False conclusions about a new Danish Bible translation - The Contemporary Danish Bible 2020 - have circulated on various Jewish and Christian online media, creating unfounded theological and politicized speculations about what is a mere meaning-based contemporary language Bible translation.
Some media outlets are concerned that the word “Israel” has been “omitted” from the translation of the New Testament and also speculate that this is due to theological, political and antisemitic reasons.
However, nothing could be further from the truth. The words Israel and Israelites occur in the Bible translation more than 2000 times. In some places the word Israel is instead translated with: “the Jewish people” which is a translation that indeed makes sense, says former Chief Rabbi in Denmark, Bent Melchior, according to Christian Daily:
”Then, when Jesus lived, the region was not called Israel, it was called Judea. We are called Jews, because our ancestry lies in Judea, not Israel. Thus, in that respect I would say it is a fair correction, because it is not a geographical concept when Israel is mentioned in the Bible“, says Melchior according to Christian Daily.
Read more about the deliberations behind the translation in the press release from The Danish Bible Society.
What is a contemporary Danish Bible translation?
The new 2020 Danish Bible translation is an unauthorized dynamic equivalence (meaning based) over against a formal equivalence (literal) translation. The formal equivalence translation of the Danish Bible from 1992 remains the authorized Bible version being used in liturgical life and for personal use by the seasoned Bible reader.
Through a meaning-based paraphrase/translation of the Biblical texts into contemporary Danish language the supplementary Contemporary Danish Bible 2020 aims at making the Bible more accessible to first-time readers with no prior background for understanding the specific Biblical idioms and thought-world. Even those who are familiar with the Bible often find such translations refreshing, providing new perspectives to the well-known texts. Thus, this translation is a rather late Danish version of such translations which, over the last 2-3 generations, have emerged all over the world and have been very helpful in introducing new generations to the Bible.
The Contemporary Danish Bible 2020 is published by the Danish Bible Society. The Bible Society is an autonomous ecumenical organization and is member of United Bible Societies.