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Customized Bible says "The Panare Killed Jesus Christ, Because They Were Wicked PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 04 August 2005
source: An excerpt from the book The Missionaries: God Against The Indians, Norman Lewis

Customized Bible says "The Panare Killed Jesus Christ, Because They Were Wicked"

 

To misrepresent another religion for fear of people converting is one thing, but to do so to one's own in the hope of gaining converts is another. Christian missionaries, unable to convince the Panare Indians of the Colorado valley to accept faith in Jesus Christ took to compiling books for the natives to read in their mother tongue, this was accomplished during 1975 and 1976. The compiling of the books presented certain linguistic problems, solved in the end in a very cunning fashion.

The problems arose because there are no equivalents in Panare for many words held as basic to the concept of the Christian religion. There are none, for example, for sin, guilt, punishment and redemption. Since Panare tribe lived as an isolated society in the forests for thousands of years, it is impossible to have famines, plagues were unrecorded and the wars that shaped our history were reduced to a ceremonial skirmish. The biblical dramas, therefore, were hardly more than shadow plays.[13]

It was soon realized, however, that before the Indians could be made to accept repentance and salvation - both equally obscure concepts to the Panare - one had to give them something to feel guilty about. The missionaries came up with an ingenious, yet underhand, solution - translate and re-edit the New Testament in such a way so as to implicate the Panare Indians in Jesus' death! Gone from the Bible were Judas's betrayal, the Romans, the trial, and Pontius Pilate. The text now read at the appropriate places:

The Panare killed Jesus Christ

because they were wicked.

Let's kill Jesus Christ, said the Panare.

The Panare seized Jesus Christ.

The Panare killed in this way.

The laid a cross on the ground.

They fastened his hands and his feet

against the wooden beams, with nails.

They raised him straight up, nailed.

The man died like that, nailed.

Thus the Panare killed Jesus Christ

It is clear that if this could create the feelings of guilt, nothing could. Now there was a talk of God's vengeance for the dreadful deed. The re-edited New Testament continued:

God will burn you all,

burn all the animals, burn also the earth,

the heavens, absolutely everything.

He will burn also the Panare themselves.

God will exterminate the Panare by throwing them on the fire.

It is a huge fire.

I am going to hurl the Panare into the fire, said God.

.....

God is good.

'Do you want to be roasted in the fire?' asks God.

'Do you have something to pay me with so that I won't roast you in the fire?

What is it you're going to pay me?'

One does not have to think hard in order to realize what payment was being demanded; namely, unquestioning submission to the missionaries' demands, the abandonment of their traditional lives and their customs, and the acceptance of Christianity. The Indians were terrified. The first Indian woman came forward and said:

".... I don't want to burn in the big fire. I love Jesus."

.... Here we had sat for almost a year teaching one believer and nothing else happening and all of a sudden WOW!

It seems it was a common practice among the Christian missionaries to accuse Indians of killing the Christ.

David Stoll, writing in SIL in Peru, describes a missionary teacher calling his Amuesha congregations Jews 'because they did not have faith and were killing Jesus'.

From the present discussion, it would seem that the Bible will be 'translated' for the benefit of winning the souls even if it requires gross deception and misrepresentation of the scripture itself.

In the Gospel according to John, chapter six, Jesus(P) is reported to have said: "I am the bread of life." In the time of Jesus(P) at least, and probably even today in the Middle East, bread is the "staple of life", it is essential and it is available even to the poor. It is a 'relatively cheap' food. If the Bible translators would translate something like that into the tribal languages of Papua New Guinea literally, what would these people think? In these countries, 'bread' is something only the rich can afford. If they read "I am the bread of life," they would immediately think "Oh, Jesus is not for me, I can't afford to become a Christian... " and this would mean a complete miscommunication. In Papua New Guinea the staple food is sweet-potato. And therefore this verse would be best translated by the missionary standards as "I am the sweet-potato of life" as well as communion/eucharist is celebrated with sweet-potato instead of bread. This way the meaning would be "preserved" and convey what Jesus(P) "meant" albeit the original text is re-edited. It is available for all, it is life essential, since for those people a meal without sweet-potato is not a complete meal. Perhaps for the Chinese, Jesus(P) would be the "rice of life". And to win the souls of some Russian drunks, a translation of Jesus(P) being the "vodka of life" would be perfect!

This explains many of the problems within Christianity; they can't make up their mind on the translation of their scripture as much as the actual extent of their scripture. And above all the deception of any kind is exercised to win converts.

 
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When you physically hurt me, it is violence. If you hurt me emotionally, it is violence. And if you hurt me spiritually, that is the worst violence, rank violence. When you convert somebody, you have to criticize the person's religion, his worship, his culture. All these hurt. When he converts, there is more hurt. He has to disown his parents, their wisdom and their culture, his ancestors and entire community. You isolate, uproot and emotionally unsettle him

-- Swami Dayananda Saraswati

 
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