Friday, October 23, 2009

Good News! (Retranslated)

An outfit called the Conservative Bible Project plans a new Biblical translation to get rid of what it calls “socialistic terminology” that it believes permeates all English translations. According to the group’s statements, such language improperly encourages "social justice" among Christians. What is needed is emphasis on “free market parables.”

For example, it is pointed out, the conservative word volunteer is mentioned only once in the scandalously left-wing English Standard Version, yet the socialistic word comrade is used three times, laborer 13 times and fellow (as in fellow worker) 55 times! Moreover, words like peace and miracle need to be “updated.”

In a conservative translation, the “rich man” who will have as much trouble entering the Kingdom of God as a camel will have going through the eye of a needle becomes a “man who cares only for money”—thus removing the automatic stigma of being wealthy.

Another proposed re-rendering is to change “Blessed are the meek” in the Beatitudes to “Blessed are the God-fearing,” so as to avoid any hint of namby-pambyism.
The Bard of Buffalo Bayou is skeptical about the project and left these lines in a clump of bulrushes:

The Gershwins said one may be liable
To read a few things in the Bible
That ain’t necessarily so.
But soon we’ll have a new translation,
Free of liberal degradation,
And Scripture will be comme il faut.

We needn’t turn the other cheek,
Or hand the earth off to the meek.
Social justice? That’s passé.
Feed the hungry? Clothe the naked?
Those ideas are so half-bakèd,
And, besides, they just don’t pay.

No more peace and no more miracle,
They’re fuzzy-minded and too lyrical,
Free market values are the goal.
All that stuff about baptism
Can’t compete with capitalism
To save the righteous, right-wing soul.


  1. This post had me laughing out loud and trying to explain my behavior to a 15-month-old. I can see that the Bard of Buffalo Bayou is just warming up.
    Perhaps the bard would like to tackle the non-word irregardless. I know there are limericks awaiting this ridiculous construction. How about the phrase "10 items or less?" Tired, but doesn't seem to go away. I hope there is a lot more poetry lurking in the bard's brain.
    Great initial posts to your blog. Congratulations!

  2. I have been shocked, SHOCKED to see that [well, only certain ones, but it's a start] check-out counters at My HEB have converted to "10 Items or FEWER."
    I stood up and cheered.