Difference between revisions of "Talk:Conservative Bible Project"

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(I don't get the criticisms of this project: The number one reason why most people are liberals is so that they can cling to a double standard.)
m (I don't get the criticisms of this project: wikify)
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Where were these critics when "the Message" "translation" came out?  Where were they when the NIV people announced a new, more liberal version in the works?  The double-standard is obvious.  A liberal version of the Bible?  "Ho-hum."  Conservative version?  "WHAT???  YOU CAN'T DO THAT!!!  WHAT A JOKE!!!" [[User:Jinxmchue|Jinx McHue]] 18:00, 5 October 2009 (EDT)
Where were these critics when "the Message" "translation" came out?  Where were they when the NIV people announced a new, more liberal version in the works?  The double-standard is obvious.  A liberal version of the Bible?  "Ho-hum."  Conservative version?  "WHAT???  YOU CAN'T DO THAT!!!  WHAT A JOKE!!!" [[User:Jinxmchue|Jinx McHue]] 18:00, 5 October 2009 (EDT)
:You're right.  The number one reason why most people are [[liberal]]s is so that they can cling to a [[double standard].--[[User:Aschlafly|Andy Schlafly]] 18:16, 5 October 2009 (EDT)
:You're right.  The number one reason why most people are [[liberal]]s is so that they can cling to a [[double standard]].--[[User:Aschlafly|Andy Schlafly]] 18:16, 5 October 2009 (EDT)

Revision as of 22:26, 5 October 2009

The Example

I learned on this site that the Adulteress Story might not be an original addition to the Bible, and after looking into it myself, there does seem to be a good deal of evidence supporting this. I've similarly been trying to find authorities who question the authenticity of the Luke passage given here, but I haven't been able to find any. What is the source for this, and perhaps should the second to last paragraph of Essay:Adulteress Story be modified to reflect that this passage is also in dispute? JacobB 10:54, 13 August 2009 (EDT)

That would be great if you added reference to the doubtful (but often-quoted by liberals) statement in Luke to the end of the Adulteress Story essay.
As to sources, my hardcopy NIV (annotated with Greek/Hebrew and other references) explains that this statement in Luke is not in several of the earliest manuscripts. Thinking about the statement, it doesn't make sense and it's not corroborated anywhere else. It's obvious liberal bias.
The advantage of this conservative Bible project is that it picks out the liberal bias (and thus lack authenticity) easier. Thanks for your contributions to this.--Andy Schlafly 11:03, 13 August 2009 (EDT)

This is a very interesting study project, but the problem to me is that it begins with the assumption that Christianity must fit with another ideology (conservatism) rather than accepting the possibility that Christianity might in fact not fit with conservatism. AddisonDM 17:47, 13 August 2009 (EDT)

That's a valid point, but I don't think that taking a conservative approach to translation assumes a perfectly conservative result. The conservative approach is simply a substantive alternative to other approaches, such as "word-for-word" (NASB) or "thought-for-thought" (NIV). How successful the conservative approach is, or how close a fit the text is to conservative substance, is a good topic for discussion after the approach is taken.
There are already liberal approaches to translation of the Bible, as reflected by some liberal Bible versions on the market that were developed by predominantly liberal interpreters.
By the way, on the issue of whether working on a new translation is itself objectionable, I recall that on my final exam in a Greek course the (monastic) teacher required us to translate a passage of the New Testament into English. No one raised an objection to that, except perhaps to its difficulty!  :-) --Andy Schlafly 17:58, 13 August 2009 (EDT)
I have no problem with new translations for purposes of learning, though I don't believe that any new translation could be singularly authoritative. I don't believe I could help as I know absolutely nothing about Biblical languages but good luck! AddisonDM 20:38, 13 August 2009 (EDT)
I can see from trying the first book (the Epistle to Philemon (Translated)) that this approach can be summed as a "conservative thought-for-thought" translation, as words are going to change. "Prisoner" in Christ, or "fellow laborer," just don't resonate as well today. Obviously this is not an easy task, but it is an educational one.
Or maybe this could be called a "conservative word-for-word" translation if only individual words are updated.--Andy Schlafly 20:58, 13 August 2009 (EDT)
Well it's a good idea to change words if the original is not powerful enough or does not properly convey the theological idea. However, my reservation is the possibility of an ideological translation, in which "conservative" words are substituted that might appear to change the original meaning. As you said, it's educational!

What are you considering as a better term for "prisoner" or fellow laborer"? By the way, you should look into the Message Bible, which attempts (sometimes badly) to update the Bible into modern times without changing the message. AddisonDM 21:11, 13 August 2009 (EDT)

I'm not sure the Message Bible adhered to conservative principles. Its modernization may have been a liberalization. Adhering to conservative principles is what gives credibility and guidance to a modern translation.
"Laborer" has an overriding economic meaning today. That can't be what Paul meant - he was a volunteer! "Fellow traveler", perhaps, or more conservative (and more accurate) might be "fellow volunteer."--Andy Schlafly 21:20, 13 August 2009 (EDT)

Do you have some person who speaks Hebrew to help with this? I am a native speaker. I will help if you give me specific problems you have to translate. ShmuelBernstein 00:19, 14 August 2009 (EDT)

We welcome all legitimate contributions to this project.--Andy Schlafly 11:05, 14 August 2009 (EDT)
I do not so far think I have much to contribute for what I have seen you working on so far from the Christian Gospels because it was not written in Hebrew, but please keep me in mind as a native speaker when you have questions about Biblical Hebrew from the Tanach. ShmuelBernstein 12:17, 14 August 2009 (EDT)
OK. You're welcome to post a book from the Hebrew Bible and start on it, just as I did from the New Testament. Our goal is to translate the entire Bible, so the sooner we include the Hebrew, the better!--Andy Schlafly 12:42, 14 August 2009 (EDT)
I think the project of updating a Bible by addressing idea by idea concerns about older translations is great because language evolves by its nature to accommodate the milieu and ethos of its time. One must be able to refer to the original language when there are questions about the real meaning of words. I think modern languages are most assuredly more capable of accurately and forcefully communicating ideas that make better sense to us than the old languages of our forefathers. But I do not know with what eye you would view the Tanach to make this translation of the Bible. It seems to me that for the most part any English language translation of the Bible that is written in such prose that pleases one would be an adequate starting point for then going in earnest to search for and root out translations that are not correct or could be more adequately expressed in modern language. I will examine the program for this project that you have put on the first page of this article and set to working on the Tanach with your guidance. ShmuelBernstein 14:06, 14 August 2009 (EDT)
For a translation in English, it seems reasonable to use the King James Version as the baseline, since it has been widely accepted, it is written at the highest grade level, and it is freely available (public domain). Sound good?--Andy Schlafly 14:30, 14 August 2009 (EDT)
I do not have the King James Version, but I see that it is available online. It is filled with archaic Jacobean language, so I can certainly see why you would wish to make a modern translation. I have looked at the work done on the Gospel of Mark and have some questions about how this project is done. Is someone doing this translation from looking at the original Greek to modernize the language? Or is it being done through some other concern? The sentence structure is sometimes far different than the original King James Version that I think the sentences are being restated in some manner. Is this correct? I am trying to understand what makes a conservative bible, so wonder what some of the 12 conditions stated on the project page mean. For example, Number 11 says "use glorifying language for the remarkable achievements." Does this mean that if the idea of the glory of a person's conduct or person is not in the Bible it is to be added? Also "recognizing that Christianity introduced powerful new concepts that even the Greek and Hebrew were inadequate to express, but modern conservative language can express well" is not clear to me - if some concept was not adequately expressed in Hebrew or Greek it cannot be adequately expressed in a translation into another language because it was beyond the ability of the writer to communicate in the original language. One might surmise what the author intended and make appropriate notes. However the language of the Bible itself is what must be translated or it is not a translation but a restatement and amplification of ideas rather than language. I think this last point clarifies the source of my confusion about the project. I look forward to hearing from you. ShmuelBernstein 16:32, 18 August 2009 (EDT)
I don't agree that "if some concept was not adequately expressed in Hebrew or Greek it cannot be adequately expressed in a translation into another language." Parables, for example, transcend inadequacies in language and it is fully possible to take a parable written in a simplistic language and express it more fully in a richer language.
A conservative Bible uses the richness provided in part by conservative language to fully convey the concepts. The original Greek and Hebrew may help sometimes, or they may be inadequate. "Logos" in the beginning of John illustrates this point, as the term is merely the best the Greek has to offer. "Truth" as fully understood and used today, as developed and popularized by the conservative movement (it's rarely used by the Left), is a better term to convey the concept.--Andy Schlafly 16:56, 18 August 2009 (EDT)

Are you and who else is helping with the Gospel of Mark referring to the Greek when making your changes to the KJV? ShmuelBernstein 09:04, 19 August 2009 (EDT)

Wikilinking some things, Footnotes

Seeing the comment "Translate Beelzebub better?" in the Mark translation got me thinking. This project is unlike many other translation projects, in that it is being conducted on a wiki that has an absolute wealth of information on relevant topics. What do people think of wikilinking terms that might be unfamiliar to readers. I'm not suggesting that every term that has a corresponding wiki page get a link. That would just look messy. I do think it might be useful to link things like place names (provided that they have adequate associated pages.) It's like the best footnotes you could hope for. Of course, things should still be translated in such a way that everything makes sense without having to click on links for things, but there are places where I think that a wikilink would be just the thing. (Additionally, adding footnotes might not be a bad idea in general - there may be places where it's hard to capture the nuance and context without breaking the cadence or pace of the prose or adding an bunch of detail that isn't in the original text.) DaveB7 14:27, 2 September 2009 (EDT)

Peace in concordance

I looked up the word 'peace' in the NT and found a few different words being translated into peace.

  • G2270 - ἡσυχάζω - hēsychazō - used 5 times. hold (one's) peace 2, rest 1, cease 1, be quiet 1 [1]
  • G5392 - φιμόω - phimoō - used 8 times. put to silence 2, hold (one's) peace 2, muzzle 2, be speechless 1, be still 1 [2]
  • G4623 - σιωπάω - siōpaō - used 11 times. hold (one's) peace 9, peace 1, dumb 1 [3]
  • G1515 - εἰρήνη - eirēnē - used 92 times. peace 89, one 1, rest 1, quietness 1 [4]

While G2270, G5392, and G4623 have changed the meaning over time - to hold one's peace is archaic phrasing, G1515 is still very much the word 'peace'.

G1515 is defined as:

  1. a state of national tranquillity
    1. exemption from the rage and havoc of war
  2. peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord
  3. security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)
  4. of the Messiah's peace
    1. the way that leads to peace (salvation)
  5. of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is
  6. the blessed state of devout and upright men after death

Matthew 10:34 uses G1515 as peace. Think 3543 not 3361 that 3754 I am come 2064 to send 906 peace 1515 on 1909 earth 1093: I came 2064 not 3756 to send 906 peace 1515, but 235 a sword 3162. The numbers following are the Strong's numbers. In this case, the definitions 1, 2, and 3 are certainly the proper translations rather than 4, 5, or 6.

Likewise, Luke 2:14 uses G1515 as peace. "Glory 1391 to God 2316 in 1722 the highest 5310, and 2532 on 1909 earth 1093 peace 1515, good will 2107 toward 1722 men 444"

The word eirēnē is from the Greek goddess of the same name (Pax in Roman mythology) and was a deity that was against war.[5]

I am curious if it is indeed G1515 that is being said that the meaning has changed over time and how those 89 uses in KJV as peace would be changed. --JohnnyS 22:13, 27 September 2009 (EDT)

Thanks for the superb analysis. I'm going to study your work further. My immediate reaction is that the most common use of "peace" in the Bible, as in "peace be with you," really means the Hebrew concept of "shalom". It's a fullness and tranquility of mind, and that's not what the word now primarily means in English. See, e.g., [6]--Andy Schlafly 23:54, 27 September 2009 (EDT)

I'm not sure how 'conservative' it is, but there's an 'updating' of the KJV I found a few years ago called the 21st Century King James (unsigned by Right Wing 2)

I don't think it is conservative at all. In fact, I think it fails on several of the guidelines outlined in the content entry here. But thanks for mentioning it.--Andy Schlafly 09:18, 5 October 2009 (EDT)

Revelation 22:19 says be very careful when you re-translate the Bible

"And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." - King James Version

...although it doesn't say anything about adding to the "words of the book" - just taking away - you still need to be prayerfully and thoughtfully careful, keeping true to the original Greek or Aramaic. Keep in mind some of the Bible is just poetry, which never translates well. And alliteration and other word tricks that sound good in one language just don't translate well at all, like the "camel and the eye of the needle" story element in Aramaic has the words "gamel" (camel) and "gimel" (needle) next to each other, which helps the hearer remember the story. PaulBurnett 11:17, 5 October 2009 (EDT)

You raise interesting issues, but your interpretation is erroneous. The sentence does not say "take away words" as you imply, but it says "take away from the words." The point obviously relates to meaning, not to specific words.
We are experts here at defending against liberal bias, which is the greatest threat to the meaning of the Bible. We comply with your quoted sentence by working against attempts to dilute and distort biblical meaning.--Andy Schlafly 12:32, 5 October 2009 (EDT)

Let's be clear. This is not a Bible translation at all. It is merely a re-wording of the KJV. AngusF 14:22, 5 October 2009 (EDT)

Use the original texts

How can you effectively translate an existing translation? That makes your translation like playing telephone and all you are going to get in the end it something even farther from the original document. Go back to the original Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, etc. Also, are you going to include the apocrypha or take out any books? Fsamuels 12:21, 5 October 2009 (EDT)

I presume from your comment that you're versed in some ancient languages, in which case, your contributions to the project would be very much appreciated! DouglasA 12:22, 5 October 2009 (EDT)
Fsamuels, your contributions are most welcome to this project, and we do refer to the so-called "original" texts as needed. But note that the Greek (you seem unsure in identifying the language) was itself an imperfect language for conveying certain powerful concepts, and that many of the translation disputes today are unrelated to the original language.--Andy Schlafly 12:44, 5 October 2009 (EDT)
If "certain powerful concepts" are not (perfectly) preserved in the languages of the earliest manuscripts, then from what source do you infer more perfect "translations"? AngusF 13:30, 5 October 2009 (EDT)

Treading dangerous ground

I am really surprised by this project. As far as I am concerned you are treading very dangerous ground. You are proposing that we retranslate the Bible based on a political agenda. The Bible is God's word, not yours. If you want to retranslate based on a new understanding of the original documents, and you have the scholarship to do so, then go right ahead. What is happening here, it seems to me, is not an effort to correct an older mistranslation or to shed new light. JDStarrett 11:41, 5 October 2009 (MST)

I don't speak for CP officially, so perhaps take my response with a grain of salt. I'd say that this is really a "correction of a mistranslation", though the KJV is not so much a mistranslation as it is a very dated translation. For many verses we retain the original of the KJV and merely rephrase sentences to fit more modern syntax. In cases where new words developed since the publication of the KJV more precisely capture the meaning of passages, we use those words. There are also aspects of new scholarship, though most of them admittedly originate outside the project itself. For example, the retranslation omits the adulteress story, which is now widely accepted as being a later addition to the Bible.
It is important to understand that the retranslation is in no way a new translation based on a political agenda. It is rather a new translation whose primary aim is precisely to remove the influence that political agendas have had on previous translations, and to update certain passages to use new vocabulary that more effectively captures their meaning. If this translation is more conservative than others, that is a result of a) its attempt to purge politically-motivated changes to the text and b) the appearance of powerful new conservative insights that make possible better translation of certain ideas which are clearly in the original text. I believe that if there is ever a situation where a new liberal word would provide a superior translation, we will employ it without hesitation: however, this will be relatively infrequent because of the generally superior nature of conservative insights since the publication of the KJV. --MarkGall 14:04, 5 October 2009 (EDT)
Very well put, Mark. I agree and you said it better than I might have.--Andy Schlafly 15:07, 5 October 2009 (EDT)

CBP in blogs

Mr. Schlafly -- it appears that a number of mostly liberal blogs have carried pieces about the retranslation project within the last couple days. We have already seen a number of new posts questioning the basis of this project, and I expect that more are to come. I posted my own response to one of them above, but I'm hesitant to be perceived as speaking for the project. Would you prefer that we leave such responses to you, or is it OK if other editors post first responses and let you add your thoughts later? --MarkGall 14:07, 5 October 2009 (EDT)

Please do respond without worrying about me. I have an open mind and am learning from your responses.
Note that liberals will sometimes make arguments they do not accept themselves in order to try to deter Christians or conservatives or others. For example, one liberal insisted here that we should shut down this site on Sundays as the Sabbath, a viewpoint he did not accept himself but perhaps thought it would disrupt us.--Andy Schlafly 15:07, 5 October 2009 (EDT)

Names of God

The original Hebrew text of much of the Bible uses multiple terms for God. For example, Genesis 1:1 uses the term "Elohim" while Genesis 3:14 uses the Tetragrammatron (YHVH/JHWH/Yahweh/Jehovah whatever your prefered term is). Sometimes both names are used together. Thus, when a translation uses "God" "Lord God" "Lord" and other terms they are reflecting actual distinctions in the original text. Changing these all to Lord will make for inaccurate translation. The use of multiple such terms is not "liberal" simply textually accurate. JoshuaZ 14:35, 5 October 2009 (EDT)

Thanks for your insight, Joshua. I have an open mind about it. But the use of different Hebrew words does not automatically imply that different English words are the best translations.
I'm curious, Joshua: are you drawing upon childhood knowledge for your insight? As you can see on the liberal blogs, evolutionists both hate the Bible and are remarkably ignorant about it. Once someone buys into evolution, he typically refuses to learns anything about the Bible again, despite its undisputed role as the most influential book.--Andy Schlafly 15:54, 5 October 2009 (EDT)

I don't get the criticisms of this project

Where were these critics when "the Message" "translation" came out? Where were they when the NIV people announced a new, more liberal version in the works? The double-standard is obvious. A liberal version of the Bible? "Ho-hum." Conservative version? "WHAT??? YOU CAN'T DO THAT!!! WHAT A JOKE!!!" Jinx McHue 18:00, 5 October 2009 (EDT)

You're right. The number one reason why most people are liberals is so that they can cling to a double standard.--Andy Schlafly 18:16, 5 October 2009 (EDT)