Who amongst us hasn’t said at some point, “Dang! Somebody should do something about the fact that the Bible is way too liberal“? If you are one, then your prayers have been answered.
There has come into being something called the Conservative Bible Project, an open-source endeavor by those who feel that all prior translations of the Bible suffer from serious distortions due to liberal infiltration, and are creating a new translation of the Bible to bring it back to its original conservative roots. The brains behind this project are the same ones that created Conservapedia to serve those who think that Wikipedia has a liberal bias. They are creating a new manlier Bible version that restores the text to its original conservative values. I use the word ‘manlier’ deliberately because one of their complaints is that the Bible has been wussified. They aim to correct this, as can be seen in #2 of their ten guidelines for revision that has the goal of making the Bible “Not Emasculated” by “avoiding unisex, “gender inclusive” language, and other feminist distortions.”
Here is a sample of how they went about the business of restoring the Bible to its pristine conservatism.
The earliest, most authentic manuscripts of the Gospel According to Luke lack this verse fragment set forth at the start of Luke 23:34:
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Is this a corruption of the original, perhaps promoted by liberals without regard to its authenticity? This does not appear in any other Gospel, and the simple fact is that some of the persecutors of Jesus did know what they were doing. This quotation is a favorite of liberals, although it does not appear in the earliest and best manuscripts of the Gospel of Luke. It should not appear in a conservative Bible, because in point of fact Jesus might never had said it at all.
They are quite right. How do we know that Jesus actually said this? So what did they do with those offending words? They simply cut it out.
And here’s another example of how they went about their work.
At Luke 16:8, the NIV describes an enigmatic parable in which the “master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly.” But is “shrewdly”, which has connotations of dishonesty, the best term here? Being dishonestly shrewd is not an admirable trait.
The better conservative term, which became available only in 1851, is “resourceful”. The manager was praised for being “resourceful”, which is very different from dishonesty. Yet not even the ESV, which was published in 2001, contains a single use of the term “resourceful” in its entire translation of the Bible.
I am all in favor of this project. In fact, I have an idea of my own that I promoted sometime ago that I would like them to consider. It would clear up a serious ambiguity that plagues the Bible and causes confusion because of the multiplicity of god-like characters. I suggested that the Old Testament god continue to be called Yahweh (or Jehovah if you prefer) while the New Testament god-the-father be called Melvin. The reason for this change is that the OT god seems like a bit of a hothead who wreaks indiscriminate and widespread devastation whenever his nose is put even slightly out of joint while the NT god seems more mellow, which is why so many Christians, when the OT atrocities are pointed out to them, are quick to disavow themselves of the works of Yahweh with the dismissive “Oh, but that was in the Old Testament. It is the New Testament that I follow.” Hence it seems likely that the gods of the two testaments are actually different gods and thus need different names. So Jews would worship Yahweh and Christians would worship Melvin, and there would be no confusion as to whether they worship the same god or not.
I gave the Holy Spirit the name Harvey because ‘Holy Spirit’ is more of a description than a name and it seems rather rude to call someone by their description than by their name. So the Trinity would now consist of Melvin, Jesus, and Harvey, which to my mind sounds a lot better. (You can read my full reasoning in the original post Melvin, Jesus, and Harvey.)
I had given up hope that my suggestions would become reality because traditional biblical scholars are unreasonably resistant to making wholesale changes in their holy text. But the people behind this new project show a refreshing open-mindedness and seem willing to do whatever it takes to fit the Bible in with their predetermined worldview.
The person behind this project and Conservapedia is Andy Schlafly (son of Phyllis Schlafly, scourge of feminism) who was interviewed by Stephen Colbert a couple of years ago.
This clip appeared on December 8, 2009. (To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)
I suspect that the next target of this group will be that other document that is riddled with liberal bias, the US constitution. The Bill of Rights is obviously a distortion, probably introduced late at night by that well-known Commie Tom Paine after everyone else had gone to bed.