Is “My Song is Love Unknown” antisemitic?

I’m reblogging this for Good Friday, less to re-engage the specific issue raised at the time but more to hopefully encourage positive reflection on how the hymn does challenge each of us about where we stand in relation to Jesus. “This is my friend, in whose sweet praise, I all my days would gladly spend,”


I’ve written a few times about the growing resurgence in antisemitism. I talk in terms of resurgence because this is a historic problem and whilst we think primarily of Nazi Germany, neither Britain nor the church has a good record here. Testimony to our failure include the writings of Martin Luther and some shocking examples of persecution around Britain such as the shell of Clifford’s Tower in York. The resurgence of the problem has also awoken us to some of that history.

One person on twitter thinks that they’ve found another example here.

They suggest that we need to modify the hymn in order to avoid the problem by changing “they” to “we”.

Are they right? And would it help for us to change the hymn’s lyrics? On this occasion I’m far from convinced and here’s why. If you take verses 3-5 on their own, it looks like the author…

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