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Conservapedia's Conservative Bible Project


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#1 mrmando

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 06:09 PM

Any thoughts about this?

I might dislike certain agenda-driven translations/paraphrases of the Bible, but replacing them with a translation/paraphrase driven by the opposite agenda won't help, methinks. On the project's "talk page," the "translators" themselves seem a little confused: is this a new translation or just a paraphrase of the KJV? Assuming one can succeed in producing a de-liberalized Bible, will the finished product be politically neutral, or will it have a conservative bias?

Until now, conservatives who decry liberally motivated translations have merely pointed back to older translations (often the KJV). Apparently even the KJV is too liberal for this particular bunch.

The most incredible claim being made here is that certain "conservative words" that have come into use since 1611 will more accurately convey Biblical meaning than even the original Greek and Hebrew do. I'm with the guy who replied:
QUOTE
If "certain powerful concepts" are not (perfectly) preserved in the languages of the earliest manuscripts, then from what source do you infer more perfect "translations"?




#2 SDG

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 06:45 PM

Mark Shea has inaugurated a new blog label, Bringin' the Crazy, for discussing this topic. I think that's about right.

Some of this stuff is so stupid crazy that you think it has to be anti-conservative satire. "identify pro-liberal terms used in existing Bible translations, such as "government", and suggest more accurate substitutes." The word "government" is pro-liberal???

And the discussion on "translating" the word "girl" (κορασιω) in Mark 6:22 as "temptress" or even "floozy" is downright nasty (I have some comments on that in Mark Shea's combox).

Edited by SDG, 06 October 2009 - 04:25 AM.


#3 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 05:50 AM

Well, I'm hung up right there on the first goal, hang up which dovetails mrmando's point. "Thought for thought" translation? That was EXACTLY the criticism of the NEB and a variety of translations contemporaneous to it. Word for word ACCURACY was not just the ideal, but the goal and be all and end all of translations. Hence the elevation of the NASB to common usage in many quarters.

So now, thought for thought psychologising of the writers and The Writer is now desired. Gentlemen (and I imagine there is little corrupting female influence on this fiasco), you have just surrendered to the perceived enemy. Yawn.

#4 opus

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 12:29 PM

The first time I read through the site, I kept expecting to find something that would indicate it was a parody, like Iíd somehow been redirected to The Onion or Lark News.

Iím not a Bible scholar, but I assume that the ultimate goal of any Bible translation should be to first, bring glory to God, and second, strive to increase the ability of individuals to better know Him. I donít find any of that desire with the CBP. Rather, the goal is just to bend Scripture to fit their narrowly defined political ideology.

Even worse, the implication is that the only proper way to understand and interpret the Bible is by subscribing to said ideology. If you donít, then you donít have the tools or knowledge to do so, and by extension, come to and know God better.

The arrogance and hubris on display here is simply stunning.

#5 M. Leary

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 01:45 PM

Is this Andy Schlafly at all related to Phyllis of the same ilk?

From the Philemon sample:

QUOTE
"fellowlabourer" is misleading today, and falsely connotes socialism


I refuse to believe someone actually thinks this.

QUOTE
"peace" today means anti-war; "peace of mind" is what this means


It actually means something much closer to Shalom. But it may be too Zionist these days to say that.

QUOTE
"I" is avoided in modern style; also, conservative style is concise


Actually, you just changed the verb from an indicative to a subjunctive, and you have just gutted the very personal way in which Paul starts this letter.

QUOTE
I, Paul, have written with my own hand that I shall repay it, although I do not say how you owe me even your very self.


How is this at all conservative? Paul undercuts their initial social and economic relationship by means of a new, unilaterally legislated social policy designed to benefit the least powerful party.

Still not convinced this isn't a fantastic joke.

#6 M. Leary

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 01:50 PM

QUOTE
"Logos" in the beginning of John illustrates this point, as the term is merely the best the Greek has to offer. "Truth" as fully understood and used today, as developed and popularized by the conservative movement (it's rarely used by the Left), is a better term to convey the concept


Mindblowing. I don't belong to the same religion as this guy. I feel like I am reading a conversation between a few Gnostics in the late 2nd century trying to figure out how to read the canonical gospels.

#7 MattPage

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 03:20 PM

Matt 5:44-48 (CBP)
QUOTE
But I tell you: Nuke your enemies[i] and bomb for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the righteous and the good, and sends rain on the evil and the unrighteous. If you nuke those who nuke you, what reward will you get! Don't the tax collectors doing (their jobs to facilitate) that? And you greet only your brothers, who else is doing more? Even pagans don't do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


I should have stopped reading at "conservepedia".

Matt

Edited by MattPage, 07 October 2009 - 03:21 PM.


#8 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 03:25 PM

QUOTE (MLeary @ Oct 7 2009, 02:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is this Andy Schlafly at all related to Phyllis of the same ilk?

Why? Is there some rumor that her son became a primitive fundie (the only folks I can think of today who bitterly cling to a KJV only position) after being raised Catholic? I'm speculating that the name is a coincidence. Or parody, as you suspect.
QUOTE
From the Philemon sample:
"I" is avoided in modern style; also, conservative style is concise

Actually, you just changed the verb from an indicative to a subjunctive, and you have just gutted the very personal way in which Paul starts this letter.

Eesh. I know no Greek and am weak on indicative/subjunctive type stuff, but v.4 always reminded me of Phil 1:3 in English and Dutch. The "preferred" correction eviscerates v. 4 with respect to that meaning. It renders the verse as a sort of sanctimonious tautology all its own:
"Thanks be to God, as my prayers always do."


Well, Duhh. Is not thanks to God almost always an essential element of prayer? Even the Pharisee of Jesus' parable gives (sanctimonious) thanks to God. Some great improvement.



#9 opus

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 03:40 PM

QUOTE (MLeary @ Oct 7 2009, 01:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is this Andy Schlafly at all related to Phyllis of the same ilk?

Apparently so. From his Conservapedia page:

QUOTE
Andrew Schlafly is the fifth child of attorney John Fred Schlafly, Jr. and noted political activist Phyllis Schlafly.


#10 mrmando

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 06:26 PM

QUOTE (opus @ Oct 7 2009, 01:40 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Andrew Schlafly is the fifth child of attorney John Fred Schlafly, Jr. and noted political activist Phyllis Schlafly.

And a professing Catholic, but not so Catholic that he can't ignore the Church's official position on members who do their own Bible translations.

He rejects certain passages (the woman taken in adultery in John 8; "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do") as liberal interpolations, saying they're not in the earliest manuscripts. I heard a brief radio interview with him today, although the interviewer, who's known as a liberal Catholic, didn't really get past the jokey stage with his questions. It's clear, however, that what really bothers Schlafly about these two passages is the apparent unconditional nature of the forgiveness Jesus hands out in both of them, not to mention that both of them are somewhat down on capital punishment.

I wonder what the cutoff date is for Schlafly? Chronologically speaking, at what point do you have complete, faithful-to-the-original manuscripts, free of liberal interpolations? And once that's established, what will he do with certain liberal passages that he can't dismiss as interpolations? Such as:
  • The Sabbath Year and Jubilee passages in the Torah ... not exactly free-market economics
  • The parable of the workers in the vineyard
  • The socialist practices of the early church in Acts
  • Later in Acts, the decision that Gentiles need not observe Jewish law other than those laws concerning blood, meat offered to idols, and sexual immorality

Just curious to see how things like this would be treated in a conservative Bible.

Edited by mrmando, 07 October 2009 - 06:28 PM.


#11 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 04:28 AM

QUOTE (mrmando @ Oct 7 2009, 07:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
  • The parable of the workers in the vineyard
Heh, what is so curious about this sort of silly approach to translation and to scripture is the example of this parable you mention. One of the teachings I'd received from this parable as a young adult was a "Shut up about it!" attitude towards labor (oops, sorry. "volunteer") and salary negotiations, particularly in christian circles.






#12 mrmando

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 12:53 PM

QUOTE (Rich Kennedy @ Oct 8 2009, 02:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (mrmando @ Oct 7 2009, 07:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
  • The parable of the workers in the vineyard
Heh, what is so curious about this sort of silly approach to translation and to scripture is the example of this parable you mention. One of the teachings I'd received from this parable as a young adult was a "Shut up about it!" attitude towards labor (oops, sorry. "volunteer") and salary negotiations, particularly in christian circles.

Oh, so it's anti-union? biggrin.gif

If we accept the idea that the story is metaphorical, I'm not sure we are meant to infer anything about actual labor/wage practices, one way or the other. But Schlafly said something on his intro page about the "free-market economic parables," and I was just wondering if he thinks this is one of those parables.

The point was made somewhere that liberalism, traced back far enough, proceeds from a strict, literal reading of New Testament teaching on caring for the poor, etc.

Edited by mrmando, 08 October 2009 - 12:55 PM.


#13 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 04:30 PM

QUOTE (mrmando @ Oct 8 2009, 01:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oh, so it's anti-union? biggrin.gif

That much is obvious in that no union would cotton to such a pay schedule. OTOH, unions are a post canonical concept and should be treated as such in translation issues. Wow! This is fun!

QUOTE
If we accept the idea that the story is metaphorical, I'm not sure we are meant to infer anything about actual labor/wage practices, one way or the other. But Schlafly said something on his intro page about the "free-market economic parables," and I was just wondering if he thinks this is one of those parables.

The point was made somewhere that liberalism, traced back far enough, proceeds from a strict, literal reading of New Testament teaching on caring for the poor, etc.

Thank you for bringing that up. At risk of beating a dead horse over and over, I have to say that if we stand by that notion of the source of liberalism, then I insist that liberalism isogetes Jesus' teaching and that of the NT. Liberalism, in this notion, would have taken a perfectly legitimate christian teaching (and certainly not "conservative" in the colloquial sense, but then, one's conservatism should be modified by one's faith and not the other way around) and twisted it to justify governmental intrusion into the perfectly legitimate and mandated ministry to the poor with its concommitant bureaucracy, ravenous and indiscriminate consumption of funds, and PC notions of non-sectarian behavior and distribution.

#14 mrmando

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 04:53 PM

QUOTE (Rich Kennedy @ Oct 8 2009, 02:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank you for bringing that up. At risk of beating a dead horse over and over, I have to say that if we stand by that notion of the source of liberalism, then I insist that liberalism isogetes Jesus' teaching and that of the NT. Liberalism, in this notion, would have taken a perfectly legitimate christian teaching (and certainly not "conservative" in the colloquial sense, but then, one's conservatism should be modified by one's faith and not the other way around) and twisted it to justify governmental intrusion into the perfectly legitimate and mandated ministry to the poor with its concommitant bureaucracy, ravenous and indiscriminate consumption of funds, and PC notions of non-sectarian behavior and distribution.

Pretty much, yeah. I wouldn't say that Jesus' teaching is the source of liberalism, but it's a source. And then, only certain teachings and not others. Anyway, liberalism in its current secularized state probably wouldn't notice if someone went and produced a conservatized translation of one of its founding texts.

Pretty sure the pay structure in the parable would seem as unfair from a conservative POV as from a liberal one ... it amounts to entitlement, destroys the workers' incentive to put in a full day, etc.

#15 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 06:44 PM

QUOTE (mrmando @ Oct 8 2009, 05:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Pretty sure the pay structure in the parable would seem as unfair from a conservative POV as from a liberal one ... it amounts to entitlement, destroys the workers' incentive to put in a full day, etc.

But that's the trouble with examining the parables from an economic or even social science POV. I'd say that the Parable of the Workers In the Vineyard is about those inheriting eternal life, not worksite policy from the lips of Jesus.

#16 mrmando

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 09:00 PM

QUOTE (Rich Kennedy @ Oct 8 2009, 04:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But that's the trouble with examining the parables from an economic or even social science POV. I'd say that the Parable of the Workers In the Vineyard is about those inheriting eternal life, not worksite policy from the lips of Jesus.

Bingo. On this much we can agree. This is one of several parables (the lost coin, the talents, the treasure hidden in the field) where money in some sense represents the kingdom of heaven.

#17 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 10:06 PM

And this is why most any socio-political interpretation/reading of the scriptures a priori is not fair to the text. In the case of these parables, the money ends up being a distraction to the meaning of a text turned over and over and over for almost 2000 years. Ridiculous whether conservative or "progressive".

#18 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 10:49 PM

Rich Kennedy wrote:
: I'd say that the Parable of the Workers In the Vineyard is about those inheriting eternal life, not worksite policy from the lips of Jesus.

Well, perhaps. But remember, Jesus tells this parable (which concerns a wealthy landowner flaunting the power that his wealth gives him over the lives of others) right after his encounter with the wealthy young man and his remark that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

#19 MattPage

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 03:54 AM

Not sure if I've posted this video before but it's relevant and amusing.

: But remember, Jesus tells this parable right after his encounter with the wealthy young man

...at least according to Matthew, but the fact that Mark doesn't include the story, suggest that Matthew got it from one of his other sources and that it was he who made the connection.

Matt

#20 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 08:30 AM

Right, but even if the context is perfectly economically driven (and I'm say ing its not), the ground for presenting the parable to fortify or confound contemporary workplace policy is just not there. Yet more objectionable from a Biblical literary POV is the notion of retranslating for purposes of core ideology.