Home > Atheism > This Has To Be A Joke

This Has To Be A Joke

Conservapedia has apparently launched a new initiative to correct some ‘liberal’ elements of the Bible. Yes, they want to correct the Bible, the book that most of their members seem to regard as divinely inspired. The arduous task of unknotting just what went into the Bible (and more importantly, why) is a worthy scholarly endeavor, particularly for those who are into ancient history or the evolution of new languages and cultures, but I somehow doubt that many scholars would consider it appropriate to use ‘liberalness’ as a benchmark for what should be considered canonical or not.

Here’s a short list of some of their goals:

Liberal bias has become the single biggest distortion in modern Bible translations. There are three sources of errors in conveying biblical meaning:

  • lack of precision in the original language, such as terms underdeveloped to convey new concepts of Christianity
  • lack of precision in modern language
  • translation bias in converting the original language to the modern one.

Of these three sources of errors, the last introduces the largest error, and the biggest component of that error is liberal bias. Large reductions in this error can be attained simply by retranslating the KJV into modern English.[1]

As of 2009, there is no fully conservative translation of the Bible which satisfies the following ten guidelines:[2]

  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[3]
  4. Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop;[4] 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”;[5] 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.”

Just how late are these ‘later-inserted’ passages? Because I’m pretty sure the modern meaning of the word ‘liberal’ didn’t come into force until, oh, the 20th century, and last time I checked, most of the Bible was a little bit older than that.

Of course, there’s a good chance the whole thing is a joke, or a ‘Poe’, as they say. Conservapedia has been hit hard by moles and trolls since its inception, and this sounds like something a smart but not terribly mature atheist would try. (I say atheist because of the strong religious element, but I guess it could be a liberal theist as well. Or, hell, a conservative who’s just irritated by the site’s blatant stupidity.)

Potential Poe-ness aside, the rest of the article has some real gems. Observe:

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.

What the hell is a ‘conservative word’, anyway? I have a sneaking suspicion that this is the kind of thing that would make a linguist want to murder somebody. Or possibly several somebodies.

What say you, internet? Is this real, or is it just a very elaborate ruse? And for what it’s worth, the associated discussion page seems to be genuine enough…

Liberal bias has become the single biggest distortion in modern Bible translations. There are three sources of errors in conveying biblical meaning:

  • lack of precision in the original language, such as terms underdeveloped to convey new concepts of Christianity
  • lack of precision in modern language
  • translation bias in converting the original language to the modern one.

Of these three sources of errors, the last introduces the largest error, and the biggest component of that error is liberal bias. Large reductions in this error can be attained simply by retranslating the KJV into modern English.[1]

As of 2009, there is no fully conservative translation of the Bible which satisfies the following ten guidelines:[2]

  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[3]
  4. Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop;[4] 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”;[5] 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.”
Advertisements
Categories: Atheism
  1. October 5, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Conservapedia is just in denial. There is some basis for God being a liberal. (See here or here if you subscribe to this position). It seems to me that if God really is a liberal, then this is another example of how (some) conservatism has, to put it bluntly, gone from slow to no. Perhaps we can add “No Jesus is not a liberal.” to other conservative views like “No evolution! No comprehensive sex ed! No global warming!”

    • October 6, 2009 at 9:52 am

      I really don’t know what political affiliation God has if he exists (I don’t think anybody could know), but I’m pretty sure it would be difficult to make a solid case for either using only the Bible. It’s very difficult to just transplant old ideas or writings into the modern day, particularly where you have so many language and translation issues, and (despite what some of them might say) there is no political party today that is based solely on Biblical teachings – there are always going to be modern and more recent historical influences there as well.

  2. October 6, 2009 at 3:49 am

    A politically-conservative atheist could easily be the guilty party.

    • October 6, 2009 at 9:49 am

      Yeah, that’s the only combination I left out. I was going to add it in at the end, but I thought nobody would notice >.> (And yes, for those who don’t believe it, politically conservative atheists do indeed exist!)

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: