Conservapedia is a parallell to Wikipedia, founded in November 2006 by Andy Schafly. The idea behind the project is to create an encyclopedic resource on the internet "free of corruption by liberal untruths" (in contrast to Wikipedia). The website has now received over 100 million page views. One of the Conservapedia endevours, the Conservative Bible Project, is to create a new Bible translation. According to Conservapedia 20% of the New Testament is now complete. There is a news article in The Tennessean on this project.
The translation is aided by open-source editing. Conseqently, when news of the translation project reached The Colbert Report, some fans inserted their host so that Gen 1:1 was changed to, "In the beginning, Stephen Colbert created the heaven and the earth." Someone else apparently changed "Pharisee" to "liberal." This changes have been corrected.
The founder of Conservapedia, Andy Schafly, says that "translations like the New International Version have added socialist ideals to the Good Book." Schlafly thinks a conservative Bible should be masculine, and not use inclusive language. It should also avoids terms like laborer or comrade, and it should put a free market spin on the sayings of Jesus. For example in Mark 10:25 where the KJV has "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God" the Conservative Bible replaces "a rich man" with "a man who cares only for money."
However, the Conservative Bible Project has drawn a massive amount of criticism from all camps, including biblical scholars. Douglas Moo at Wheaton College, one of the scholars behind the New International Version, is very skeptical about the Conservative Bible Project: "Silly is probably as kind as I could be about it," . . . "Any serious people working on Bible translation know that you have to leave as much ideology at the door as possible to do a good job."
The Tennessean reports that "the most radical change in the Conservative Bible might be dumping two passages of familiar Scripture." However, these are not radical changes from the viewpoint of New Testament textual criticism since they are the Long Ending of Mark, and the Pericope of the Adulteress. Schafly refers to the lack of attestation in the best manuscripts. On the other hand he explains that the adultery story should be cut because it portrays Jesus as being soft on sin; "It's a liberal addition, put in by people who wanted to undermine the reality of hell and judgment."
The article further refers to Jennifer Knust of Boston University who has been studying the origins of the adultery story for years. She points out that it was liberal scholars who began to question its authenticity in the 1800s: "It was the liberals who wanted to take the story out and the conservatives who wanted to keep the story," she said. I don't know if Knust really said that the story was universally accepted until the 1800's, as the article says, because that is of course not true. It is safer to say that it was generally accepted in the West, although it did survive also in the Greek tradition. Jennifer and I have written an article due for publication in Harvard Theological Review on these issues, specifically on the subject of what Jesus wrote on the ground. See here.
Probably, many conservatives today will like to keep this story in their bibles. However, Dan Wallace is not one of them. He has said that modern translation's inclusion of the story is the result of "a tradition of timidity." See more about this debate in the article in Christianity Today "Is Let Him Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone 'Biblical'?" See also Dan Wallace comments on the Conservatibe Bible Project on his blog.
Today I am trying a new feature on the blog, mostly for fun. It is the first poll ever: "Should the Pericope of the Adulteress be included in our bibles?"