A recently released Bible translation based off of the King James Bible boasts of being the first ever "Gay Bible" in the world.
Titled the Queen James Bible, its publishers argued in a statement that it accurately translates certain verses pertaining to homosexuality, which have been misunderstood by religious conservatives.
"Homosexuality was first overtly 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," said the editors.
"The Queen James Bible addresses those controversial verses by editing them very slightly for interpretive clarity. The edits all confirm that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality, and therefore renders such interpretations impossible."
Douglas J. Moo, Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies at Wheaton College and a professional Bible translator, told The Christian Post that the Queen James editors' assessment of past translations is not entirely accurate.
"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," said Moo.
"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 OT and the NT, refers to homosexuality."
The Queen James has a mysterious background. On its official website, no specific publisher is mentioned nor any editors or translators listed by name. On its Amazon purchase page, the author is listed as God and the contributor as Jesus Christ. It also only contains two preview pages, the cover and the following page which simply has the title of the translation in small print.
In an interview with The Christian Post, an unnamed spokesman said that the translation was the result of the ongoing debate over same-sex marriage.
"The controversies surrounding gay marriage using faith as a basis led us to more closely examine what people were citing in the Bible," said the spokesman.
Christopher Yuan, author of Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God, A Broken Mother's Search for Hope, who serves as an adjunct instructor of the Bible at Moody Bible Institute, told The Christian Post that the concept of the "Queen James" is not new.
"Revisionist interpretations which attempt to affirm homosexual sex and relationships have been around for decades. This is just another attempt to make these revisionist interpretations official or more mainline," said Yuan.
"I do believe that this new Bible translation will only add to the confusion of these revisionist translations and interpretations which are based upon poor exegesis and selective contextual studies."