Fun with Translations, Supplemental

My brother sent me this link: The Conservative Translation, an article in the Conservapedia I laughed so hard I fell out of my chair. But I think they’re serious. Yes, really.

Here are their translation 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[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.”

It’s conservative to reject “Yahweh”?? Oh, please … let’s do be serious! And get this —

The earliest, most authentic manuscripts lack this verse set forth at Luke 23:34:[7]

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.

It’s in every translation I’ve ever seen, and I’m aware of no serious question of its orginality (I can’t find a commentary that bothers to discuss the question!). And Steven said much the same thing when he was stoned, in obvious parallel. So … it’s liberal to translate what the apostles wrote and conservative to cut out what God inspired so we don’t have to forgive people? (Are conservatives opposed to forgiveness? to forgiving Jews? Oh, wow! Maybe I should rethink being a conservative!)

You know, this translation is just as wicked as the Jesus Seminar.  Both edit the Bible to fit a pre-conceived political agenda. Both are sin of a truly heinous sort.

I have this crazy idea — why don’t we get our politics from the Bible rather than editing the Bible to suit our politics?

And so, since this surely wasn’t meant to be taken seriously — even by legitimate conservatives — I figure we should come up with some additional “conservative” (wink wink) suggestions. Here’s a starter —

* “Judge not that you be not judged” has been used to defend all sorts of wickedness — just like the account of the woman taken in adultery. We should expunge it from scripture and replace with what Jesus really said (if we were to give a dynamic equivalence translation from the original Aramaic): “Judge or you will be judged.”


12 Responses

  1. I saw this on TV the conservatives are rewriting the bible to compete with what they call the new liberal versions. instead of dueling banjos, well you know 🙂

    hope your health is improving, Laymond

  2. it cracks me up that they use the KJV as the baseline

    “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”

    i got curious and read some of the “translated” passages and i think i could have read them in 3rd grade. if it needs to be more intellectual i suggest they hire Kelsey Grammer as Frasier to translate for them

    -we should just completely do away with the beatitudes, it’s all just comunist hippy talk

    -and any parable about forgiving debts such as Luke 7:36-50 should be taken out or changed because it obviously promotes welfare or socialism and not capitalism

    – also we should take out the part of the story of Zachaeus where he says he will give half of his possessions to the poor because that promotes reparations and redistribution of wealth

  3. This must be about the “Lord”s sense of humor”

  4. The NIV translates Galatians 3:28 as saying: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This is so inconsistent with the balance of scripture that it smells of rank liberal egalitarianism.

    When returning to the original Greek, one fined a completely different picture. It would be more accurate to translate the verse as:

    “There is no difference between Jews and Greeks, nor between slaves and free men, however there is a significant difference between male and female particularly as far as the work and worship of the church are concerned. We are nonetheless one in Christ.”

  5. Developing a translation of the Bible to cater to a particular political view is offensive. But so is ridiculing the sincerely held beliefs of Christians who disagree with you. Conservatives and progressives need to try to understand each other better — not to caricature and ridicule each other.

  6. Alan, you are right poking fun is not the way to make change, but just because a person is sincere, doesn’t mean we should go along. they could be sincerely wrong.

    2Jn:1:10: If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

    2Jn:1:11: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

  7. Alan,

    You are absolutely right. Looking at my above post, it is very demeaning to those who have come to a different conclusion than I have.

    I have a tendency to speak from a place of resentment. It’s something that I constantly have to work on. Thank you for calling me on it.

  8. I suppose that place of resentment has to do with breaking free from legalism and its various associations and trappings? If so, I understand. It has been rough for me to keep from going the other extreme and what gets me back on track is realizing I am pursing God’s truth and that others haven’t gotten to the point I am at yet…

  9. it’s called reductio ad absurdum-if you accept their premises to be true you can show their argument to be false since it leads to an absurd conclusion

    plus i’m a staunch fiscal conservative libertarian and it was fun to poke fun of myself a little bit in my previous post

  10. Some of the commenters here understand a very important point. The grace portrayed by progressives must extend equally in both directions of the constraining/liberating doctrine scale. Otherwise, the progressive version of grace will only be interpreted as a self justification to believe in a less constraining doctrine.

    I know several God-serving, people-loving Christians who have more constraining doctrinal views than I. I also have no doubt of their positive salvation status.

    Enforcing negative stereotypes of people having a different biblical view and/or celebrating when a debate was perceived as won does not exemplify my understanding of grace.

  11. Again I disagree. God uses mockery throughout the scriptures to show the futility of close minded man-made spirituality. Jesus used it, Paul used it. Sounds like solid scriptural ground to me. Mock on brothers, just make sure you are not mocking the wrong stuff – Psalm 1.

  12. Well of course, every conservative knows that Romans 13:7 was a late addition, probably by the Roman government when they co-opted Christianity.

    “If you owe taxes, pay taxes;”

    Of course this should be dropped.

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