Monday, March 28, 2005

Dumbing Down the Bible

From Netscape News Forum:

Dumbing Down the Bible: God Approved?

Alas, for those who thought "stoned" in biblical context meant smoking pot and "aliens" meant little green men, there is help. Do you think the new version would help woo the younger generation?

The New International Version [NIV] of the Bible has a new edition, Today's New International Version [TNIV] with changes that are meant to keep up with the evolution of English language -- as spoken by the youth.

"Aliens" have become "foreigners." Instances of "stoned" have been clarified with "stoned to death." And the Virgin Mary is not "with child" anymore. She is "pregnant."

One example of the evolution of the language used in modern versions can be found in Matthew 1:18.

"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost," reads the King James Version.

The N.I.V.: "This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit."

The T.N.I.V.: "This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit."

Another notable change is the use of "Jesus the Messiah" instead of "Jesus Christ," a relatively modern convention in biblical terms. "Christ" is an English transliteration of a Latin word borrowed from the Greek Christos, which is a translation of Hebrew and Aramaic words meaning "the anointed one."

Despite concerns that the Bible succumbed to the feminist movement, "Man" and "brother" are no longer used to refer to a group of people. "God created human beings," not "Man," in the latest version. But "God" remains a male.

Another significant change is the elimination of "saints," a reference thought by the scholars who revised the Bible to be too "ecclesiastical."

Do you think the new version would help woo the younger generation?

[Views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of CompuServe, any government, agency, or news organization.]

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