Language in Narratives

Language in Narratives about the Suffering and Death of Jesus
Many of the biblical narratives, especially in the Gospels, make reference to “the Jews,” especially at the time of the trial, crucifixion and death of Jesus. There are biblical scholars who believe that English translations have, therefore, made it appear that Jewish people are responsible for the death of Jesus, resulting in a good deal of anti-Judaism. Here is an example of the study that has been done to counteract this problem:

The 2000 Bauer-Danker Lexicon (BDAG) Lexicon (pages 478-479) objects to translating the Greek words hoi ioudaioi as “the Jews” because it claims that “many readers or auditors of Bible translations do not practice the historical judgment necessary to distinguish between circumstances and events of an ancient time and contemporary ethnic-religions-social realities, with the result that anti-Judaism in the modern sense of the term is needlessly fostered through biblical texts” (p. 478). In other words, we should no longer translate hoi ioudaioi as “the Jews” because many Bible readers today will not realize that the Bible is talking about ancient Judaism, not modern Judaism. So it favors the translation, “Judean.”