptures to help us cope with disobedience.

zilch

December 18, 2012 at 02:58 AM

Indeed. The next logical step is to discard the Bible entirely and look at the world.

zilch

December 18, 2012 at 02:55 AM

There's likewise no condemnation of slavery in the Bible. Homophobia will finally be condemned, like slavery, for good humanitarian reasons, even if they conflict with Scripture.

John Legend

December 17, 2012 at 12:45 PM

I felt like this article ought to deal with the assertion that "homosexuality was first mentioned in the bible in 1946..." If you're going to write an expository piece claiming that the writers are in error, you need to deal with the fact that they are saying they too are dealing with an error. In order for the rest of the article to hold weight, the assertion must be put down hard.

Michael Davis

December 17, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Wow. Kind of reminds me of the Bible version that Thomas Jefferson made that removed all references to miracles.

Mike Ford

December 17, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Joe,

Did the editors give a reason for their anonymity? They seem to be very passionate about it. I am curious if it is because their credentials aren't adequate for scholarly translations or because they don't want to deal with all that comes of having their names attached?

Thanks,
Mike

Ian Thompson

December 17, 2012 at 10:49 PM

It's not a "translation" if you exercise an external criteria to decide what to leave out - at best it's an interpretative selection!

Socrates

December 17, 2012 at 09:59 AM

Remember that Satan's first atempt to decieve man was with the word's " did God realy say". Satan the world and the flesh are all driven by this deceit to create doubt as to what God said. Marriage was created by God to be between a man and a woman. Any thing else is sin (rebelion against God) and evil ( against God's decreed will). Homophobia is not what Christians practice, because we fear only God. Out of fear of God we obey His command to love sinners and seek their repentance and the turning to Christ as the only hope of redeemtion.

Wesley

December 17, 2012 at 09:25 AM

The "editors" of this QJV clearly miss that there is much more than eight verses to contend with. Did they even begin with removing the entire creation account which clearly speaks of God's good design in marriage and sexuality which, even in itself would condemn any practice outside this design. The examples of this kind are too numerous to mention. Nice try QJV. Don't imagine the warnings of Rev. 22:18,19 don't apply.

toby

December 17, 2012 at 08:02 PM

Will we ever stop spitting in the Saviors face? He paid for our sins when He did not have to and we repay Him by perverting everything He has given to us even His Holy Word

Allison

December 17, 2012 at 07:21 PM

While my gut reaction to this article was "how can these people think this? have they read their Bibles?" I could not shake this convicting thought: apart from God's grace, my foolish heart would be darkened, my thinking would be futile and I would be exchanging the truth of God for a lie.

Paul warns Timothy, "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." (2 Tim 4: 3-4) This article served as a warning for me: do I manipulate God's Word for my own sinful desire or selfish agendas? Do I communicate the whole truth of God's Word?

While God's Word does not leave room for debate on how he feels towards homosexuality, the truth is that his wrath is on all sin and all sinners apart from Christ. I was just reminded of the awesomeness and urgency of the Gospel. Apart from Christ, unbelievers will view His Word as foolishness; the Gospel is a stumbling block to those who are perishing. This article reminded me of how our hopeless, unbelieving neighbors, friends and colleagues need the Hope of Christ -- He became sin who knew know sin that in him, we might become Children of God!

Tony

December 17, 2012 at 06:02 AM

You're right, interpretation should put reserved only for the priesthood. The Roman Catholic church has never added anything to the biblical canon to cause question. Hmmm..

precious

December 17, 2012 at 05:34 AM

Who put the Bible text in the hands of the laity?

Loose manuscripts sink souls.

Rollan McCleary

December 17, 2012 at 04:25 AM

The subject is more complex than you make it out to be, and you are assuming that all previous bible translations were correct. What surprises me is that this 8 verse changed QJV bible didn't even look into such as the Sermon on the Mount's hidden in plain sight (under defective or ignorant translation) condemnation of the evils of homophobia. You don't believe it's there, you don't imagine there are things to question? Be sure to listen to all of the following talk and think about it. Plenty to ponder at
www.bit.ly/TIRE90
that you won't have heard from gays or straights liberal or conservative in theology.
The last word hasn't been said, even by the QKV

John Carpenter

December 17, 2012 at 03:52 PM

There's no question of "loose manuscripts" here. This isn't a serious attempt to translate the Hebrew and Greek and produce a new translation only with an odd agenda. It's simply a mutilation of the KJV, thus devoid of even the pretense of scholarship.

John Carpenter

December 17, 2012 at 03:48 PM

Romans 1 tells us that homosexuality is rooted in a quest to "exchange the truth about God for a lie" (Romans 1:25). This "version" is evidence of that.

By the way, the evidence that King James had any homosexual relationship is debate-able, if not scanty. In the days before the attempt to legitimize homosexuality men where not afraid to express affection to each other, even physically, because they wouldn't be suspected of homosexuality (and they were not homosexual). It's still that way in some cultures today. I'm not sure of the truth about King James but until it can be documented, it should not be accepted.

John Carpenter

December 17, 2012 at 03:40 PM

First, the situation isn't complex. Editing the Bible to remove what offends you is wrong.

Second, this isn't a new translation. It's a mutilation of the KJV, likely because that version is no longer under copyright in the US.

Third, there's no condemnation of "homophobia" in the Bible.

Lois

December 17, 2012 at 03:30 PM

But doesn't the Bible say that when one is in Christ, he or she is of the royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9)? Through the Holy Spirit that dwells in us, we are given the ability to interpret the Word and not have to rely on another human other than the high priest Jesus Christ, who is one with the Holy Spirit.

That being said, it is always dangerous for one man to interpret the Word on his own without the accountability of the universal church.

Zach

December 17, 2012 at 03:11 PM

This grieves me.

Joe Carter

December 17, 2012 at 03:06 PM

Well, I didn't address that point because I assumed everyone would recognize that it was a rather silly claim.

While I don't know whether 1946 was the first time the term "homosexual" was used, I suspect it was around that time since that was when it started entering the common parlance. The use of "homosexual" would have been somewhat liberal, since it would be more politically correct than the previous synonyms that were used in translations (such as "sodomites"). The idea that because they didn't use the term "homosexual" (which was coined in the late 1800s) they were referring to a different act is quite a stretch. There was never any doubt—until the late 20th century—about what the Bible was referring to by using the Greek word "arsenokoit?s."

But for anyone interested, CARM has a pretty good short rebuttal to that claim: http://carm.org/word-homosexual-english-bible-1946

Joe Carter

December 17, 2012 at 02:55 PM

Oops, you're right. That's now fixed. Thanks.

Joe Carter

December 17, 2012 at 02:52 PM

Oh, I suspect if they had any scholarly credentials at all they wouldn't be anonymous. But sadly, their credentials (or lack thereof) won't really matter. They are telling a lot of people what they want to hear which nowadays is "expertise" enough.

Daniel Stippinger

December 17, 2012 at 01:38 PM

next thing's gonna be the Self-esteem study bible with foreword by Joel Osteen oO

Greg Dixon

December 17, 2012 at 01:03 PM

Joe,

Great article and much appreciated; but you may want to check your spelling on "Bowdler" and "bowdlerize." The "d" should be before the "l." I know it's picky, sort of like the difference between "carter" and "crater."

Thanks,
Greg