Despite the evolution of societal trends, homosexuality continues to be intensely-debated on moral, spiritual and theological grounds. With the Bible traditionally viewed as a document that condemns the actions associated with same-sex attraction, some anonymous editors have set out to reinterpret scriptures to create a new translation -- "The Queen James Bible" -- that is favorable to gays and lesbians.
At first glance (and even when you dig beneath the surface), it's difficult to discern who is behind the publication (the publisher of the book on Amazon is listed as "Queen James"), as there is no organization overtly mentioned on the web site advertising the alternative Bible. That said, the editors, though unnamed, are bold in explaining their intriguing project.
An image of "The Queen James Bible" (Photo Credit: QueenJamesBible.com)
"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," the web site notes. "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 editors claim that the word "homosexual" was not placed in the holy book until 1946. Their new version is purportedly a purer -- at least in their view -- take on the scriptures (although references to same-sex attraction were clearly in the Bible from its inception).
Taking into account the eight verses that are most frequently cited in arguments against homosexuality and same-sex attraction, the editors amended them "in a way that makes homophobic interpretations impossible." Because the King James translation is the most popular version of the Bible, it was selected to be repurposed.
Why "Queen James?," you may be asking. According to those behind this new publication, King James VI and I, the man behind the Bible translation, was a bisexual (a fact that is historically debatable). We'll let the editors tell you in their own words:
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.
Among the verses that they changes was Genesis 19:5. Originally reading, "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," they amended it to, "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."
The rationale for this change, as described by the Bible's editors, is as follows:
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.
And as for Leviticus 20:13, which reads, "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," yet another interpretation is given. The Queen James Version now reads, "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."
Read more about the rationale for this verse and others over at "The Queen James Bible" web site.