Danish Bible re-writes scripture removing Israel from key texts
Danish Bible seeks to re-write scripture removing Israel from key texts
by Stephen Jenks
The Danish Bible Society decided this year to release a new Danish translation. Named The Contemporary Danish Bible 2020, this book has more than just an upgraded look and feel. The Danish Bible Society has decided to re-write sacred scripture. They state that in order to direct the interest of the secular reader, they have chosen to refrain from using the words for sin, grace, mercy, and covenant.
If this alone was not bizarre enough, they have taken it one step further and in 59 places in the New Testament and quite a few places in the Old Testament, the word “Israel” in the scriptural text has either been changed to “the people of God” or replaced entirely.
Defending their decision, the Danish Bible Society shows their lack of interest in biblical literacy when they state, In the translation of the New Testament [Bible 2020] uses the “Jewish People,” “the Jews,” “God’s chosen people” or simply “The People” to translate “Israel,” since the majority of Danish readers would not know that “Israel” in the New Testament refers in large part to the people of God with which he has made a covenant.
What would the Apostle Paul say about this in light of Romans 9-11?
One of the most telling changes made was their re-writing of Psalm 121:4 from “Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep,” to “He that keeps us shall neither slumber nor sleep.”
In doing so, they not only change the fundamental meaning of the text, but as Dr. Petra Heldt shares in her article “Denmark: Fake Bible Must be Revoked”: “As in this case, trading ‘Israel’ for ‘us’ is not simply replacing one word for another; it switches the concept. DBS pretends that we get the divine watchfulness. It has been stolen. The original recipient, Israel, has been replaced and robbed of its privileges. History shows that robbing Israel of its divine prerogatives has too often been the first step towards persecution and murder of the Jewish community.”
As in this case, trading “Israel” for “us” is not simply replacing one word for another; it switches the concept. DBS pretends that we get the divine watchfulness. It has been stolen. The original recipient, Israel, has been replaced and robbed of its privileges. History shows that robbing Israel of its divine prerogatives has too often been the first step towards persecution and murder of the Jewish community.
In an attempt to be relevant to culture, the Danish Bible Society is in danger of causing widespread biblical illiteracy and misinformation, which if left unchecked offers the perfect breeding ground for anti-Semitism and even violence.
What can be done?
The Danish Bible Society so far has turned a deaf ear to anyone who would challenge or seek to correct their error. We encourage all who can, to contact the Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org and express their grave concern and disagreement with the Danish Bible Society’s decision to publish this new version.
Further, there is an opportunity to affirm Israel’s place in sacred and contemporary history. Check out returnoisrael.org/declaration and consider adding your name to thousands who have done so.