Jan. 13, 2011
The conservative movement in America speaks as if they have a monopoly on the truth and now plan a revamping of the Bible. How arrogant it is to try and “improve” upon or “correct” God’s word. This group contends, “As of 2009, there is no fully conservative translation of the Bible which satisfies the following ten guidelines.” I perused the conservapedia website to read up on their “needs” for the Bible to be “corrected.” Their comments were taken from: http://conservapedia.com/Conservative_Bible_Project
In short, this is their manifesto, and my respomses follow in italica.
Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias. For example, the Living Bible translation has liberal evolutionary bias; the widely used NIV translation has a pro-abortion bias While this sounds good on paper, there is no specific scripture cited that supports their claim. Seems to me that this group is out to create a work that advocates just a political, rather than spiritual agenda. Hence, if the NIV and Living Bible, as they claim are distortions, they want to create one distorted in their favor.
Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, "gender inclusive" language, and other feminist distortions; preserve many references to the unborn child (the NIV deletes these) The Bible is the word of God, who is the ultimate editor, and should be presented “as is,” in its Hebrew and Greek translations. Anything less is nothing less than tampering and revisionist.
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. This is not “dumbing down,” only making the Bible easily understandable. This is not a bad thing. This leads me to believe that the conservatives would rather the Bible be the domain of the elite; written in a language similar to legal tomes: so that a select few can understand it—their added loopholes and all. Second, why is it that when something interpreted as “liberal” is simplified it is being “dumbed down,” while conservative viewpoints when simplified is referred to as putting it “in layman’s terms”?
Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms to capture better the original intent. Defective translations use the word "comrade" three times as often as "volunteer"; similarly, updating words that have a change in meaning, such as "word", "peace", and "miracle." “Using powerful new conservative terms…” or re-wording to fit their agenda. This is powerful, all right. It is the power of Satan at work. Again, why would one change the word of God which is perfect and infallible?
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. Why? We know what these references speak to. Sounds to me like the ones trying to “dumb down” things are the Conservapediacs.
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. At last, something we agree on! However, it’s always a conservatives minister I hear who talks of avoiding the preaching of “Hell-fire” because of its frightening tenor, which they believe pushes young people away from the church.
Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning Conservatives are pro-business and are against the regulating of industry. They want lower taxes on business and the richest 1% to be able to keep more of their money. This is part of the “trickle down economics” fairy tale. Conservapediacs desire to assert that greed is not only “good,” but “divine.”
Exclude Later-Inserted Inauthentic Passages: excluding the interpolated passages that liberals commonly put their own spin on, such as the adulteress story I have no idea of what they’re referring to here, but I will reiterate, let the Bible be the Bible; translate from the original Hebrew and Greek.
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 I thought this was already being done. By “crediting” open-mindedness could our conservative friends mean reinterpreting the writings of the disciples to fit their conservative slant? 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." Again, this is literally a matter of interpretation. The wordiness could just be the original translation being repetitive for point emphasis.
Deuteronomy 4:2 states, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”
An essay titled, Do Conservative Religions Preach Hate? raises this issue of whether or not conservative religion preaches hate.
“It's not that the conservative religious are propogating [sic] the hate themselves, per se, it's that the hate groups are using the (misinterpreted) words of the religious conservatives to justify their hatred and beliefs. Essentially, what you find, is that the large majority of these hate groups will have some foundation in religious teaching, but they do two things wrong. First, they twist and turn and contort the messages of the religious texts to support their beliefs,,,” (Do Conservative Religions Preach Hate?, March 2, 2010, http://open.salon.com/blog/shucks/2010/03/02/do_conservative_religious_groups_preach_hate/comment
Also do not forget the admonition of John in Revelation 22:18-19 as he spoke of the Bible itself:
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: (19) And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
About the author: Timothy N. Stelly is a poet, essayist, novelist and screenwriter from northern California. His novel,HUMAN TRIAL 2: ADAM'S WAR, is available from Amazon.com, allthingsthatmatterpress.com. Is the HUMAN TRIAL trilogy far-fetched? Check out the article on alien encounters at www.stellyhumantrial.com.
Would you like a FREE copy of HUMAN TRIAL 2: ADAM'S WAR? Be one of five people to request a copy and agree to post a review at amazon.com and/or goodreads.com. Email me for details.