I first heard about this at (where else?) Pharyngula. That bastion of all that is sane and rational about modern day American conservative known only as "Conservapedia" has decided to make a conservative translation of the Bible. If that sounds ridiculous to you, good. It's about to get outright hilarious.
Liberal bias has become the single biggest distortion in modern Bible translations. There are three sources of errors in conveying biblical meaning are, in increasing amount:
lack of precision in the original language, such as terms underdeveloped to convey new concepts introduced by Christ
lack of precision in modern language
translation bias in converting the original language to the modern one.
And all of those three things do seem like reasonable things to consider sources of error. But....
But the third -- and largest -- source of translation error requires conservative principles to reduce and eliminate.[Yes, the original was bolded].
Problem: THAT TRANSLATION IS BIASED! Solution: bias it in a way that you are happier with!
Please note that if you replace the word "translation" with the word "news coverage" above, then the solution is Fox News. Just to give you a concrete example.
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 Gospel
- 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."
1. That's a sufficiently vague way of phrasing what sounds effectively like "No liberals in the translational area, please".
2. Yeah. We don't want to be girly-men. As for women, they can just go fuck themselves. In a lady-like fashion, of course.
3. I love the phrase "intellectual force". I don't know why, but it tickles me. And I think the way to go about not dumbing down the Bible is this: make it as vague and incomprehensible as possible. If every verse doesn't sound like a Zen riddle, then you are failing it, and must start all over. I believe I am more than qualified on this matter, having recently received my PhD in incoherence (and a Master's in pseudo intellectualism).
4. Apparently, all those people who are trying to understand the "intellectual force" of Christianity cannot possibly be trusted to understand that words have multiple definitions. (Granted, it's not always clear which definition is the relevant one...) Also, the idea of conservative words is hilarious. They link to an article of "best new conservative words" and basically just take credit for a bunch of words they like and that they think relates to/describes conservatism or could be used to insult liberals. At the bottom of the page, they claim "accountability" as a conservative word/concept. Why? Who knows. Especially since the word itself first appeared in the 15-fucking-30's. The only way it makes sense is if they simply claiming these things as their own because it is the things they support (and therefore things that liberals do not and are concepts that are exclusively theirs, obviously).
5. WTF does the census have to do with anything? And...can people really not understand that "cast[ing] lots" would be a form of gambling? This really does not bode well for number 3...at all.
6. The very real existence of the Devil and Hell...(?) You do realize that, just because you say it, doesn't make it so...right? But I really do hope that the conservative Bible makes the "logic" of Hell as explicit as they can. It seems to be a point of much focus for them, so it would be real nice to clear that up as much as possible.
7. "FULL FREE MARKET MEANING". Presumably, they will need to disappear the following verses:
Matthew 19:21-24. Mark 10:21-25. Luke 18:22-25.(Same basic passage, which will be important a little later).
8. Here is what a honest people would have for a goal: " excluding the later-inserted passages that are not authentic".
What conservapedia has for a goal: " excluding the later-inserted liberal passages that are not authentic". Obviously, the passages that were added later, not authentic, but aren't liberal are perfectly acceptable.
9. What the hell is the point of that, and how do they intend to pull it off? Start off a few of the books with the disclaimer that Mark and John were awesome and nice and would believe anything "open-minded"?
10. Liberals wordy? News to me (...)
(This too runs afoul of #3.)
a Conservative Bible could become a text for public school coursesI don't know whether to laugh or cry. Maybe I should just compromise and scream.
liberals will oppose this effort, but they will have to read the Bible to criticize this, and that will open their minds'Libruls haven't read the Bible lolololololol' Because obviously there aren't any Christians or former Christians among the liberal. The Bible had liberal bias translated into it by people who couldn't be bothered to read the Bible or care about it, because a Bible that was tailored to cater to liberal sensibilities is obviously something that only conservatives could be expected to read and care about.
First Example - Liberal FalsehoodThe 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.
"This does not appear in other Gospels" is a fantastic reason to exclude a verse. Just fantastic. Applying this principle across the board will definitely result in a "concise" Conservative Bible. Though it may be a little redundant. With regards to the claim about "authentic manuscripts lack[ing] the verse", all I could find was this, which claims (also without much evidence, honestly) that the original manuscripts in Greek contain the verse but several translations omitted portions of it, the assumed motivation was unwillingness to forgive the Jews. Fight conspiracy with conspiracy.
At Luke 16:8, the NIV describes an enigmatic parable in which the "master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly." But is "shrewdly", which has connotations of dishonesty, the best term here? Being dishonestly shrewd is not an admirable trait.
The better conservative term, which became available only in 1851, is "resourceful". The manager was praised for being "resourceful", which is very different from dishonesty. Yet not even the ESV, which was published in 2001, contains a single use of the term "resourceful" in its entire translation of the Bible.
Way to bitch about them not using your synonym of choice (even though a positive but direct synonym to "shrewd" would be "clever", but whatever). Also, shouldn't the word "dishonest" in the quote itself be a good indication that "shrewd" having "connotations of dishonesty" is actually the fucking point?
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.
Those words are only "socialist" in the paranoid fever dreams of rabid anti-communist hystericists. And, also considering the verses I mentioned up above, the teachings of Jesus himself give more traction to the "social justice movement among Christians" [scare quotes removed] than some words that are vaguely "connected" to socialism being in the text could possibly do alone.
And now Colbert has picked up on the nonsense and alerted his merry mob across the nation about the project.
[I will link to the video instead of embedding it because the embedding for the video won't f#@$%$!ucking work].
He's not going to get his wish anytime soon. I doubt Conservapedia is going to allow any new users to join or
allow any edits at all for at least a week or so with the potential flood of Colbert-directed e-vandals headed their way. Assuming that one of them would have seen the Colbert Report that is...
Best part? The guy making sure all of this happens is Big Man Andy Schafly himself! I would have assumed it was an elaborate hoax in any other situation. With Andy calling the shots on this, the only way that this isn't completely hilarious is if Conservapedia itself has been a hoax all along. Admittedly, not too far-fetched.