Sometimes I wonder if Christians realize that the Bible is more than a book of good advice, that it is the book of the Church and cannot be rightfully separated from her. You hear lots of polemics from conservatives about the Bible being inspired, inerrant, infallible, but then you hear about this:

Once you separate the Bible from its context as the book of the Church, you get goofy ideological narratives about it. The stated goals of the project start out innocently enough:

0.Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias

0.Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, “gender inclusive” language, and other modern emasculation of Christianity

0.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[3]

I have no problems with these, depending on how you define “liberal bias,” though gender neutrality doesn’t really bother me and I think translations that are accessible to those who are only barely functionally literate are a good thing.

But then follow the doozies:

0.Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop;[4] 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”.

Using inaccurate “conservative” terms is just as inaccurate as inaccurate “liberal” terms. Besides, there’s already a conservative version that does just that — it’s called the ESV.

Also, I wasn’t aware that the meaning of “miracle” had changed; and what are they going to call Jesus, the Prince of Not-What-You-Think-When-You-Say-Peace?

0.Combat Harmful Addiction: combating addiction by using modern terms for it, such as “gamble” rather than “cast lots”;[5] using modern political terms, such as “register” rather than “enroll” for the census

See my previous comments. I can’t see why include this except for some kind of sneaky political motive that has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God.

0.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.

I don’t really know what they mean by “the logic of Hell.”

0.Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning

See my comment earlier about the Bible being a book full of good advice.

I wonder if they realize that the so-called economic parables were not meant to be about economics, but about stewardship. But then again, most parables are actually about salvation. Of course, expressing them in their “full free-market meaning…” sounds suspiciously like what they’re accusing liberals of doing — corrupting the biblical text for political purposes.

Exclude Later-Inserted Liberal Passages: excluding the later-inserted liberal passages that are not authentic, such as the adulteress story

Nevermind that textual criticism is traditionally a liberal field, I wonder how these folks came to the conclusion that they know what is Scripture in opposition to the testimony of the Church throughout the ages. And I’m not sure how the adulteress story is particularly liberal. Grace?

0.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

Don’t really know what they mean here. Like at all.

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.” 

How about preferring accuracy? As literal as possible, as free as necessary? New Bible translations don’t bother me, but this won’t be a scholarly work — it’ll be a mutilation.

I self-identify as “conservative,” but I read about this and am disgusted and angered.