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2/17/91   HATONN


[Note: The following excerpt is a direct quote (copy) from a Special Delivery letter to Dr. David Goldstein LL.D. FROM Benjamin H. Freedman, October 10, 1954.]


It is an incontestable fact that the word "Jew" did not come into existence until the year 1775. Prior to 1775, the word "Jew" did not exist in any language.  The word "Jew" was introduced into English for the first time in the 18th century when Sheridan used it in his play "The Rivals", II, i, "She shall have a skin like a mummy, and the beard of a Jew".  Prior to this use of the word, "Jew" in the English language by Sheridan in 1775 the word "Jew" had not become a word in the English language.  Shakespeare [1564-1616] never saw the word "Jew" as you will see.  Shakespeare never used the word "Jew" in any of his works, the common general belief to the contrary notwithstanding.  In his "Merchant of Venice", V.III.i.6l, Shakespeare wrote as follows: "What is the reason?  I am a Iewe; hath not a Iewe eyes?". 

In the Latin, St. Jerome 4th-century Vulgate Edition or the New Testament, Jesus is referred to by the Genitive Plural of "Iudeus" in the Gospel by John reference to the inscription on the Cross, "Iudaeorum: It was in the 4th-century that St. Jerome translated into Latin the manuscripts of the New Testament from the original languages in which they were written.  This translation by St. Jerome is referred to still today as the Vulgate Edition by the Roman Catholic Church authorities, who use it today.

Jesus is referred to as a so-called "Jew" for the first time in the New Testament in the 18th-century.  Jesus is first referred to as a so-called "Jew" in the revised 18th-century editions in the English language of the 14th-century first translations of the New Testament into English.  The history of the origin of the word "Jew" in the English language leaves no doubt that the 18th-century "Jew" is the 18th century contracted and corrupted English word for the 4th-century Latin "Iudaeus" found in St. Jerome's Vulgate Edition.  Of that, there is no longer doubt.

The available original manuscripts from the 4th-century to the 18th-century accurately trace the origin and give the complete history of the word "Jew" in the English language.  In these manuscripts are to be found all the many earlier English equivalents extending through the 14 centuries from the 4th to the 18th-century.  From the Latin "Iudaeus" to the English "Jew", these English forms included successively "Gyu", "Giu", "Iu", "Iuu", "Iuw", "Ieuu", "Ieuy", "Iwe", "Iow", "Iewe", "Ieue", "Iue", "Ive", "Iew", and then finally in the 18th century, "Jew".  The many earlier English equivalents for "Jews" through the 14 centuries are "Giwis", "GIws", "Gyues", "Gywes", "Giwes", "Geus", "Iuys", "Lows", "Iouis", "Iews", and then, also, finally in the 18th century, "Jews".

With the rapidly expanding use in England in the 18th century for the first time in history of the generally improved printing presses, unlimited quantities of the New Testament were printed.  These revised 18th-century editions of the earlier 14th- century first translations into the English language were then widely distributed throughout England and the English speaking world among families who had never possessed a copy of the New Testament in any language.  In these 18th- century editions with revisions, the word "Jew" appeared for the first time in any English translations.  The word "Jew" as it was used in the 18th-century editions has since continued in use in all editions of the New Testament in the English language.  Thus, the use of the word "Jew" was stabilized.

As you know, my dear Dr. Goldstein, the best known 18th-century editions of the New Testament in English are the Rheims (Douai) Edition and the King James Authorized Edition.  The Rheims (Douai) translation of the New Testament into English was first printed in 1582, but the word "Jew" did not appear in it.  The King James Authorized translation of the New Testament into English was begun in 1604 and first published in 1611.  The word "Jew" did NOT appear in it either.  The word "Jew" appeared in both these well-known editions in their 18th century revised versions for the first time.

Countless copies of the revised 18th-century editions of the Rheims (Douai) and the King James translations of the New Testament into English were distributed to the clergy and the laity throughout the English speaking world.  They did not know the history of the origin of the English word "Jew" as the only and accepted form of the Latin "Iudaeus" and the Greek "Ioudaios". How could they be expected to have known otherwise?  The answer is they could not and they did not.  It was a new English word to them.

When you studied Latin in your school days, you were taught that the letter "I" in Latin when used as the first letter in a word is pronounced like the letter "Y" in English when it is the first letter in words like "yes", "youth", and "yacht".  The "I" in "Iudaeus" is pronounced like the "Y" in "yes", "youth", and "yacht" in English.  In all the 4th century to 18th-century forms for the 18th century "Jew", the letter "I" was pronounced like the English "Y" as in "yes", "youth", and "yacht".  The same is true of "Gi" or "Gy" where it was used in place of the letter "I".

The present pronunciation of the word "Jew" in modern English is a development of recent times.  In the English language today, the "J" in "Jew" is pronounced like the "J" in the English "justice", "jolly" and "jump".  This is the case only since the 18th century.  Prior to the 18th-century, the "J" in "Jew" was pronounced exactly like the "Y" in the English "yes", "youth", and yacht". ...  The present pronunciation of "Jew" in English is a new pronunciation acquired after the 18th-century.

...The earliest version of the New Testament in English from the Latin Vulgate Edition is the Wiclif, or Wickiffe Edition was published in 1380.  In the Wiclif Edition, Jesus is there mentioned as One of the "iewes". ...

Jesus was described as One of the "Iewes" or "Ievves" in the following New Testament editions: the King James Edition, published in 1404-1611, the Tyndale Edition, published in 1525, the Coverdale Edition, published in 1535, the Cranmer Edition, published in 1539, the Geneva Edition, published in 1540-1557, the Rheims Edition, published in 1582. ...

My dear, Dr. Goldstein, if the generally accepted understanding today of the English "Jew" and "Judean" conveyed the identical implications, inferences and innuendos as both rightly should, it would make no difference which of these two words was used when referring to Jesus in the New Testament or elsewhere.  But the implications, inferences, and innuendoes today conveyed by these two words are as different as black is from white.  The word "Jew" today is never regarded as a synonym for "Judean" nor is "Judean" regarded as a synonym for "Jew".

As I have explained, when the word "Jew" was first introduced into the English language in the 18th-century, its one and only implication, inference, and innuendo were "Judean".  However, during the 18th, 19th, and 20th-centuries a well-organized and well-financed international "pressure group" created a so-called "secondary meaning" for the word "Jew" among the English-speaking peoples of the world.  This so-called "secondary meaning" for the word "Jew" bears no relation whatsoever to the 18th-century original connotation of the word "Jew".  It is a misrepresentation. 

... Well-planned and well-financed world-wide publicity through every available media by well-organized groups of so-called or self-styled "Jews" for three centuries has created a "secondary meaning" for the word "Jew" which has completely "blacked out" the original and correct meaning of the word "Jew".  There can be no doubt about it.

... The generally accepted "secondary meaning" of the word "Jew" today with practically no exceptions is made up of four almost universally-believed theories.  These four theories are that a so-called or self-styled "Jew" is

(1)   a person who today professes the form of religious worship known as "Judaism",

(2)   a person who claims to belong to a racial group associated with the ancient Semites,

(3)   a person directly the descended of an ancient nation which thrived in Palestine in Bible history,

(4)   a person blessed by Divine intentional design with certain superior cultural characteristics denied other racial, religious, or national groups, all rolled into one.

The present generally accepted "secondary meaning" of the word "Jew" is fundamentally responsible for the confusion in the minds of Christians regarding elementary tenets of the Christian faith.  It is likewise responsible today to a very great extent for the dilution of the devotion of countless Christians for their Christian faith.  The implications, inferences, and innuendoes of the word "Jew" today, to the preponderant majority of intelligent and informed Christians, are contradictory and in complete conflict with incontestable historic fact.  Christians who cannot be fooled any longer are suspect to the Christian clergy who continue to repeat, and repeat, and repeat ad nauseam their pet theme song "Jesus was a Jew".  It actually now approaches psychosis.

Countless Christians know today that they were "brain-washed" by the Christian clergy on the subject "Jesus was a Jew". ... Christians now are demanding from the Christian clergy "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth".  It is now time for the Christian clergy to tell Christians what they should have told them long ago.  Of all religious groups in the world, Christians appear to be the least informed of any on this subject.  Have their religious leaders been reckless with the truth?

... Christians will no longer believe that the race, religion, nationality, and culture of so-called or self-styled "Jews" today or their ancestors have a common origin or character.

... Christians everywhere today are seeking to learn the authentic relationship between the so-called and self-styled "Jews" throughout the world today and the "Judeans" who populated "Judea" before, during, and after the time of Jesus.

... Jesus abhorred and denounced the form of religious worship practiced in Judea in His lifetime and which is known and practiced today under its new name "Judaism".  The religious belief was then known as "Pharisaism".  The Christian clergy learned that in their theological seminary days but have never made any attempt to make that clear to Christians.



Source: PHOENIX JOURNAL EXPRESS - EXTRA, Volume 9, Number 6.5, Pages 11-15. 

Read the complete document: "Facts are Facts" by Benjamin (Ben) H Freedman - Paperback - First ..