February 19, 2005

In the Name Of The Parent, The Offspring And The Karmic Groove

There's a longish article in the Metro section of this morning's Washington Post about several New International Version translations of the Bible aimed at taking out gender-specific language.

For the most part, I simply dismiss this kind of silliness out of hand. As far I'm concerned, the King James Version is the only one worthy of the title "Bible" and anyone who has a problem with it can, well, go to hell. (UPDATE AND N.B.: This is a joke, people.)

But I also got thinking. If we really want to shape the language to better reflect our modern society, when is someone going to get around to jettisoning terms like "Lord" and "Kingdom of Heaven" and "Prince of Peace"? I mean, these words and images are nothing but the relic of an outdated and exploded feudal system and really have no place in a modern enlightened society. (Don't bother sending in comments telling me this is already being done - it'll just spoil my fun.)

Sooooooo, taking pen in hand, I decided to see if I couldn't improve on the Lord's Prayer, making it more relevant to our times.


Our Friend, in your Happy Place,
We're really comfortable with who you are.
May you realize your vision and find closure,
in our delicate eco-system, as within your own personal environment.

Please consider helping us to only non-exploitative, organic foods,
and don't be judgmental of us, as we're trying not to judge
other people (so long as they're not hurtful or insensitive or anything).
And please help us to remember that arbitrary constructs of good and bad have no place in our personal choices, so long as they are not based on ignorance or prejudice.

For you are totally centered, inclusive and non-threatening, which we think is both authentic and beautiful. And we hope you will keep it up as long as you feel it is appropriate.


Posted by Robert at February 19, 2005 10:45 AM

Rob, have you ever read The Boomer Bible? It's deliberately satirical and this sounds exactly like something straight out of it.

Here, FYI: http://www.boomerbible.com

Posted by: Dave J at February 19, 2005 11:23 AM

Absolutely classic, Rob - thanks for the laugh!

Posted by: Pavel at February 19, 2005 12:52 PM

And all the Catholics, for whom the Douay Version is the only approved version, thank you immeasurably, I'm sure....

Which brand of Christianity are you following that says, "my way or hell?"

Posted by: John at February 19, 2005 01:57 PM

Why, the J.R. "Bob" Dobbs Church of the Subgenius, Special Order of Smartass Bloggers, of course.

Posted by: Robert the LB at February 19, 2005 02:12 PM

Double ... no, triple heh.

Posted by: jen at February 19, 2005 04:04 PM

Taken as poetry, the KJV rules. But it's not very good for understanding what they're saying, and it in fact has some mistranslations. The more recent editions of the bible have the benefit of archaeology and a few centuries of scholarship.

The NIV editing committee has a conservative slant to it (most literalists I know like the KJV and the NIV as a tag-team combination). So it's kind of funny to see them getting mixed up in gender-inclusive politics.

For my study, I like the Jerusalem Bible best overall, but have found the Jewish Study Bible (JPS) an invaluable Old Testament translation and The Original New Testament (Schonfield) a refreshing scholarly translation of the New Testament (it translates the Greek literally, without ecclesiastical baggage - "envoys" in place of "apostles," for example).

Posted by: JohnL at February 19, 2005 10:16 PM

I have an entire Bible written in modern slang. In fact, Bible appears no where on the cover, instead I'll be quoting "The Message: Remix". (no kidding)

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what's best --
as above, below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forigven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves.
You're in charge!
You can do anything want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

Geeze. I'm still giggling like a school girl.

Posted by: Flash Q. Fiasco at March 5, 2005 01:20 AM
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