The Bible is apparently too namby-pamby liberal for the folks at Conservapedia, so they're trying to get a crew together to retranslate it conservatively. Because if I understand anything about Christians' relationship to the Word of God, it's that it must be changed every generation to keep up with ideological shifts among its most, um, energetic believers.
I agree, generally, that if someone actually followed Jesus' calls to take care of others, not make a show about public religiosity, support those in need, respect the lives of others, and many of his other admonishments, they'd be considered a radical leftist unfit to lead any major congregation (well, maybe the smelly Episcopalians would accept this person). If anything, though, that should be a call for conservatives to either pay more attention to the Bible or just admit that they don't really care what it says. Changing it to fit their biases (and then teaching it in public schools, as the Conservapedians hope) won't solve anyone's problems.
Here's the list of problems they have with the Bible:
As of 2009, there is no fully conservative translation of the Bible which satisfies the following ten guidelines:
- Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias
- Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, "gender inclusive" language, and other modern emasculation of Christianity
- Not Dumbed Down: not dumbing down the reading level, or diluting the intellectual force and logic of Christianity; the NIV is written at only the 7th grade level
- Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop; defective translations use the word "comrade" three times as often as "volunteer"; similarly, updating words which have a change in meaning, such as "word", "peace", and "miracle".
- Combat Harmful Addiction: combating addiction by using modern terms for it, such as "gamble" rather than "cast lots"; using modern political terms, such as "register" rather than "enroll" for the census
- Accept the Logic of Hell: applying logic with its full force and effect, as in not denying or downplaying the very real existence of Hell or the Devil.
- Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning
- Exclude Later-Inserted Liberal Passages: excluding the later-inserted liberal passages that are not authentic, such as the adulteress story
- Credit Open-Mindedness of Disciples: crediting open-mindedness, often found in youngsters like the eyewitnesses Mark and John, the authors of two of the Gospels
- Prefer Conciseness over Liberal Wordiness: preferring conciseness to the liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio; avoid compound negatives and unnecessary ambiguities; prefer concise, consistent use of the word "Lord" rather than "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" or "Lord God."
#4 is the creepiest - these folks really want the Bible to say that someone can be a "child of God," defined as a "peacemaker," while still wanting to bomb the crap out of several third-world countries.
#3 is also fun, because they think they're smart. How cute. And as Brad at Sadly, No points out, it also contradicts #10, where they're basically asking for the Bible to be dumbed down.
Here's one of their specific examples of liberal bias in the Bible:
The earliest, most authentic manuscripts lack this verse set forth at Luke 23:34:
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
Is this a liberal corruption of the original? This does not appear in any other Gospel, and the simple fact is that some of the persecutors of Jesus did know what they were doing. This quotation is a favorite of liberals but should not appear in a conservative Bible.
Indeed, the real Jesus would have just said that they know exactly what they do, so they don't deserve to be forgiven and should just go to hell. Jesus was vindictive and bitchy that way.
Here's another example:
Socialistic terminology permeates English translations of the Bible, without justification. This improperly encourages the "social justice" movement among Christians.
For example, the conservative word "volunteer" is mentioned only once in the ESV, yet the socialistic word "comrade" is used three times, "laborer(s)" is used 13 times, "labored" 15 times, and "fellow" (as in "fellow worker") is used 55 times.
I didn't know "volunteer" was a "conservative word" - Rush Limbaugh uses it like it's a swear word. But "labor" is now a bad word, when it accurately describes what Jesus did as a carpenter? And what substitute do they have for "fellow worker"? "Dissociated, independent individual who happens to participate in the free market near me and contemporaneously" is all I could come up with for a conservative translation of "fellow worker."
To be clear, the project won't be a real translation, though. They're just planning on taking the King James Version, modernizing the language, and changing around some parts they don't like.
Really, did you expect them to learn ancient Greek? It's hard enough finding someone to homeschool trigonometry.