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Why did a Danish Bible translation remove references to Israel?

Copenhagen, Denmark

Recent reports are claiming that a new translation of a Danish Bible, Bible 2020, has basically been censored removing almost every reference to the nation of Israel in the New Testament. This was the first new version of a Danish Bible published in 20 years.

According to Jan Frost, who has gone through the new version in depth, Bible 2020 has replaced terms such as the “land of Israel” with phrases such as “the Jews” or the “land of Jews.”

According to Frost, 59 of the 60 reference to Israel in the New Testament were changed.

And even the Old Testament didn’t completely escape this renovation. In one instances, they replaced the word “Israel” with “us.” Instead of Psalm 121:4 reading: “indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” It now reads, “he who watches over us.”

But somehow the names of other ancient foreign nations, such as Egypt, managed to survive in the new translation.

So why did the authors of the new translation decide to remove the name Israel?

In a statement on the Danish Bible Society website, it did this so people wouldn’t confuse the ancient nation of Israel with the modern state of Israel.

But many are calling them out on this, because if this is true, why didn’t the Bible society change the name of Egypt found 25 times in the New Testament, because the same reasoning should equally apply?

Frost believes the Bible society removed Israel because it holds to replacement theology, that believes because Israel failed to fulfill God’s purpose, God replaced Israel with the church.

According to Breaking Israel News, many in the Evangelical Lutheran Church, that operates the Danish Bible Society, strongly support the idea the church has replaced Israel and that modern Israel has nothing to do with the New Testament Biblical texts.

So what is the relationship between Israel and the church? Has the church replaced Israel?


I believe the church is simply a continuation of Israel, as the church is made up of those who believe Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. This why Stephen referred to Israel as the “church in the wilderness” Acts 7:38, and why the Apostle Paul describes the church as the Israel of God Galatians 6:16.

The Apostle Paul explains it further in Romans 11, when he likened Israel to a tame Olive tree.

The tame Olive tree is made up of those who believe Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. This includes those in the Old Testament, like Abraham, Joshua and Moses, who were looking ahead to the coming Messiah. It also includes the thousand of Jews on the Day of Pentecost who embraced Christ as their Messiah as well the thousands of Messianic Jews today.

Those who did not believe, and that included unbelieving Jews in the Old Testament (Malachi 1:3), were compared to dead branches that were then broken off the tame Olive tree or Israel.

When the gentiles started believing in Jesus, Paul likened them to branches off a wild olive tree that were then grafted into the tame Olive Tree (Israel) (Romans 11: 17-18).

In other words, the church is simply a continuation of Israel, those who believe Jesus is the Jewish Messiah.


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