Better books for Eli?

Warning This blog is based upon, and contains, spoilers. I may revise it after watching The Book of Eli and you may not want to read it until you’ve seen the film.

The Book Of Eli opened last week and I’m going to see it on Wednesday. On the surface it’s your standard post apocalypse tale, with Denzel Washington wandering through the desert beating people up. And it has Gary Oldman as the bad guy- he’s usually fun.  So I’m optimistic.

Of course, as I spend too much time on the internet, I’ve read some spoilers.  I know that the book Eli carries, and that everyone’s so desperate to take possession of, is the last known copy of the Bible. Hearing this, some folk have stepped up and declared Eli an evangelical film. Though with the premise being that the apocalypse was the result of a huge holy war and a plot about religion being used to control people maybe some of us won’t get the same message from it.

If I was Eli I wouldn’t be toting around a Bible, especially not if I were surrounded by reminders of the sort of horror wrought by those who preached it and other holy texts. It would long ago have been consigned to fire lighting or toiletry duties (some of those good books are made from really soft paper) and I’d have gone raiding abandoned Waterstones for more useful literature.

For day to day survival how about Outdoor Survival Handbook: A Guide To The Resources And Materials Available In The Wild And How To Use Them For Food, Shelter,Warmth And Navigation and Food for Free? For longer term plans there’s The New Complete Book of Self-sufficiency and The Off-grid Energy Handbook. As an introduction to the sort of thinking needed rebuild a civilisation I’d grab something like A Short History of Nearly Everything and maybe Engineering: A Beginner’s Guide to explain some of the basic principles of construction.  The list could go on.  Over time I’d build up a library of such informative material, and set up a school to make sure others could read and use them.

The Bible’s an important book to a lot of people. But if you’re rebuilding civilisation, particularly after it’s been destroyed by superstition, it’s one of the last books you should be referring to.

That damned liberal biased Bible!

From Conservapedia, the project set up to counter the liberal bias of Wikipedia (ie its insistence on editing out lies) comes the Conservative Bible Project. [Right now that link doesn’t work, it may be back by the time you click on it.]

As of 2009, there is no fully conservative translation of the Bible which satisfies the following ten guidelines:

1. Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias

2. Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, “gender inclusive” language, and other modern emasculation of Christianity

3. Not Dumbed Down: not dumbing down the reading level, or diluting the intellectual force and logic of Christianity; the NIV is written at only the 7th grade level

4. Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop; defective translations use the word “comrade” three times as often as “volunteer”; similarly, updating words which have a change in meaning, such as “word”, “peace”, and “miracle”.

5. Combat Harmful Addiction: combating addiction by using modern terms for it, such as “gamble” rather than “cast lots”; using modern political terms, such as “register” rather than “enroll” for the census

6. Accept the Logic of Hell: applying logic with its full force and effect, as in not denying or downplaying the very real existence of Hell or the Devil.

7. Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning

8. Exclude Later-Inserted Liberal Passages: excluding the later-inserted liberal passages that are not authentic, such as the adulteress story

9. Credit Open-Mindedness of Disciples: crediting open-mindedness, often found in youngsters like the eyewitnesses Mark and John, the authors of two of the Gospels

10. Prefer Conciseness over Liberal Wordiness: preferring conciseness to the liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio; avoid compound negatives and unnecessary ambiguities; prefer concise, consistent use of the word “Lord” rather than “Jehovah” or “Yahweh” or “Lord God.”

More information at Thoughts From Kansas.