Gershon Hepner

Ecce Homo, Look At This Guy   

Sarah Ruden, retranslating what the Vulgate translates “Ecce homo”: “Look
at this guy,” implies that Pontius Pilate hangs, on a colloquially sentenced hook,
the Jew who’ll die,
which makes him sound pathetic,
and rather sympathetic.

In the December 17, 2021 TLS (“’Look at this guy’: The necessary challenges of translating the Bible afresh” ), Catherine Conybeare and Simon Goldhill, reviewing The Gospels: A new translation, commend the way that Ruden translates the words that Pontius Pilate declares when dismissing Jesus: “Look at this guy.”  What a contrast with the traditional ‘Behold the man!’

Sarah Ruden’s comment to this poem was:
That phrasing, “Look at this guy,” is one of my favorites, but it’s had relatively little attention so far. I’m thrilled also that my attention to antisemitism in the Gospels is appreciated over there. In this country, people are frantically glossing over the topic, so I’m stubbornly insisting on it in interviews

About the Author
Gershon Hepner is a poet who has written over 25,000 poems on subjects ranging from music to literature, politics to Torah. He grew up in England and moved to Los Angeles in 1976. Using his varied interests and experiences, he has authored dozens of papers in medical and academic journals, and authored "Legal Friction: Law, Narrative, and Identity Politics in Biblical Israel." He can be reached at
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