Monday, October 5, 2009

The Bible Says What, Now?

bible, translation, schafly, conservapedia, conservative,
Hat tip to PZ Myers for picking up on Conservapedia's rewriting of the bible to match their own principles.

Some commentors at Pharyngula think that Conservapedia is being spoofed. I think somebody actually read their bible and thought, "Oh, shit! I'm totally not doing what Jesus said. He said to give away your money and help the poor and sick- what the fuck am I going to do? I've got- I'll rewrite the bible!"

As of 2009, there is no fully conservative translation of the Bible because that's not how one translates books, asshat which satisfies the following ten guidelines:[2]

Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias
the fact that Jesus espouses liberalism every fifth word is a feature, not a bug, moran.

Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, "gender inclusive" language, and other modern emasculation of Christianity Christianity: now with testicles!

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] i can't . . . the irony . . . it hurts!

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".

comrade: a person who shares in one's activities, occupation, etc.; companion, associate, or friend.

it's an accurate word as used in the bible. the above definition is the first definition, btw. i'd also like to know when "word", "peace" and "miracle" changed in meaning, and what the previous definitions were.

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 um, the "casting of lots" in the bible isn't gambling in several instances, from what i remember, it referred to divination at least once. divination isn't gambling. and replacing "enroll" with "register"- why? does "enroll" have some alternate meaning in ConservaLand I am unaware of?

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. what? i don't even know what that means.

Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning where, where, where in the bible are there "Free Market Parables"? And Jesus said unto them: thou shalt charge what the market shall bear, even in the case of health care, because if poor people die of treatable illness, it's their own damn faults!

Exclude Later-Inserted Liberal Passages: excluding the later-inserted liberal passages that are not authentic, such as the adulteress story ah, the adulteress story, in which Jesus tells an adulteress to go and sin no more. good of them to admit that forgiveness is a liberal trait.

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 again, i have no fucking idea what they're getting at.

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." "Liberal Wordiness"? The new, revised Song of Solomon: Hey baby, let's fuck.

They really are serious about this, btw. Well, sort of. Clearly, Andy Schafly has no idea what is involved in translating ancient documents, as evidenced by his expectation that they can translate 4 verses an hour, from the original, every day for the next year, with no problem.


  1. I just wrote about this too, because it really just pisses me off. My uncle used to work in a publishing house and he worked with the people who updated the language in the Bible. They took a whole year to update a few words, because everything was taken to churchs and had to be agreed upon. If someone had walked into that room and suggested this neat new revision I think those nice old gentlemen would have had a collective stroke.

  2. exactly. ancient greek and aramaic do not translate directly into english, as evidenced by the voluminous footnotes you will find in some translations of the bible. i have a translation where the footnote will cover half the page, just from one word.

    i just can't imagine this. i once spent half an hour trying to explain the exact meaning and flavor of a spanish idiom to someone, and he's going to translate from the original greek/aramaic at the rate of 4 verses an hour?

  3. I'd be willing to bet that even many conservative Christians would have a problem with Conservapedia's attempts to alter the Bible for political purposes.

    "his expectation that they can translate 4 verses an hour, from the original, every day for the next year, with no problem."

    He probably thinks the King James Version is the original.

  4. UNRR: That's exactly what they're doing. Actual knowledge of ancient languages and the process of accurate translation requires education. Which is, of course, liberal.

  5. Oops, that should be "that's exactly what they think." They're using the KJV and just changing it around to suit their purposes.

  6. I'm waiting for this to pop up on Rapture Ready to see what they think.

  7. Have you checked out some of the translations? They are hilarious. Just a bit from Mark here:

    Mark 14:18

    KJV - And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.

    Conservapedia - While they were sitting and eating, Jesus said, "I'm serious: One of you guys is going to betray me."

    Judas replied, "O rly?"

    And Jesus said back, "Ya rly! It is going 2 b you, ya douchebag."

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. I also can't wait to see them translate Revelation 22:18-19 (which was a rebuke to the scribes copying Revelation) "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book; if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book."

  10. Your translation of the Song of Solomon gave a much needed boost to my day! Thank you!

  11. I didn't even think of that, RR will probably love this, or despise it. No middle ground with that crew.

  12. Ah, quotemining their own holy book. Par for the course.

    You're right, of course: they have no intention of doing a 'translation'. They already know what the book says, now they just have to change the text to match it.

    BTW, it's slightly disturbing how often they use the word "liberal." It's starting to sound like "heretic" to me.

  13. I'd like to wonder how they handle all the instances of "Love thy neighbour as thyself". After all, nowhere is the there a qualifier to this, as in "Except if they're female" or "Only if they're straight".

    Also, this shows the cognitive dissonance inherent in the fundie mindset. How could anyone else believe (a) that the Bible is the inerrant word of God; and (b) that the Bible needs correcting!

  14. PF,

    I just wanted to say kudos on your comma-usage in the title, it made me laugh out loud (or, L.O.L, if you will - hey, maybe that acronym will catch on? I wonder if it's copyrighted...)

  15. I'm of two minds about this. Part of me says that no one, not even Republicans, could be this stupid- it must be a poe. But in the discussion section they sound quite bat-shit crazy serious. In any case, it seems to have struck a chord, at least as something the tinfoil hat conservatives didn't know they needed, but now can't do without. So I guess it doesn't matter much whether it's a poe or not: all it needs to be is a strange attractor to be called into life.

  16. Quasar - that was my reaction, exactly -

    "you guys run around all the fucking time shoving this book down my throat and *INSIST* that it is the Direct, Literal, Word Of GOD and that it is 100% perfect and accurate - and then you say "oh deary me, it's too "liberal", and are going to go and re-write the Direct, Literal, Perfect, Exact Word Of GOD to be more to your liking? which one of us is crazy, again?"


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