Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Church of the Orange Sky Condemns the New International Version

If you're interested in dry self-defensive commentary by the International Bible Society, here's a link for you, where they defend their badly flawed New International Version of the Bible, as well as their strategy of "translating" the Bible by secretly "correcting" flaws in the "inerrant" original texts, all before the text gets to you, the reader, so that you never have to know just how seriously not-perfect the book really is.

Among other things, the conservative and pro-inerrancy NIV translators proclaim the authority to add words into the Bible whenever they think it's appropriate. Grand irony and hypocrisy, all in one.

The best part, however, is on p. 67, where the NIV committee discloses that - oh, no! the horror! - one of the consultants to the translation, Virginia Mollenkott, was a lesbian. I guess that will teach them to use women as consultants. In true Christian fashion, the committee promptly washes their hands of the evil woman and casts her to the wolves:

Virginia Mollenkott was consulted briefly and only in a minor way on matters of English style. At that time she had the reputation of being a committed evangelical Christian with expertise in contemporary English idiom and usage. Nothing was known of her lesbian views. Those did not begin to surface until years later in some of her writings. If we had known in the early seventies what became public knowledge only years later, we would not have consulted her at all. But it must be stressed that she did not influence the NIV translators and editors in any of their final decisions.

Her lesbian views? Her list of sins, helpfully supplied by the stone-throwing Fundamentalist Baptists over at Way of Life Literature, apparently includes such heinous statements as these:

- the Bible does not mention sexual orientation (wait... that's true)

- Mollenkott attended the Metropolitan Community Church, which she shouldn't do because there are gays there (new rule! Christians should not associate with sinners!)

- homosexuals are equals

And so on and so forth. The amount of hatred and paranoia in the Way of Life document is actually quite unbelievable. It's almost as bad as the calm patronizing bullshit from the IBS itself.