The Conservative Bible?

Further wackiness from Conservapedia (the conservative alternative to Wikipedia): The Conservative Bible.

This Bible will get rid of liberal bias in Bible translations, such as the inclusion of that liberal “woman caught in adultery” passage in John 8.

Some further objectives:

  • express free market parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning
  • identify pro-liberal terms used in existing Bible translations, such as “government”, and suggest more accurate substitutes
  • identify the omission of liberal terms for vices, such as “gambling”, and identify where they should be used
  • identify conservative terms that are omitted from existing translations, and propose where they could improve the translation
  • identify terms that have lost their original meaning, such as “word” in the beginning of the Gospel of John, and suggest replacements, such as “truth”
  • preferring conciseness to the liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio

Was the Bible written to defend “free market principles?” Is government a liberal concept? I thought God instituted government (Rom 13). Is the objective of good Bible translation to have “conservative” terms? Is there any good rationale for changing “In the beginning was the Word” with “In the beginning was the Truth?” (John 1:1)?

This Bible will be an update of the King James Version. The translation will be done by the leading, um… the site doesn’t say. Which Greek and Hebrew scholars are going to be doing this? Or will it be leading “conservative” scholars? And will being politically conservative be more important than Biblically knowledgeable?

Here’s some great perspectives from the blogosphere:

Right wing dementia marches on apace. Some of this has a grain of sense to it, as ideological madness always does. For instance, the dumb attempts to feminize Scripture are pernicious and need to stop. But seriously: the story of the woman taken in adultery is “liberal”? Free market as Sacred tradition? Liberal wordiness? — Mark Shea, Catholic and Enjoying It.


You really need to read the whole Conservapedia entry to grasp how crazy this is. It’s like what you’d get if you crossed the Jesus Seminar with the College Republican chapter at a rural institution of Bible learnin’. — Rod Dreher, Crunchy Con.

I laughed really hard at Dreher’s comment.

Let the Bible say what it says. It is just as wrong to translate the Bible with a politically conservative agenda as it is to do so with a politically liberal agenda.


HT: World Magazine

Grace and Peace

8 thoughts on “The Conservative Bible?

  1. Fenris

    For some odd reason that article, the Conservative Bible, reminds me of the old website and their deliberately inflammatory stories. It just seems like something someone trying to discredit conservatives would write.


  2. Enhinti

    Such things are just painful to read!
    It is wrong to rewrite the Bible with a liberal perspective, but fine to do so with a conservative one?
    What blatant hypocrisy!


  3. Fenris,

    There’s really no spin or angle in this particular story. There is a conservative org intent on editing the bible to satisfy their narrow interpretation. It’s that black and white.

    You can’t dismiss a story as “an attempt to discredit” conservatives simply because it doesn’t paint them in a positive light.


  4. Fenris

    Ah sorry I wasn’t clear, I meant to go on and say that because I have looked at the rest of that site, conservapedia, I can tell that it IS serious, and that is a scary thing. The fact that it sounds like it is an exaggeration or parody of extreme conservatives makes it all the more disturbing that it isn’t. This is not what I want people to think of when they hear someone is more conservative in their beliefs.


  5. quodlibet

    Which Greek and Hebrew scholars are going to be doing this? — They’re translating it from the original King James Version. Why would they need people who speak foreign languages?


  6. Fenris

    “It [KJV] could be used as the baseline for developing a conservative translation without requiring a license or any fees. Where the KJV is known to be deficient due to discovery of more authentic sources, exceptions can be made that use either more modern public domain translations as a baseline, or by using the original Greek or Hebrew.”

    These conservatives, however misguided they are in attempting this, would need to have Greek and Hebrew scholars looking at the original text in order to properly understand what the Old and New Testament writers were trying to get across. They need to understand the nuances of the languages to understand what the authors were saying to their audiences so that they can then apply them to modern readers. Any “translation” that does not do at least this is not a translation at all and rather just a paraphrasing of the content, similar to Jefferson’s “Bible.” Whatever the case these conservatives are already exposing the bias they are putting on their translation; Old and New Testament authors were not concerned with conservative ideals as they are understood today.


  7. WebMonk

    “They’re translating it from the original King James Version. Why would they need people who speak foreign languages?”

    ROTFLOL! quodibet, that made my day!!! Hilarious!


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