The Early Days of a Better Nation

Monday, October 05, 2009

'I'm not sure "bimbo" is the best translation'

The Conservapedia crew are busy rewriting retranslating the Bible to cleanse it of liberal bias. (Via.) Their talk page for the Gospel According to Mark is a record of stupidity and blundering that some day they are going to wish had never been there. They've had particular trouble updating the name of the Third Person of the Trinity ('ghost is misconstrued as spectre or phantasm, rather than spirit (interestingly, they're the same word in German, geist, from which I imagine we get the wording', is one scholarly contribution) and after considering 'Holy Force' and 'Divine Force' have settled (for now) on 'Divine Guide'. Which just makes the Third Person sound like some wandering swami.

They also shamelessly add to and mangle scripture. The unforgettable:

The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.


The messenger preaches among skeptics, "Prepare for the way of the Lord and make straight His path."

And -

And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.


Jesus asked the intellectuals, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: doing good or evil? Saving a life, or killing one? The intellectuals did not answer."

'The scribes' are 'the intellectuals', you see, with all their book larnin.

Update 6/10/09: My brother James MacLeod has been quick off the mark with a cartoon.

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This is all staggeringly unsurprising.

Can anyone point to an example where 'solo scriptorum' hasn't really meant 'solo scriptorum quod pandus quisnam verto atque'---the scripture and its self-appointed interpreters? (Someone correct my grammar, though not the use of the word for a pander.)

But this is important: some poor children will be raised with this translation as the alpha and omega of their (home-schooled, of course) lives.

In this connexion, I think it worthwhile to note that the fundamentalists are probably _right_ in their own terms to be concerned about every single thing their child might read, given the literal-mindedness with which they urge the reading of one particular book....

But, to be fair, this is just an extreme example of the deprecation of critical thinking by a system that couldn't survive too much of it.

"Government" is a "pro-liberal" term? I'm definitely lost in this translation.


I do think they're missing a trick, though. Where they're debating whether to refer to the Almighty as a Spirit, a Presence or a Divine Force, someone suggests "hand" and nobody remarks on it. What a bungled opportunity. I'd say "The Father, the Son and the Invisible Hand" is exactly the phrase they're looking for.

Zotz - Brilliant! wish I'd thought of that.

I'm just waiting for them to translate 'The labourer is worthy of his hire' into 'The executive deserves his bonus'.

"Prepare for the way of the Lord"? What's it going to do, sing a song?

(Weirdly appropriate captcha: prodlen.)

I am jus utterly enjoyed my stay on your blog. Thanks for the nice blog.

I look forward to their next project - a conservative translation of The Star Fraction.

You should do a cartoon about this SJ; mebbe a line from Clinton's 'bimbo eruption' to the revised bible's? ;)

Dang! There is a cartoon already! The words granny, egg and suck spring to mind. D'oh! ;)

BTW. my word verification for this comment was 'blest'! :0)

The Lord of Word Verification moves in mysterious ways, JMcL63!

A conservative interpretation of the Star Fraction? So... NORLONTO is a Fascist State, Jon Wilde is replaced with David Reid and Moh Kohn is a completely unironic ultra-capitalistic gun-for-hire? Oh, and his fancy techno-gun is an M-16 with HAL for a mind.

Actually... Now I kinda want to read that. LOL!

As the proverbial little old lady said, if the King James Version was good enough for St. Paul it's good enough for me.

An amusing detail, visible now the CP page about the project is working again. They appear to be aiming to start from the KJV and tranlate the "liberal bias" out of that. They make noises about using more original texts, but they don't look very convincing: understading biblical greek and hebrew is hard work.

Since the KJV predates liberalism in any modern sense of the term, and is not based on the "most ancient texts" that they appeal to, the project would appear to be ill-founded even in its own terms.

I was talking to some Jehovah's Witnesses in Bradford a few years ago, when I borrowed their Bible to check out the story where Ezekiel is called "Baldy" by some kids, and God gets a bear to come out of the woods to maul them to death (a story I originally picked up on from Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land"), only to find that in their translation God had only called "an evil down upon them", which I suppose we now know to be Big Government.

We Catholics don't have this problem, as we're not allowed read the Bible to start with.

I particularly like the fact that one of the 'benefits' is that "liberals will oppose this effort, but they will have to read the Bible to criticize this, and that will open their minds". Surely if the project makes sense in its own terms, they'll just have their liberal views reinforced?

Sorry,that should be Elisha, not Ezekiel:( 2 Kings 2:23-24: "Elisha and the Bears")
And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.
When I was at a Catholic school in the South of England,"Holy Ghost" tended to indicate the speaker was more working class than those who talked of "Holy Spirit".

Shane MacGowan has a song about the 'Church of the Holy Spook', but I suspect that's his personal invention.

I think it's cute. There's also the leet-speak Bible, translated for Internet consumption by a couple students at a far-right Christian college in Oklahoma. See, they aren't all nuts--at least not all in the same way.

D.J.P. O'Kane, I somewhere have someone's autobiography which claims in passing that the Dutch version of Hamlet contains the line "Omlet, ik ben da poppa's spook".

Thanx heavens [or thanx hell] that ACDC lyrics are clear, sharp and thorough. I'd hate to see my Highway to Hell becoming a 'large, fast-track avenue that leads to damnation'.

That'd be a bitch to singalong.

I look forward to their next project - a conservative translation of The Star Fraction.

Well, if one considers the Fall Revolution series as a whole, David Reid keeps coming out on top, so he's the hero, right?

Sorry,that should be Elisha, not Ezekiel:( 2 Kings 2:23-24: "Elisha and the Bears")

Since we're going with cartoons...

Gad, these people have a tin ear. Or is good writing a sign of liberal bias? There was a time when conservatives regarded themselves as the guardians of beauty and culture; man, are those days gone.

P.M. Lawrence - that's from James Thurber, though he gives the quote in Afrikaans, rather than Dutch.

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