Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Conservative Bible Project has to be a joke

The fundamentalists behind the ludicrously bad Conservapedia have announced the Conservative Bible Project, an attempt to produce a new Bible translation that avoids "liberal bias."

The manifesto comes across like satire, but seems to be a genuine addition to the site. Here are a few excerpts to illustrate the thinking behind the project, which appears to be entirely politically and theologically motivated (mainly by hatred for "liberals") without any thought for linguistic or hermeneutical principles:
Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms ...
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 [John 7:53-8:11]
Conservapedia attributes everything that's wrong with the Bible to liberal corruption, where it is clear most of the things they object to go back centuries, far beyond modern liberalism. "Government" is a liberal term that ought to be replaced, for example, and Luke 23:24 is a liberal interpolation.

Risibly, Conservapedia aims for conciseness, since wordiness (a "high word-to-substance ratio") is apparently a liberal trait, too.

None of the proposed changes is defended with appeal to good scholarship, linguistic principles, textual criticism or better methodology. Every one of the changes is justified by appeal to doctrine, political ideology or unsubstantiated claims about liberal corruption. It's all amusingly anachronistic and ought to embarrass any conservative with the least academic nous.

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