Unpacking the Queen James Bible

By Cris D. Putnam
There’s a new Bible “translation” with a pernicious agenda, it’s called the Queen James Bible. The editors named it the Queen James because of the “obvious gay link to King James, known amongst friends and courtiers as “Queen James” because of his many gay lovers.” While King James was known for moral weakness, this is not reflective of the biblical authors. Homosexuality is a sin because it is against the creation order.

First, I think it is important to point out the fallacious theory of interpretation/translation. A helpful guide to understanding theories of translation is How to Read the Bible for All it Worth (a book I reviewed here):

Functional equivalence: the attempt to keep the meaning of the Hebrew or Greek but to put their words and idioms into what would be the normal way of saying the same thing in English. The more one is willing to forego formal equivalence for functional equivalence, the closer one moves toward a theory of translation frequently described as “dynamic equivalent.” Such translations keep historical distance on all historical and factual matters but “update” matters of language, grammar, and style.

Free translation: the attempt to translate the ideas from one language to another, with less concern about using the exact words of the original. A free translation, sometimes also called a paraphrase, tries to eliminate as much of the historical distance as possible and still be faithful to the original text.

Theory of translation has basically to do with whether one puts primary emphasis on formal or on functional equivalency, that is, the degree to which one is willing to go in order to bridge the gap between the two languages, either in use of words and grammar or in bridging the historical distance by offering a modern equivalent. [1]

With the preliminaries out of the way, I think it is safe to say the Queen James Bible does not even qualify as a free translation. It’s not a translation at all. For instance, think about the overtly circular methodology of deciding a position like “homosexuality is not addressed in the Bible” and then imposing that idea on to the text. It’s really not a theory of translation at all rather it seeks to revise the text in accordance with a predetermined agenda. The Queen James Bible is not a Bible translation, it’s an outright forgery.

As an example let’s examine a representative passage from the Queen James:

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor morally weak, nor promiscuous, (1 Cor 6:9, QJV)

I contend that the Greek text is actually much more explicitly addressing homosexuality than the English translations reveal. A functional equivalent translation like King James or New American Standard reads as such:

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,”(1 Co 6:9, KJV)

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,(1 Co 6:9. NASB)

A free translation like the New Living Translation or New International Version reads:

“Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality,(1 Co 6:9, NLT)

“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men,”(1 Co 6:9, NIV)

But looking at the Greek text of 1 Cor 6:9:

“Ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἄδικοι θεοῦ βασιλείαν οὐ κληρονομήσουσιν; μὴ πλανᾶσθε· οὔτε πόρνοι οὔτε εἰδωλολάτραι οὔτε μοιχοὶ οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται”(1 Co 6:9, NA27)

These terms I underlined “μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται” are much more explicit than our English translations present. One of the most respected Greek lexicons based on semantic domains is very revealing:

88.281 μαλακόςb, οῦ m: the passive male partner in homosexual intercourse —‘homosexual.’ For a context of μαλακόςb, see 1 Cor 6:9–10 in 88.280. As in Greek, a number of other languages also have entirely distinct terms for the active and passive roles in homosexual intercourse.

88.280 ἀρσενοκοίτης, ου m: a male partner in homosexual intercourse—‘homosexual.’ It is possible that ἀρσενοκοίτης in certain contexts refers to the active male partner in homosexual intercourse in contrast with μαλακόςb, the passive male partner (88.281).[2]

Far from not speaking to the issue, Paul hit it head on. In fact, a woodenly literal translation might read:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Neither sexually immoral people, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor passive homosexual partners, nor dominant homosexual partners,

The Queen James Bible leads folks who struggle with sexual attraction disorders to forego repentance and invite the wrath of God:

“Because of this, God gave them over to degrading passions, for their females exchanged the natural relations for those contrary to nature, and likewise also the males, abandoning the natural relations with the female, were inflamed in their desire toward one another, males with males committing the shameless deed, and receiving in themselves the penalty that was necessary for their error.”(Ro 1:26–27)

See: Did Jesus Condemn Homosexuality?
Also See: The Same Sex Controversy


[1] Gordon D. Fee and Douglas K. Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1993), 41


[2] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, vol. 1, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains, electronic ed. of the 2nd edition. (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 771-72.


Why Preterism Seems Absurd… (part 4)

By Cris Putnam
In case you aren’t familiar, preterism the idea that most of bible prophecy was fulfilled during the first century with the events surrounding the destruction of the Jerusalem temple. The ESV study Bible definition:

Preterism (from Latin praeteritum, “the thing that is past”) thinks that the fulfillment of most of Revelation’s visions already occurred in the distant past, during the early years of the Christian church.[1]

This is an idea I find untenable. It is the result of inappropriately conflating Jesus predictions concerning the temple with his discussion of his return in glory. I believe I have made a decisive case against it already and this is a continuation of the series including: part 1, part 2, & part 3.

Another, reason that preterism seems absurd is Jesus’ use of material from Daniel 12 which cannot be relegated to the first century.

“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.”(Mt 24:21)

It is quite clear that Jesus is quoting from Daniel 12:

“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.”(Da 12:1)

What makes this fatal to a preterist interpretation of Matthew 24 which attempts to relegate this passage to the events of AD 70 is that the next event in Daniel 12 is the resurrection of the dead and event which occurs in Revelation 20 necessarily after the glorious return of Christ.

“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”(Da 12:2)

Furthermore, identical language is used in the book of Revelation firmly establishing the futurist interpretation of these unprecedented events.

“And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake.(Re 16:18)

The book of Revelation also repeats “the Great Tribulation” terminology connecting Matthew 24, Daniel 12 and the judgments in Revelation.

“I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Re 7:14)

One more biblical reason that preterism seems absurd.

[1] Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 2457.