King James I: A Homosexual?

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Martin, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. Martin

    Martin
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    Was King James I of England a homosexual?

    I was reading a chapter in Gonzalez's "Story Of Christianity" (vol 2) last night and he asserted that King James I was indeed a homosexual. I have heard this before and I have heard others dispute it. Usually those who dispute it are in the KJVO camp, have no background in history, and who are only interested in defending the person their translation was named after. I am trying to get a better understanding of the situation in England during this period because I am currently studying the puritans and separatists.
     
  2. Lagardo

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    This will no doubt stir up some debate. As far back as Jame's reign, this was debateable. Some have said it was simply a rumor put forth by his political enemies. Many people will point out that he was in fact, married. However, it was common for nobility to engage in various acts with men or young boys even though they were married.

    Some have argued that this is why the KJV uses the word effeminate as opposed to homosexual. Homosexual would describe anyone engaging in such acts where as effeminate, in those days, would describe a certain type of person...a man who lives a life of having sex with other men. A married man indulging in the "greek vice" would not have viewed himself as effemenate, thus the word use would not offend the King.

    Given that no one here was a close personal friend of James, I doubt we can say for sure. Actually, as Baptists, being close to James would have been dangerous. However, Gonzalez's "Story Of Christianity" is a very good source.

    I wonder if this thread will be civil.
     
  3. Jerome

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    The word homosexual was invented in the late nineteenth century.
     
  4. Martin

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    ==King James was married at one point and had children however it seems like I recall that his wife died (?). I read some place that Massasoit (sachem of Wampanoag) asked Winslow/Bradford how King James could live without a wife (1621 or so). I will have to look this up when I get a chance.

    I suppose it would not be totally true that King James "might" have been a homosexual. Since he was married with children it would probably be more accurate to say that he "might" have been bi-sexual.


    ==I am of the opinion that where there is smoke there is "usually" a fire. The fact that these rumors were around during his lifetime "may" indicate that there was some level of truth to the rumors. However it is also possible that these rumors were started by people who simply wanted to cause the King problems.
     
  5. Rufus_1611

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    He was married to Anne of Denmark of whom he adored, wrote beautiful poetry to and of whom bore 9 children.

    If one was to make such a salacious allegation, you are correct.

    "There are some horrible crimes that ye are bound in conscience never to forgive: such as witchcraft, willful murder, incest, and sodomy." - King James in Basilicon Doron​


    He had enemies during his life and continues to have enemies today.
     
  6. Martin

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    ==Did she die leaving him alone? I assume Massasoit's question was based on some facts. I will look this up when I get a chance.

    ==Nobody is making any "salacious allegation". I am asking a question based upon historical information. Clearly these rumors where around during King James' lifetime and therefore historians must ask questions about those rumors. Are these rumors based on some facts? Or are they political attacks? Or a combo of both? History is not about things being the way we wish they were.

    King James morality, or lack thereof, does not affect the King James Version of the Bible.
     
    #6 Martin, Mar 29, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2007
  7. Rufus_1611

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    The rumors did not occur during his lifetime. The racist accusers brought it out after he was dead. People then were intelligent enough to realize the motivation behind the attacks and understood the character of the King and so the rumors faded. In contemporary times, Bible haters have given the rumors new life and, since few are interested in understanding a Christian side of history, the rumors prevail.

    I imagine this is another character that certain elements on this board would find to be a liar and whose titles smell of the stuff of dog. However, I would recommend reading Stephen Coston's research, regarding this issue.
     
  8. James_Newman

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    That was a good article, but even more interesting was the writing of King James that was featured here.

    http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/basilico.htm

    I was truly blessed by the wisdom that he set down for his son in that book.
     
  9. Martin

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    ==To assert that those who question the morality of King James are "Bible haters" is nothing but wild eyed fanaticism. King James has nothing to do with the Word of God. He was a 17th century king in England. He did order a new english translation; which he did not translate himself. The Word of God was around long before the translation he ordered and it would have survived if King James I had never ordered a new translation. This fact makes the fanatical defense of King James by some King James Only supporters look suspect. I am interested in history and not agenda or King James apologetics. Again I don't know if James was homosexual, bi-sexual, or whatever. I just know that there seems to have been rumors about this during his lifetime and after his death (yes, there were rumors while he was king). Is this a case of where there is smoke there is fire? Maybe, maybe not. Either way claiming that those who question King James' morality are "Bible haters" is a rather over the top defense of a 17th century King of England. Regardless of what one thinks of the King James Translation of the Bible.

    To believe that King James I of England was some sort of saint is simply to deny history. The man was a product of his times and he was not kind to those who did not obey his directives. While certainly not as brutal as Mary Tudor his government did not look kindly on those who practiced religion outside of the Church of England (ie..separatists, Anabaptists, etc). He desired to "harry them out of the kingdom". In fact if James had been the saint many claim, I find it hard to believe that separatists (etc) would have been forced to leave England to avoid persecution.

    As for James' marriage. According to the author of Mourt's Relation, Massasoit "This being ended, he lighted tobacco for us, and fell to discoursing of England, and of the King's Majesty, marvelling that he would live without a wife" (pg66). Further research indicates that James' wife died shortly before the pilgrims left England. So by the time Plymouth is established (1620) King James is a single man.
     
  10. Lagardo

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    I responded to this debate right away this morning when I saw it. I've been thinking about it ever since with the question, "so what?"

    The question of James' sexuality is not one we can answer. We can throw various historians at each other...and yet we don't know. And I still ask, so what?

    We could bring up more fact-based accusations against King James. After all, his response to Helwys' Mistery of Iniquity should give Christian's pause...especially Baptists...but then again, so what?

    Those more fond of King James can come back with countless references as well, furthering their argument. So what?

    Whether someone is KJVO, KJV-preferred, MVist,etc. I think we can at least agree that God used King James. True, he had little to do with the translation that (in this country) bears his name. But it was under his authority. God used him to see a mass produced Bible in a language that would eventually (albeit with variation) be one of the most popular languages in the world.

    So, if God used King James, what does it matter to you or I who and what James was? His time is well past, his sins are between he and God.

    And more important...and what has really nagged at me all day is this: what does this have to do with our calling? Yes, I'm aware that this is a debate forum...but again, so what?
     
  11. Jack Matthews

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    It seems that the arguments about King James' sexual orientation and the legitimacy of the English Bible translation that simply bears his name go hand in hand. The historical record is pretty vague about it, as one might expect. I think things like this are pretty difficult to determine so long after the fact. Whether or not he was gay doesn't have any affect, one way or the other, on the Bible translations that are named after him.

    King James was the head of the Church of England, and as such, was the only church official who could authorize a translation of the Bible that would be used in the church. The idea that it is a more accurate translation, in terms of both English usage and the manuscripts which were used to make it, simply because of its age, or that it is the only "preserved Word of God in English" is ridiculous, especially to anyone who is an expert in the field of Bible translation.

    I find it extremely ironic that some of the very people on this board who would consider the Anglican church "apostate" from a doctrinal perspective would accept a Bible translation that, in many places, uses wording and frames the English translation in a way that supports the Anglican perspective, and is the source of authority leading to the use of the term "authorized" related to the translation.
     
  12. Ps104_33

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    If King James was a homosexual, what should we do about it? Will God hold it against me if I continue to use the Authorised Version? What in the world is your point? Besides this is nothing new. it might be new news to you but this red herring has been around for a long long time my friend. Nice try.
     
  13. Martin

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    ==This is a "history" forum and King James I of England is a historical figure who played a role in the piligrims leaving England and thus started them on a journey that ended them up in America. So this seems to be the very place to discuss an issue, not a "red herring", about King James I. If you don't wish to discuss King James I, for whatever reason, then don't. However a history forum is the very place where these type issues are to be discussed.

    ___________________________________________

    General Comment About The Thread:

    I am still amazed how many Christians think they should defend the King of England who was the head of the Church of England in the 17th century. Let's keep in mind that this is a king whose government persecuted those who believed the Word of God. I'm not interested in historical revisionism by King James Only Advocates who are more interested in defending a english translation then they are interested in defending Christians against a king who persecuted them. What these King James Only folks don't seem to understand is that their favorite translation does not stand or fall on King James I. Nobody should judge the KJV by King James I. The KJV should be judged by how it translates the Word of God into english (and it does a FINE job) and not by some 17th century King of England.
     
    #13 Martin, Mar 31, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2007
  14. Xavier Montoya Zapata

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    ????

    What is this all about, I am new to the baptist .I read the rules is it right to be even discussing this. ??? does it cause bad testiminy.
     
  15. Martin

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    ==This is a discussion, on a forum devoted to history, about an important historical figure (King James I of England). Why would discussing history be "bad testimony"? History is not always what we wish it was but that does not mean we should avoid talking about it or researching it.
     
  16. Jack Matthews

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    It did a fine job with the tools and linguistics available to the translators in 1611. Revisions of the KJV showed that even the translators and those who accepted it as a viable translation knew that English translations of the Bible needed to be regularly updated to reflect not only English usage, but the archaeological discoveries that also clarified and updated the available texts of scripture. This continuous process means that the more modern translations available in English today are far more accurate renderings of the text of scripture for three reasons. First, they reflect a much more current English usage, second they reflect improved scholarship in translation of ancient Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic texts and third, they reflect manuscript evidence of earlier copies of the New Testament that were not available when the KJV was translated.

    King James was an interesting character. No doubt much of his life was dictated by his position in the royal family and the turbulent political circumstances related simply to the power and authority that went with inheriting the throne of England, which, by the time James got it, was the most powerful in Europe. Monarchies produced all kinds of circumstances with effects beyond the control of people born into them, simply because placing the power of government into the hands of individuals as an inheritance, rather than based on their ability to rule, created all kinds of quirky circumstances. The fact that the authorization of a Bible translation took place during his reign has more to do with the fact that production of an English text of scripture, sans the apocryphal books, was necessary to insure that both the throne and the majority of the general population of England remained Protestant, and thus politically in the hands of the same family, than it did as a means of enhancing the spiritual growth and development of Christians. The latter effect eventually led the English reformation to give birth to Separatists because they could see the inconsistency between the practices of the state church and the scripture.
     
  17. Ps104_33

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    If you are the thin-skinned type, I suggest that you find another board. Maybe a United Church of Christ board.:wavey:

    Just Kidding!:thumbs:
     
  18. Ps104_33

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    Martin. Dont be coy. You are being very dishonest. Your post was designed to rile the KJV only crowd. I have been around here too long and you are not the first one to bring up the subject of King James' alleged sexual orientation. I dont care about that any more than Virginia Ramey Mollenkott being on the translating board of the NIV. The Authorised Version is a Masterpiece of English literature.
     
  19. Ed Edwards

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    To bad most degreed pastors have a degree in History
    not English.
     
  20. Ps104_33

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    Thats pretty funny, Ed.:laugh:
     

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