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Should we call the Old Testament the Hebrew Scriptures?

Full Question

I have heard some religion teachers refer to the Old Testament as the Hebrew Scriptures. Is this an acceptable practice?

Answer

Generally speaking, when addressing a mixed audience of Christians and Jews, some consider it polite to call the Old Testament “the Hebrew Scriptures” to avoid the negative connotations of the term Old Testament for non-Christian Jews. Since either term is accurate for Christians, a Christian who does not wish to alienate a Jewish audience might choose to use the term many Jews prefer.









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3 comments

  1. Cj Reply

    When attempting to not offend the Jews, please also remember to politely ask them to remove from their precious talmud references to Christ boiling in excrement and to Our Blessed Mother being a whore.

    You know, while we’re on the subject of not offending people and all.

  2. Chris McLaughlin Reply

    It should prevails be punted or though that not all of the Old Testament was actually written in Hebrew, some was originally Greek such as the book of Wisdom

  3. Philip Kruger Reply

    It is not just a matter of Jewish sensitivity. The word “old” has a sense of antiquated, and the word “new” implies improved or better. It is easy to infer that the “new” has superseded the “old.” It has replaced it. This idea of supercessionism had long been official Catholic thinking and that the Hebrew Scriptures survived as Catholic scripture only to demonstrate how those superseded writings prophesized the coming of Jesus and not as a living and vital covenant for the Jews. That Catholic theology has now been rejected. The Hebrew Scriptures remain a living covenant between the Jewish people and God. Are you not offended when Moslem scholars refer to the Gospels as corrupted revealtions, that is, revelations which contain errors and mistakes that required God to give a new revelation to Moslems. It is the same thing.

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