Re: [liturgy-l] Translating Judaei
- 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" <email@example.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
I've half inclined to bowderlize the translation:
"There was darkness when they crucified Jesus."
Director of Music
St. Philip's Church, Etobicoke
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]