A group of anonymous homosexuals have published what they describe as The Queen James Bible. The choice of the title The Queen James Bible is based on the premise that King James was “known amongst friends and courtiers as ‘Queen James’ because of his many gay lovers.”1
Why does the KJV have all of these anti-homosexual verses that need to be changed to reflect a pro-homosexual interpretation if King James was a homosexual? Why didn’t King James force his pro-homosexual views on the new translation? He did it with other topics. One of the Rules to be Observed in the Translation of the [King James] Bible required the following: “The old Ecclesiastical Words to be kept, viz. the Word Church not to be translated Congregation &c.”2
So even if King James was homosexual or bi-sexual, the 47 scholar-translators neither twisted the Bible to support either homosexuality or the Divine Right of Kings (a position he did hold and wrote about).
It’s with this starting point that the publishers of The Queen James Bible hope to persuade people that the “the Bible says nothing about homosexuality.” Because of what the unnamed editors call “interpretive ambiguity,” they were “faced with the decision to modify existing interpretively ambiguous language, or simply to delete it.”
Their first editing job begins with the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The editors of The Queen James Bible argue that consensual homosexual love was not judged, but rape. “We side with most Bible scholars who understand the story of Sodom and Gomorra to be about bullying strangers.”
Let’s set the context. Two male (angelic) visitors “came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom” (Gen. 19:1). Lot invites the two men “to spend the night” at his “house” (v. 2). The angels want to “spend the night in the square.” Lot “urged them strongly” not to stay in the square but to enter “his house” (v. 3). Why? The square was most likely a pick-up point for homosexual encounters. Outraged that they did not have an opportunity to engage in sexual relations with them, “the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter” (19:5).
When rebuffed by Lot, the men of Sodom said to him: “bring them out to us that we might have relations with them” (19:5). The word translated “relations” is the Hebrew word yadha (“to know”). The word yadha is used seven times in Genesis in reference to sexual relations (Gen. 4:1, 17, 25; 19:5, 8; 24:16; 38:26). It’s also used this way in other Old Testament passages (Num. 31:17, 18, 35; Judges 11:39; 19:22, 25; 1 Sam. 1:19).
The editors of The Queen James Bible translate Genesis 19:5 this way: “Bring them out unto us, that we may rape and humiliate them.” Yadha (“know”) is never used in the Old Testament to refer to rape unless it’s in these few passages in Genesis 19 and Judges 19.
The question that’s never asked is why the men of the city would want to rape these strangers. Did they rape every male who came to their community? This doesn’t seem likely. Did only people interested in homosexual activity visit Sodom because of the reputation of the city? Did the homosexual men of the city think that Lot was keeping these men to himself?
The editors of The Queen James Bible move on to Leviticus, a book they claim “is outdated as a moral code.” Even so, they state that it’s their “most important book to address” their “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.”
If Leviticus is an “outdated moral code,” then why did Jesus, Paul, and James refer to Leviticus 19:18 (Matt 19:19; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Rom 13:9; Gal 5:14; James 2:8)?: “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.” You can’t have it both ways.
Here’s how they translate the two Leviticus passages that deal with homosexuality. The words the editors added are bold faced and italicized:
Leviticus 18:22: Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind in the temple of Molech: it is an abomination. (QJV)
Leviticus 20:13: If a man also lie[s] 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)
These two passages are the clearest expression that same-sex sex is prohibited in the Bible if the words “in the temple of Moloch” are not added.
The rest of their translation work is similarly corrupt. In reality, there is no need for a single verse condemning same-sex sexual relations. The standard was set forth when God created Adam and Eve (Gen. 2:20–25). Jesus repeats what was established at creation (Matt. 19:5–6):
“Haven’t you read that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female. . . . For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”
Then there’s the issue of biology. There is no match of sexual equipment. This is why Paul could describe same-sex sex as “unnatural.”
“For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error” (Rom. 1:26–27).
- Otto J. Scott writes: “King James I was a known homosexual who murdered his young lovers and victimized countless heretics and women. His cruelty was justified by his ‘divine right’ of kings.” (Otto Scott’s James I: The Fool as King [New York: Mason/Charter, 1976]. Also see Antonia Fraser, King James VI and I [New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974.]; Geddes MacGregor, A Literary History of the Bible: From the Middle Ages to the Present Day [Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1968]. MacGregor devotes a chapter to “Queen James.” Even though James I had married Anne of Denmark “and had several children, his sexuality has long been a matter of debate. He clearly preferred the company of handsome young men. The evidence of his correspondence and contemporary accounts has led some historians to conclude that the king was homosexual or bisexual. In fact, the issue is murky.” (Robert Bucholz and Newton Key, Early Modern England 1485–1714: A Narrative History [Wiley-Blackwell, 2003], 208. [↩]
- David Daniell, The Bible in English: It’s History and Influence (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003), 439. [↩]