A book claiming to be the world's first 'gay bible' has been published to coincide with the debate on same-sex marriage.
Titled the 'Queen James Bible', its editors claim that it is a re-working of the King James Bible translated in a way that 'prevents homophobic misinterpretation of God's Word'.
'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', the book's official website said.
KING V QUEEN: BIBLES COMPARED
Genesis 19:5 (King James)'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 know them.'
Genesis 19:5 (Queen James)'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'
Timothy 1:10 (King James)'For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine'
Timothy 1:10 (Queen James)'For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine'
Jude 1:7 (King James)''Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire'
Jude 1:7 (Queen James)'Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after nonhuman flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire'
The publication, printed and bound in the U.S. is timed to coincide with the current debate over same-sex marriage.
The sales pitch on the website says: 'You can’t choose your sexuality, but you can choose Jesus. Now you can choose a Bible, too'.
The book is on sale online but does not advertise its origins, with no specific publisher, editor or translator listed by name on it's offical website. 'God' is listed as the author and 'Jesus Christ' a contributor.
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 Mr 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.'
A Vicar in New Zealand, meanwhile, has caused outrage by putting up a poster outside his church in Auckland, New Zealand, that claims Jesus was gay.
'It's Christmas. Time for Jesus to come out', the sign proclaims, with an image of baby Jesus as a toddler in a manger, surrounded by a rainbow halo.
Reverend Glynn Cardy of St Matthew in the City church, said that, as homosexuality was not a word until the 1800s, any mention of it in the Bible or other documents would have mistranslations.
He points out that there is no indication about Jesus's sexuality: 'The fact is we don't know what his sexual orientation was.'
His attempts at challenging the status quo were defended by fellow Reverend Clay Nelson who said the billboard tried to humanise Jesus by getting people to think about the challenges he would have had growing up.
He added: 'Some scholars have tried to make the case that he might have been gay.
'But it is all conjecture. Maybe gay, maybe not. Does it matter?
'There is almost nothing in the record of his teachings about sexuality while there is plenty about the perils of being rich. Certainly he always supported the marginalised in society.'