In the Beginning was The Word…

Or not so much. This topic was actually raised in the comments the other day and has now hit the mainstream media (or basic cable anyway).

If you have the time and/or inclination, it could be fun to translate some Biblical passages as you might imagine the goofy wingnuts sponsoring this project would do. The Book of Deuteronomy might be a good place to start, or some of those lefty-socialist tracts from the New Testament. For example, Matthew 19:21 could be, um, interesting when transcribed into conservatese.

Update: Looking again at the Conservapedia’s hilarious “ten principles” such as “explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning,” made me a little curious as to the origin and purpose of the King James version of the Bible. In case you’re interested, Wikipedia has a fascinating history of its convoluted development and the subsequent variations that resulted when the document got into the hands of printers, who would, for example, insert words “when they thought a line needed to be padded.” Heh.


10 Replies to “In the Beginning was The Word…”

  1. It does challenge conventional wisdom about the Bible, doesn’t it? I think perhaps Andy Schafly and his crew may actually be doing more harm than good to their cause by undermining the presumed “authenticity” of the Bible and purposefully twisting its meaning for their own ideological ends.

    The notion of indoctrinating children with religion is bad enough, but the ultimate objective of this project takes that form of intellectual abuse to a whole new and quite perverse level.

  2. Of course the evangelical leaders and conservatives would want to removed the book of Matthew – why?

    The book of Matthew shows that Christ did not believe in organized religion, separation of church and state and warned of the greed of money makers.

    I don’t understand how they can say they believe in the Bible literally and then proceed to change it.

  3. Because they’re cynical hypocrites, that’s why. They don’t believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible unless it suits their purposes — that nonsense is just for the benefit of gullible rubes — and now they want to re-write it in their own image (so to speak) so they can indoctrinate a whole new generation of home-schooled followers.

  4. @RuralSandi – I think it’s a case that the Bible believes in them (rather than they believe in the Bible), at least up to a point. When it differs, well that’s just creeping error due to liberal bias that must be corrected. Because Jesus would agree with me, of course.

    @RT – I looked at the site, and the translation effort is simply 3 columns:
    – the King James Version of each verse,
    – the proposed Conservapedia corrected translation, and
    – comments to justify the correction.
    Starting with the KJV makes no sense, unless you’re a conservative I guess.

  5. I wasn’t kidding about NewSpeak. Look at reference #2:

    “Additional less important guidelines include (1) adherence to a concise and dignifying style, such as use of “who” rather than “that” when referring to people and also use glorifying language for the remarkable achievements and (2) recognizing that Christianity introduced powerful new concepts that even the Greek and Hebrew were inadequate to express, …”

    and this is fragment in particular:

    “… but modern conservative language can express well.”

    A conservative language.

  6. I love these two:

    #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


    #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.”

    Nasty liberals and their Jehovahas and Yahwehs and Lord Gods.

  7. The King James Version of The Bible – a great first try at translating into English that has beautiful prose and is full of errors and ommissions.

    BTW – There were reasons for different names for God. It represented different understandings of God. The Christian perspective on the “Old Testament” is very different than the Jewish perspective. This attempt looks like they are trying to make the text more palatable so that they don’t have to “struggle” with different, and totally legitimate, interpretations.

  8. TRN — Oh, I agree with you completely about the Newspeak thing. It’s very Orwellian in its intent. I wonder if they’re even aware of how creepy the whole concept is…

  9. Navvy — I loved that one. “Prefer Conciseness over Liberal Wordiness…”

    Those damn Liberals and their words… Not to mention their pesky “facts” and “reality”… Grrrr.

    Here’s an idea: Why not just get Frank Luntz’s company to write their Bible for them in “conservative language”? I’m sure he’d enjoy that.

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