“You have to be taught to hate all the people your relatives hate, by the time you are 6, 7, and 8” Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, South Pacific.
There are over 10,000 Christian bookstores in America. Among their best sellers are Children’s Bibles – most with brightly colored illustrations and large easy-to-read type. Unfortunately, these children’s editions have contained some of the most heinous statements about the Jewish people found in the Christian Bible. This is especially troubling because they are not intended to be direct transalations of the original Biblical texts, but rather simply paraphrase the Bible so that they are understood by a young audience.
To ensure that impressionistic young readers receive information that is historically accurate and does not promote prejudice, the American Interfaith Institute (A.I.I.) contacted the publishers of more than 100 editions and we expressed our deep concern about this problem. As a result, most agreed to restate or edit their texts to reflect contemporary research and historical truth. To date, only 9 of 110 editions have refused to remove their anti-Jewish references.
“I also extend my sincere congratulations to the American Interfaith Institute for recognizing the need for change and modification of children’s bibles and actively working to assure that their influence reflects unification and love.”
Joseph Cardinal Bernardin
Archbishop of Chicago
“A children’s translation should above all in this day and age aim at mitigating the anti-Judaic elements in the New Testament. The work of the American Interfaith Institute is this regards is extraordinary.”
Professor of New Testament (Emeritus)
University of Edinburgh, Scotland
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