from Perry - Monday, March 21, 2005
accessed 1253 times
A panel of 15 theologians charged with updating the Bible for a new edition called "Today's New International Version Bible" have decided to add the words "to death" after the term "stoned" (as in "stoned to death") in reference to the type of capital punishment often referred to in earlier versions of the Bible, for fear that kids might have otherwise thought that the "good book" was advocating or promoting drug use, as opposed to the practice of brutally killing fellow citizens with sharp stones. Yet another example of how society's moral compass is starting to spin fast enough to create a pleasant breeze; at least it will keep us cool while we slowly sink into hell.
The original story is from the Observer newspaper in the UK, but I’ve also provided a link to the Media Awareness Project website where I first found this the article.
NO GETTING STONED IN NEW BIBLE
For centuries scholars have argued over the most delicate nuances of biblical texts, passionately debating whether key words should be tweaked to reflect cultural changes.
But, despite the fervent exchange of such learned views, there has been no fretting about whether the Bible endorses dope-smoking. Until now.
A 15-strong panel of eminent theologians and linguists was so concerned that young people reading the Bible today are confusing the phrase 'stoned' not with Old Testament executions but with drugs, that it has suggested a radical clarification to a forthcoming edition of the sacred text.
In an attempt to clear up any confusion on the part of Britain's youth, Today's New International Version Bible, published by Hodder & Stoughton on Tuesday, updates the original edition, published 27 years ago, so that people are 'stoned to death', rather than 'stoned'.
'We wanted to keep it from being confused with drug addiction,' Professor Ronald Youngblood, who chaired the panel, told the Church Times newspaper.
The clarification is an effort by the panel to modernise its earlier edition of the Bible, which became the most popular English language version in the world.
Scholars may sense political correctness in the changes. Out goes terminology such as 'he', 'man' and 'men', replaced by 'person' or 'people'. In comes an attempt to dispel anti-Semitic interpretations of the New Testament. John 5:16 now reads 'Jewish leaders', rather than Jews, 'began to persecute Jesus'.
The panel said that the changes were being made to 'increase understanding' rather than make the Bible more contemporaneous.
'There is a need to reach today's generation with language they can understand and relate to,' the panel states on the TNIV website.
Overall, around seven per cent of the original New International Version Bible has been altered in a bid to bring clarity to a new generation of readers. Some of the changes appear trivial. For example, Matthew's use of the word 'tunic' becomes 'shirt' and his phrase 'with child' becomes 'pregnant'. However, some changes are more profound. Use of the word 'Christ', which was popular with Greek-speaking churches, has been replaced by the Hebrew title 'Messiah'.