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The Queen James Bible Paperback – November 27, 2012
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My comments concern the issue of biblical exegesis especially where it concerns translation.
It seems to me that the publication philosophy of this bible is; that if you dislike comments in the Biblical text, then find research that is convenient to your viewpoint, and amend the offending verses. There is an emerging tradition in this direction – witness “The Inclusive Bible”.
In the preface entitled “A Gay Bible” it suggests that this is a serious work, however, it seems to me that the renaming in the title (to “Queen James” from King James) is gratuitous, and seems ‘camp’ (affected) – even taking into account King James’ alleged bi-sexual nature. If there is a serious point to be made, the renaming detracts from that. The Introduction (The Editor’s Notes) does provide a serious read, but I suspect many will fail to get that far put off by the title.
Still found in ‘pro-same gender attraction’ Christian literature is the recasting of the Levitical injunctions against same sex unions as being injunctions against sacred prostitution. The Queen James Bible is no exception (mentioned on page 5 of the Bible). This claim concerning sacred prostitution has been thoroughly debunked by Dr Stephanie Budin, in "The Myth of Sacred Prostitution in Antiquity" Cambridge University Press 2008. Budin's work is not original and uses the work pioneered by an Israeli Professor Mayer Gruber, whose work is not available in English but has proved beyond doubt that there is no "ambiguity" in the prohibition for sexual relationship among same sex men. Dr. Mayer I. Gruber, is professor in the Department of Bible and Ancient Near East at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheva, Israel. His works are as follows; Mayer I. Gruber, “The qadesh in the Book of Kings and in Other Sources” [in Hebrew], Tarbiz 52 (1983): 167–76; idem, “Hebrew qedeshah and its Canaanite and Akkadian Cognates,” Ugarit Forschungen 18 (1986): 133–48; idem, “The qedeshah—What Was its Function?” [in Hebrew], Beer Sheva 3 (1988).
The other points in the Introduction (Editor’s Notes pages 3-9) defending the changes in the King James Version text, have been amply discussed by Professor Robert A. J. Gagnon in his book “The Bible and Homosexual Practice, Texts and Hermeneutics”, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2001; the conclusions of which differing from those which justify the changes in the King James Bible text to create the present “Queen James” edition.
Also some argue (but not in this bible) that our Lord was silent on the subject of same-gender relationships, but that silence is not absolute. In the Matthean affirmation for marriage given by our Lord, is the assumption of the anthropology of the Old Testament (our Lord quotes from Genesis) and the Levitical Law which still held in the mind of Jesus (Matthew 5:18).
I do understand the pastoral issues, especially when it is argued that those with a same sex attraction cannot help that attraction. For many concerned Christians, a pastoral approach, that is in concert with a biblical witness is a better solution, recognising God does indeed forgive the failings of our human fragility - of all mankind - not just a section – and not just relating to sexual relationships, as if those led to the most serious sins! Psalm 103:10-14; “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.”
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