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Re: [liturgy-l] Translating Judaei

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  • Frank Senn
    Years ago Gerard Sloyan recommended translating even the Gospel text as Judeans rather than Jews. Frank C. Senn ... From: Douglas Cowling
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 29, 2010
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      Years ago Gerard Sloyan recommended translating even the Gospel text as "Judeans" rather than "Jews."

      Frank C. Senn

      --- On Fri, 1/29/10, Douglas Cowling <cowling.douglas@...> wrote:

      From: Douglas Cowling <cowling.douglas@...>
      Subject: [liturgy-l] Translating Judaei
      To: "Liturgy-Well-Done" <liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com>
      Date: Friday, January 29, 2010, 1:02 PM


      At its upcoming concert, the Tallis Choir of Toronto is recreating a 16th

      century Tenebrae office with the music of Tomas Luis da Victoria. One of the

      responsaries has the text:

      "Tenebrae factae sunt, dum crucifixissent Jesum Judaei"

      The simplest translation would be:

      "There was darkness when the Jews crucified Jesus."

      If this was a scriptural text such as is used in the Bach Passions, I would

      use a standard accurate translation which uses "Jews" and put a note in the

      program about the historical text of the Gospel.

      This text however is not a scriptural text. In fact it contradicts the

      scriptural assignation of responsibity for the Crucifixion to the Romans.

      It's a late medieval anti-Semitic distortion.

      So how should the translation be handled? It's one phrase in two hours of a

      secular concert. It's too brief to warrant an extended comment in the

      notes, although I'm quite prepared to call it what it is. However, it

      really can't be allowed to stand even though the musical setting is

      exquisitely poignant.

      I've half inclined to bowderlize the translation:

      "There was darkness when they crucified Jesus."


      Doug Cowling

      Director of Music

      St. Philip's Church, Etobicoke


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