Rod Dreher at Crunchycon draws attention to a venture designed to make the Bible more conservative. It’s a project of Conservapedia, a conservative version of Wikipedia. The idea is to use Wiki-style mass collaboration to make a new translation of the Bible that accords with ten principles. From Conservative Bible Project – Conservapedia:
(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
(4) Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop; 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”; 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.”
So the account of Jesus forgiving the woman who had committed adultery is a “liberal” addition! Revise the parables to reflect free market principles!
If you go to the Bible translating wiki site these people have set up, you will see that they are working from the King James translation. They must think the King James translation is too liberal!
The idea is that thousands of conservatives in a vast self-correcting collaboration will translate the Bible. Never mind that contributors do not need to know the original languages or anything about the Bible. The free marketplace of free market ideas will take care of it.
But more to the point: If you are more conservative than the Bible is, you are too conservative. If you are more liberal than the Bible is, you are too liberal. To read the Bible, you don’t stand above it, evaluating it and passing judgments according to your beliefs. Rather, the Bible evaluates YOU and passes judgment on YOUR beliefs. And if you think the purpose of the Bible is to advance your political agenda or to “combat harmful addictions” and if you think the parts about forgiving sin are “liberal,” you haven’t got a clue about the nature of God’s Word.
I’m totally annoyed that such presumption is labeled “conservative.” Could some of you please explain for the record why this project is NOT conservative?