While the world is hard on work fighting to flatten the COVID-19 curve, the Danish Bible Society thought it was all cool to release its Contemporary Danish Bible 2020 translation.
What was definitely a great initiative, however, did not resonate well with the world after Jan Frost, a resident of Denmark and supporter of Israel reported that there were 59 omissions of Israel in the recent translation, and claiming it was a blatant promotion of theological replacement.
Frost drew attention to the issue when he showed that the middle eastern country was substituted with words such as “us” and “the Jews,”. This includes “the People of Israel” being replaced with “Jews” and “Land of Israel” being changed to “the land of Jews.”
Other references to Israel were changed to refer to all readers or all of humanity. For example, The Times of Israel notes that in the new translation the word Israel in the verse “He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” was changed to “us.”
The Danish Bible Society has, however, denies censoring ‘Israel’ in their new Bible translation, saying its new “Scriptures” was made progressive for secular people. In a statement released, the society said the accusations of censorship were “fake news” and said the translation includes numerous references to Israel.
“The words Israel and Israelites occur in the translation more than 2,000 times and the words Jew and Jewish occur more than 500 times. For instance, Jacob is still given the name Israel in Genesis and the people of God are still called Israel or the Israelites in the Old Testament,” the Danish Bible Society said.
“Actually, in The Contemporary Danish Bible 2020 The Books of Kings and The Books of Chronicles have both been given new subtitles — namely, The History of Israel’s Kings 1 & 2 and The History of Israel 1 & 2.”
The Danish Bible Society said they aimed the translation at readers who lack a religious background, with various words being rendered differently.
“For instance, it does not use the usual Danish words for sin, grace, mercy, covenant and many other typically biblical words, which an average Danish reader would not be familiar with the meaning of,” they said.
“In the translation of the New Testament it 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.”
The Danish Bible Society also said the new translation is not considered the official translation of the Danish Folk Church and they continue to publish a translation that keeps all references to Israel.
Some critics, however, responded by saying that other ancient places with modern equivalents, like Egypt, were not changed in the translation to clarify their context.
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