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I’m Still Not Clear on What’s Wrong with the One We’ve Got

According to this post by James McGrath, Conservapedia (which I’d never heard of) is apparently scandalized by the fact that portions of the Bible are *gasp!* open to varying interpretations. Their response to to create a “booby-trapped” translation (to borrow a phrase from Bart Ehrman) that is impervious to the misconstruals of liberals.

Or, to put it another way, the plan is to replace what the text says, which is open to other interpretations than their own, with a rendering that will say what they think the text means and really ought to have said. These “translators”, if they are serious, are exalting themselves above the Bible and, from the perspective of conservative Christianity, above God. How that shores up a conservative understanding of the Bible is hard to fathom.

I sort of miss the days when people actually took the time to defend their beliefs. Just call me an old fuddy-duddy.



  1. mike says:

    So we’re going to destroy the village in order to save it.

    This sounds so familiar.


  2. I’ve had conservative students in intro to NT classes be furious to find out that knowledge of the original languages, instead of giving one right interpretation every time, sometimes opens up more possibilities.


  3. Paula says:

    And yet when some organizations produce a Bible that retains an alleged “masculine” focus (e.g. “men” must mean only males), nobody raises an eyebrow. Changing the text is changing the text, regardless of ideology, be it “the divine right of kings” KJV, the “male as ideal” HCSB, or the “right makes might” Conservapedia. It’s a practice as old as translation. And as pointed out, even if we all read koine Greek fluently, we’d still disagree. Just look at any online community, in one language and country, and count all the mis-interpretations and fallacious thinking.


  4. SingingOwl says:

    One would hope the market for such a “correct” version would be small indeed. Good golly–how stupid! Do you suppose the preacherf who says Jesus wore pants is part of this group?


  5. mikelioso says:

    I just read the Conservapedia article he was talking about. It does seem like a Colbert parody, but it seems to be real. Some of the items mentioned, the story from john of the adulteress and the line from Luke about Father forgive them they know not what they do, according to my liberal NIV bible are likely late additions to the text, but the conservapedia folks aren’t so much interested in textual accuracy as political ones. Its not even about conservative religious ideas. Quite frankly they only like Jesus as a kind of God of the People that deserves respect because he was your daddy’s lord, but hate his message because it’s not in line with Adam Smith’s. I think though it it would be hard to argue that Jesus was actually against forgiveness as the these conservatives would like to believe. It’s people like them who crucified Christ.


  6. SingingOwl says:

    It seems Conservapedia was founded by Roger Schlafly, son of Phyllis. Sigh.


  7. Thanks, Mike. That made my day. Well, at least my morning.


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