From This Angle

Conservapedia is not a site I regularly visit. I’m assuming it’s some rightwing trainspotters’ club like Biased BBC, Samizdata and the Taxpayers’ Alliance. Apparently, the site have started the Conservative Bible Project, which aims to ‘counteract the liberal bias that appears in current translations.’ According to Carrie Quinlan, there are ’10 guidelines for deliberalising the text, which include avoiding unisex terms, accepting the logic of hell, and expressing free market parables.’

The site has also literalised biblical language:

They’ve only just started on the translation, but to take an example at random, John 1:25 in the King James Version reads:

And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.

The Conservapedia version is:

Jesus then rebuked the evil spirit, ‘Shut up and depart from him.’

What’s ‘go forth and multiply’? Or shouldn’t I ask?

You could have loads of fun with this and perhaps make a tired profundity about the interpretations of sacred text. Yet it strikes me that some on the progressive left approach holy books with the same selectivity but from a different angle. Sitting up with the Quran or the King James, quotemining, annotating and contextualising in a desperate search for a liberal narrative that isn’t actually there. And this in a time when there is so much enlightenment and beauty in the written word as a whole: in novels, plays, books on history and philosophy, films and art. In a place flowing with food and wine they tease nutrients from stones.

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