Monday, October 5, 2009

Liberal Bias strikes again

Apparently there is a movement out there to re-translate the Bible called the "Conservative Bible Project". Brought to us by the lovely and batshit crazy Phyllis Schlafly, this project is supposed to eliminate Liberal Bias out of the Bible.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, my Uncle works for a very big publisher in NYC. His job, for many years, was to supervise the "updating" of the Bible. This was careful editing of the Bible to make the language more mainstream. It was a painstaking process, and he did this well before you could walk into a Christian bookstore and find roughly ten million different kinds of Bibles.
For most mainstream versions, the editing process is still pretty much the same as it was when my Uncle did it. However there are now smaller publishers who translate and update Bibles pretty much on a whim (see: LOLCat Bible. Thanks to the intertubes we can now get all kinds of translations for the Bible).
If you click on the link and read the guidelines for this new translation I'm sure you'll be just as tickled as I am. These goofs are proposing translating the KJV into modern English, and during the translation process they will edit out quite a bit of what is actually in the Bible to match their own Conservative agenda. My favorite bullet-point, after the one about not dumbing down the Bible (ha! Why don't you just read the KJV then?) is the one where they say they will:

"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."

Yeah, OK there kids. They also want to include the "logic of hell" which is really going to be interesting once they realize how rarely hell is mentioned in the KJV.
All of this makes me wonder if they have ever really read the version of the Bible they are planning on re-translating.
Now, I have spent a good bit of time translating old works, I read Latin and spent years an various classes translating quite a few texts. Translating is tricky business. It's why my Uncle would spend an entire year just updating language in a book. I would spend months translating a text, and can spend a week doing a poem or song.
What these people are proposing is insane, both because they have no idea of what they are translating apparently, and because they have no idea how to do it properly.
I can not wait to read this train wreck.


  1. Hell is mentioned . . . twice, i believe. "sheol" comes up a bit in the OT, but sheol isn't hell. sheol is the underworld, or the pit, or the grave. OT Israelites didn't really have an afterlife concept, per se. which makes the "logic of hell" a bit hard to maintain.

  2. They also mention Hades in the NT, more often then they mention hell as a matter of fact. And Hades isn't hell. It is just the "afterlife" that the Israelites didn't have. Hell came later. Again, it looks like these kooks actually think the KJV is the original Bible, and it wasn't in Greek, or Latin, or anything else. Oy.


All comments are now not moderated. Have at it folks! Don't make me regret it.