Polonius Reviews The New Evangelical American Version of The Bible
At long last, the Evangelical American Society for Making Christianity More American (known in religious circles as, simply, "The Talking Asses") has published its new translation of The Bible. Let's use the word "translation" loosely, though, shall we? It's really more of a re-visioning of the ancient texts in light of recent political developments in the United States and the growing power of, uh, certain fact-averse factions of our nation.
In terms of sheer audacity, it's quite a bold translation, but alas, much of the poetry of the original language has been lost.
For instance, that old football stadium sign standby, John 3:16, has received a bit of a modernization. The new translation reads, "For God so loved Americans who have descended from western European ancestry and immigrated to America at least three generations ago, that He gave His only son, that whosoever might subjugate others will not experience poverty, but live comfortably, surrounded by men who are above paying taxes and by women who are all at least sevens." So you see, I'm sure, what I mean about the missing poetry of the language. Really, it's quite clunky. The only way it could be worse is if they added some legal jargon. This isn't surprising, since we all know that the Evangelical American Society for Making Christianity More American (EASMCMA, or again, The Talking Asses) has a debilitating fear of art, artists, bare feet, artistic endeavor, solitude, linguistic subtlety, experimentation, artists' colonies, dreadlocks, poetry readings (and people who snap their fingers in response to poetry readings), fedoras, novels, visual representations not created by Thomas Kinkaid, homosexuality, people who don't spend money on expensive ties, and beauty (other than women who are at least sevens, of course) .
Anyway, The Apostle John's prophetic knowledge of America (elsewhere referred to as "the new chosen land" and "God's country" in this translation) is impressive. I'll give him that. I never realized just how prophetic he was.
Jesus Forgives the Prostitute (kinda)
Another key update in this new "translation" is the story of the prostitute who was caught "in the act" and accused by the Pharisees, who were clamoring for death by stoning. As we used to believe, Jesus treated the woman compassionately and, by pointing out that none of her accusers were without sin themselves, sent her on her way unscathed, with only the gentle guidance of the words, "Go and sin no more." In the updated translation, we see the new no-nonsense vision of the EASMCMA, wherein Jesus says, "Verily, I wouldn't pay more than 20 shekels for a spin with this bitch. But lo, it would be a shame to destroy a willing pussy. Drop thy stones and let her go, but make sure she's married by this evening . . . she needs a husband to get her under control. Truly, I say unto you, 'A woman making sandwiches for her man is too busy to whore around.'"
I'm not sure what the original Greek word for "pussy" is, but if this translation is accurate, I can see why old King James left it out. Still, I'm a little flummoxed by the loss of a certain sense of dignity here. I mean, sandwiches? That doesn't seem quite right, does it? We know that a bunch of these disciples were fishermen. Maybe it was a tuna sandwich, I don't know. Well, as they say, our vision of history is merely a function of our opinions today. Actually, I just made that up, but it sounds good, doesn't it?
The Good Samaritan
Here's another recognizable story that, apparently, we've had the wrong idea about: The Good Samaritan. Well, first of all, it's received a new, spruced-up title: The Bad Capitalist. In this edition, the man on the ground is not the victim of robbery, but instead of his own laziness. He's homeless and ugly and a mooch who lives off the misguided generosity of others and he smells bad and he's kind of scary because he mutters to himself and he probably needs some mental health care, but all of the local facilities for that kind of thing have been closed down to fund a giant wall to separate Galilee from Samaria. Anyway, the first two men who see the homeless guy lying on the street are successful businessmen who decry the loser's laziness. The third man to come along on the road, though, is a dirty socialist refugee immigrant from Samaria on his way to blow up the temple with a sandal bomb (unsuccessfully, thanks to a super awesome nationalist military presence in the capitol that makes the might of the Roman Empire look puny and pathetic -- don't ask for evidence, please; that just makes you seem like a cynical, unpatriotic traitor). The dirty socialist refugee immigrant from Samaria helps the homeless man by using precious tax dollars (that could've been better spent to add cool laser guns to that wall between Galilee and Samaria) to feed, clothe, and shelter the homeless guy. He leaves even more cash (probably earned by running drugs across the border) for the man to use when he recovers. The dirty socialist refugee immigrant from Samaria believes that the homeless guy will use the cash to get back on his feet, but instead he uses the money to get an abortion.
There are some parts of the story that seem not to add up, sure, but revelation is revelation and we may well think twice about questioning the inerrant word of God. Keep that in mind. It says so right in the book itself. In this translation, the verse (2 Timothy 3:16) reads, "All the stuff in this book is perfect and unquestionable because it came directly from God, we swear it and we wouldn't lie about that kind of thing, so use this to teach each other how to be better capitalists and use it to condemn the liberal elite." So there you have it.
There is too much to review here in detail. The Sermon on the Mount and The Beatitudes have received spiffy new updates. The parables of Jesus have been corrected. The rich young ruler who we thought was told to give his wealth away turns out to be a benevolent business owner who, instead, is told to go create jobs by building an oil pipeline from Smyrna to Jerusalem. Most of the Old Testament is left intact, with notable changes to The Book of Proverbs. Most of the Proverbs that were about caring for the poor have been replaced with Benjamin Franklin's Aphorisms, it seems. A strange and bold choice, to be sure.
How to Avoid Waterboarding
My assessment? Well, I'm not one to condemn the work of people more powerful than I am, so I won't. I mean, I'd like to be able to travel internationally and avoid being detained by federal officials and not have my internet browsing history subjected to thorough investigation and I'd especially like to avoid waterboarding. So I say, congratulations Evangelical American Society for Making Christianity More American! You have achieved an accomplishment that is an accomplished achievement! It's the best translation of the Bible ever! Despite the low sales numbers (surely mis-reported by the liberal media), we know that more people admire this translation than any other translation has ever been admired ever!