It’s not too surprising anymore that new versions of the Bible are released that purport to correct translation errors. The good ones are done by Hebrew and Greek scholars who carefully analyze original manuscripts and the contexts in which they were written. The bad ones take current English translations and simply tweak them to say what the publishers want them to say. The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation rewords English verses concerning Christ’s divine origin. The Mormon’s Joseph Smith Translation rewords English verses to support their belief in eternal marriage and salvation by works among numerous other things. So why not a translation of the Bible that expunges/explains away the Biblical sin of homosexuality? That’s exactly what “The Queen James Bible” does, claiming “to resolve interpretive ambiguity in the Bible as it pertains to homosexuality”. And they do it by taking the King James Version and rewording verses concerning homosexuality to only apply to antiquated pagan rituals. It has a sort of logic to it, but in the end it’s simply a good example of eisegesis as its very best. I’m not here to argue whether homosexuality is inherently right or wrong, but I will defend the Bible from those who want to make it say something that it simply does not. (I do so as a linguist and Bible translator.) I also will defend against their jabs at orthodox Christian interpretation as being “homophobic”. It would simply have been more honest for them to argue that much of the Bible is just antiquated and that they don’t believe those parts anymore. But they instead decided to tread in the murky waters of editing the Bible. Let’s look at their arguments written on: queenjamesbible.com.
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.
Well, fine and good. The English word “homosexuality” wasn’t used in the Bible before 1946; but other words like “sodomy” were. English aside, there are a number of words in the Hebrew and Greek that directly refer to the concept and act of homosexuality. If they are claiming that there is no reference to the concept of homosexuality in any Bible prior to 1946 (even the original manuscripts), then this is wrong as we shall see. But if they are just talking about the English word “homosexual” itself, then I honestly don’t see their point.
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!
First, reading what the Bible says on “homosexuality” is not inherently “anti-LGBT”. To substitute “LGBT” in is an attempt to juxtapose the American political LGBT movement against supposed misinterpretations of these verses and place orthodox Christians in antithesis to their cause. Political maneuvering is simply inappropriate here.
Furthermore, it is a logical fallacy to assert that a small number of verses among thousands of verses means they don’t mean anything or carry any moral clout. It can likewise be argued that the Bible has only four verses that speak on the sin of bestiality (sex with animals). Four verses in a book of thousands… does that make bestiality okay? No. Some things are just morally self-evident and don’t need repeated over and over.
The Queen James Bible seeks to resolve interpretive ambiguity in the Bible as it pertains to homosexuality: We edited those eight verses in a way that makes homophobic interpretations impossible.
Those who buy this Bible won’t be “homophobic” in the first place. Because the said “homophobes” will stick to the more accurate translations. It’s rather disconcerting to find out that the publishers think that anyone who reads the verses for what they literally say are homophobic. Such name-calling is uncalled for. There’s a big difference between being afraid (paranoid) of homosexuality and morally against it.
Commonly known to biographers but often surprising to most Christians, King James I was a well-known bisexual. Though he did marry a woman, his many gay relationships were so well-known that amongst some of his friends and court, he was known as “Queen James.” It is in his great debt and honor that we name The Queen James Bible so.
It’s common for people to associate the Bible with King James. I’ve even met people who thought King James wrote the Bible. In reality he only funded a particular Bible translation and was not directly involved in its writing. So it’s strange to know that because he was bisexual, his derogatory nickname coined by mockers has become the honorary title of a Bible.
We chose the 1769 form of the King James Bible for our revision for the following reasons:
1. The obvious gay link to King James, known amongst friends and courtiers as “Queen James” because of his many gay lovers.
2. No Bible is perfect, but everyone knows the King James Bible; It is arguably the most popular Bible in history and the basis of many other translations.
3. Most English Bible translations that actively condemn homosexuality have based themselves on the King James Version and have erroneously adapted its words to support their own agenda. We wanted to return to the clean source and start there.
4. Some claim the language of the KJV is antiquated, but we believe it is poetic, traditional, and ceremonial. Christianity is an ancient tradition, and the King James and resultant Queen James versions remind us and keep us connected to that tradition.
So, the KJV was chosen for rewording because of these four arguments: (1) King James was gay. (2) Bibles aren’t perfect, but the KJV is popular. (3) All English Bibles that condemn homosexuality find their source in the KJV. (4) Old language sounds good. Well, that’s a bit odd to be honest. (1) Does it really matter whether King James was gay? He didn’t write the Bible, let alone his own version. He simply funded a particular translation. (2) The KJV really isn’t as popular as it used to be. And they’re right, no translated Bible is perfect but the original Hebrew and Greek are in a sense (as long as we can trust and refer to the original manuscripts). So we’re not without something to refer to outside of English. (3) There are numerous English translations separate from KJV influence that accurately and literally translate the verses in question. (4) The KJV may be beautiful, but it is one of the most inaccurate translations in English due to the fact that the KJV translators commissioned by King James used the Septuagint (an ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament) instead of the Hebrew Tanakh as well as a set of manuscripts proven to be faulty in comparison to more ancient, trustworthy manuscripts.
The Bible says nothing about homosexuality. However, there might be no other argument in contemporary faith as heated as what the Bible is interpreted to say about homosexuality.
This is quite a declaration to make, especially since they later argue that homosexual references referred to pagan homosexual prostitution. So even if their interpretations are correct, the Bible still talks about homosexual acts.
The Bible is the word of God translated by man. This (saying nothing countless translations and the evolution of language itself) means the Bible can be interpreted in different ways, leading to what we call “interpretive ambiguity.”
There is some level of ambiguity that occurs in translation from Hebrew/Greek to English (or any other language for that matter). But there is very minimal linguistic ambiguity found in the eight verses in question. A straightforward study of the etymology of these words and phrases can resolve these small ambiguities.
In editing The Queen James Bible we were faced with the decision to modify existing interpretively ambiguous language, or simply to delete it.
There are problems with removal of verses:
• It doesn’t address the problem of interpretive ambiguity, it only brushes it under the rug.
• It renders an incomplete Bible.
• Revelation says not to “edit the book,” and people often extend that to mean the entire Bible, not just the book of Revelation.
It’s good to know that they don’t want to delete these verses outright. It at least protects themselves from the possibility of the curses mentioned in Revelation, right? But they add to the Bible (words and entire clauses to be exact) which is also mentioned in the same verse in Revelation. (” I warn everyone who listens to the statements of the prophecy in this book: If anyone shall add anything to them, God will add and lay upon him the plagues that are recorded and described in this book. And if anyone cancels or takes away from the statements of the book of this prophecy, God will cancel and take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the city of holiness , which are described and promised in this book.” Revelation 22:18-19) So they would still fall under this curse if they add to the Bible. But they could logically just sweep that verse aside by associating it as only applying to the book of Revelation (which it likely might). And could they also consider that adding to the Bible makes it incomplete? Especially since it further corrupts its integrity…
We also refused to just say “that’s outdated” and omit something. Yes, things like Leviticus are horribly outdated, but that doesn’t stop people from citing them.
So instead they just say “that’s outdated” and change something? It’s unfortunate to find out that they still would call Leviticus outdated and believe that we just ignorantly cite it anyway (as if we have no theologically sound basis for doing so). It’s a lot like saying, “I refuse to call what you read bad, but I still think you read bad stuff.”
We wanted our Bible bulletproof from the ones shooting the bullets.
Does changing the Bible make it invulnerable to attacks? No, it doesn’t. It makes it contrary to the original manuscripts and author’s intent and thus even more vulnerable to attack. If the Jehovah’s Witnesses hadn’t changed the Bible, we could at least still have honest debate with them using a common, accurate Bible. But instead they simply can turn to their own altered Bible translation and say, “See! Ours doesn’t say that!” *End of conversation* It’s simply an act of self-deception… much like the Emperor’s new clothes.
There are also problems with editing verses:
• The context, idiom, and grammar from the time are almost impossible to recreate. • Changes could further create interpretive ambiguity.
It is simply not true that context, idiom, and grammar from ancient times is impossible to recreate. We have plenty of non-Biblical texts that give us incredible linguistic insight into ancient Hebrew and Koine Greek as well as solid historical, anthropological research on ancient civilizations. They later take the liberty to reconstruct a “pagan” context of the verses in question, thus contradicting their own stance stated here. If it were truly impossible, they couldn’t reinterpret any of these verses.
Many versions of the Bible translated and published since the King James Bible have changed the language, so the precedent had been set for editing. Furthermore, both problems with editing are easily addressed by deciding to make the edits as simple as possible.
We edited the Bible to prevent homophobic interpretations. We made changes to eight verses.
Because other translations update the language to modern English dialects, thus they feel the precedent is set to make substantial edits to unpopular verses? Even seemingly simple, small changes can make a verse say something entirely different. But their simple edits aren’t really simple in the end, they’re quite drastic.
And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them. (KJV)
We side with most Bible scholars who understand the story of Sodom and Gomorra to be about bullying strangers. Strangers were not well-treated or well-regarded at the time of Bible (hence so much of the Word urging the love and acceptance of others).
We know Lot asks that the men do not “know” the angel visitors “wickedly,” (Genesis 19:7), in other words “brutally,” which we understand to mean “rape.” We know from Leviticus that one is not allowed to have sex with a beast, and angels are not human. Plus, the passage mentions the men of the city; Obviously women and children aren’t going to be invited to a dominating and public rape, but we know there were women and children in Sodom because Lot had daughters. Rapes such as this one are common between men in prison; they aren’t sexual acts, they are power-dominating acts.
Therefore, we changed the verse to the following:
And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may rape and humiliate them. (QJV) (Page 21)
The men of Sodom did not know that the two men that just arrived were angels (Lot didn’t even fully know it); for the angels had appeared in the form of men. The Sodomite men fully expected to gang rape two male men behind Lot’s door. The Sodomites had become so debased in sexual sin, especially through homosexual obsession, that a large crowd of them eagerly desired to force any male visitors to the city to have sex with them. It wasn’t about obnoxious bullying, it was about ravenous sexual desire. Furthermore, how can they argue that rape is not a sexual act given that male orgasm is always involved? Even if the pleasure of power-domination is what stimulates the act, they are simply feeding a perverse sexual drive. Would they also assert that men who rape women aren’t committing sexual acts? This verse is talking about the very concept of homosexual rape, not asexual rape.
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination. (KJV)
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (KJV)
Leviticus is outdated as a moral code, but we still picked it as our most important book to address in our edits, as most anti-LGBT religious activists cite Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 as proof-positive that homosexuality is a sin, even worse, a sin punishable by death.
Translation of the Word Abomination
To address Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, we need to look at the path of translation. The Hebrew word “to’evah” from which abomination is translated simply means something that is “ritually unclean,” or a “taboo.”
Given the definition of the Hebrew word “to’evah” and the other “to’evah”s in Leviticus, we suggest that by today’s standards, a biblical abomination would be understood to be “scandalous.” (Keep in mind, a biblical “abomination,” by Levitical standards, would be scandalous, for a Jewish priest. Leviticus a holiness code for Jewish priests; In Hebrew it is known as Torat Kohanim – “Instructions for the priests”.)
Next on the path of translation, we see that the pre-KJV Greek versions of Leviticus could have used the Hebrew word “zimah” or Greek “anomia” – words that mean “actual violation of law or a sin,” but notably did not use those words. Anomia was used in pre-KJV Greek translations in the case of child sacrifice, a popular pagan ritual.
To simply replace “abomination” with “taboo” would only address 18:22, and not the death penalty proposed in 20:13. Furthermore, we don’t believe homosexual relations to be taboo, so that solution would have been unsatisfactory. Since abominable offenses aren’t all punishable by death like this one leads us to believe there was translative error at some point: If having sex with a man is punishable by death, it wouldn’t be called an abomination. Therefore, we left the word abomination as is, and found a much more elegant and logically clear solution to this interpretive ambiguity…
Context Within Leviticus
Leviticus is a very strict holy code designed to prevent acts associated with pre-Jewish idol worship. Many of the rules concern sexual acts, as most pagan rituals were sexual in nature. One notable and highly condemnable act was having sex with male pagan temple prostitutes. Both Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 are often referenced by themselves, but to understand the meaning behind the most famous anti-LGBT Bible verses, we looked at their context within Leviticus.
Leviticus 18 includes a long list of forbidden sexual offenses in the form of incest, from verse 6 (“near of kin” relatives) to verse 18 (your wife’s sister). At verse 19, the sexual offenses are no longer incestuous, simply forbidding sex with a menstruating woman (verse 19) and your neighbor’s wife (verse 20).
Leviticus 18:20 switches to the important topic of pagan idolatry: “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.” Again we must leverage the historical context in which Leviticus was written: Molech is an ancient pagan god, often referred to as “the [the] false god.” Leviticus mentions Molech in several places. Archetypal pagan rituals for worship of Molech included child sacrifice (literally referenced here in verse 20, and which we know was a “zimah,” punishable by death), as well as sex with male temple prostitutes. In fact, having sex with these male prostitutes in a pagan temple was the most popular form of Molech worship and therefore of “abominable” pagan idolatry.
We assert that Leviticus 18:21 refers to “lying” with these pagan male prostitutes as a form of pagan idolatry. This fits in with the story order of Leviticus, and with the other offenses punishments punishable by death within Leviticus. We therefore change Levticus 18:21 and 20:13 to read as follows:
Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind in the temple of Molech: it is an abomination. (QJV) (Page 75)
If a man also lie with mankind in the temple of Molech, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (QJV) (Page 76)
Leviticus is outdated as a moral code? So all the wonderful moral commandments in Leviticus 19, for instance, are outdated and done away with? Like stealing, unjust judging, and lying to name a few? Their statement itself is sourced in an antinomian (anti-law) interpretation of the Mosaic Law. It assumes that anything that Moses wrote was simply from Moses. They refuse to believe that God dictated it to Moses upon Sinai (which is what Moses claims) and that the moral law is binding for all time. (How can God’s words ever become obsolete?) The book “Theonomy in Christian Ethics” by Dr. Greg Bahnsen exhaustively disproves this antinomian interpretation and proves that Christ upheld the moral law given by God through Moses and fulfilled the ritual law. The moral law of Leviticus (and the whole Tanakh for that matter) still stands today, while the ritual law was fulfilled at the cross. Only if they can prove homosexuality to be a ritual law can they claim it is done away with. (One would have to explain all sexual sin as ritual law in order to do this.)
Interestingly enough, they attempt to do just that by associating these two particular verses with Leviticus 18:21 (though they accidentally said Leviticus 18:20). Because Leviticus 18:21 is talking about the act of child sacrifice in the pagan religion surrounding the god of Molech, they thus associate the following verse (18:22) concerning homosexuality as talking about homosexual prostitution in the shrines of Molech (though it doesn’t say that and there is no linguistic evidence these verses are conceptually connected). So they decided to insert an entire clause (“in the temple of Molech”) to this verse (even to 20:13 that doesn’t fall into this supposed context). But they fail to add this locative restriction to other verses that follow concerning bestiality, adultery, and incest (18:23, 20:10, 20:11-12, 20:15-16, etc.). So according to their edits homosexuality is only a sin if it’s done in a pagan temple, but adultery, incest, and bestiality are sins without such a locative restriction. But what if they did have such a restriction? Would that then make them okay? As long as they aren’t done in the temple of Molech… This is simply a case of selective eisegesis, especially on 20:13.
Interestingly, this verse calls for capital punishment on both offending parties; meaning that both men who committed the act were to be put to death. If this only applies to the shrines of Molech, then it would have been much easier to just condemn all the shrines of Molech and call for putting all of their male prostitutes to death rather than institute a moral mandate that the Israelites avoid them. In reality, this verse is talking about anyone caught in a homosexual act regardless of where or who is involved. Adding a locative clause greatly distorts this moral law and relegates it to pagan antiquity. They should at least be consistent in relegating all sexual sin to pagan antiquity.
Their further assertion that the Hebrew “to’evah” (“abomination”) simply means “scandalous” is off-base. It comes from the root “ta’ab” which means “to loathe”. In fact its context in a number of other verses throughout the Hebrew Bible means “exceedingly disgusting and abhorrent”. For instance, “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both an abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 17:15). So justifying the wicked is just scandalous to the Lord? What about Proverbs 28:9: “He who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” So the prayer of the lawless is simply scandalous? No, it’s more than that. “To’evah” is the strongest Hebrew word with regards to things that are despicable and disgusting. At least they logically figured out that they couldn’t change this word, though it seems they really wanted to.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against their nature: (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. (KJV)
After Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, these New Testament verses are frequently interpreted as evidence that the Bible takes a stance against homosexuality. Romans is written in some of the most obtuse language in the entire Bible making it very difficult to interpret and translate. As such, its translations are usually some of the most incredibly stretched to support homophobic agendas.
Again we looked at the verse’s context in the rest of the chapter and book. Romans 1 describes how a group of Christians left the church to practice idolatry and were abandoned by God to continue on a downward spiral of sins including pride, envy, murder, and more.
Anti-LGBT Bible interpretations cite “women did change their natural use into that which is against nature:” to mean that women engaged in lesbian sex and that lesbianism is “unnatural.” In historical context and with knowledge of ancient pre-Bible idolatry, we know that women were treated as less than men, and even less so in pagan ritual of the time. It is much more likely that Paul meant to express that women were ritually defiling themselves (sexually or otherwise). After all, these women weren’t “lying” with women, language one would expect from Paul, a devout follower of Leviticus. We can’t be exactly sure what Paul meant by the natural use of a woman, but we can be pretty sure he wasn’t talking about lesbian sex. Romans 1:28 calls the acts “inconvenient,” further bolstering our understanding of women’s use and/or abuse in ceremony.
This would actually support 1:28: While the women were occupied with unnatural uses of their bodies (which could even have meant pagan dancing; we really have no idea), the men carried on in typical pagan sexual fashion like they always had done in pagan worship. And, being pagan, it was obviously “unseemly.”
Another instance of interpretive ambiguity occurs, we believe, because the description of the pagan gay sex is written after the fact that God has abandoned the idolators. It is easy to therefore say “God gave them up because they were having gay sex.” Had the verses read as follows, there would be no confusion:
Their women did change the natural use into that which is against their nature:
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. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections.
This is with no words changed, just rearranged.
We know Paul was a Jew and steeped in the purity tradition of Leviticus. Leviticus, as we know, is intended to condemn ritual impurities associated with pagan idol worship. It would not be unreasonable to assume a connection, especially since Romans 1:24 mentions “uncleanness.” We know sex, both heterosexual and homosexual sex (not distinguished from each other at the time), was an extremely major component of pagan ritual. Most scholars (us included), agree that the sin in Romans 1 isn’t being gay or lesbian or having gay sex. The sin was worshiping pagan idols instead of God, as it was in Leviticus, as it is everywhere in the Bible.
To reflect our more examined understanding of what is “natural” and to clarify the subject matter of Romans 1, we have changed the verses to the following:
Their women did change their natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, left of the natural use of the woman, burned in ritual lust, one toward another; (QJV) (Page 545)
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. (QJV) (Page 545)
Romans is our most major editing, but also one of our most powerfully free of interpretive ambiguity; it has been made very clear, yet retains all of the content of the original.
It is a logical fallacy to assert that because Romans is hard to translate, thus this verse is hard to translate. In fact, it isn’t. The original Greek is pretty straightforward concerning men lusting after and having sex with other men. The scriptures here simply imply that their homosexual activity was a part of their debasement (…as well as pride, envy, murder, and a host of other sins. Pride, envy, and murder were not sins only done in pagan rituals.) If homosexuality is one of the results of debasement, then the Bible treats it as sin regardless of where it takes place.
Looking at their next argument, the “natural use of women” really isn’t as hard to understand as they claim. The word “natural” is a KJV translation from the Greek word “phusikos” (“physical”). And the word “use” is the Greek “chresis” (employment) which comes from the verb “chraomai” (“to be employed/do what is needed”). Furthermore, in the phrase “that which is against their nature”, “nature” is the Greek word “phusis” (“natural production/lineal descent”) which is derived from the verb “pho” (“to germinate or reproduce”). These phrases simply speak of the Jewish belief concerning the reproductive employment of women mandated by God when He said, “be fruitful and multiply”. Thus taking the Biblical mandate of reproduction out of sex (which can be argued was God’s purpose for it in the first place) they burned with unnatural lust for one another, including homosexual lust. Sin by definition is doing something contrary to the way God designed/intended things to be.
Taking a clause out of Romans 8:28, inserting it into 8:27 and then inserting the words “pagan”, “ritual”, and “idolaters” (which aren’t there in the Greek) only serves to whitewash it. The very context of this passage addresses hosts of ungodly sins apart from supposed pagan rituals.
1 Corinthians 6:9
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (KJV)
1 Corinthians 6:10
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (KJV)
Anti-gay interpreters of the Bible believe “nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind” in First Corinthians 6:9 to mean homosexuals, and therefore that homosexuals are on a level with all the other bad people named in the verse who won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Some Bible translations explicitly name homosexuals in this list (NAS, New Living), others choose different words (NIV uses “perverts,” others “boy prostitutes,” “self-indulgent,” and even “sissies”). In creating the QJV, we chose look at both of those terms with historical and translative contexts. Specifically we went to the Greek translations, where the subject of interpretation is most famous with Corinthians.
First, we know the English “effeminate” can be translated from the Greek “malakoi,” which can mean “soft,” but in several very important ways. It can mean soft, like the fine fabric of a rich man’s clothes (Luke 7:25 and Matthew 11:8) and it can mean morally soft, such as “undisciplined”, “decadent”, “lazy”, or “easily influenced.” To Greeks and first century Romans, these traits were associated with women, who were seen as morally weaker than men, obsessed with beauty and self-indulgences. Women were far from equal with men at the time of the Bible, enslaved in a manner of misogyny we would find difficult to comprehend today. Anyone morally weak, passive, easily influenced, vain (anything “weak-like-a-woman” so to speak), fits better with the covetous, drunkards, adulterers, and the like described in these verses. Whether or not they are effeminate by today’s standards has no bearing on it, and so we changed “effeminate” to “morally weak” to clarify this verse’s meaning.
One of the most famous homosexual Bible ambiguous interpretations is the line “Abusers of themselves with mankind,” which can be linked to the Greek word “Arsenokoitais.” The meaning of arsenokoitais has been famously debated, but in fact, “arsenokoitais” translates to “the male who has many beds,” and wherever else “kotais” is used in the Greek translations, it implies what we would use “promiscuity” for in modern English. (“Arsenokoitais” is likely referring to men who “abuse themselves” with the child-aged male prostitutes common in pagan temples at the time). Furthermore, Greek as a language had developed words for homosexuality, but none of those words were used in arsenokoitais’s place. We changed the phrase “Abusers of themselves with mankind” to “promiscuous” as one who is promiscuous risks their own health and that of others, sexually and otherwise, as they disrespect their God-given body.
We changed Corinthians 6:9 to reflect this clarified understanding (Corinthians 6:10 included for context):
1 Corinthians 6:9
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor morally weak, nor promiscuous, (QJV) (Page 554)
1 Corinthians 6:10
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (QJV) (Page 554)
It is good to know they went to the Greek manuscripts for these words in question. The word translated in the KJV as “effeminate” from the Greek “malakoi” does speak of “soft” moral weakness and not feminine mannerisms. I agree with their interpretation here, and Christians shouldn’t misuse that word anymore. However, their next attempt to interpret “arsenokoites” (“homosexual/sodomite”) falls prey to etymological misunderstanding. Though a loose literal translation of it does imply “male that has many beds”, they do not recognize that “arsenokoites” is a coined term in Greek that Paul invented. It’s found nowhere else except twice in Paul’s writings. And he invented this word by combining two words (“arsenos” and “koiten”) used next to each other in the the Septuagint translation of (guess what) Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13. You can see this thoroughly explained here. He purposefully coined this word in order to conceptually and linguistically link it to these passages in Leviticus that spoke clearly of male homosexual activity. It can not be explained away as only meaning “promiscuous” given its unique etymology.
1 Timothy 1:10
For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; (KJV)
Given the context and theme of all our edits, we have changed “defile themselves with mankind” to simply “defile themselves.”
1 Timothy 1:10
For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; (QJV) (Page 575)
This is an inconsistent edit of this verse. If they wanted to stay true to their eisegetical themes they would have changed Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 to not say “lie with mankind”. But instead they simply take this clause out of the KJV wording of this verse, not realizing that the Greek of this verse uses the word we just talked about: “arsenokoitais”. If they had looked at the Greek and stayed true to the theme of all their edits, they would have translated this verse as saying “promiscuous” as they argued earlier. Instead they chose to reword the KJV’s faulty wording instead of looking at the Greek. But we’ve already established the meaning and origin of “arsenokoitais”, so I don’t need to repeat that here.
Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (KJV)
Given our clarification of the story of Sodom, we chose to highlight the fact that the male mob in Sodom raped angels, which is “strange” in that it is nonhuman. We changed the verse to the following:
Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after nonhuman flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (QJV) (Page 593)
The angels weren’t raped in Sodom. The Sodomites never got a chance to get at them before the angels blinded them. It’s strange to assert that a gang of humans could somehow overpower angelic beings. Furthermore, as established earlier, they had no idea these men behind Lot’s door were angels. So interpreting “strange flesh” as that of angelic “nonhuman flesh” is a misinterpretation. Furthermore the Greek word that the KJV translated as “strange” is “heteros” which simply means “other/another”. (Don’t confuse it with the modern word heterosexual.) Going after “other flesh” could very well imply bestiality, but doesn’t rule out homosexuality. And neither does “fornication” rule out homosexuality since it was clear that the Sodomite men committed brazen homosexual fornication.
We didn’t change anything else to create this edition of the Queen James Bible. The Queen James Bible resolves any homophobic interpretations of the Bible, but the Bible is still filled with inequality and even contradiction that we have not addressed. No Bible is perfect, including this one. We wanted to make a book filled with the word of God that nobody could use to incorrectly condemn God’s LGBT children, and we succeeded.
The discussion of homosexuality in the Bible is great and far-reaching and we encourage all to study it more.
Changing eight verses is quite enough. If they want to edit further verses on other subjects I have a gut feeling that future edits will entail more whitewashing of other Biblical sins. If they really feel the Bible is full of inequality and contradiction, then they should just do away with the Bible altogether instead of eisegetically changing it to something it’s not. It would be more honest for them to say, “We wanted to make a book filled with only the words of God that do not condemn or call what we do sin.” You see, people don’t manipulate God’s words to condemn homosexuality, God’s words themselves define homosexuality as sin. Even if not a single Christian argued from these verses, a pro-gay supporter would be uncomfortable reading these verses because they speak for themselves. What they have done is taken the word of God and changed what He said to fit their sentiments. This is quite dishonest. Why did they not heed 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.” In the end, homosexuality can not be justified in Christendom by editing the Bible. It can only find justification if God Himself has done away with all moral commands (not just a select few). It would take a remarkable theologian indeed to prove that.