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Quote# 84511

[re: the lack of knowledgeable scholars working on the Conservative Bible Project]

The Greek and Hebrew languages are well understood and readily available to any internet user. In this electronic age a laptop and a browser are superior to (and fast than) the finest Greek/Hebrew scholar. Some may wince at that observation, but it's the same reason that sales of the Encyclopedia Britannica declined and Borders has gone bankrupt.

The real challenge to a Bible translation today is the ever-changing English language into which the Greek/Hebrew must be translated. English terms like "peace be with you" are constantly changing their meaning and a good translation has to have enough political savvy to react to liberal and atheistic biases that creep into language. See liberal creep!

The objection to the Conservative Bible Project is like saying an engineer should not try to build a bridge unless he first becomes a master in trigonometry. That objection doesn't work, because the trigonometry is well-understood and modern challenges in building a good bridge have little to do with sine and cosine functions.

The CBP stacks up favorably against any academic translation out there. You can pick a few verses, and so will I, and I bet CBP is better.

[Emphasis added]

Andy Schlafly, Conservative Bible Project 173 Comments [10/27/2011 2:57:16 AM]
Fundie Index: 130
Submitted By: Night Jaguar
WTF?! || meh
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Atheissimo

I took the liberty of putting your first paragraph through a superior laptop and browser, you know, the ones that are better than the scholars? Unfortunately, Babelfish doesn't know ancient Greek or Hebrew, so here it is in English after being translated through modern Greek:


'The Greek and Jewish languages become comprehensible well and easily - available in anyone of user of Internet. In this electronic age a lap-top and search engine it is superior from (and fast from) the thinner Greek/Jewish student. Can certain twitch in that observation, but it'? s that the same reason of that the sales of encyclopaedia Britannica were decreased and the borders have gone broke.'

You want to travel on a bridge held up by the same principles that made this translation, then be my guest...

10/27/2011 3:15:02 AM

fmitchell

"The vodka is good, but the meat is rotten."

Hey, in this electronic age a laptop and a browser are superior to and faster than the finest Russian translator.

Now excuse me, I'm going to design a rocket to Mars. I have no engineering training whatsoever, but I do have a laptop and a browser, and the physics of rocket propulsion are well understood and readily available to any internet user. Maybe after that I'll google "brain surgery" and see if I can't stop these headaches.

Oh, and:


10/27/2011 3:22:23 AM

Extraintrovert

The internet allows humans across the planet to have the largest information repository in the history of the planet literally at their fingertips. It also always douchebags like this to further inflate their own importance by claiming that they don't need to know anything because the information is "readily available". And I am still wondering how in the Warp the term "peace be with you" can have separate meanings.

@fmitchell

No no no, the term is "my hovercraft is full of eels".

10/27/2011 3:32:03 AM

fmitchell

Reference to this old story: "The following famous example has often been told both in the context of newbie translators and that of machine translation: When the sentence 'The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak' (... an allusion to Mark 14:38) was translated into Russian and then back to English, the result was 'The vodka is good, but the meat is rotten' (...)."

10/27/2011 3:36:17 AM



As in any language, many ancient Greek words had multiple meanings, and the decision as to which one should be used requires context, which can only be provided by someone more educated on the subject than you (meaning, anyone or anything, including a box of rocks).


10/27/2011 3:39:31 AM



I would love to see you have to come face to face with Jesus and explain to him about how your twisting his teachings about giving to the poor and the sick and paying your taxes into your own self-serving capitalistic bullshit was just "correcting" "liberal bias".

10/27/2011 3:44:00 AM

Sadhuman

There is a reason Badtranslation and other such meme jokes are running around the internet. The current translation services are mediocre at best and horrible at worst. in reality you just want the Bible to say what you think it should have said and are willing to mangle the teachings of your Holy God to get it.

10/27/2011 3:54:21 AM

Percy Q. Shunn

The more I'm exposed to complete horseshit like this, the more I'm grateful I don't need to spend my existence worshipping imaginary skyfairies.

10/27/2011 3:58:18 AM



Sadly google, doesn't include training or comperhension nor does it provide actual education.

10/27/2011 3:58:28 AM

Matante

I wonder if his troll-fans suggested the engineer simile. Considering that engineers must indeed understand trigonometry, it's something a Poe would say to hint that he's a Poe. Assuming that he isn't one, Andy was deceived into saying it, and is too dumb to realise he's been trolled.

Or he really made it up himself and is beating the law of probabilities by NEVER getting anything right.
You know a stopped watch is right twice a day, well Andy is like a watch that works backward but kinda sideway like the hands are somewhere on the i axis when they should go through the actual time it is, the numbers spell "pizza" in klingon and if you open it to see how it's built, you see it's full of noodles.
I'm not sure where I'm going with that. I got lost somewhere. Wondering about Andy's mind does that to someone...

10/27/2011 4:15:33 AM

From the frozen north, Death cometh

"The objection to the Conservative Bible Project is like saying an engineer should not try to build a bridge unless he first becomes a master in trigonometry. That objection doesn't work, because the trigonometry is well-understood and modern challenges in building a good bridge have little to do with sine and cosine functions."

You can't be serious... I refuse to believe you're saying this with a straight face. of-Fucking-course I want the engineer who makes the plans for the bridge I'm going to use to know every single thing there is about trigonometry. Andy has got to be brain damaged. There is no other explanation for this. O_o

10/27/2011 4:16:04 AM

Dharmabum

I wish Pat Buchanan would fuck Andy Schlafly up the ass with Pat Robertson's dick.

10/27/2011 4:26:00 AM

David B.

TRANSLATION: "We're making it up as we go along anyway, WTF do we need scholars for?"

10/27/2011 4:32:59 AM

Mister Spak

The stupider you are, the better your translation is!

10/27/2011 5:01:03 AM

checkmate

Part I. And just who does Mr. Schlafly think programs the computers? Or do the machines just happen know Greek and Hebrew all by themselves?

During my years at the university I spent countless hours pounding Latin, Greek, and Hebrew (among other languages) into my head. As with any other language, none of those languages is a clear cut question of 1+1=2. The intricacies of grammar, syntax and semantics can only be learned and understood by hard study and lots of hard thinking. In other words: academics.

Mr. Schlafly is a victim of circular logic. Any answer he gets from a laptop was put there by an academic, that is unless it was changed to fit a certain ideology.

How would Schlafly translate "Tohu wa bohu" from the first chapter of Genesis? His laptop would tell him something like "empty and void". The truth is that those words are both (wa = "and") so-called hapax legomena, meaning that they are not attested anywhere else. Nobody really knows what they mean. Their meaning can only be derived from the context. "Empty and void" is a guess. It could very well mean "Lemon Jello and vanilla ice cream". Nobody knows. Mr. Schlafly's laptop doesn't know either.

10/27/2011 5:29:34 AM

checkmate

Part II.

I hate it when lazy, stupid people come up with excuses for their laziness. No, Mr. Schlafly, it doesn't work that way.

Translations of certain phrases aren't automatic. They are decided upon based on the many possibilities and extended meanings of overlapping semantic fields between languages. A Bible translation can't be filled with pages full of notes in parenthesis explaining the background of every translation. That's what the commentaries are for.

How would Schlafly translate "hine(y)!" Depending on the context it's usually translated as "behold", "here (I am)", "see, it's me", or something like that. Anybody who has learned Biblical Hebrew on an academic level knows that it doesn't have a real independent translatable meaning, it's more like a New York "yo!" or "yeah". Does Mr. Schlafly's laptop know that?

10/27/2011 5:30:24 AM

WWWWolf

> In this electronic age a laptop and a browser are superior to (and fast than) the finest Greek/Hebrew scholar.

Been using Google Translate or Babelfish lately? (Obviously not - the only good sources are American sources, right?) Those things are pretty much state of the art in computer translation, and they kinda suck. You can use them for rough guesstimation of what some passages of text mean, but they're worthless for translation.

I have nothing against Google Translate - I just have a beef with people who think they can base their entire business on it. I've seen companies give us mutilated Finnish translations of their websites and pretend this is all that's needed for this market. Guys, we laugh at that shit, and have laughed at it for decades now. We have no problems doing business with these companies, but we expect that if a company does customer service in Finnish, they go the whole hog and don't try to just pretend they know the language.

If it doesn't pass for customer service, how the hell do you think it passes for translation of holy texts?

> Some may wince at that observation, but it's the same reason that sales of the Encyclopedia Britannica declined and Borders has gone bankrupt.

Britannica's sales are declining because Wikipedia is kicking their asses. How did they do it? Human editors building and revising articles via volunteer work. And, of course, no one wants paper encyclopaedias when electronic ones are much better.

Borders? No idea about the specifics, but let me guess - stiff and aggressive competition from another bookseller who is known for doing whatever it takes to get an edge. Named after a rainforest, because it's just as scary. Nothing to do with machine translation, incidentally. Nothing to do with content creators. Nobody buys machine-translated books.

10/27/2011 5:36:27 AM

\m/>_<\m/

Heresy... actually, you're doing it very well on your own, wow!

"Some may wince at that observation"
not just that one, andy-ol'-boy. all your observations make us wince.

since no one highlighted it yet,
" a good translation has to have enough political savvy to react to liberal and atheistic biases that creep into language. "
a good translation must not be your soapbox: a good translation is slavishly close and FAITHFUL to the original material. then again, you wouldn't know anything about the judeo-christian faith.

(atheists of the world unite! protect christianity and all religions from fundamentalists perverting them!) <- can't believe i'd ever say that!

10/27/2011 5:41:18 AM

dionysus

The Greek and Hebrew languages are well understood and readily available to any internet user. In this electronic age a laptop and a browser are superior to (and fast than) the finest Greek/Hebrew scholar.

You know what else is on the internet? A bunch of garbage. Answers in Genesis, Timecube, Conservapedia, etc. You know what's not on the internet? Experience and critical thinking skills (although there are some good guides for fostering the latter). The internet is a great tool and the greatest source of information on the planet if you know how to use it correctly but it's also a death trap of misinformation, half-truths, conspiracy nonsense, absolute bullshit, and scams. Conservapedia shows in great detail why avoiding bad sources of information is one of the most important things to learn about the using internet. But even if you know where to look and find a phenomenal source, having all the information in the world at your fingertips doesn't replace years of professional experience with applying that information in previous projects.

@checkmate

Not to mention idiomatic expressions. Those require extensive knowledge of the culture and a novice literal translation leads to nonsense at best and something that completely changes the meaning of an entire passage at worst.

10/27/2011 5:47:58 AM

Raised by Horses





Yes, I see your point.

10/27/2011 5:58:44 AM

Bollox

^ Please tell me those are not shopped!

... Schalfly isn't trying to translate the Bible using modern Greek and Hebrew, is he? Surely nobody could be that ... oh, wait. It's Assfly.

10/27/2011 6:10:06 AM

Doubting Thomas

Sorry, but babelfish translator still doesn't work that well, because it's hard for it to tell which meaning of a word is being used.

Andy, why don't you just admit that you want to rewrite the bible to suit your own biases? I'd have just a tiny bit of respect for you if you'd be honest.

like saying an engineer should not try to build a bridge unless he first becomes a master in trigonometry. That objection doesn't work, because the trigonometry is well-understood and modern challenges in building a good bridge have little to do with sine and cosine functions.

Further proof that religion (and possibly conservatism) keeps people stupid. Andy must seem to think that studying trigonometry for four years is no better than googling it for five minutes.

10/27/2011 6:10:53 AM

Raised by Horses

@Bollox

Legit as far as I know.

10/27/2011 6:13:13 AM

Darwin

"The objection to the Conservative Bible Project is like saying an engineer should not try to build a bridge unless he first becomes a master in trigonometry."

No, we're saying you shouldn't even write greeting cards until you get a functioning brain.

10/27/2011 6:14:51 AM

CohibaMan

Actually, individuals like Schlafly are the reason that at least part of me is inclined to hope that Christianity is true.

That Christ guy seemed pretty reasonable. He hung out with the lowest of society, stopped a bunch of fundies from stoning a lady, appeared to value goodness and the search for truth over any particular dogmatic beliefs, and told the religious teachers of his time that prostitutes and tax collectors were going to enter the Kingdom of Heaven before they did. When I read the Gospels I see a guy who, if he were God, would probably be rather merciful to honest atheists and agnostics who did their best to treat their neighbors right, even if those individuals spent their entire lives denying his existence.

The only harsh words he had to speak were for the Schlafly's and other religious bigots of his time, as well as for those that used religion as a means to profit off the backs of the poor. Christ was adamantly anti-fundie. I firmly believe that, if Christ is real, hell will be populated primarily by the sort of people this site exists to mock.

Incidentally, if there is an "anti-Christ" to come I can't imagine him being any different from the "Second Coming" that RR's and others seem to so desperately await. So much of what these people expect Christ to do is the exact opposite of the figure we see in the gospels. Think of the ramifications of that for a moment...

10/27/2011 6:28:43 AM
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