BBC Teach to edit inaccurate educational video

Readers may recall that last month we noted some inaccuracies in BBC produced educational videos. Using BBC Watch’s post, Mr Dennis Levene contacted BBC Teach to raise the problematic points.

In the response received, BBC Teach’s producer denied that in the video titled “J is for Jesus“ viewers are told that the Jews “…turned against him [Jesus] and had him executed by the Romans; nailed to a cross.”

BBC Teach stated:

“We don’t […] say that ‘The Jews’ turned against Jesus and had him executed.  The script says: “Eventually, many of the religious teachers and the people… turned against [Jesus] and had him executed by the Romans’.  This is fair reflection of widely-accepted events.”  [emphasis added]

Apparently it is not sufficiently clear to BBC Teach that – like Jesus himself – those “religious teachers and the people” were Jews or that the ‘Jews killed Jesus’ calumny has been at the root of Christian antisemitism for centuries.

The video titled “T is for Temples” tells viewers that:

“Centuries later the Jewish people were able to rebuild, only to have the Second Temple destroyed by the Roman as punishment for a rebellion. But a small part – the Western Wall – still stands and it is the most sacred place for Jewish people.”


“It’s [Jerusalem] also where the prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven. The rock he ascended from was incorporated into the Islamic shrine the Dome of the Rock. It’s built where the Jewish Temple used to stand and is sacred to both Jewish people and Muslims.”

BBC Teach’s response to Mr Levene’s email states:

“The Western Wall formed part of the second temple complex.  It was a section of the retaining wall of the temple plaza.  Because the terms ‘temple complex’ and ‘temple’ can be, and are, used interchangeably, the Western Wall could reasonably be described as part of the temple.” [emphasis added]

However, BBC Teach did concede two other points.

“The Rock is sacred to the Jewish and Muslim faiths.  But, as ‘BBC Watch’ points out, the Dome of the Rock isn’t sacred to Jewish people.  I don’t believe the script writers intended to say it was, but I can see how the phrasing of the sentence could give that impression.”


 “‘BBC Watch’ is right to say that Temple Mount is the most sacred place for Jewish people, not the Western Wall. The Western Wall should have been described as the most sacred place where Jewish people can pray.”  

BBC Teach producer Sam Datta-Paulin added:

“The producers of this content consulted with specialist educational consultants throughout the film-making process.  The mistake about the most scared [sic] place was made in good faith and we apologise.

We are having the film edited to correct errors and confusion, and ensure it is correct in future.”

At the time of writing the film remains available in its original form and has not yet been edited.


8 comments on “BBC Teach to edit inaccurate educational video

  1. Peter does say in Acts that it is the Jews that were responsible for Jesus’s death. In one way we should thank them for this. A person who is anti-emetic because of this simply does dot understand biblical teaching!

  2. The Pope and official Roman Catholic teaching no longer blames the Jews for Jesus’ death, but the BBC continues to do so! Can you imagine if they taught material that was as offensive as this about Muslims!!! “Specialist educational consultants” my foot! We notice that they are unnamed, and the reply has not even been proofread for mistakes. So much for BBC Edukashun!

  3. That the Jews were behind the execution of Jesus is, in fact, not a widely accepted version of events outside of believers. Scholars of the period have long understood this passage ot be an apologetic so as not to antagonize the Roman overlords in Judea. Jesus was viewed, in today’s terms, as a security risk – something the Romans always dealt with harshly and publicly, to borrow the French expression, “pour encourager les autres.”
    As to Mohammed, who somehow gets the moniker “prophet” where Jesus is not identified as “Christ”, his ascent to heaven is stated as if it were fact. That must be why the BBC left out the chimera he used for the trip. It’s after all unbelievable as a factual statement. As over a billion Muslims believe this story to a greater or lesser extent, I suppose the BBC would argue that this too is a widely accepted version of events rather than a tenet of a particular religion. At least, BBC should have pointed out that this ascension story itself arose as part of a later battle of political legitimacy between competing Muslim ruling factions. That would be expecting too much and might hurt feelings.
    At least the BBC agrees that the Temple was in Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount and was built over by the Dome of the Rock a/k/a Mosque of Omar. That means they will soon be hearing from Palestinian apologists.

    • Charlie, Just wanted to thank you for this contribution.

      The BBC is an Islamophile organisation. It is so in part due to the leftwing views of many journalist & editorial staff who subscribe to the false narrative that has Israel as oppressor & Mulsim Arabs as the dispossessed. This is based on the spurious left wing solidarity that “anyone who stands against our enemy must be one of us”.

      Additionally, many of the chattering class in the UK feel substantial guilt over the imperialist exploits of the British, and, to expunge this guilt, they indulge in fawning, patronising behaviour towards people from those countries that were on the receiving end of that imperialism.
      Those who so indulge fail to realize that this indulgent, patronising behaviour is another form of the imperialist attitude that they claim to abhor.

      In essence, their forbears considered “natives” to be unreliable & dishonest, whereas they now believe everything the “natives” claim. Critical thinking and honest assessment are missing in both examples.

    • elbhoy that is terrible theology,

      The good book says thus

      Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.

      The Jews killed Jesus just like they did to prophets God sent when they continually rebelled against him.

      We should be grateful they did kill him because without t it no-one could enter Heaven

  4. Since Christians are alleged to believe in the preordained destiny of Jesus surely it must follow that only one person is responsible for the death of Jesus.

    His father sacrificed his son apparently to expunge the guilt of sinning mortals.

    In this scenario, the Jews/Romans/others were all powerless to avoid completing the task that god had ordained for them. They were mere weapons of the deity who was Jesus’s father.

    Combining historicity with mythical tales & presenting it as an educational video is bad enough, but to load that presentation to give prominence to one mythical tale over another, simply to ease a political itch comes form a George Orwell “fiction” plot.

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