10.06.2009

"Conservative Bible Project Cuts Out Liberal Passages": Not a Joke

This sounds like a hoax, but it's not: the nice people behind the Conservapedia website have started a "Wikipedia-like group editing project" (as this HuffPo article puts it) to produce a conservative translation of the Bible (as if the NIV wasn't bad enough).

The aims of this project are numerous, but among them is a determination to render the Biblical text in such a way that liberals will not be able to corrupt it.

This was, for me, a bit of a head-scratcher. Closer to the bottom of the page they admit that "professors and higher-educated" people -- you know, the people who typically translate the Bible from the original languages -- "can be expected to be liberal and feminist in outlook." I guess I don't understand how they could ever even dare to imagine that this online amateur translation could ever serve "as a bulwark against the liberal manipulation of meaning." Are the liberals and feminists who actually read the original languages going to forget what the original texts actually say? Do they imagine their opponents will give their "translation" any credence whatsover?

They want to avoid "gender inclusive language" and they want it to be "not dumbed down." You see, the NIV was "written at only the 7th grade level." (That's because it was written for conservatives. If they're looking for something written at a high school level, the NRSV is already available.)

Curiously, they also want to avoid "liberal wordiness." No word on how that will be squared with "not dumbing it down." (Actually, avoiding "wordiness" is one way to lower the grade level of a text.)

One of the many advantages of this online Bible is that it "would debunk the pervasive and hurtful myth that Jesus would be a political liberal today." One way it would do this, apparently, is by "explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning."

They're also removing the story of the adulterous woman from the Gospel of John, as it gives liberals the idea that Jesus was opposed to the death penalty.

They already have some parts translated, including a number of passages from the Gospel of Mark. Among the proposed changes: "Holy Spirit" is now "Divine Guide." Amusingly, Jesus takes some "intellectual types" to task in Mark 2.8. Later, "the Pharisees" are referred to as "the Elite" (Mark 3.2). Another page suggests that the term "homeschool" might be relevant to Jesus's teaching of the younger apostles.

It's clear enough that the participants have no knowledge of Greek, and are merely paraphrasing (and loosely at that).

I can only imagine this will provoke horror -- not from their hated liberal enemies, but from fellow conservatives who won't appreciate the Word of God being cut up and paraphrased in such a "liberal" way.

I think it's amusing. Check it out here.

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2 Comments:

Blogger OneSmallStep said...

**, apparently, is by "explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning."**

????? Capitalism did not exist back then! Preaching to the choir, preaching to the choir, I know.

All they're going to accomplish is the perception that Christianity is for idiots only.

9:18 PM  
Blogger colkoch said...

I'm waiting for the comic book edition. The one that Sarah Palin will read to her grandchild and in the process gain even more savvy insight into Russia.

2:17 PM  

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