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The Bible in a More Just Language

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Nov 15, 2006

A new translation of Sacred Scripture has just been released, entitled The Bible in a More Just Language. Described as an effort to do justice “to women, Jews and those who are disregarded,” including homosexuals, the new text renders the Lord’s Prayer as “our Mother and Father who are in heaven”.

In addition, it refers to Jesus as not the Son but the “child” of God. And apparently the term “Lord” also has demeaning connotations, as it has been replaced by “Eternal One”. Still, we can give thanks that men are not a disregarded group: the devil is still referred to as “he” and “him”.

This Bible follows by less than a year Matin Dreyer’s Volksbibel which puts the text in more accessible language. According to Catholic World News, in the Dreyer translation Jesus “returns” instead of resurrects, multiplies “hamburgers” instead of loaves and fish, and tells a parable about a prodigal son who squanders his inheritance at dance clubs and ends up “cleaning bathrooms at McDonalds.” Until releasing this translation, Dreyer was best known for being the founder of Jesus Freaks.

Here at Trinity we’re contemplating a series of new translations of our own. In one of them we intend to correct the bias against certain animals. Goats and pigs have their own sensitivities and, as Dorothy Sayers once pointed out, Jesus had a habit of making free with other people’s livestock. (Sayers, a noted Anglican scholar and author of the Peter Wimsey detective series, did not advocate the changes we have in mind; very likely she simply died too soon.)

Another of our translations will be designed to correct the chronic aversion to adults which characterizes the Gospels. We’re not quite sure how best to do this yet. The sentence “Suffer the miniature adults to come to me” might still give offense to those who are tall. In the meantime, however, we’re hard at work on a version more sensitive to those whom the Hebrews regarded as enemies under the Old Covenant. We plan to remove all the invective in the Psalms and other Old Testament books and set it aside for future use in our final revision, which will permit only one group to be negatively stereotyped: those who twist Scripture to suit their own prejudices.

The Bible in a more just language. If only God knew then what we know now!

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