Praise For Pontius Pilate: Good Friday, Our Corporate Overlords, and Bible Translations

This Blog Post Was Brought To You Buy Fox News Channel And Hobby Lobby!

the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”- Matthew 27:11

There are a number of reasons why I refuse to join a large website/network of blogs, and that reason is ADS ADS ADS. I want the content I provide to be ad free because I want to be unbossed and unbought to use the words of Blerd politician and queen Shirley Chisolm. As a Christian post-colonial, I have come to realize just how much money and belief in the free market dominates Churches, left and right. The monied in churches have the power at the grassroots level, she who gives the biggest tithe wields the most influence over the church’s politics, the direction it is heading, even to limiting how much outreach the congregation will do. I am speaking from a lifetime of experience, but I am sure others can relate.

Church history is filled with persons vying for power and wanting to own the church. Constsantine sent Athanasius, a bishop from Egypt who worked to set the canon for the New Testament, into exile. Martin Luther, who translated the Bible into German, hid behind his German princes. Thomas Jefferson, who did his own translation of the Bible into English, minus Jesus’ life and miracles and resurrection, hid behind the racist slavocrats of the early United States.

No, we don’t have monarchs or politicians in the United States running the church, even though they like to visit the pulpit from time to time to ask for our votes. In their stead are for-profit corporations with political histories that are anything but innocent. An unsettling trend is emerging where corporations are seeking to have a monopoly on “the” Church by gaining ownership of Bible translations and Bible societies. The fact that Newscorp that owns Fox News Channel owns Zondervan that produces the NIV is a HUGE problem. I would say this even if the owner of MSNBC or CBS News, whatever corporation. The fact is, that in the US, where multinational corporations have “personhood,” businesses dominate the body politik. This is far from what our Federalist Founders had in mind. Another development like Newscorp is the emergence of Hobby Lobby and its CEO’s work with ETEN (Every Tribe Every Nation. ETEN stands for Every Tribe, Every Nation, and wants to spread Bible translations around the world, putting them all under one room (a monopoly–surprise surprise!). With the surrounding controversy concerning,Hobby Lobby’s political commitments, I just have to wonder why no one is asking what theological commitments in the translations offered by ETEN? Which Bible translation companies will be excluded? Hobby Lobby is owned by the same people who bring us Mardel Christian bookstore, and I’ve blogged on my feelings about Mardel Christian bookstore. The latest works by moderate voices in Christianity are placed up in the clearance aisle where no one can find them while right wing extremism is presented as the only way to be a Christian.

Because translation is interpretation, not only are these companies going to export Bible translations, they are going to export Bible translations that do not challenge their belief systems, a watered down Gospel message. That’s not the Jesus that was crucified by Pilate. Our Savior. He was unbought and unbossed. Even in the depths of Sheol.

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