The translators of the King James Bible, first printed in 1611, operated under a “set of rules [...] contrived to curb individual proclivities and to ensure the translation’s scholarly and nonpartisan character.”
Their translation made English more accessible than former versions, but also “the new version was more faithful to the original languages of the Bible and more scholarly than any of its predecessors.”
The Queen James Bible, however, was created with an openly declared bias in mind: to appeal to a homosexual audience.
What is the Queen James Bible
Joe Carter lays out a summary of the QJV. This revision of the King James Bible “edits out all references to homosexuality in order to [...] prevent homophobic misinterpretation of God’s Word.”
The editors named it the Queen James Bible because King James I was known to have had male lovers. The editors also argue that homosexuality was not mentioned in any original texts and first appeared in the Revised Standard Version of 1946.
Carter explains that the QJV does not remove verses in their entirety. Eight verses were revised because they indicate that homosexual behavior is a sin.
The verse Carter cites is Romans 1:27, which, in the KJV reads “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 recompense of their error which was meet.”
The ESV translation reads as “and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
In contrast, the QJV reads, “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 recompense of their error, which was meet.” Other verses, which were revised include Leviticus 18:22 and Jude 1:7.
What is the Purpose and Difference Between QJV and KJV
The King James Version closely follows the Greek. Differences between the original and the QJV interpretation include “leaving the natural use of woman” vs. “that which is pagan and unseemly;” and “men with men working that which is unseemly” vs. “idolators.” The Greek refers to men with men as “the shame.”
Paul wrote, “Leaving the natural use of woman;” he makes no reference to idolators or paganism in Romans 1:27. The Queen James Version tries to place the sinful act within a specific context of pagan worship as though homosexual activity is condoned as long as it does not contain a pagan component.
But faithful translators of the Bible adjust language as it changes; they do not change the meaning. Each time a new translation is written, a team of editors goes directly to the original texts, not to a version created by a previous set of translators.
The Word ‘Homosexuality’
Charles Morris responded to the argument that since the word “homosexuality” is not present in Scripture, God never condemned it. On the contrary, “Jesus upheld and amplified the pattern for human sexuality outlined in Genesis 1-2.” Sex is a gift between husband and wife, and “marriage is between a man and a woman. [...] Jesus was not neutral on this.”
So, while “homosexuality” is a modern word, the idea is ancient, and God has always promoted his gift of sex in the context of marriage between and man and a woman. He specifically made a woman for Adam. She was more than a child-bearer; Eve was his helper and his equal.
To suggest that something is not condemned or promoted because it is not stated does not work as an argument for or against a position regarding the Lord’s definition of what is a sin or what pleases God.
That would mean God’s Word is not relevant today because many of the specifics of our modern lives are absent from between the pages of Scripture.
Cocaine and the word “addiction” are not mentioned, yet we know that addiction is sinful. While many therapists disagree on its nature (sin issue or disease), the painful outworkings of addiction are sinful (theft, violence, negligence of loved ones, idolatry).
Addiction is a form of idolatry, which is definitely a repeated theme in Scripture. Violence, emotional negligence, and theft all feature as well.
We do not need to rewrite the Bible to depict God’s answer to addiction in order to understand that the Lord hates it while offering mercy to sinners who confess and repent.
Satan's Longest Running Con
Tim Keller, talking about Satan’s question “did God really say,” explored the serpent’s mocking tone. Satan isn’t asking if God said this or that; “he’s saying it’s ridiculous. It’s laughable. [...] ‘Was he such an idiot, such a jerk, to say that? Did he really say that?’ [...] He’s trying to get Adam and Eve to laugh at it. He’s trying to change their attitudes toward it.”
When Bible translators try to put themselves inside God’s mind and ask themselves “did God really say that?” they are snubbing his authority. They take the serpent’s tone, suggesting that God’s words can’t be true; that would be ridiculous.
Moreover, the argument that a Queen James Bible more accurately represents the sexual proclivities of King James I is irrelevant — this is not the monarch’s Bible but a translation of God’s inspired Word.
Everyone participating in a Bible translation project is a sinner; their objective is not to declare their truth but God’s unchanging truth.
Common Sin and Common Ground
But it would be foolish to suggest that only the editors of the Queen James Bible are elevating themselves to the status of prophets, conveying a new Word from God.
At least one can say they are open about what they are doing, while many Christians are guilty of using Scripture as a defense for homophobic behavior, the sort of abuse, which leads the LGBTQ+ community to feel they need to create a Bible of their own.
Jesus, quoted in Matthew 5:21-22, stated that if we hate someone, we are subject to the same judgment as murder. He equated anger and hatred with murder. Every day, members of the LGBTQ+ community face discrimination, hatred, even violence.
While marriage outside of the marital, heterosexual framework is a sin in God’s eyes, so are hatred and violence towards people with whom one disagrees on the basis that God condemns a certain sin.
Christians must speak up against sin from a posture of love while standing with and for one another. One way we can stand up for our LGBTQ+ friends is by saying that the Bible is for them, just as it is for everyone who loves Jesus.
An encouragement one can take from the QJV is that members of the LGBTQ+ community still want to embrace Jesus; they want to find a safe place within his commands and his community.
God does not change. He is reliable. Each person was made in his image, and each person’s worth comes from Christ alone, not from sexual identity or sexual partnership.
The Word of God Is Living and Active
Scripture is our promise and our treasure, and protecting that Word is essential to keeping the faith. If it is found wanting in one area, the whole thing falls apart for all who would profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Christians will not always agree on the meaning of what is in front of them, but it is important that each Christian is reading an accurate translation of what God has seen fit to share with us.
The complete authority of Scripture as it stands is not always easy or convenient for the reader, but Christians can find comfort in knowing that the Lord does not change his mind about anything, including his love for all those who believe in Christ alone for salvation.
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Candice Lucey is a freelance writer from British Columbia, Canada, where she lives with her family. Find out more about her here.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
These verses serve as a source of renewal for the mind and restoration for the heart by reinforcing the notion that, while human weakness is inevitable, God's strength is always available to uplift, guide, and empower us.
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