Alex Blaze

The Word of God has a well-known liberal bias

Filed By Alex Blaze | October 06, 2009 6:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living
Tags: Bible, Conservapedia, conservatism, Episcopalians, Jesus, King James Bible, liberal, social justice

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.

Communist_jesus.gifI 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:

  1. Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias
  2. Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, "gender inclusive" language, and other modern emasculation of Christianity
  3. 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
  4. 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".
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning
  8. Exclude Later-Inserted Liberal Passages: excluding the later-inserted liberal passages that are not authentic, such as the adulteress story
  9. 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
  10. 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.

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I am sick to death of the Christian Right. They are just putting a new twist upon the old strategy of the Catholic Church, whch had its preists the only ones with access to the Bible. All teaching came through the priests. Now, lacking that ability, they will re-write the Bible to convey only an approved message.

Will no one rid us of these insolent priests?

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | October 7, 2009 3:41 AM

I wonder what Rabbi Christ would say about "Yahweh?"

After all what we have is just the prejudices of 14th century Italian bishops anyway.

They actually presume to rewrite the old testament too? :)

Read "Misquoting Jesus."

Alex, this is just so "off the wall" of the zany Con-ass right(wrong). Only they could devise, yet another way, to further dismantle a free society. They really want to take separation to new levels lunacy and create an even more hostile following to promote their limited view. It's almost like they want to create their own Orwellian manual for the self-justifying crowd of haters. So that nasty "social justice", that peaceful, equality minded Christians follow can be squashed! This raises serious questions as to their real intent.

This must be the result of Home Schooling at this point, or the direction of. How else are they going to make a generation of isolated, home schooled young minds understand the hedonistic, hateful, wealth worshiping ways of their parents, without having had re-conceptualized the entire context of their book of pick-n-warp? How will a new generation of people educated in a system that separates them from understanding the social network of an entire world adhere to their rewritten dogma? I would assume in even a more fanatic ways than at present. Will they all be Mormons of another color under the new doctrine of Conservianity?

It's almost like they want to create their own Orwellian manual for the self-justifying crowd of haters.

What I was thinking. It takes "Man created God in his image" to a whole nother level, doesn't it?

Yes, after all the times that the fundies have accused the liberals and the Bible scholars of "scripture twisting" --- and then they announce a concerted effort, the whole purpose of which is to do exactly that!

Clearly, the de facto bottom line is that scripture-twisting is OK --- as long as you are consistent in the direction in which you do the twisting.

"All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours.".......Aldous Huxley

God! Bout time the Christian Conservatives did something to shut up that whiney bleeding heart lib Jesus...

Wait a minute...

It's been a long time, but I seem to remember a passage from Revelations that said those who tried to re-write the Bible would burn in hell. Or is that one of the passages we can ignore, like the shellfish abomination right by the totally un-ignorable gay abomination in Leviticus?

Found it:

I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone adds to them, may God add to him the plagues which are written in this book. If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, may God take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.
Revelations 22:18-19

It's not so hard to avoid violating that passage if you just delete it from the Bible.

Leftists/Socialists/Communists/liberals/Nazis probably added it in there anyway since they care about "accuracy" and "the truth."

What would they think of the LOLcat translation of the Bible?

Interesting that these conservatives are basing their bible on the King James Version. Are they aware that King James was gay or at least bisexual?

That's true, but dedicating the work to the King was pretty much just de rigeur political sucking-up. It doesn't imply the KJV scholars liked him in the least, or vice versa; he just happened to be on the throne at the time.

It's kind of a shame James was some kind of not-straight ("gay" might be an anachronistic term), because he kind of sucks as an icon. If he had any real personal merits, they weren't recorded and are lost in the mists of time.

How dare you say that the BROTHER OF JESUS was a by! Jesus' brother was NOT a by! Jesus' brother wrote the King James version of the Jesus' bible and then, based upon the success of that book---it sold billions of copies---was off to Mary Old England because the people their elected him there KING FOR LIFE!

Tall Stacey | April 28, 2011 3:44 PM

What are you smoking? I hope you brought enough to share!

Obviously a product of the above mentioned home schooling!

What's with the "smelly Episcopalian" remark. The Presiding Bishop has just issued a statement to Uganda that is stronger and more specific than a lot of Churches. That smells good to me. So does Gene Robinson.

Tongue-in-cheek, I dare say. To people who think that God sent His Son to earth to stump for Republican candidates, most Episcopalians are indeed "smelly", for the reasons you cite and many more.

If anybody doubts just how nefarious liberals are, the discovery that they've actually been getting their teachings written into the Bible for thousands of years ought to clinch it. What kind of elitist lobbying and influence-peddling did they use to get an inside track with the Lord? It's shameless.

More seriously, I hope the project goes forward, because it's freaking hilarious. I mean, the Onion can't beat this. I'm very interested in, among other things, how they'll convert Old Testament property law - which demands regular forgiveness of all debts, forbids permanent sale of land, etc. - into proper free-enterprise ideology.

I wonder how Jesus would like the Bible being used as a weapon as the right often seems to beat their fellow human beings over the head with it often with great fervor. There are however a few Churches other than Episcopalians that tend to be accepting but the majority certainly seem to side with or are afraid to stand up against the hard line right on such things. Oh and I do go to church myself. I have read the Bible several times and still do not get the message out of the Bible that some of the Conservative right seems to draw from it.

kevin trask | January 23, 2010 1:00 PM

I say we rip the sails of the christian ship and capsize it... Land HOE! Brood of vipers Wow to you Scribes and Pharisees The greatest story every sold a three part series that EVERY GOD FEARING Hypocrite should see.

Be prepared to believe. I am a new person after this life changing video....

Well why wouldn't the religious right change the Word of God. Their comrades in politics, the Mormons and Roman Catholics added on. The Jehovah Witnesses change the wording to say that Jesus was not God. Why wouldn't the conservatives have a crack at it. Oh, and don't lower the reading level. After all they wouldn't want to actually study it, now would they? Can't do that. Might find out that Robertson and company are lying.

Mike in Vancouver | April 17, 2010 5:40 AM

I can't say much that hasn't already been said in the way of critiscism, but I'm always entertained when the wackos pull out the King James version of the Bible (especially in this case since they have such a low opinion of the NIV), considering King James I of England,(James VI of Scotland)for which that version is named, was at the VERY least bisexual if not completely gay.

(Wikipedia may not be the greatest source, but it's awesome for quick and dirty forum posts!)

Daulton Pilcher | April 23, 2010 12:52 PM

I find it very hard to accept religious ideologues, demagogues, zealots, and the like, since their translation of the divine word so always agree with their own views.

Tom Brown | July 20, 2010 9:10 AM

While this project may seem ludicrous to us, it's really no different than thousands of other attempts to translate ancient texts into a modern, understandable vernacular. Some translators would deny they have a political agenda, but translation by its very nature is going to reflect certain cultural values (which opponents will label as biases or mistranslations.) People genuinely interested in exploring the Bible for wisdom should study and compare at least 3 or 4 different translations, and delve into some of the scholarly commentary on each book. This is what makes the Bible the "living word of God," as Harvard minister Peter Gomes explained so vividly in "The Good Book." Each generation has to read the Bible and come to its own conclusions about what it means.

theflyingarab | October 16, 2010 10:36 PM

my understanding was that they were not, in fact, translating the ancient?

DREW mILWAUKEE | March 8, 2011 5:39 PM