Fabulous new Bible translation: The Queen James Bible

There is a new version of the bible out there for the professing believer who just can’t bring themselves to accept what the bible has to say about homosexual sexual relationships.  It’s the Queen James Bible.

Here’s the explanation from the editors as to why it needed editing, though I’m not sure where they got the idea that English bibles are re-translated from other English bibles, they’re based on the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts, not each other:

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.

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.

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.” In editing The Queen James Bible we were faced with the decision to modify existing interpretively ambiguous language, or simply to delete it.

[…]

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

Greg Koukl from Stand to Reason has written on each of the verses the QJV has altered in a PDF download titled, Setting the Record Straight: The Bible and Homosexuality.  For .99¢ it’s worth it to see a well reasoned point-by-point rebuttal to arguments similar to the ones made by the editors of the QJV.

Here is an excerpt from one of the many free articles on STR.org:

On Sodom and Gamorrah

Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? We can find clues not just from the Genesis account, but also from the Prophets and the New Testament books 2 Peter and Jude. These give a sense of how ancient Jewish thinkers steeped in Jewish culture understood these texts.

First, Sodom and Gomorrah were judged because of grave sin. Genesis 18:20 says, “And the Lord said, ‘The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.'” Indeed, not even ten righteous people could be found in the city.

Second, it seems the judgment of these cities was to serve as a lesson to Abraham and to others that wickedness would be punished. In 2 Peter 2:6 we learn that God condemned and destroyed the cities as “an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter.”

Third, peculiar qualities of the sin are described by Jude and Peter. Jude 7 depicts the activity as “gross immorality” and going after “strange flesh.” Peter wrote that Lot was “oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men,” and “by what he saw and heard…felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds.” These people were “those who indulged the flesh in its corrupt desires and despised authority” (2 Peter 2:7-10).

Fourth, there are 27 references outside of Genesis where Sodom is mentioned. It is emblematic of gross immorality, deepest depravity, and ultimate judgment.

Piecing together the biblical evidence gives us a picture of Sodom’s offense. The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was some kind of activity—a grave, ongoing, lawless, sensuous activity—that Lot saw and heard and that tormented him as he witnessed it day after day. It was an activity in which the inhabitants indulged the flesh in corrupt desires by going after strange flesh, ultimately bringing upon them the most extensive judgment anywhere in the Bible outside of the book of Revelation.

What do we know about the conduct of the men of Sodom and Gomorrah that fits this description?

[…]

On Leviticus

The Mosaic Law has two explicit citations on homosexuality. Leviticus 18:22 says, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female. It is an abomination [toebah] .” Leviticus 20:13 says, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act [toebah]. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them.”

John Boswell offers the standard rebuttal to what appears to be an obvious biblical prohibition of homosexuality:

The Hebrew word “toebah,” here translated “abomination,” does not usually signify something intrinsically evil, like rape or theft…, but something which is ritually unclean for Jews, like eating pork or engaging in intercourse during menstruation, both of which are prohibited in these same chapters.
Leviticus, the suggestion goes, is not where we generally go for moral instruction. The sections quoted deal with the cult of worship: sacrifice, priesthood, ritual bathing, etc. These directives have to do with ritual purity, not moral purity. An observant Jew could not worship after ritual contamination until he had been ritually cleansed.

[…]

This rejoinder is filled with inconsistencies. First, even if this prohibition was restricted only to ritual purity and the cult of worship, then minimally it applies to Jewish clerics. Yet many who use this approach see no problem with homosexual rabbis and instead champion such “diversity” as a religious virtue. On the other hand, if the Torah’s proscriptions no longer apply at all, then any distinction between the cultic and moral aspects of the Mosaic Law is moot; none of it pertains anyway.

Second, it’s a serious error in thinking to conclude that if some of the Torah no longer applies, then none of it applies. Jewish thinker Dennis Prager observed, “It is one thing not to put a Torah punishment into practice and quite another to declare that a Torah sin is no longer a sin.” [emphasis in the original]

Third, it’s true that much of the Law seems to deal with religious activity rather than universal morality. That observation in itself, however, is not enough to summarily dismiss the Torah as a source of binding moral instruction. Ritual purity and moral purity are not always distinct.

Context is king here. Note the positioning of the verses. The toebahof homosexuality is sandwiched between adultery (18:20), child sacrifice (18:21) and bestiality (18:23). Was Moses saying merely that if a priest committed adultery, had sex with an animal, or burned his child on Molech’s altar he should be sure to wash up before he came to temple?

More to the point, these sections were not addressed to the priests, but to all the “sons of Israel” (18:2, 20:2). In addition to the prohibitions on adultery, child sacrifice, and bestiality just mentioned, Moses also prohibits spiritism (20:6) and incest (20:12).

The conclusion of Leviticus 18 contains these words:

But as for you [the “sons of Israel” (v. 2)], you are to keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled. (18:26-27)Moses spoke as clearly here as he did in Genesis. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were guilty of many things, but foremost among them was the sin of homosexuality. In this section of Leviticus, God gives directives not just for ritual purity, but commands to be observed by every Jew, and even by every visitor.

Homosexuality was wrong for the Jews. It was wrong for gentiles who visited the Jews (“aliens”). It was even an abomination that defiled the land when practiced by pagans who inhabited Canaan long before the Jews came.

[Read the entire article HERE]

What I find most troubling about this publication is that there are a lot of people out there who will read the rationale behind the changes and accept it unchallenged.  For the those who have always desired a way to reinterpret the bible so as to allow for homosexual sexual relationships, this is the bible for you.

It strikes me as suspicious when people with an unbiblical message want to get Jesus and the bible on their side of a particular issue.  Why go through such lengths to get Jesus and the bible on your side when they so clearly aren’t?  Simple.  Jesus and the bible have authority.  Not for everyone of course.  But there is a certain “trump card” feel when you can say: The bible and Jesus are on my side.  I fully expect supporters of homosexuality will respond in kind, that I’m trying to play that trump card.  But I say let the bible and Jesus speak for themselves.  Put the arguments on the table and investigate.  My only request is you don’t change the words on the page just to win the argument.

You are certainly within your rights to believe the bible holds no authority, or even that it’s false or a fairy tale.  But it’s another thing altogether to re-write it to suit your liking.  If you don’t like what it says, abandon it as an authoritative source whole sale, what good does it do to change it?  If you aren’t concerned with fidelity to the words contained within (and obviously don’t believe God can preserve His message through the transmission process, hence the need to edit), why not take the extra step and author your own “word of God”?

Comments

  1. This sounds to much like a parody.

  2. if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly (Galatains 2:21)
    Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law (Romans 3:28)

  3. Luke 10. The Sodom story is all about hospitality. Why does STR.org not mention that? Because it is unanswerable.

  4. And Leviticus 20. Do you really want us to be put to death? Really?

  5. Lev. 20:13 ends with “they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.” Note two things about it. One is the future tense (though some translations have “must” or “must both,” rather then “shall surely”, they are uncommon). The other is that “their blood is upon them,” which implies they have brought their deaths upon themselves. Considering the significanty higher risks active gays are for everything from STDs to depression and suicide, that denotes concequences of actions. Note also that the word “homosexual” is very modern. The Bible does not categorize and label sexual desires the way we do now, and it condemns actions, so when Biblical people talk about the sin of homosexuality, it is the behaviour that is considered a sin, no different then incest, bestiality and child sacrifice. The idea that people indulge in this behaviour because they have no control over themselves (which is implicite in the “born this way” justification) is another purely modern concept – though it should be noted that if that were really the case, Jewish law would not consider such a person fully responsible for their actions, anyhow. It’s still considered a sin; just not in the same category as an “abomination.”

    But lets go with the idea that this is recommending an actual death sentance. Do you know what was involved to fulfill such a sentence? First, it had to go to special court that no longer exists, so it’s impossible for such a trial to take place anymore. Second, death sentence crimes required 2 witnesses willing to testify. Those witnesses had to not only have seen each other during the crime in question, but the person committing the crime had to see them, too. Also, the witnesses had to, on seeing the person about to commit the crime, warn them that they were about do was forbidden and punishable by death. The person would then have to ignore the warning from both witnesses and commit the forbidden act anyway. Finally, after witness testimony, a group of judges (7, if I remember correctly, but I’m not sure at the moment) had to decide guilt or innocence. Guilt was decided by majority, but if the decision was unanimous, the accused was automatically released as not guilty, as a unanimous guilty verdict meant that it was a “bloody court,” and could not be entrusted with such a verdict. Oh, and one other thing; death sentence convictions could only be done once every 7 years (or 70 years, according to some scholars), otherwise it would again be considred a “bloody court.”

    So the whole idea that people who engage in the rather long list of sins described in Leviticous “shall surely be put to death…” isn’t quite as bloodthirsty as is being portrayed.

  6. Actually the article does answer it.

    Did God judge Sodom and Gomorrah for inhospitality? Is it true that God’s judgment was not for homosexuality per se, but because the people of the town were discourteous to the visitors, violating sacred sanctuary customs by attempting to rape them? A couple of observations raise serious doubt.

    First, the suggestion itself is an odd one. To say that the men of Sodom were inhospitable because of the attempted rape is much like saying a husband who’s just beaten his wife is an insensitive spouse. It may be true, but it’s hardly a meaningful observation given the greater crime.

    Second—and more to the textual evidence—it doesn’t fit the collective biblical description of the conduct that earned God’s wrath: a corrupt, lawless, sensuous activity that Lot saw and heard day after day, in which the men went after strange flesh.

    Third, are we to believe that God annihilated two whole cities because they had bad manners, even granting that such manners were much more important then than now? There’s no textual evidence that inhospitality was a capital crime. However, homosexuality was punishable by death in Israel (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13). Does God ignore the capital crime, yet level two entire cities for a wrong that is not listed anywhere as a serious offense?

  7. Jesus says that the breach of hospitality to the 72 he sends out is worse than (whatever wrong) was committed in Sodom and Gomorrah). What sense does that make, if the wrong is not breach of hospitality? Answer! Look at Jesus’ words!

    • Because they were carrying the message of God, not because they werent offered a hot beverage.

      Does your personal proximity to this issue so cloud your ability to judge that bad?

  8. A “trump card”, hah?!?! I am still wiping tears of hysterical laughter from my eyes with this bit of irony. Please john tell me more about the infallibility and perfectness of your bible which is the word of your god as passed down over multiple generations, revised, edited and redacted thousands of times….all by men. Not by god, but by men sometimes hundreds of years removed from jesus or any said biblical event.
    How do you square your current “interpretation” of the bible with the FACT that your bible has from it’s inception been grossly and purposefully altered in the fight against the Arians amongst others? Or of all of the men who edited your current bible at the multiple councils of Nicaea? All of the apocrypha that hit the hundreds of editing room floors over the course of 2400years. All of this infallibility and claims of moral superiority and historicity and accuracy after so many”men” well after the moments of Jesus much less Moses and you claim to “know” beyond the shadow of a doubt that “you” and your reading and manly “interpretation” of the bible are “right”?
    You and your club seem so confident and fantastically arrogant when it comes to interpreting and judging others, their collective behaviours and events well outside the purview of the bible, please do tell us or interpret or make an educated guess as to why exactly your omnipotent creator of the universe purposefully sought to have his message filtered through the ages by all of these men in a mostly illiterate population in the middle east wastelands.
    Athanasius alone altered what you believe and how you practice your beliefs. Yet other christian sects patently disagree to this day. This is but one of thousands of canonical differences amongst your other christians sects. Still just the ramblings of men giving rise to 10’s of thousands of different christian sects still blathering on and on about their “rightness” as compared to the others.
    Have you as a dedicated christian even looked at, much less, composed a serious study and answer to the critical analysis from Hobbes and or Spinoza? Or are you not allowed to look at anything that might genuinely refute the illusion of the infallible word?

  9. Indeed. A matter of hospitality. Thank you for acknowledging that.

    And- as for clouding ability to judge- you are the one who imagines that gang rape has anything to do with gay lovemaking now, or that gang rapists are anything like modern gay men, If you would say that this passage condemns gang rape, I would agree with you- but for the offer of Lot. Your argument that it condemns gay lovemaking is impossible, unless you have a grossly prejudiced point of view.

    • I don’t acknowledge that, I’m presuming your point just to show you how silly it is.

      But I’m not comparing gang rape to ordinary gay sex, thats your hyper-sensitivities hearing that.

      You seem to want any other reason than the one which is plain in the text and other passages which describe the destruction of the two cities. That’s an awful lot of contortion.

      Don’t you find it strange that it is only recently that this push to scrub homosexuality from being sinful? How is it, for example, that the Jews for thousands of years have always understood these passages to be condemning homosexuality? From the beginning, this has been understood.

    • if you could provide a reference for your verse where Jesus says that inhospitality is worse than the sins of Sodom and gomorrah, please.

  10. You cannot use this passage to condemn ordinary gay sex unless you compare gang rape to ordinary gay sex.

    As for Jesus’s opinion, read Luke 10 again. Though that probably won’t do you any good. The reason which is plain in the text of Genesis, and Luke 10, is inhospitality.

    Why are you obsessed with homosexuality anyway? If you think it sinful, don’t do it yourself.

    • God had been planning to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for some time, it was only after the incident with Lot that He finally did it. Obviously this one act of inhospitality (which was no such thing) and this one act of desired rape (which was not the issue) was not the reason for the destruction. Read the entire passage.

      I don’t have an obsession, but if you want an idea as to why there is focus on the issue by Christians, her is my post on that particular issue: https://siftingreality.com/2011/11/04/over-the-rainbow/

    • Claire

      You are missing the forest through the trees. It will be worse than Sodom and Gomorrah because they are openly rejecting the kingdom of God after seeing the work and power of God through the ones who are sent out. I don’t know how you don’t see that.

      How petty do you think God is that he would punish people worse that S&G for simply not being polite.

      • Don’t get us started on the pettiness of your god. That will need a separate post on your part. We could start with your ten commandments.

  11. Leviticus 11.5-7
    Parma ham, bye, bye…
    Leviticus 11.9-10
    Prawns, bye, bye…

  12. Thanks for perpetuating the expected stereotyped response. Your inane avoidance and perpetual non answering of direct questions would be funny if it weren’t so sad. You want evidence for my claim….I mean where does the humor end? My post was filled with questions that pertain to the constancy of your slippery position, the hypocrisy and non stop contradictions. If you need evidence for all of the men involved in the fabrication of your bible perhaps getting a degree from BC on the subject. Christian Studies 101 maybe? Every time a christian asks for evidence while they live their respective lives in a delusional state of self righteous “truth”, I can’t help but get a little warm and fuzzy and the flagrant contradiction to one’s psyche that christian must deal with to get through their day to day lives is astounding, especially when their ego’s are so large and they appear to fill their days by doing nothing but judge others.

  13. I have just been reading your other post on why even though Christians obsessively go on about homosexuality, they should not be seen as obsessed with it. LOL. Shoved down your throat? No, that would be a sexual assault, John, that is not happening outside your imagination.

    Luke 10:10- “When you enter a town and are not welcomed…” It is on the moment of entrance that the hospitality is assessed, not after the traveller announces him/herself. If you had ears to hear, you would hear.

    Stop being obsessed with homosexuality, John. People are living their lives, and schools are teaching what the world is like, including normal sexual behaviour in an age-appropriate way. Stop moaning. You will not turn back the tide of freedom, because you do not understand God’s will.

  14. Oops, I meant “some Christians”, of course. I would not mean to imply that all Christians are ridiculous in this way. Increasing numbers of Christians accept gay people. Thank God.

  15. There have always been Christians that tolerate, or even accept, sinful behaviors. This has nothing to do with whether or not the behaviors are sinful. It is only the shortcomings of those particular Christians.

    The story of Sodom does not begin with a planned rape. The men of the town (all of them) sought to have sex with Lot’s visitors. Lot called it a wicked thing and it is only after Lot refuses their lustful advances does the possibility of gang rape come into play. The fact that the men of the town (all of them) came for this purpose suggests quite strongly that such behavior was commonplace to them. To attach anything beyond just the willingness to engage in the behavior is to inject what one prefers the story to be saying.

    As to the Bible being altered throughout the ages, this is not in any way established or proven, though there are atheists who try very hard (but fail) to make the case. While none of the original writings exist, there are no copies from which modern Bibles derive their messages that have anything more than the most insignificant of differences. There have been no wholesale changes to make the Bible say anything other than what the best interpretations of the ancient languages intend to say. In addition, there is no evidence that any of the councils of Nicea manufactured anything, but rather, was a serious effort to separate the crap from the real deals.

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