I’ve now seen in several different places (most recently from Ed Morrissey at Hot Air), so I think it’s time to declare that beyond a reasonable doubt this is one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever seen, if it is not positively blasphemous. It seems that for some people, like those who run the Wikipedia-alternative Conservapedia, the Bible isn’t conservative enough:
As of 2009, there is no fully conservative translation of the Bible which satisfies the following ten guidelines:
Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, “gender inclusive” language, and other modern emasculation of Christianity Not Dumbed Down: not dumbing down the reading level, or diluting the intellectual force and logic of Christianity; the NIV is written at only the 7th grade level Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop; defective translations use the word “comrade” three times as often as “volunteer”; similarly, updating words which have a change in meaning, such as “word”, “peace”, and “miracle”. Combat Harmful Addiction: combating addiction by using modern terms for it, such as “gamble” rather than “cast lots”; using modern political terms, such as “register” rather than “enroll” for the census Accept the Logic of Hell: applying logic with its full force and effect, as in not denying or downplaying the very real existence of Hell or the Devil. 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 Credit Open-Mindedness of Disciples: crediting open-mindedness, often found in youngsters like the eyewitnesses Mark and John, the authors of two of the Gospels Prefer Conciseness over Liberal Wordiness: 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.”
There’s no question that some modern translations have done atrocious things to the text of Scripture, by imposing various politically correct notions where they have no business being. What the people at Conservapedia don’t seem to realize is that altering the text for the sake of ideology is always wrong, no matter what ideology it is meant to uphold. Trying to tweak the parables of Jesus so that they uphold free market economics that were unknown in the first century, for instance, is just as bad as refusing to use “Father” where Jesus uses it because it offends modern feminism. All I can say is that these folks would do well to ponder the implications of Deuteronomy 32:35–“Vengeance is mine, and recompense.”
UPDATE: In the comments, Dave points to this blog post by the Anchoress at First Things, in which she says, among other things:
The “Conservative” Bible is an attempt by some who are clearly “enthralled” with their ideology to wrestle Eternity to the ground and conform it an Age. But the Age is fleeting; it is already a passing illusion. An attempt to re-translate the Bible to suit one’s worldview is to belong too much to the world, itself, and to worldly solutions. Translate the Bible to gain a wholistic world view, and you may very well forfeit yourself.
These busy bees might best serve themselves, their cause and their Lord by withdrawing a little bit from the world and taking some “time in the desert” away from the television, the radio, the gathering crowds. They need to break away from “enthrallment” to “detachment” or they will become all they despise.
Right on. Read it all.