Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Emasculation of Christianity

I suspect I can spend a lot of time looking over this Conservative Translation of the Bible. I should note that I first heard about this from Salon's War Room, in which they proposed their own suggestions for Conservative Translations. They are amusing, I suppose, but kind of over the top. The actual work itself is pretty ripe though.

In particular they are keen (or at least one of the translators is) on making sure that all references to men are not changed to the more modern and gender neutral term of everybody or people or what not. From the translation of Mark;
avoid feminist style of seeking gender neutrality by replacing "man" with "one";

. . . avoid feminist change of "men" to "people"

. . . Keep "man" to avoid emasculating Christianity.
That second quotation is from the commentary on Mark 5:20. Let's look at the two possible interpretations - the original and then the conservative.
And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

So the man left and told many in Decapolis about Jesus's great works for him, to the amazement of all men.
Presumably at one point it was "to the amazement of all people." and the appropriate correction was made. It seems odd because this is an example where men is specifically being used to mean people - it's an archaic way of saying everybody (much like "Hold thy Peace" is apparently an archaic way of saying "Shut up"). And they seem to want to get rid of archaic translations. But not this time apparently.

For some reason it's important to underline that "men" are who were amazed, not "people." And that reason is that "men" are more important than "people." Or so it seems to me.

Kind of an interesting insight into the minds of Conservative Christians. Because of course accepting women as the equal to men (which using people instead of men would do) is apparently emasculating Christianity. If men are not dominant then they are emasculated.

Maybe I should look up what it means to emasculate.
1. to castrate.
2. to deprive of strength or vigor; weaken.
Well that doesn't sound good.

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