“The Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures” (Vatican II: Nostra Aetate, 4).
The Second Vatican Council put an end to what is known as the ‘teaching of contempt’ whereby patterns of anti-Jewish sentiment, often based on a distorted reading of Scripture texts, had infected Christian catechesis for centuries. But deep-seated change takes time. It is widely recognised today that certain biblical texts, when not carefully contextualised and interpreted, can subtly perpetuate the very prejudice we so wish to avoid. The workshop materials on this page address this topic, highlighting some common pitfalls in teaching Scripture and how they can be avoided.