Should the Old Testament be called the Hebrew Scriptures?


#1

I have heard some religion teachers refer to the Old Testament as the Hebrew Scriptures. Is this liberal political correctness or is it an acceptable practice?


#2

Generally speaking, when addressing a mixed audience of Christians and Jews, it is 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 unnecessarily alienate a Jewish audience might choose to use the term Jews oftentimes prefer. When a Christian is speaking to fellow Christians, he may prefer to use the traditional Christian term instead.

It is really a matter of prudential judgment: If you, as a Christian, are seeking to share your understanding of Scripture with a Jew, and you can, in good conscience, use a term that person prefers, then it is in the service of evangelization, not political correctness, to use the preferred term.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.