The Danish Bible Society has overseen the translation of a Bible in which they’ve erased numerous references to the nation of Israel; The society claims their chief motive is to eliminate confusion between historical Israel and the modern Jewish State; Accusations of Replacement Theology surface…and rightfully so.
In what the Danish Bible Society claims to be an attempt to avoid confusion regarding the modern-day nation of Israel and historical, biblical Israel, they’ve simply erased multiple references to Israel in a recent Danish translation of the Bible.
One of the first individuals to notice these significant changes to the Scriptures was someone by the name of Jan Frost. Jan lives in Denmark and he gets his support of Israel as a result of his study of the Bible. He reported that 59 of 60 references to Israel in the Greek New Testament were removed and he counted several instances where the original references were tainted (i.e. “the people of Israel” has been changed to “the Jews”, “the land of Israel” was changed to “the land of the Jews”.
While the name of the country of Israel was altered, he noted that Israel’s surrounding nations retained their original names. Jan took to social media earlier this week stating, “The old theological expression for this is ‘replacement theology,’ in which you replace Israel with the church.”
Jewish service organization, B’nai B’rith International stated in response, “We are stunned that the new Danish Bible Society publication of the Bible erases references to Israel — out of stated worry over ‘confusion’ with the modern Jewish state. Yet this surreal revision causes confusion and worse: whitewashing of history, identity, and sacred scripture!”
One could even call this “Erasement Theology” in that the DBS has literally erased the name of Israel from the Bible.
A History of Replacement Theology
In what is a sad state of affairs, Replacement Theology is not new. In fact, the temptation for such rationalization began in the first century AD. Throughout church history, there is a long line of examples of those who discarded the nation of Israel from the prophetic plans of God. Among these are some of the most well-known Protestant Reformers.
What’s dangerous about Replacement Theology is that its consequences aren’t limited to within the confines of the Church, as revealed in history. When the church creates an opportunity for anti-Semitism, the world is going to take advantage of it. The devil hates Israel. Why? Because it was through Israel that the Son of God came into the world, and it is to Israel that He will return.
God said His covenant with Abraham is everlasting. Reading that one time should suffice, but knowing how fallen humans think, God stated it multiple times. Thousands of years later, the Lord spoke through the prophet Jeremiah stating:
Thus says the Lord,
Who gives the sun for a light by day,
The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night,
Who disturbs the sea,
And its waves roar
(The Lord of hosts is His name):
“If those ordinances depart
From before Me, says the Lord,
Then the seed of Israel shall also cease
From being a nation before Me forever.”
Thus says the Lord:
“If heaven above can be measured,
And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath,
I will also cast off all the seed of Israel
For all that they have done, says the Lord.
Hundreds of years later, Jesus would emphasize His plans for the future of the nation of Israel. The apostle Paul would also remind the church in Rome that God is by no means done with Israel (Romans 9-11).
So, what? Why does it even matter? It matters for several reasons, but namely, our overall theology is heavily impacted when we cast Israel out of God’s plans. God’s faithfulness to His chosen nation is a reminder of exactly who He is. He is a covenant-keeping God.