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Queen James Bible

Here is another one for your stocking, mmmmm!


Monday, 24 December 2012 17:30

“Queen James Bible” Clumsily Cleanses Scriptures of “Homophobia”

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What do you do if you claim to be a Christian but are offended by Scriptures condemning the practice of homosexuality? If you are one of the unnamed editors of the new “Queen James Bible” (QJV), you simply rewrite the offending passages to your liking, and — voilá! — the problem is solved.

Based on the 1769 edition of the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, the QJV changes eight passages that the editors, on their website, say “anti-LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] Bible interpretations commonly cite” as evidence that “homosexuality is a sin.” “We edited those eight verses in a way that makes homophobic interpretations impossible,” they assert. Indeed they did.

Ironically, on another page of the website they explain that they chose to bowdlerize the KJV because “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.” Considering that multiple translations over many centuries, using a variety of sources, have translated these verses similarly to the KJV, it is obvious who is “erroneously” changing the clear words of Scripture “to support their own agenda.”

In fact, the crux of the editors’ argument for changing the passages is so weak as to make further investigation of their claims almost unnecessary. “Homosexuality,” they write, “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.”

While it is true that the word “homosexual” did not appear in Bible translations until recent times, there is a good reason for that: The word did not exist in the English language prior to 1890. That does not, however, mean that the subject was not broached in earlier translations. As Wheaton College professor and professional Bible translator Douglas J. Moo told the Christian Post:

Few, if any English translations use the actual words “homosexuality” or “homosexual.” But the history of English translation shows that versions have consistently used other language to refer to what we would call homosexual relationships.

For instance, the King James Version of Romans 1:27 refers to “men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly.” It would be very difficult to deny that this language, and the language found in many other places in both the [Old Testament] and the [New Testament], refers to homosexuality.

Yet that is exactly what the editors of the QJV do.

Take the famous story of God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, found in Genesis 19. Traditionally the sin that brought on the judgment has been thought to be the residents’ homosexual behavior. When Abraham’s nephew Lot, a resident of Sodom, received two visitors, the men of the city surrounded Lot’s house and demanded, “Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them.” The next day the visitors — actually angels — led Lot and his family out of the city, and God destroyed both it and Gomorrah.

The editors of the QJV, however, say that they “side with most Bible scholars” — left unnamed — “who understand the story … to be about bullying strangers.” Thus, they changed verse five to read: “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.”

And what of Jude 1:7, which in the KJV bluntly states that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for “giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh”? Since the editors of the QJV have already decided that the sin of Sodom was not homosexuality per se but the attempted rape of angels, they changed “strange flesh” to “nonhuman flesh” to align with their “clarification” of Genesis 19:5. But the men of Sodom were not aware that Lot’s visitors were angels, so why would God condemn the Sodomites for wanting to sleep with nonhumans?

Other, even clearer condemnations of homosexual behavior are transformed into condemnations of idolatry instead. The editors insert the phrase “in the temple of Molech” in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 to imply that homosexual behavior is only an “abomination” when it takes place in the context of pagan worship. For example, Leviticus 18:22 in the KJV, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination,” becomes “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind in the temple of Molech: it is an abomination” in the QJV.

As other commentators have pointed out, if this same logic were applied to subsequent verses in Leviticus 18, it would transform a blanket prohibition of bestiality into one conditioned on whether it takes place in pagan temples. Is this what the QJV editors intend?

The editors tie themselves in knots trying to explain that the word translated “abomination” really means something less, such as “ritually unclean” or “taboo.” But, they explain,

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….

Obviously these editors also have their own definitions of “elegant” and “logically clear.”

Romans 1:26 and 1:27 get a similar, albeit more subtle, treatment as the verses in Leviticus, again premised on the idolatry theory.

Other verses, too, are subjected to unwarranted edits, but the result is the same: to sweep away Scriptures plainly declaring homosexual behavior a sin.

By the way, the QJV got its name because, according to the editors:

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.

In truth, James’s sexuality is a matter of dispute among historians. Robert Bucholz and Newton Key, in Early Modern England, 1458-1714, assert that “the issue is murky.” But given the QJV editors’ lack of concern for scriptural fidelity, their similar disinterest in historical accuracy is hardly surprising.

The QJV isn’t the first attempt to rewrite Scripture to make it say what some want it to say; and if the editors get their druthers, it won’t be the last. The QJV “resolves any homophobic interpretations of the Bible,” they write, “but the Bible is still filled with inequality and even contradiction that we have not addressed.” The Almighty is surely waiting with bated breath to see how mere mortals can once more “improve” upon His Word.

New Modern Translation Bible Omits the Term “Christ”

Image from the Book of Kells, a 1200 year old ...
Image from the Book of Kells, a 1200 year old book. Category:Illuminated manuscript images (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many translations of The Holy Bible. Some are very accurate and some are not so. The copy right laws makes it very hard for translators to do their job properly, however there are some words and names which are not effected by any copy right laws, words and names such as God, Jesus Christ and Angels and few more. And when translation come about such as the following which omit or changes the above mentioned under the false pretense of “Easier Understanding,” we as believers have to be aware and expose these ungodly efforts!

Written by Dave Bohon
Tuesday, 24 April 2012 12:49

Another new Bible is making its way onto the shelves of Christian bookstores and the Sam’s Club religious section, touted by its publisher as a fresh and easy-to-understand translation for those who may own a Bible, but never read it.

The most recent Bible offering from religious publisher Thomas Nelson is entitled The Voice, and in an effort to make Scripture more palatable to 21st-century readers un-attuned to the customary language of the Christian faith, the translators have inserted some creative alternatives to age-old terms, causing some concerns among more tradition-minded Christians.

For example, the name “Jesus Christ” has been replaced with “Jesus the Anointed One or the liberating king,” reported USA Today. “That’s a more accurate translation for modern American readers, says David Capes, lead scholar for The Voice…. Capes says that many people, even those who’ve gone to church for years, don’t realize that the word ‘Christ’ is a title. ‘They think that Jesus is his first name and Christ is his last name,’ says Capes, who teaches the New Testament at Houston Baptist University in Texas.”

Similarly, the term “angel” is rendered “messenger,” and apostle comes out as “emissary,” Capes said that such terms can confuse and distract the modern reader so that the essential message of Scripture is missed. He told CNN that the target demographic of The Voice, an updated rendering of the King Kames Version of the Bible, is the “own but never read it” crowd, and is focused on providing a translation that emphasizes the meaning behind the words of Scripture.

“We asked, ‘What kind of questions are they coming to the text with,’” Capes explained to CNN of the translation process. “We … made that strategic decision, not to transliterate, but to translate everything, to give them the meaning of the text, and to give them the sense of where the story… is going.”

As explained on the promotional website for the new Bible: “The Voice considers the narrative links that help us to understand the drama and passion of story that is present in the original languages. The tone of the writing, the format of the page, and the directness of the dialog allows the tradition of passing down the biblical narrative to come through in The Voice.”

Unlike some other translations, such as the recently updated New International Version, The Voice “is formatted like a screenplay or novel,” explained USA Today. “Translators cut out the ‘he said’ and ‘they said’ and focused on dialogue.”

Cape said he hoped readers of the translation would come to see the Bible “not as an ancient text that’s worn out, but as a story that they participate in and find their lives in.”

The inspiration for the title The Voice actually comes from a re-rendering of the beginning of John’s Gospel, which reads in the King James Version: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). In The Voice, however, the beloved passage reads: “Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking. The Voice was and is God.”

Frank Couch, the executive editor and publisher of The Voice, said that “voice” better captures the meaning of the Greek logos than does “word,” an argument he makes for the entire translation. “The Voice has not claimed to be more accurate than any other translation,” Couch told the Christian Post. “Rather it is more easily understood than any other translation. When translators are limiting themselves to conveying the complete essence of a word from the Hebrew or the Greek with one English word, they have difficulty bringing in the nuances held in the original language.”

Couch told Christian Post that the literal renderings of the bulk of Bible translations has made it necessary “for commentators and preachers to spend so much time explaining what the words in the original language mean before the lay reader can understand fully a text of Scripture. Because we have a more expansive translating technique we can more fully develop the English translation and thus bring out the more difficult nuances found in the original language.”

Explained The Voice’s promotional website: “One of the byproducts of the information age in the church has been its focus on biblical knowledge. Many Bibles reflect this, packed with informative notes, charts, and graphs. While there’s nothing wrong with having a deep knowledge, a personal connection and deep relationship are far better. The Voice is focused on helping readers find (or rediscover) this connection with Him. Scripture is presented not as an academic document, but as an engaging story.”

While there has been little official backlash as yet from Bible scholars, expect the new translation to receive its share criticism from those pastors and church leaders who have grown wary of the plethora of Bible versions that have flooded the Christian market over the past decade or so. A foretaste of that feedback can be seen on various Christian blogs and forums, noted the Christian Post.

For example, noted the Post, the “blog ‘Extreme Theology,’ an apologetics website, declared that The Voice was a ‘distorted version of the Bible.’” Wrote the anonymous Orthodox evangelical blogger: “Unfortunately, not since the release of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation of the Greek Scriptures in 1950 has there been a bible published that so blatantly mangles and distorts God’s Word in order to support a peculiar and aberrant theological agenda.”

One may reasonably expect more condemnation of the new translation from conservative evangelicals in the coming months. (The Voice publisher offers a comparison of its new version to nine other popular Bible translations.)