Conservative Bible promises new, better Jesus

I didn’t see it coming, but now, in retrospect, I guess it was inevitable… It seems as though conservatives, after years of agonizing over the complete disconnect between the way their savior lived his life, and the way they choose to live their own, have taken it upon themselves to make a big change. No, they haven’t decided to forgo their worldly possessions and become more loving toward their neighbors. They’ve done something even better. They’ve decided to rewrite the Bible, so that it’s full of stories that aren’t so difficult for them to reconcile intellectually.

That’s right. Having struggled for decades with the notion of a savior who turns the other cheek and puts others before himself, American conservatives have come to the conclusion that it’s not them who need to change, but Jesus. Or, to be more specific, they’ve decided that the Bible we’re reading today was, somewhere along the line, altered by liberals to further their nefarious Socialist agenda, and leave us with a false impression as to the character of Jesus Christ, who, in real life, cared more about private property rights and the plight of the overtaxed rich than he did the prostitutes and the poor.

In defense of the sane conservative Christians who remain out there, I should point out that it’s not everyone on the right who’s pushing for a new Bible. It does seem, however, that the idea is gaining some traction in this incredibly divisive post-Tea Party world in which we find ourselves.

Anyway, it’s being talked about all overthe the web today, and I thought I’d better start a thread here.

I know it sounds like parody, but I assure you the following overview of the project comes directly from the Republican site Conservapedia:

Liberal bias has become the single biggest distortion in modern Bible translations. There are three sources of errors in conveying biblical meaning:

• lack of precision in the original language, such as terms underdeveloped to convey new concepts of Christianity
• lack of precision in modern language
• translation bias in converting the original language to the modern one

Of these three sources of errors, the last introduces the largest error, and the biggest component of that error is liberal bias. Large reductions in this error can be attained simply by retranslating the KJV into modern English.

As of 2009, there is no fully conservative translation of the Bible which satisfies the following ten guidelines:

gunjesus• Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias
• Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, “gender inclusive” language, and other modern emasculation of Christianity
• 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
• 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”.
• 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
• 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.
• Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning
• Exclude Later-Inserted Liberal Passages: excluding the later-inserted liberal passages that are not authentic, such as the adulteress story
• 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
• 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.”

Thus, a project has begun among members of Conservapedia to translate the Bible in accordance with these principles…

The folks at Salon, always looking to lend a helpful hand, took a crack at contributing a few revisions. Here are a few of their suggested edits:


John 8:3-7: The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”

Jesus bent down and picked up a rock. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “OK, we start on the count of three. And if I see any of you throwing like limp-wristed sissies, you’re next.”

Matthew 19:23-24: Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for a Socialist to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for Van Jones to enter the kingdom of God.”

Matthew 9:10-13: While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

On hearing this, Jesus said, “Tax collectors? I had no idea, and wouldn’t have eaten with them if I had known, for I favor a flat tax.”

And I leave you with this thought from Metafilter’s emjaybee:

You know, I love this. Truly. I mean, I’m not even a Christian anymore, but it still pained me to see the way wingnut insanity would hide behind Christian ideals.

And now they’ve decided the hell with that, we’ll stop pretending we’re really Christians, and we’ll do it by shredding the Christian bible into tiny meaningless bits, and then shitting on it, and then setting it on fire!

And then actual Christians get to see what they are choosing; their supposedly beloved scripture, or the nonsensical dribblings of hate-filled maniacs. And we get to see it too.

Here’s your moment, Christians; which is it gonna be? Defend the teachings you claim to believe, or step right off the cliff with the people who’ve been using you for their agendas all along? Do you have the guts to call them on it now? Or have you lost whatever remained of your souls?

Amen to that.

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24 Comments

  1. Posted October 6, 2009 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    And, if it’s not obvious, I added that photo. It didn’t come with the posting from Conservapedia.

  2. Posted October 7, 2009 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Of all the oddities here, the one that I find most baffling is why ANYONE would use the King James Version as the starting point for a translation into “modern English”. The concern here is obviously not for the beauty of the language, which is really the strong point of the KJV, but allegedly for reducing “translation bias in converting the original language to the modern one”. I suspect that even EOS will agree that significant translation bias is already present in KJV, and by using that as the starting point, that bias will be built in to the new version (which might be the intention).

    Given the recent behavior of many “conservative” leaders, I’d half expect them to use the Wicked Bible as their starting point!

  3. Hank
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Aren’t these largely be the same folks who are always hollering about the infallibility of the Bible when it comes to things like evolution, the sin of homosexuality, etc? Aren’t they always saying that we need to adhere strictly to the written word, as it was handed down directly by the Lord? Where do they get off now saying, “Well, you know what… maybe it isn’t the true word of God, and maybe we can change it so that it’s more in line with our Drill Baby Drill culture of greed”?

  4. Ms. A.
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Christianity is becoming more like Scientology everyday. It is just a made up religion and more people deep down are beginning to see that and it scares them so they make up more shitty interpretations of the black book they love soooo much.

  5. Steve
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I’d like to request that Jesus look less ethnic, and carry a gun like Dirty Hairy.

  6. Steve
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Also, long hair is for hippies.

  7. Scott K
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    If long hair is for hippies how do you explain Ted Nugent? I do agree it would look cool if Jesus was pulling a 10 in barreled 44 Magnum out of his cloak though.

  8. Kim
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Jesus is a weird name. How about calling him John Galt?

  9. BrianB
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Kim, that’s hilarious and concisely to the point. I love how one of their sticking points is getting rid of all those hippy dippy ethnic names for the Lord. I bet they do the same thing with the word “love” – too many possiblities for a liberal bias translation there, we know that love is really just “support of our worldview” so the central message of scripture just becomes “Show support for those who think exactly like you do, just as the Lord supports the way you think.”

  10. Christine M
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Sometimes I feel like I don’t even need to read the whole blog posting just to know it will make me mad and unhappy. This is one of those times. I’m not even a christian and it bothers me.

  11. Masculine Jesus
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    In our new Bible, can Jesus be more like Rambo? I’d still be OK with him dying on a cross, but I want to see him take out tons of bad guys before it comes to that. He should know judo. And maybe he can kill people with him mind, like Darth Vader.

  12. TeacherPatti
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    God I’m glad I’m a Jew.

  13. Mark H.
    Posted October 7, 2009 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    What a revelation — King James had a bunch of liberal pinko socialists doing the translation of the Bible that was published in 1611! Yeah, those liberal conspiracies date way back. Thank goodness it’s been discovered now, and the Bible can be purged of liberal tripe like…..everything Jesus said.

  14. Kelso
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Tying a few things together here, I just read that Anton LaVey defined Satanism as “just Ayn Rand’s philosophy, with ceremony and ritual added”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_LaVey#Controversy

    So, essentially they’ll be swapping the Christian text for LaVey’s Satanic Bible.

  15. Peter Larson
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    To hell with the Conservative Bible. This has absolutely no liberal bias at all:

    http://www.lolcatbible.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

  16. Posted October 8, 2009 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    I wonder why none of our regular evangelical Republican readers comment on this thread.

  17. dragon
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Peter,

    Killin ur d00dz
    21 u kno if u pwnz0rz, Ceiling Cat is liek “wtf? bad kittehz!”
    22 but if u is liek “u n00b!”, uz betr off in trashcan, srsly.
    23 if u has gift 4 Ceiling Cat n u has pwned ur brother
    24 ur brother can has hugs b4 u give gift 2 Ceiling Cat
    25 lawyers screw u. settle out of court. srsly
    26 or they take all ur $$. iz all true. srsly.

    –Lords Prayer–

    Our father who art on AM
    Limbaugh be thy name
    By noon-time come
    thy will be done

    On the earth as it is
    in Real ‘Merica.

    Give us this day,
    our daily screed
    and forgive us our trespasses
    even though we won’t forgive
    those who trespass against us

    And lead us into
    a center-right nation.

    for thine is the Hypocrisy,
    the Oxy-contin, and the
    viagra forever.
    Amen

  18. Finland reader
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    There’s footage of Republicans working on that new Bible.

  19. Posted October 9, 2009 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    I bet this must be a complete mindfuck for a lot of people. Here they are, having invested so damned much over the past several years claiming that the Bible contains the infallible word of God, and how it has to be followed to the letter, and now they’re being told that, no, it’s a living document that changes with time. I think that probably accounts for how quiet it is in this thread.

  20. Brackinald Achery
    Posted October 9, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    I’m totally getting one of these. At LEAST one.

    Sorry I was late reading this thread, Mark. I’ve still only just skimmed it, but I hope I’ve made up for some lost time.

  21. Posted October 9, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    I want Jesus to have a jet pack and a flame thrower.

  22. Posted October 11, 2009 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    “Everwun what reedz these wurdz will has cheezburgrz and everwun what heerz theez wurdz will has cheezburgrz. Also, pay attenshuns, cuz iz comin. Habeeb it.”

    l33t! Thanks Pete. That’s the gift that’s gonna give for a loooong time.

  23. Posted October 11, 2009 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and get this…. According to one academic, the Bible doesn’t even claim that God created the Earth. We only think that, apparently, because of a bad translation.

  24. Robert
    Posted October 12, 2009 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Like you, Mark, I anxiously await the word regarding this from the profit, EOS.

One Trackback

  1. […] And I’d like to know if that’s true. Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve been to church, but I don’t recall Jesus ever instructing his disciples to be ready to dispense deadly force. I just remember a lot about forgiveness, and turning the other cheek… But maybe they’ve found some new gospels since then, where Jesus was more of a badasses gunslinger type. […]

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