Conservapedia proposes de-liberalized Bible

The unintentional comedians of Conservapedia are at it again: this time, they're planning on producing an expurgated Bible that's had all "liberal bias" removed from the teachings of Christ and the gospels.
Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop;[3] 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"

Combat Harmful Addiction: combating addiction by using modern terms for it, such as "gamble" rather than "cast lots";[4] using modern political terms, such as "register" rather than "enroll" for the census

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.

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

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

Conservatizing the Bible (Thanks, Fef!)



  1. I’m actually dying to see what they’d do with Matthew 19:21, “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.”

  2. It’s just that moronic Schlafly clan again. Look how they dilute any poetry in the original words:

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

    Tard Translation: “The messenger preaches among skeptics, “Prepare for the way of the Lord and make straight His path.””

    Ah, shucks, I never had nuthin’ in the way of book larnin’ nor thought words carried no hidden powers or nuthin’ to affect whot souls men have.

  3. Kind of points out the whole farce that is the “literal bible” – after all, what we call the bible today is just the end result of centuries of exactly this kind of translation and editing. Of course the edits that have stood the test of time seem to have been a little bit more subtle and incremental.

    One of these days I’m going to learn Aramaic and Greek and whatever else is necessary to read the originals. Ha! You thought that guy who looked down his nose at you for being so gauche as to read Proust in English was a snob, just wait til I catch my local christian authority figure at a party.

    1. The more educated Christian traditions (Presbyterian in my wife’s case, but check out the Jesuits!)learn enough ancient Hebrew and Greek to translate whatever passage they are interested in. Plus they learn to use the academic resources, many now electronic (though expensive). What you want to learn is out there.

  4. They say, “Additional less important guidelines include […] recognizing that Christianity introduced powerful new concepts that even the Greek and Hebrew were inadequate to express, but modern conservative language can express well.” In other words, there is knowledge in the text that the text cannot and does not express, and only the secret knowledge they bring to the text can express it. This is gnosis, pure and simple. Who knew that modern conservatives were gnostics?

  5. That makes me very sad. They are so sure they are right, that whenever God’s Word disagrees with them, well it must not really be God’s Word, it must be a liberal conspiracy. Free-market parables? Yeah, right, all that “Blessed are the poor” stuff needs to go, it sends the wrong message.

  6. What about this one?

    Ezekiel 23:20
    “There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.”

    / Clapham

  7. So not only does reality have a liberal bias, but apparently god has one too!

    Poor conservatives, everyone’s against them!

  8. I’m actually dying to see what they’d do with Matthew 19:21

    Or the sermon on the mount.

    Or “Thou Shalt Not Kill” for that matter.

    Unintentional comedy indeed!

  9. Wow, they want to get more accurate by filtering the old King James Version, rather than re-translating original Greek texts? And that is going to be more accurate?

    They aren’t even distinguishing between translations and versions that just reword other english texts.

    Their logic is mind-boggling.

  10. @1
    They won’t have to do anything with that. They just say “I’m not perfect, as the Free Market(tm) hasn’t blessed me with all the money in the world, therefore I do not have to give to the poor. Praise Jesus!”

    Seriously. Haven’t you heard the Christian Right talk about Matthew 19:23-24 about how when Jesus says it is as easy for a rich man to enter Heaven as it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, Jesus didn’t LITERALLY mean the eye of a needle, but rather some arched gate in Jerusalem where camels had to duck (i.e. “bow”) their heads to pass through?[*] After all Jesus WANTS you to be rich. Just DEMAND from Jesus want you want, and he’ll give it to you.

    [*] Ironically this being the interpretation by the same people that say they believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible.

  11. As if they actually needed to rewrite the damned thing to make it say whatever crazy hateful crap they care to spew. I can’t say I’m particularly surprised. I especially like the new, improved and even scarier hell. Take THAT all you sinners!

  12. Typical. No matter what God says or does there is always somebody who thinks he has a better idea.

  13. Just when you thought they couldn’t make the Bible less fun.

    While they’re at it, why not take out all that liberal hippy ‘love your neighbor’ crap that Jesus kept spitting?

  14. who knew the bible was emasculated? i sure didn’t BUT i guess the wild and wacky folk at conservapedia did!!! (praise goddess)

  15. Reading The Conservapedia news (on their front page) then the Rationalwiki’s acerbic analysis of the goings on at conservapedia is a great way of amusing yourself for a few minutes. Schlafly’s comments are comedy gold, and often make my jaw drop with their ignorance. I sometimes wonder if the whole site is a spoof!

  16. I’m just waiting for certain sects of Christians to start denouncing Jesus as a homosexual again. (Or was that just a quirk of my hometown?)

  17. I have to wonder how much of Conservapedia is written by people who take it seriously, and how much is written by people making fun of those people. It’s almost like Discordianism.

  18. I’m getting ready to publish the “free-wheelin’ Bible”. And I’m marketing games with foundation concepts of evolution and revolution to the children of right-wing christians.

    Actually – is there such a thing? Aren’t all christians equal? So this edited bible would leave the realm of religion and become a political text. Who would regulate that?

  19. Well I hear tell over at liberal-pedia they’re going to de-conservatize the bible… so far they’re halfway through and it’s about 21 words long.

  20. Christians are all revisionists anyway. Torah has been unchanged for thousands of years, no need to re-write it according to the fashion of the times.

  21. Actually, the Vatican has already been quietly de-conservatising: babies who sadly pass away before being baptised no longer go to limbo, or purgatory, or whatever invented peasant-scaring nonsense dystopia worked previously. This revision just last year, I believe.

    They recognised that it was just too silly sounding in the modern age, that it would get too many people asking the wrong (informed) questions, so they ditched it. Lovely.

    But I do note that religious schools have some sort of excellent qualities – these schools rank among the best in the UK. Maybe something to be learned. Maybe not.

  22. Unless you’ve actually studied the bible in its original language, it’s hard to know exactly what it says. Even then, there are questionable passages. For example, in the original Hebrew Bible there are idioms whose meaning may be lost in the mists of time. There are nouns which appear only once and very little contextual evidence to suggest what they are. There are scribe marks which have faithfully copied to the extent that they have even been found on the dead sea scrolls. Nobody is entirely sure what those mean either.

    The bottom line is that it is ridiculous to assume a fundamentalist view of the bible, because it demands an interpretive stance. As Maimonides describes it: if you are faced with contradictory truths, whether within the Bible or between the Bible and another fundamental truth, your understanding is incorrect.

    Those who are translating a document have a responsibility to themselves as well as their readers to properly attempt to represent the truth they think they see in it. I am stunned that such people would actually use their politics as a basis for a lens of truth through which one would read the Bible.

    That’s just sick.

  23. ‘updating words which have a change in meaning, such as “word”, “peace”, and “miracle”‘

    The server seems to be down atm, but if they’re going to redefine words*, they might as well translate it into Newspeak right away.

    *I know conservatives like to change the meaning of words, but it doesn’t seem like a very conservative thing to do, you know, not conserving the original meaning and all..

    btw: the new design looks cool, but the preview-function is acting a but funny here (as in, it only works once)…

  24. Man always makes his gods in his own image. In the case of the Conservapedia crowd, that just means their god is extremely small, spiteful, specifically American, kind of cartoonish, and above all, obsessed with homosexuality. It also means fiercely dependent on unquestionable rules and appeals to authority. However, for that to work, they need an authority, which for them is the Bible. However, the Bible doesn’t suit their purposes well enough, so ironically they have to change it while pretending to reinforce it. Hooray, cognitive dissonance!

  25. Let me tell you about the folk we’re dealing with here. I’m a fairly liberal Anglican/Catholic who happens to live in the Bible Belt. When, in late 2004, it was apparent that the war in Iraq was going poorly (and I was secretly saying to myself “told ya so”), I had the fortune (misfortune?) of having a go ’round with a fairly conservative Christian sort. I said based upon the Bible, the war was ill conceived (Proverbs 24:6). He came back with “this is a holy war, and our God is a fierce God.” I asked about all the innocent civilians who died, he replies “they are going to hell as non-believers.” Then he insults me for not supporting the troops (I once wore a uniform, he never once).
    Given the opportunity to recreate a Bible that liberal Christians cannot use to point out their foibles probably makes sense to them. I mean, hey, this sort of thing worked for Stalin, eh?

  26. The NIV is written at “only” a 7th grade level? I thought that was pretty good, considering most things are written at a 3rd grade level.

  27. Here’s the part I want to see translated:

    “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.”

    They are gonna kick like a mule at that one.

  28. “Exclude Later-Inserted Liberal Passages”

    Waitaminute, you mean the bible is not the verbatim word of god?

    If it is, this is a sacrilege, is it not?

    Self-righteous otherfuckas.

  29. BoingBoing readers may be interested to know that there has been spirited discussion of this development here on Ship of Fools, the “Magazine of Christian Unrest”.

  30. Everyone’s a critic. And biblical scholar, apparently.

    Part of me is pleased that folks who use the bible to validate un-Christian policies and attitudes will just further water down and confound the source of their dogma; and part of me is scared that this sort of thing will just make the un-Christian Christians even more so as they begin to write out the parts they don’t like.

  31. None of those sissy ivy-league liberal wine tastings in THIS version- now Jesus turns water into Bud Light.

  32. Wait. This is kinda making my head hurt a little. This is the group of people who believe in a literal reading of one of the bad translations of the bible. Now they want to change that bible to better suit their particular world view. But they believe in the literal reading of the bible. Owchie. There’s that pain again.

    I’ll hazard a guess that compassion, charity and civility will become deadly sins with envy, avarice and gluttony being elevated to heavenly virtues.

  33. Hell let them rewrite it how ever they want. As far as I can tell there is NO way to change the mind of a true believing “Cristian”. It is and has always been “my way or the highway”. I grew up in W. Michigan near Grand Rapids (where I now live), which is home to the World Headquarters for the CRC (Christian Reformed Church) a big bunch of ass hats as you could ever ask for. I have cornered a few over the years and posed various questions to them my favorite one being;”What happened to the people who came before Christ or those who lived in other parts of the world who never heard of him?”. Invariably you get the same answer, “They went to Hell”. I wish them good luck and back away slowly, it’s the only thing you can do.

  34. Genuine faith is a desire to know what God’s word says regardless of one’s on personal opinion.

    I am concerned about any “translation” that has an underlying agenda.

    I’ve read some that were entertaining, though. One of the most colorful, no pun intended, is the Black Bible Chronicles.

    That’s more of a novelty than anything a student of scripture would take seriously…and I suspect the conservative translation will be viewed in the same way.

    More serious are subtle and gradual edits to scripture that change the fundamental meaning of the original.

    If the soldiers did indeed “cast lots” for Christ’s clothes at the crucifixion, then I have no problem with a modern word like “gamble” being used to more clearly convey the idea to a 21st century reader.

    I do have a problem with removing a verse entirely, though. “Father forgive them…,” “love your enemies,” etc. are fundamental elements of scripture.

  35. All I have to say to this is HA, lol…
    Rev. 22.18-19
    I warn every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

  36. When you make a change to the Bible to make it more conservative, it makes Baby Jesus cry.

    But then, most of the things that the liberals among us don’t like about the right-wing fundies have nothing to do with the actual words of Jesus, but are based on the writings of one Saul of Tarsus, who apparently cooked his brain with heatstroke on the way to get overly righteous on those heretic Essenes who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    Yeah, I know – when I was 10, I told my theory about St Paul to our church’s minister, and he gave me that same look… :)

  37. ‘I mean…sure the Bible is the word of god as it’s written. But despite his omniscience, god’s vocabulary is shit and dude doesn’t know what he’s talking about…c’mon and let’s GOP this thing up so it’s worth reading.’

    “The Hillshire Farm Quran: BaconCheeseBurka”
    “The Holocaust Denier’s Torah: He’s Just Not That Into Jew”
    and finally
    “Going Rouge or: How I Learned to Stop Thinking and Love the Bomb”

  38. Just when you thought they couldn’t make the Bible less fun.

    While they’re at it, why not take out all that liberal hippy ‘love your neighbor’ crap that Jesus kept spitting?

    But ask yourself “What would Quagmire do?”

  39. I love that they use the word translate. If you just take the version you don’t like and change it….that’s not translating

  40. Hope they get a clue from the August 28, 2009 episode of “Psych” and remember to include an index. Really, wheres the @$%^ index!

  41. The whole loaves and fishes thing smacks of socialism doesn’t it? Now it’s “Jesus told them to get a job!” And healing the sick? What did Jesus think he was doing? We can’t have him putting insurance companies out of business now, can we? We’ll have to just take out all those unhelpful passages that point out the flaws in our self-righteousness.

    Additional caveats will also have to be added to certain passages. “Love thy neighbor” is now corrected to include “as long as it is in a heterosexual way and not if thy neighbor is not white” and “Thou shalt not kill” now includes “unless your government tells you it’s ok so their cronies can make a shitload of money.” All better now, see? Hey, we’re just trying to smooth out all those pesky contradictions. We know best what Gawd really meant to say, right? I can’t wait to see how in the beginning of Genesis Gawd decides to Git-R-Done! In US you must trust!

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