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It is not uncommon these days for different groups to come out with a new Bible translation. Some of them are really excellent and are produced by Bible societies or other Christian organizations that have a particular interest in an accurate Bible translation. Others are produced by organizations or individuals who just want a translation that is easy for people to read. The level of scholarship in these translations can vary quite widely, with some being fairly good and others not so good. Then, there are translations made by organizations or religious groups that have a built-in bias concerning particular theological points of view they want to promote. Virtually all of these are full of both intentional and unintentional errors.
Then there is this: PETA (yes that PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), has come up with their own translation of the book of Genesis. The title of their book is, The Book: PETA’s Version of the Creation Story. Their purpose in doing this was to produce a “Cruelty-Free Story of Creation.” They made this translation by giving the Bible a “vegan” makeover. In creating this translation, they are specifically hoping to appeal to Gen Z.
PETA president Ingrid Newkirk in introducing this work, said, “The Bible has long been used to justify all forms of oppression, so we’ve used ChatGPT to make it clear that a loving God would never endorse exploitation of or cruelty to animals.” She continued, “It took God only six days to create the entire world, but we realized it would take us years to rewrite the whole Bible, which is why we’ve started with just the first book.”
So, exactly what kind of changes have they made? Here is a description of a few of their “innovations.”
- In the beginning, all animals were treated with respect.
- Animals are referred to as “beings” rather than “beasts” or “creatures.”
- Plant fibers, like hemp and bamboo, are used in place of animal skins for clothing (after all, no one with any fashion or moral sense would wear animal skins).
- Abraham travels to the land of Moriah and befriends a gentle lamb to show his reverence and respect for God’s creation, rather than slaughtering a ram to demonstrate his faith.
- Abraham and Sarah adopted a dog named Herbie.
- As they walked with Herbie, Sarah and Abraham discussed the importance of adopting dogs and cats from shelters and rescue organizations, rather than purchasing them from breeders.
Of course, this is just PETA being PETA. They have a long history of using controversial methods for gaining publicity. This time they have added profane to their repertoire.
But honestly, they don’t care how they come across. Their radical animal rights activism is based on a worldview foundation that has no objective moral basis, so they feel quite free to make up their own morality as they go along. To more fully explain PETA’s point of view, it is quite helpful to compare their view to a Christian perspective.
Christian values come from the Bible. The Bible teaches that God created all life, so it is true that animal life has value. However, it is not valuable in the same way as human life. Human beings were created “in the image of God,” No other animal life can claim that status. As far as the relationship between human life and animal life in His created system, God made man to be stewards of His creation. As such, we are to manage it according to the values He has revealed in Scripture. In this system, animals may be used for food and clothing. At the same time, they are not to be abused.
PETA’s value system comes from an entirely different place. It is based on Naturalism – the belief that the natural universe operating by natural laws is all that exists. Based on that belief, there is no God, so no objective source for morality. They believe that all of life came into existence completely through natural evolutionary means. With that as a starting point, there is nothing special at all about human beings beyond that fact that they are the animal creature with the most highly evolved brain. All other animals are just as special as man with their own unique strengths, and man has no right to kill other animals for food or clothing (which is rather interesting since the law of the jungle is actually the way of nature). The moral imperative that PETA goes by has no objective basis whatsoever. They only believe it because ... well, just because that’s the moral system they have adopted.
As should be obvious by now, there is no science to back up PETA’s beliefs. They believe them as a matter of faith. It is a religious point of view. For that reason, rather than borrowing a religious text from another faith and perverting it in a way that turns it into something it is not, they should have the integrity to just write their own. Well, actually they are even too lazy to do that. They got ChatGPT to do it for them. SMH.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books entitled The Truth Mirage, Rules for Christians Radicals, Liberalism vs. Conservatism, and his latest book Shattering the Truth Mirage and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.
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