Difference between revisions of "Conservative Bible Project"

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As of 2009 there is no fully [[conservative]] translation of the [[Bible]] which satisfies the following 12 conditions:
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Politics has surpassed genuine textual ambiguities in translating the [[Bible]] for the most popular translation, the [[NIV]].  The committee in charge of updating that version is dominated by professors and higher-educated participants who can be expected to be [[liberal]] and [[feminist]] in outlook.  As a result, the revision and replacement of the [[NIV]] will be influenced more by [[political correctness]] and other [[liberal]] distortions than by genuine examination of the oldest manuscripts.  As a result of these political influences, it becomes desirable to develop a [[conservative]] translation that can serve, at a minimum, as a bulwark against the liberal manipulation of meaning in future versions.
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As of 2009 there is no fully conservative translation of the [[Bible]] which satisfies the following 12 conditions:
  
 
:# full use of [[Essay:Best New Conservative Terms|conservative terms]] as they develop;<ref>For example, in 1611 the [[conservative]] concept of "accountability" had not yet developed, and the [[King James Version]] does not use "accountable to God" in translating Romans 3:19; good modern translations do.</ref> modern English translations use the word "comrade" three times as often as "volunteer"
 
:# full use of [[Essay:Best New Conservative Terms|conservative terms]] as they develop;<ref>For example, in 1611 the [[conservative]] concept of "accountability" had not yet developed, and the [[King James Version]] does not use "accountable to God" in translating Romans 3:19; good modern translations do.</ref> modern English translations use the word "comrade" three times as often as "volunteer"

Revision as of 18:45, 5 September 2009

Politics has surpassed genuine textual ambiguities in translating the Bible for the most popular translation, the NIV. The committee in charge of updating that version is dominated by professors and higher-educated participants who can be expected to be liberal and feminist in outlook. As a result, the revision and replacement of the NIV will be influenced more by political correctness and other liberal distortions than by genuine examination of the oldest manuscripts. As a result of these political influences, it becomes desirable to develop a conservative translation that can serve, at a minimum, as a bulwark against the liberal manipulation of meaning in future versions.

As of 2009 there is no fully conservative translation of the Bible which satisfies the following 12 conditions:

  1. full use of conservative terms as they develop;[1] modern English translations use the word "comrade" three times as often as "volunteer"
  2. conveying evil with its proper liberal language, such as using the term "gamble" rather than "cast lots"[2]
  3. excluding the later-inserted liberal passages that are not authentic, such as the adulteress story
  4. avoiding unisex, "gender inclusive" language
  5. not dumbing down the reading level, or diluting the intellectual force and logic of Christianity; the English translation that supplanted the KJV in popularity is written at only the 7th grade level[3]
  6. explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning
  7. including notes that credit the young ages and open-mindedness of the eyewitnesses Mark and John, the authors of two of the Gospels
  8. use modern political terminology, such as "register" for a census rather than "enroll"
  9. not denying or downplaying the very real existence of Hell
  10. dealing with liberal or random dilution of the meaning of biblical terms, like the term "word" in the first verse of the Gospel of John
  11. use a concise and dignifying style, such as use of "who" rather than "that" when referring to people and also use glorifying language for the remarkable achievements
  12. recognizing that Christianity introduced powerful new concepts that even the Greek and Hebrew were inadequate to express, but modern conservative language can express well

Thus, a project has begun among members of Conservapedia to translate the Bible in accordance with these principles. The translated Bible can be found here.

Benefits to participants include:

  • mastery of the Bible, which is priceless
  • mastery of the English language, which is valuable
  • thorough understanding of the differences in Bible translations, particularly the historically important King James Version
  • benefiting from activity that no public school would ever allow

How long would this project take? There are about 8000 verses in the New Testament. At a careful rate of translating about four verses an hour, it would take one person 2000 hours, or about one year working full time on the project.

Possible Approaches

Here are possible approaches to creating a conservative Bible translation:

  • identify pro-liberal terms used in existing Bible translations, such as "government", and suggest more accurate substitutes
  • identify the omission of liberal terms for vices, such as "gambling", and identify where they should be used
  • identify conservative terms that are omitted from existing translations, and propose where they could improve the translation
  • identify terms that have lost their original meaning, such as "word" in the beginning of the Gospel of John, and suggest replacements, such as "truth"

An existing translation might license its version for improvement by the above approaches, much as several modern translations today are built on prior translations. Alternatively, a more ambitious approach would be to start anew from the best available ancient transcripts.

In stage one, the translation could focus on word improvement and thereby be described as a "conservative word-for-word" translation. If greater freedom in interpretation is then desired, then a "conservative thought-for-thought" version could be generated as a second stage.

Building on the King James Version

In the United States and much of the world, the immensely popular and respected King James Version (KJV) is freely available and in the public domain. It could be used as the baseline for developing a conservative translation without requiring a license or any fees. Where the KJV is known to be deficient due to discovery of more authentic sources, exceptions can be made that use either more modern public domain translations as a baseline, or by using the original Greek or Hebrew.

There are 66 books in the KJV, comprised of 1,189 chapters, 31,102 verses, and 788,280 words.[4] The project could begin with translation of the New Testament, which is only 27 books, 260 chapters, 7,957 verses, and less than 200,000 words.

Retranslation at rate of 20 verses a day would complete the entire New Testament in about a year. With 5 good retranslators, that would be an average of only 4 verses a day per translator. At a faster rate of 20 verses per day by 5 good translators, the entire New Testament could be retranslated in less than 3 months.

First Example - Liberal Falsehood

The earliest, most authentic manuscripts lack this verse set forth at Luke 23:34:[5]

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

Is this a liberal corruption of the original? This does not appear in any other Gospel, and the simple fact is that some of the persecutors of Jesus did know what they were doing. This quotation is a favorite of liberals but should not appear in a conservative Bible.

Second Example - Dishonestly Shrewd

At Luke 16:8, the NIV describes an enigmatic parable in which the "master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly." But is "shrewdly", which has connotations of dishonesty, the best term here? Being dishonestly shrewd is not an admirable trait.

The better conservative term, which became available only in 1851, is "resourceful". The manager was praised for being "resourceful", which is very different from dishonesty. Yet not even the ESV, which was published in 2001, contains a single use of the term "resourceful" in its entire translation of the Bible.

Third Example - Socialism

Socialistic terminology permeates English translations of the Bible, without justification. This improperly encourages the "social justice" movement among Christians.

For example, the conservative word "volunteer" is mentioned only once in the ESV, yet the socialistic word "comrade" is used three times, "laborer(s)" is used 13 times, "labored" 15 times, and "fellow" (as in "fellow worker") is used 55 times.

Advantages to a Conservative Bible Online

There are several striking advantages to a conservative approach to translating the Bible online:

  • participants learn enormously from the process
  • liberal bias - and lack of authenticity - become easier to recognize and address
  • by translating online, this utilizes the growing online resources that improve accuracy
  • supported by conservative principles, the project can be bolder in uprooting and excluding liberal distortions
  • the project can adapt quickly to future threats from liberals to biblical integrity
  • access is free and immediate to the growing internet audience, for their benefit
  • the ensuing debate would flesh out -- and stop -- the infiltration of churches by liberals pretending to be Christian, much as a vote by legislators exposes the liberals
  • this would bring the Bible to a new audience of political types, for their benefit; Bible courses in college Politics Departments would be welcome
  • this would debunk the pervasive and hurtful myth that Jesus would be a political liberal today

References

  1. For example, in 1611 the conservative concept of "accountability" had not yet developed, and the King James Version does not use "accountable to God" in translating Romans 3:19; good modern translations do.
  2. For example, the English Standard Version (2001) does not use the word "gamble" anywhere in translating numerous references to the concept in the Bible.
  3. This refers to the NIV.
  4. http://www.biblebelievers.com/believers-org/kjv-stats.html
  5. Quoted here from the NIV.

See also