Oh Person! A New Bible!

Just in time for the holiday season, that most politically incorrect of all popular books, the Bible, is getting yet another much-needed update, in order that it may reflect more accurately the progressive urge to eliminate all past ideas and ways of thinking.

From the LA Times:

An update to the New Revised Standard Version was released digitally this month and is to be in print next May. As you can imagine, such a task is not undertaken lightly. The update represents more than four years of intense work of the National Council of Churches and a large group of scholars in the Society of Biblical Literature.

The very title, “New Revised Standard Version,” smells tyrannically ecumenical and aggressively trendy from the get-go, which is why I tend to ignore that version as much as possible, although it is, as the LA Times correctly observes, “the go-to English Bible for students and scholars.” Standard language does indeed change over time, but the changes implied by that title, and manifest even before this latest update of the NRSV, involve much more than getting rid of a few “haths” and “thous” (although I see no reason why those must be gotten rid of either). But to understand exactly what is involved in the spirit that moves on the face of the NRSV’s very fluid biblical text, with its twenty thousand new revisions, let us subject ourselves to the three sample changes presented in the LA Times op-ed cited above.

    • Mark 14:69 (and similar verses)

NRSV: And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.”

NRSVue: And the female servant, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.”

Thank Goddess that feminism has exerted its necessary force to ensure that future generations not be offended or confused by the Bible referring to female servants in the normal manner of past times, i.e., as “girls.” I am sure that from time immemorial, servant-girls everywhere have been raising their fists in angry solidarity to proclaim to their masters and mistresses, “We are women!” At last their cries for linguistic justice have been heard, and boys and women of the future will never again have to contend with the disturbing thought that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Joanne were sexist pigs.

Leviticus 4:8 (and more than 125 other verses with the same issue)

NRSV: He shall remove all the fat from the bull of sin offering.

NRSVue: He shall remove all the fat from the bull of purification offering.

Lest anyone imagine that anything essential to the Bible’s meaning actually depends on the antiquated notion of “sin,” we must, wherever possible, delete such phraseology. As the LA Times writer explains, approvingly:

With this revision, the 21st century Bible now joins the many world cultures in which “purifying” is a regular practice but is less entangled in “sin” considerations.

Well, certainly! The proper purpose of the Bible in this day and age, after all, is not to present the religious teaching of a particular faith to practitioners of that faith, but to assist in the much-needed process of re-educating those dastardly Christians to reject the self-esteem-lowering and guilt-entangled tenets of their faith, and start “joining the many world cultures” in their sin-free purifications. Who hasn’t wished that the Christian life could be more like thirty-minute yoga or three-day fasting, just another nice way to reduce stress or clean out your gut? Well, now it can!

    • Matthew 4:24

NRSV: So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them.

NRSVue: So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, people possessed by demons or having epilepsy or afflicted with paralysis, and he cured them.

As the “scholar” group responsible for the NRSV’s newest version explains: “When context permits, NRSVue avoids translations that identify people in terms of a disability.” 

Thank goodness we have people possessed by self-righteous dismissiveness about past civilization, or having paternalistic totalitarian minds, or afflicted with progressivism, to set us all straight on how ignorant and oppressive the writers of the English language were in the old days, and how much purer (and guilt-free about it) we are now.

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