By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country
There's a verse in the Gospel of Mark in which Jesus enters a synagogue on the Sabbath and finds a man with a withered hand. "And they watched him," according to the King James version of the Bible, referring to those in the temple, "whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him."
But a new—and still evolving—conservative translation of the Bible prefers a more populist, Glenn Beckish take: "The intellectuals watched Jesus to see if he might catch and accuse him of healing on the Sabbath."
The new translation is part of the Conservative Bible Project, sponsored by Conservapedia, a Wikipedia for the right. "Liberal bias has become the single biggest distortion in modern Bible translations," the project's home page explains. Here are the guidelines for the new translation:
1. Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias
2. Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, "gender inclusive" language, and other modern emasculation of Christianity
3. 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.
4. 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".
5. 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
6. 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.
7. Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning
8. Exclude Later-Inserted Liberal Passages: excluding the later-inserted liberal passages that are not authentic, such as the adulteress story
9. 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
10. 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."
The work has gotten off to a slow start, with translations of just a few books of the Bible underway. And conservative bloggers are expressing disapproval.
Hat tip to Huffington Post.