I went through my email folders recently to throw out old shit that no longer needs to be cluttering up my account, and found some really great material from over the past krillion years.
One such item was a message about King James which I found completely hilarious — as well as enlightening, since I’m not a big history buff.
As in, when history or geography came up as categories in the game Trivial Pursuit, my family automatically gave me a handicap. This usually meant I had three guesses, or lots of hints, or sometimes even a mix of both. While my knowledge and interest have both improved drastically with age — particularly since marrying a political science major — I’m still not an expert on Old World goings on.
That, along with the current religious atmosphere — rife with tension and misunderstands — explains why I held onto this particular email for so long.
I have copied it below for your edification. Laugh along with me, and while you’re at it, learn a thing or two about King Flaming James, the Bible, and why fundamental Christians are all kinds of FUBAR.*
“I have been studying the kings and queens of England (for fun; I know I am a total nerd, but I just find it all so fascinating…) and guess what I came across in several places?
King James was a flaming homosexual!
Dude was more rainbowy than rainbows! He was very openly gay.
Sir Walter Raleigh even joked about it, saying that “King Elizabeth had been succeeded by Queen James.” !!!
And do you know what he did with the young men he fell in love with and bedded? He raised some of them to positions of great power (made them dukes or earls or whatnot) no matter what their backgrounds were.
Some historians claim that he murdered some of his lovers.
And yet… his bible is “the best” version because… WHY?
People glorify and hail a Bible commissioned not only by a gay man, but also a man who greatly abused his power for his own selfish purposes.
One of the “explanations” I have gotten from folks for believing so deeply in the King James Version is that they believe that he (and his scholars, I suppose) were led by God to write the King James Version and that it all came from the Holy Spirit and so was essentially commissioned by God Himself.
To that, I rebut with the following:
I came across some information that said that the “new translation” of the Bible that King James had commissioned was actually NOT the first version of the Bible (or parts of it) to be written in English and a great many parts of this “translation” were just stolen or borrowed (for lack of better terms) from these previously translated portions from the 1500s.
There were a select group of scholars who chose which bits and pieces they felt were the most relevant / important passages to be included.
Not only that, but a lot of the Biblical texts that had been translated in the 1500s (which were regurgitated into King James’ version) were not translated accurately at all and contained several mistakes, so these mistakes were transferred over to King James’ version, unchecked… not to mention the nice bit of mistakes his scholars added with their own hands.
If you ask me, the King James Version is probably the worst and scariest version to rely on!
Don’t get me wrong — I think the King James Version Bible has awesome historical value! I love to read its language and get a sense of how people then spoke, wrote, and felt. I think it’s an important document toward the history of Christianity.
I just don’t get why people are so blind. On purpose.
Let me add the disclaimer that I don’t think the King James Version is bad or that it loses merit because King James was gay. I just think it’s hysterically awesome that such an anti-homosexual crowd will fight you tooth and nail on how infallible the King James Version Bible is.”
So there you have it. Your Sunday morning Bible Study. You’re welcome.
* I wish I could claim to have written this myself. In the spirit of honesty, however, I cannot. I have not provided the contributor’s name for three reasons:
- I neglected to ask permission before publishing this piece.
- I was scared if I asked, the answer might be a most definitive “NO”, and I like to operate under the motto “Ask forgiveness, not permission.”
- Even if I DID gain permission to print this piece, I’m fairly certain the contributor of this story would not want to claim authorship. However, if I am mistaken, that person is welcome to either announce such in the comments, or contact me privately, and either way I will edit this to include the appropriate attribution.