A “conservative” Bible? Give me a break

Posted on October 6, 2009


Rod Dreher tells us about the folks at Conservapedia that have begun the Conservative Bible Project, which seeks to erase the “liberal bias” that has apparently crept into modern translations of the Bible. The creators of the project complain about a Bible that’s dumbed-down, too ambiguous and wordy, and lacking, no kidding, free market parables. Execution of their plan includes some of the following:

  • 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”
  • This is insane on several levels. Conservatives who are bothered by liberals supposedly twisting the word of God to their political ends shouldn’t turn around and edit the Bible to their own ideological liking. It’s apparent that the goal isn’t a translation that’s close to the original Hebrew and Greek versions but one that fits a narrow political viewpoint, a goal that’s both historically inaccurate and intellectually bankrupt.

    But here’s the larger point – those who take the word of God seriously should recognize that it is above the small-minded arguments of politics and ideology and deals with broader issues of the Lord’s love, forgiveness, and the human soul. To bend it toward a political end, whether right or left, cheapens the message and demeans its value as a holy document.

    The creators of the project will be correctly ridiculed across the Internet, but the broader story will be the push to lump the rest of us in with them. 95% of the right will laugh this off as just a hare-brained effort by a few, but the effort will be made by a dishonest minority to offer this as proof that Christians and conservatives want only to warp the Bible for their own ends. Let me state unequivocally that it’s a load of crap to believe such nonsense, just as it’s a load of crap to reengineer the word of God to shoehorn into a 21st-century political viewpoint.

    Ed Morrissey has some good reaction as well. Actually, I would strongly suggest reading the Anchoress’ brilliant take on this – it’s both enlightened in its defense of the Bible and scathing in its rebuke of these clowns.

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    Posted in: News, Politics