An other Christian WordPress.com site – Een andere Christelijke WordPress.com site

Posts tagged ‘Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia’

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #8 Selective Bibles and selective people

Some Christian bibles which followed the new knowledge of Hebrew words and used more the Jewish way of saying were condemned or considered ‘from the devil’ by several Christian groups.

The 2000 edition of the New Oxford Annotated Bible, with the NRSV text

New English Bible cover.jpgEven more aggressive than the New English Bible (NEB, 1961-1970), undertaken by the major Protestant churches of the British Isles, for which scholars translated from the best Hebrew and Greek texts, aiming to present the full meaning of the original in clear and natural modern English, the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Christian Bible (1989) for their translating Isaiah 7:14 as “young woman” was burned in fundamentalist pulpits and the RSV committee was accused of being in league with the devil. Despite all the uproar, in the first year, the RSV sold 2 million copies. Until the appearance of the NRSV, it enjoyed wide use on college campuses, especially in study editions such as the Oxford Annotated Bible (OAB) with contributors from mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, and non-religious interpretative traditions.

The continuing committee of the RSV and NRSV has been working and publishing for half a century: the New Testament (1946), the Old Testament (1952), the books of the Apocrypha (1957), a second edition of the New Testament (1957), an Oxford Annotated Bible with a Catholic imprimatur (1966), an ecumenical [for Protestants, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox] expanded edition with the Apocrypha (1977), a 40% condensed version of the bible: Reader’s Digest Bible (a project, led by John E. Walsh, which took seven editors three years to complete), which abridged the Old Testament to one-half of its original length (1982), and the NRSV (1989).

The Open Bible edition of the New American Standard Bible in the Church of Saint Mary, an Episcopal Church in Sagada, Mountain Province, the Philippines.

In those version one can find  more radical than the slight alterations in the most literally translated New American Standard Bible (NASB 1971 last updated in 1995) which sought to render grammar and terminology in contemporary English or the New King James Bible (NKJV 1982), which are both revisions of the KJV.
Richard Whitaker provided a concordance for the RSV in 1980. The NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible was published in August 1997.

Mostly conservative (Republicans & Tea party) Americans where against the better translations than those of the 17th century. They also resisted to accept that Biblical characters had Jewish names and lots of English people have difficulties to see those names restored. Bibles with names like Moshe for Moses and Jeshua (the real name of the Messiah) instead of the more popular English name Jesus (Issou = Hail Zeus) or where the noun was translated in a subject instead of what they were used to see as a name, like Satan for an adversary or sheol/hades/hell for grave and not a place of doom.

Around the turn of the 20th century to the 21st century many were keen not to have to spent too much time at bible reading and wanted only to see those pieces in it they like or which are good for the pastor to concentrate his sermons on.

As such we can call the turn of the century the time of the “Selection Bibles”, books which were called bible but only presented a selection of the bible and in most cases even only selections from the New testament.

Readers Digest Illustrated Bible

Not a small handy Bible, but more a coffee table Bible the Readers Digest Illustrated Bible could get some people interested to not only look at the nice pictures but to go and read the ‘illustrative’ text. Originally printed in 1990 it got many reprints and its popularity caused other editors also to present some illustrated and thematic condensed Bibles.

In shortening the text some went very far and some even tried to bring the language of their condensed bile translation in what they called a modern language,even presenting a bible in American slang and in the language of rappers. That Rapper’s Bible was one of the many short-lived versions which seemed to try to see the day light.

Today’s English Version

The Today’s English Version (also known as the Good News Bible) is a contemporary translation which according to the publishers seeks to state clearly and accurately the meaning of the original text in words and forms that are widely accepted by people who use English as a means of communication. It is is designed to be easy to read for those who are not familiar with the Bible. This translation does not follow the traditional vocabulary and style found in the historic English Bible versions. Instead it attempts to present the biblical content and message in standard, everyday, natural English and takes a lot of liberties in the way of translation the original texts. The aim of this Bible is to give today’s readers maximum understanding of the content of the original texts, which they try to do by telling what they think the text is wanting to say.

Good News Bible book cover.png

The international cover of the Good News Bible, used since 2004.

Some of the end of century translations said to have chosen to bring a dynamic equivalence, bringing the Hebrew and Greek  in a translation “thought for thought” rather than “word for word”.  But their paraphrasing went sometimes even further than the Good News Bible (GNB), which first had the Messianic writings presented under the title Good News for Modern Man in 1966. That version became anglicised into British English by the British and Foreign Bible Society with the use of metric measurements for the Commonwealth market, and got also known as Today’s English Version (TEV).

Like the GNB several editors tried to bring an English bible for non-native English speakers. The GNB was born out of the translation theories of linguist Eugene Nida, the Executive Secretary of the American Bible Society’s Translations Department. For some dialect versions and the Rapper’s bible we have no idea who created such translations.

Jargon-free English was used for the Contemporary English Version (also known as Bible for Today’s Family) in 1995, originally published by the American Bible Society and for the anglicised version by the British and Foreign Bible Society.

On of the books bringing a selection of the New testament was the “Youth Bible” which was also translated in many other languages and found its way in our regions as the “Jongeren Bijbel” with fluent contemporary Netherlands Dutch. It had a clear Pentecostal touch with its design and purpose to bring youngster to Jesus. With smashing yellow markings phases or words were enlightened to give an idea what the bible wanted to say. Though several notes, from Pentecostal view point, mislead people and wanting them to believe Jesus is God and that it was Jesus who had done and said certain things in the past, which God had done.

Looking at the way our society was going the  intention of that Youth Bible was not bad. The teenage years can be difficult and even in this day and age of more communication and better follow up in schools, the growing up youngsters encounter many difficult things they do not dare to talk or cannot talk about with their parents.  Lonely as most teens struggle to fit in and take on new responsibilities, media and peers both constantly bombard youth with the message that they are never good enough and will never measure up. No wonder most teens end up hopeless and lonely! Teens can use as much encouragement and love as we can give them! For that reason such a selection of bible verses was a real good thing. The given Bible verses for teens were a good selection to offer words of comfort and hope to our youth.  But the publishers better had called the book a selection of the New Testament.

On this line of thinking several other Youth bibles got published. As such we can find the New Century Youth Bible, first published in 1993, which has consistently been among the top three selling Bibles in the UK. The the New Century Youth Bible is based on the New Century Version which has its roots extending to the English Version for the Deaf (EVD) Bible translation (by the World Bible Translation Center, a subsidiary of Bible League International), and is a revision of the International Children’s Bible (1986) which was aimed at young readers and those with low reading skills/limited vocabulary in English. It is written at a 3rd grade level (from the introduction) and is both conservative and evangelical in tone.

The base for the New Century Youth Bible, the NCV had a translation team of 50 Bible scholars and translators which included people with translation experience on such acclaimed versions as the New International Version, the New American Standard Bible, and the New King James Version [(1982) The anglicized edition originally known as the Revised Authorized Version (RAV) New Testament 1979, Psalms in 1980, Old Testament and full Bible in 1982], claiming that the best available Hebrew and Greek texts were used, principally the third edition of the United Bible Societies’ Greek text and the latest edition of the Biblia Hebraica, along with the Septuagint.

The original New Century Version got first the New Testament published in 1978 followed by the Old Testament in 1986, released as the New Century Version in 1987. The NCV has been available as a stand-alone version since 1991.

This revised edition claims to bring the Youth Bible right up-to-date for the twenty-first century. Whilst retaining the original Anglicized text, this revised edition has over 25 of its Life Files replaced or updated. There are also new categories on subjects such as music, euthanasia and the environment. Also in the collage edition are new categories subjects included such as stress, music, image, euthanasia and the environment. What is very good about it is that this time there is also an  updated dictionary and topical concordance; Book-openers – practical introductions to help focus the  youngsters their reading; and a free limited edition CD featuring some new music.

Probably we may count the “Soul Survivor” Bible of “NIV Soul Survivor Youth Bible” in line with the “Youth Bible” but than with texts from the originally published in the 1970s, having received updates in 1984 and 2011 English translation of the Protestant Bible edited by Biblica [formerly the International Bible Society (IBS)]

Easy to Read Version

The English Version for the Deaf on which Ervin Bishop and deaf-language specialist Benton Dibrell worked closely together, was also the base for Ervin Bishop’s Holy Bible: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV). It uses the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (1984) as its Old Testament text with some readings from the Dead Sea Scrolls. Also, it follows the Septuagint when its readings are considered more accurate. Those who worked on the EVD/ERV followed conservatively the approach to translation that Nida calls ‘dynamic equivalence,’ referred to by Beekman as ‘idiomatic’ translation” and using a gender-neutral languagehttps://www.accordancebible.com/files/images/156499-custom.pngHaving Billy Graham Evangelistic Association behind the Everyday New Testament (Minneapolis: World Wide Publications, 1988) could have made it more popular. In 1988 Sweet/Worthy Publishing was acquired by Word Publishing, which in 1991 published another revision. This 1991 revision was more extensive, and it was designed to make the version more suitable for an older readership, with longer sentences and more fluent style. In 1992 Word Publishing was acquired by Thomas Nelson Publishers, which continued to print the 1991 revision under the name, New Century Version.

An other good bible translation in the language youngsters easily can understand (lower grades), which also was translated into a 12 year old children’s understanding Dutch is the Living bible or the Life Application Bible (1986/88) presented in Dutch as “Het Leven, Praktische lessen uit Het boek” (2001 Ed; Jongbloed-Heerenveen) as a a Study Bible published by Tyndale House Publishers. It has been available in a number of editions that use various Bible translations, and in Belgium was presented in English and Dutch with the paraphrased version “The Book” (“het Boek”) as basic bible text. The contemporary, easy-to-understand Bible is available in the fastest growing Bible translation, the New Living Translation, impacting the hearts and lives of people worldwide through the authoritative yet easy-to-read Bible translation that brings the Good News alive to readers of all ages. Designed for someone who is new to the Bible or for an unbeliever, The Book features a topical helpfinder, book introductions, and indexes that help people understand God’s Word.

We noticed that that version could bring many to understand the Bible better and to get interested to get to know the ‘real text’ which made them continuous bible students. fro such this could be a version we could recommend for young people, next to the Watchtower Youth bible, which offers a selection of bible texts in an easily told way.

Front CoverWanting to help developing healthy habits is one of the keys to successful living. Experts say that if we do something for 21 days straight, we can turn it into a habit for a lifetime. With that in mind the Life Application Bibles were created. One of the best habits anyone can develop is reading the Bible every day. “The Book: 21 Day Habit” is designed to help you get started. Set aside just a few minutes each day – before bedtime, on your lunch break, or whenever your day allows to read “The Book: 21 Day Habit,” When you finish the 21 days of reading, move right into “The Book” and keep on going.

Front CoverIn the continuing line of “The Life” an expanded book version of the Living Water for Those Who Thirst audio devotional was created. We best call it a topical devotional containing 150 refreshing encounters with God’s Word. Passages are introduced with a lead-in reflection, and each segment concludes with a short devotional that brings it all together. References for numerous related passages are also included for those who wish to expand their devotional time or study the topic further. It features 150 topics! Flexible–short devotions with references for deeper study.

We do like to remind all that for those life application books the language is not at all correctly accurate. The NLT is based upon Kenneth N. Taylor’s corrupted Living Bible (1971), which sold over 40 million copies in North America alone. Somehow the Bible searches for compromises but still has a very evangelical background, avoiding words which can make it clear that Jesus is a human being. As such for example is left out that we are saved by the blood of Christ and is translated “Salvation through Jesus Christ” (Page A47), having the ‘blood of Jesus’ a taboo subject in those days. Though when people would read it carefully they also could find “So we have these three witnesses.” instead what is translated in the KJB – “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” That could still bring the readers to think about the spoken characters which bring witness in unity of mind. Though many trinitarians where offended not finding three names bearing record in heaven.

In a time that more than 200 new English Bible translations were published just within 30 years, several of those publication tried to put the accent on Jesus as the God, omitting Old Testament texts or doing as if in certain Old Testament texts Jesus was saying or doing something when it was Jehovah God doing it, just to give their (false) proof that Jesus would be God.

The NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha

The NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of those selective bibles directed to a special group of people. As such we could find a Housewife Bible (also translated in Dutch, presented in a handy pocket bible format: Huisvrouw Bijbel), a Workman’s Bible (with Dutch version Werkmans Bijbel) and even a Prisoner’s Bible (also in a pocket size edition in Dutch, presented as the “Gevangenis Bijbel, Gods Woord voor gevangenen”). The idea behind that last one was that God must have a special place in his heart for prisoners. according to the publishers this  is shown by the frequent mention of prison and prisoners in his word, imprisonment being one of the most wretched situations into which humans can fall in this world.

The Prisoner’s Bible wanted to buck up the many prisoners in this world. With the knowledge that prisoner movements and activities are restricted, not only are they deprived of family ties and forced to dwell in some of the most vicious company on earth, it wanted to show them there is hope. Also where they can feel they are left on their own in a slave-like relationship where others who care little for their well-being, order them about, and even abuse them, there exist Some One Who is with them all the time. The small book they can have in their cell or take with them can bring them comfort and shows how God, whose love and mercy cause him to commiserate with the downtrodden, sympathizes with the sufferings of prisoners, and how the Bible speaks often, and with compassion, of those in prison.

Though the majority of prisoners mentioned in the Bible were not rebels, but rather saints cast into prison as a result of their faithful witness, their feelings and thoughts could be of good help to our present prisoners, and the bible fragments looked well chosen for the subject and its readers.

https://i0.wp.com/isr-messianic.org/assets_c/2012/06/scriptures-leather-thumbs-1-thumb-850xauto-342.jpg

The Scriptures – Leather-binding with thumbs

But all such prints with only a selection of the 66 books of the given Word of God, we can hardly really call a Bible. But the multiple versions published including the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 of the New Testament, we can find is mostly caused by publishers seeing an opportunity to fill their till. Some used the popular names for it whilst others went back to the writings using the name they could find by the Gospel writers themselves. The names given to the Old Testament in the writings of the New are “the scriptures” (Matthew 21:42), “scripture” (2 Peter 1:20), “the holy scriptures” (Romans 1:2), “the law” (John 12:34), “the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms” (Luke 24:44), “the law and the prophets” (Matthew 5:17), “the old covenant” (2 Corinthians 3:14, R.V.).

Concerning “the scriptures” we can think of any religious texts but in our next chapter we look at the ‘revolt’ in bible publishing world from the 1990ies onwards.

 

*

Find also

  1. Reader’s Digest Bible
  2. A Curiosity – the Readers Digest Bible
  3. The New Century Version (English Version for the Deaf, Easy-to-Read Version, International Children’s Bible, Everyday Bible)
  4. Website of the World Bible Translation Center: Bible League International
  5. World Bible Translation Center God’s Word or God’s Words? By Ervin Bishop, Senior Translation Consultant, World Bible Translation Center. Bishop’s article defends the “dynamic equivalence” approach by arguing that “the Bible is the Message of God expressed in the words of men.” (Also here.)
  6. New Living Translation
  7. The Book NLT
  8. The Scriptures (Online version)

+

Preceding articles:

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #2 King James Bible versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #3 Women and versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #4 Steps to the women’s bibles

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #5 Further steps to women’s bibles

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #6 Revisions of revisions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #7 Jewish versions

++

Additional reading

  1. Creator and Blogger God 8 A Blog of a Book 2 Holy One making Scriptures Holy
  2. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  3. Book of books and great masterpiece
  4. Absolute Basics to Reading the Bible
  5. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers
  6. Finding and Understanding Words and MeaningsArcheological Findings the name of God YHWHMeaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls for Judaism and ChristianityDead Sea scrolls at Drents Museum in Assen
  7. Looking at notes of Samuel Ward and previous Bible translation efforts in English
  8. Americans really thinking the Messiah Christ had an English name
  9. The NIV and the Name of God
  10. Wycliffe Associates supporting underground Bible translators
  11. HalleluYah Scriptures
  12. World’s tiniest bible to be presented at Israel Museum for 50th anniversary

+++

Recommended reading

  1. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 1: Introduction + Is the King James Version the “only inspired Bible”? + What about the claim that the 1611 edition of the King James Bible alone is “the Word of God”? + What About the Ancient Manuscripts of the Bible?
  2. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 2: False or Irrelevant Claims About the KJV [King James Version] and New Translations
  3. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 3: Do Modern Versions Corrupt the Purity of God’s Word? #1 The Deity of Christ
  4. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 4: Do Modern Versions Corrupt the Purity of God’s Word? + #2 The Deity of Christ
  5. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 5: Were There Heretics and Occultists on the Translation Committees of the New Versions?
  6. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 6 : Are Modern Versions Less Readable than the King James Version (KJV)? + Riplinger’s Errors on the NKJV

+++

Further reading
  1. The Modern English Version — First Thoughts
  2. In defense of smaller Bibles
  3. ESV Single Column Reference Bible
  4. Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 22)
  5. Plans and circumstances -September 5, 1982
  6. Christian Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Bible
  7. Muslim Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Qu’ran
  8. Lent: Let the Bible readings begin!
  9. Make the Right Choice
  10. protection
  11. It’s A Matter Of Life and Death!
  12. A New Bible Translation Classification System
  13. KJV – King James Version available in OneVerse Bible app
  14. NASB – The New American Standard Bible available in OneVerse Bible
  15. Which Bible Version can I Trust?
  16. Which Bible Should I Use?
  17. It Pleased The Father
  18. An answer to YouTuber WWUTT
  19. Differences in KJV editions
  20. Why I believe the King James Bible is God’s word preserved in the English language…
  21. Hungry? Don’t Read KJV!
  22. The NIV: the ‘holey’ bible
  23. Catholic Doctrine in New Versions
  24. The ESV “contrary to” Syntax
  25. New Age Deism
  26. Understanding Scripture
  27. Translation Principles
  28. An Argument about Bible Versions with Christians
  29. The Logic of Perfection
  30. Where’s “Clayton’s Bible”?
  31. The Action Bible
  32. The Received Text
  33. Questioning what God has said. 
  34. How I read the bible
  35. The Deutero-canonical Books of the Bible
  36. Which is the best English Bible?
  37. Is the KJV superior to the originals?
  38. New Version Errors
  39. ‘Edgy’ Bible Translations Often Overlooked
  40. A Succinct Critique of the Amplified Version of the Bible

+++

 

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #7 Jewish versions

Leningrad Codex (cover page E, folio 474a)

The Leningrad Codex (Codex Leningradensis) or “L” is the oldest dated ms. of the complete Hebrew Bible, using the masoretic text and Tiberian vocalization. This earliest extant Hebrew Bible codex, Leningrad Codex or the Cairo Prophets was written and punctuated by Moses ben Asher in Tiberias (in Palestine) in 895. Next in age is the Leningrad Codex of the Latter Prophets dated to 916, which was not originally the work of Ben Asher, but its Babylonian pointingi.e., vowel signs used for pronunciation purposes—was brought into line with the Tiberian Masoretic system.

Many wealthy Jews employed scribes to copy manuscripts in order to foster Bible study. When Abraham b. Ḥayyim di Tintori, a master craftsman had largely solved the problems of both vowel-points and accents it became easier to print Hebrew bibles.

Influenced of the Bibles and chronicles in rhyme produced by German writers from the ninth century onwards Yiddish bibles appeared in medieval times.

There are also rhymed Yiddish paraphrases of the Bible, which flourished in the 14th century, predating the rhymed translations. These paraphrases, unlike the translations, go beyond the original text and show the influence of German epic minstrelsy. The best-known work of this type is the socalled Shemuel Bukh, a rhymed paraphrase of I and II Samuel, the prototype of which appeared no later than about 1400, although the first printed edition is of a much later date (Augsburg, 1543). The Shemuel Bukh served as the model for a host of other biblical paraphrases in rhyme, including: three 14th-century paraphrases of Esther; one of Judges (14th–15th centuries); paraphrases of the five Megillot, which were apparently the work of Abraham b. Elijah of Vilna (15th–16th centuries); paraphrases of Judges and Isaiah by Moses b. Mordecai of Mantua (before 1511); and poetic reworkings of the account of the death of Moses and the Akedah. The last two display great originality, adorning the biblical stories with legendary motifs drawn from the midrashic aggadah, and endowing the biblical personalities and events described with medieval characteristics. By the 15th century there were also prose paraphrases of certain biblical books, most of which have, however, been lost. The existence of such literary works is indicated by the late 15th-century Ma’asiyyot (“tales”), stories in prose about the Akedah, Jonah, and King Solomon.

One of the most interesting rabbis of the Middle Ages,  Rabbi Samuel (Shmu’el) son of (ben) Meir (Rashbam) of Northern France his writings were going to be used by many and it can be seen that many aspects of his Torah commentary seem similar to what we find in works of modern biblical scholarship.

For non Yiddish Jewish Bibles they first only saw prints in Hebrew, which started in a 1477 edition of the Psalms, with each verse followed by the appropriate passage from David Kimḥi‘s commentary, an arrangement which does not appear again in Hebrew Bibles. His dictionary of the Hebrew language called Sefer Hashorashim (Book of Roots) (ספר השורשים) draws heavily on the earlier works of Rabbi Judah ben David Hayyuj and Rabbi Jonah ibn Janah, as well as from the work of his father the grammarian, exegete, poet, and translator Rabbi Joseph Kimhi.

The first Great Rabbinic Bible, edited by Felix Pratensis, who was born a Jew but was baptized in 1506, was published in 1516–17.

From the early 18th century, progressive anglicization of Jewish settlers in England and America rendered first the Spanish, and ultimately the Yiddish, translations inadequate for educational needs. The King James Version became current in spite of the Christianizing tendency of some of its “headlines” to the Prophets. The Pentateuch with haftarot published in London by David Levi (1787) appears to be the King James Version but without offending captions and with Jewish annotations. An earlier Pentateuch was produced by A. Alexander in 1785.

Portrait of Seligman Baer, from the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia.

The masoretic scholar Seligmann Baer, published an Hebrew Bible in single volumes with notes, except for Exodus to Deuteronomy, strictly following the Masoretic tradition. The volumes, with a Latin preface by Franz Delitzsch, appeared (Leipsic, Tauchnitz) in the following order: Genesis, 1869; Isaiah, 1872; Job, 1875; Minor Prophets, 1878; Psalms (together with a treatise “Elementa Accentuationis Metricæ”), 1880; Proverbs (together with “De Primorum Vocabulorum Dagessatione”), 1880; Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah (together with “Chaldaismi Biblici Adumbratio” and a treatise by Friedrich Delitzsch (son of Franz Delitzsch) on the Babylonian proper names in these books), were published in 1882; Ezekiel (with “Specimen Glossarii Ezechielico-Babylonici” by Friedrich Delitzsch), appeared in 1884; followed by the five Megillot, 1886; the book of Chronicles, 1888; Jeremiah, 1890; Joshua and Judges, 1891; and finally Kings, 1895. The last two were edited by Baer alone, Delitzsch having died in 1890.

Death prevented Baer from finishing the series. Attached to each volume were a number of Masoretic notes taken from the best editions and manuscripts, variant readings between the Occidentals and Orientals, between Ben Asher and Ben Naphtali, and various other Masoretic lists and enumerations.

The most comprehensive Polyglot Hebrew Bibles are Brian Walton‘s London Polyglot (1654–57) which contained texts in Hebrew, Samaritan, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, Ethiopic, Syriac, Arabic, and Persian (all with Latin translations), and Samuel Bagster‘s Polyglot (1831) in Hebrew, Greek, Samaritan, Latin, Syriac, German, Italian, French, English, and Spanish. More modern polyglots have contented themselves with giving the texts in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and a modern language.

Ashkenazi Jewish lay minister of religion, author, translator, editor, and publisher; pioneer of the Jewish pulpit in the United States, and founder Beth El Emeth synagogue and of the Jewish press of America, Isaac Leeser (1806–1868) who was well-grounded in Latin, German, and Hebrew and had also studied the Talmud tractates Moed, Bava Metzia, and portions of Kodashim and Bava Batra under Hebrew masters, made an effort to provide his fellow Jews in the New World with an English version of the Tanakh or Hebrew bible. He was the first Orthodox rabbi in America to break with European tradition and preach in English and wanted also the Torah in English.

This got him to present first the Pentateuch, Torat ha-Elohim (“The Torah of God”) in 1845 and then eight years later, adhering to the same Masoretic text that was used by the King James translators, he offered “The Twenty-four Books of the Holy Scriptures: Carefully Translated According to the Massoretic Text, On the Basis of the English Version, After the Best Jewish Authorities; and supplied with short explanatory notes. By Isaac Leeser. ” in Philadelphia, 1853. His complete Old Testament in English (1853) incorporated matter from the Mendelssohn school’s German translation and included the Hebrew text.

Criticism was that to much of the Teutonic protruded in the translation. His English being very Germanic, with long and complex sentences, but still the language of America.

On the other hand, the grammatical niceties of biblical Hebrew frequently came through successfully, and the scholarship in general was on a consistently adequate level. Leeser’s Bible would have retained much more of its deserved popularity well into the twentieth century — for it is generally superior even to such early twentieth-century authorized translations as the American Standard Version of 1901 (ASV)—had it not been for the appearance in 1917 of the translation sponsored by the Jewish Publication Society of America. {Harry Orlinski in his book Notes on the New Translation of the Torah (1969), p. 14}

This English Bible revision could be called “Jewish” in that it eliminates a few renderings that Jews have associated with Christianity (such as “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14 “young girl”), and also by virtue of its religious adherence to the traditional Hebrew text. Incorporating rabbinic readings of the Bible into his text via parentheses Leeser’s version stood as pre-eminent in the American Jewish community until the appearance of the “Old JPS” translation of 1917.

Leeser also believed in speaking to women, inspiring them, caring for their religious well-being. He wrote in The Occident:

The females, too, belong to Israel. And they also must be taught that they may understand and observe the law…. There is so much given to women, especially the women of Israel, that we may freely say with a great writer of modern days whose name we do not remember, ‘that we are always what women make us.’ When the child first begins to think, it is his mother who infuses in his mind the first ideas. It is his mother who teaches him to lisp the first words. If he is able to learn something of God, it is his mother again who instructs him to serve the great Being who is the creator of all. {Isaac Leeser: The Right Man at the Wrong Time}

After his death, Leeser’s publishing enterprise became the Jewish Publication Society, which still operates today. He was the forerunner of Artscroll, Koren and all the successful Orthodox publishers.

At the other site of the ocean in Great Britain Abraham Benisch the Bohemian journalist and theologian in pursuance of his mission, had came to London, where he devoted himself to Jewish journalism and literature, and acquired considerable influence in Jewish and Christian circles. he helped founding the Biblical Institute and its allies, The Syro-Egyptian and The Biblical Chronological societies. These three were afterwards fused into the Society of Biblical Archaeology. From from 1851 to 1861 in four sequential volumes he published A Translation of the Tanakh, Published with the Hebrew Text.

In 1896 C.G. Montefiore’s Bible for Home Reading was published.

Friedlander portrait.png

Michael Friedländer best known for his English translation from the original Arabic text of Maimonides’ Guide to the Perplexed.

Similar in style to the King James Version English Jewish people could find a Jewish Family Bible in English and Hebrew, edited by the orientalist and principal of Jews’ College, London, Michael Friedländer (1881).

Image resultIn 1905 the Hebrew Publication Society of New York put out Joseph Magil’s Linear School Bible. It’s a 2-column parallel Hebrew/English Torah (Chumash) for high school students.

After the Revised Version of 1885 had appeared, the London Jewish Religious Education Board published (1896) a pamphlet listing essential emendations to make that version acceptable for Jewish use. These modifications were among the material utilized for the version published by the Jewish Publication Society of America in 1917, which also took into account 19th-century Jewish Bible scholarship and rabbinical commentary (e.g., Malbim); the edition – issued by a committee representative of both traditional and Reform Judaism – was basically the work of Max L. Margolis.

The Central Conference of American Rabbis, the organization of Reform rabbis in 1892 brought a project to bring the first translation for which a group representing Jewish learning among English-speaking Jews assumed joint responsibility, but each person would take up a book to translate. Assigning different books of the Bible to individual rabbis and scholars did not look the ideal way to have a good progress. After more than a decade only the Book of Psalms had been sent to press. In 1908 the Jewish Publication Society of America agreed to take over the project. Under the direction of Editor-in-Chief Max Margolis, the editors included Solomon Schechter, Cyrus Adler, Joseph Jacobs, and faculty members of Hebrew Union College (associated with Reform Judaism), the Jewish Theological Seminary (part of the Conservative Judaism movement), and Dropsie College (a graduate school not affiliated with any movement).

They continued working on a version which essentially retained the Elizabethan diction. It stuck unswervingly to the received Hebrew text that it interpreted in accordance with Jewish tradition and the best scholarship of the day. For over half a century it remained authoritative, even though it laid no claim to any official ecclesiastical sanction.

The 1917 JPS translation.

The translation, which appeared in 1917,  with the full publication title The Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text: A New Translation with the Aid of Previous Versions and with Constant Consultation of Jewish Authorities, follows the edition of Seligman Baer except for the books of Exodus to Deuteronomy, which never appeared in Baer’s edition and for which C. D. Ginsburg‘s Hebrew text was used. It is heavily indebted to the Revised Version and American Standard Version.

The 1917 version is still widely disseminated through its appearance in the commentaries of the Soncino Books of the Bible,  a set of Hebrew Bible commentaries, covering the whole Tanakh (Old Testament) in fourteen volumes, and the Torah commentary edited by Joseph H. Hertz. Further, it has influenced many subsequent 20th century translations by drawing attention to the Jewish view of many passages.

Henrietta Szold.jpg

U.S. Jewish Zionist leader and founder of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America Henrietta Szold

In 1955 a renewed look at the Holy Scriptures from the Jewish view and tradition was taken. Reform Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf as a non-profit publisher got the daughter of the German-speaking Hungarian immigrant family of rabbi Benjamin Szold, Henrietta Szold (1860–1945), to become the responsible for the publication of the English version of Judaic works and for a contemporary translation in English of the Tanakh. The Jewish Publication Society of America wanted some new or more up-to date language and assembled a committee of translators composed of three professional biblical and Semitic scholars and three rabbis.  In 1962  they presented the Pentateuch and seven years later The Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, and Jonah, where offered all in a single volume for the convenience of synagogue use. It took until 1973 to have the appearance of Isaiah and Psalms.

Language evolving the Jewish community found the revision of the outdated 1917 version New Bible Translation in English for the Jewish People of 1953/1955-1962 also to obsolete and worked on a new version resulting in the “New JPS version“, abbreviated NJPS (it has also been called the “New Jewish Version” or NJV).

The procedure was as follows. The editor-in-chief prepared a draft translation of the entire Torah for the committee. Submitted chapter by chapter with the draft was a considerable body of data consisting, when pertinent, of the renderings of such important older versions as the Septuagint, Targum, Vulgate, and Saadia, and of more recent translations such as Leeser, Revised Version, the 1917 Jewish version, Moffatt, the American (Chicago) Translation, Confraternity, Revised Standard Version, and La Sainte Bible; also the more pertinent comments of such notable exegetes of the Middle Ages as Rashi (d. 1105), his grandson, Samuel ben Meir (Rashbam; d. about 1174), Abraham ibn Ezra (d. 1167), David Kimhi (Radak; d. 1235), Moses ben Nahman (Ramban —Nahmanides; d. about 1270), Levi ben Gershom (Ralbag —Gersonides; d. 1344), and Obadiah Sforno (d. 1550), as well as the works of virtually every modern commentator of merit, Jewish (notably Samuel David Luzzatto—Shadal; d. 1865; and Meir Leib ben Jehiel Michael—Malbim; d. 1879) and Christian. Wherever the draft proposed a new rendering of import, some justification for it was offered. The editor-in-chief usually kept no more than ten or fifteen chapters ahead of the committee, so that he might benefit from the thinking and consensus of his colleagues. {Orlinsky describing the early history of the version in the Introduction of his book, Notes on the New Translation of the Torah (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1969), pp. 17-19. The New Jewish Publication Society Version}

Harry Orlinski

Harry M. Orlinsky (1908–1992) editor-in-chief of the New Jewish Publication Society (NJPS) translation of the Torah (1962)

Harry M. Orlinsky, Professor of Bible at Hebrew Union College — Jewish Institute of Religion (New York), was asked to serve as editor-in-chief for the new translation, along with H. L. Ginsberg, Professor of Bible at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Ephraim A. Speiser, Professor of Semitic and Oriental Languages at the University of Pennsylvania, as fellow editors. Associated with them were three rabbis: Max Arzt, Bernard J. Bamberger, and Harry Freedman, representing the Conservative, Reform, and Orthodox branches of organized Jewish religious life. Solomon Grayzel, editor of the Jewish Publication Society, served as secretary of the committee.

Together they created a gender-free translation of the Bible. He also had helped the Protestant National Council with their Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible and then again with the New Revised Standard Version (1989). He was also instrumental in helping to get The Prophets (Nevi’im) (1978) and The Writings (Kethuvim)(1982) published as well.

A number of the changes for the 1985 version had already been projected in Notes on the New Translation of the Torah, edited by Harry M. Orlinsky and published by the Society in 1969 and in the publication of The Book of Job, in 1980. Subsequent research on the text has led to further revisions in the translation of Torah and some revisions in Nevi’im as well.

Afterwards four outstanding Torah scholars (Nahum M. Sarna, Baruch A. Levine, Jacob Milgrom and Jeffrey H. Tigay) with the JPS Torah Commentary series wanted to represent a fusion of the best of the old and new. Utilizing the latest research to enhance their understanding of the biblical text, it came to take its place as one of the most authoritative yet accessible Bible commentaries of our day.

In 1936 “The Holy Scriptures” was published and  revised in 1951, by the Hebrew Publishing Company, revised by Alexander Harkavy. In this Hebrew Bible translation in English the Tetragrammaton is presented by the Divine Name of God which is very unusual for a Jewish Bible. Perhaps this accounts for it not gaining the popularity of the JPS Tanakh.

The 1973 edition of the New Oxford Annotated Bible, with the RSV text

In 1962 in-depth academic research from non-denominational perspectives, specifically secular perspectives for “Bible-as-literature” with a focus on the most recent advances in historical criticism and related disciplines, with contributors from mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, and non-religious interpretative traditions, brought a Bible translation that could be used by any Christian or Jewish group. Edited by Herbert G. May and Bruce Metzger, the Oxford Annotated Bible (OAB) study Bible got published by the Oxford University Press (OUP) receiving a a matching edition of the apocryphal books as well as a version of the OAB including them in 1965.

Based on the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible it was renewed and published in 1973 under the name New Oxford Annotated Bible (NOAB) which got revisions based on the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible of 1989 and got a more ecumenical version in 2000 .

The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version 4th ed. Edition

The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha offers a vast range of information, including extensive notes by experts in their fields; in-text maps, charts, and diagrams; supplementary essays on translation, biblical interpretation, cultural and historical background, and other general topics.

Knesset Speaker Kadish Luz announced in 1965 that

“all Presidents of the State of Israel will hereafter be sworn into office on this Bible” (the Koren edition).

The Koren Jerusalem BibleThe first Hebrew Bible designed, edited, printed, and bound by Jews in nearly 500 years. This Hebrew/English Tanakh Tanakh Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Bible), edited by Koren Publishers Jerusalem was the first Bible published in modern Israel. The Koren Jerusalem Bible (not to be confused with the Catholic translation with a similar title) is a revised version of the Anglo-Jewish Bibles that have been accepted for home and synagogue throughout the English-speaking world. It was published just a few short years before the Six Day War. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel accepted The Koren Tanakh for reading the Haftara in synagogues, giving it great importance and authority, quickly gained wide acceptance among many different Jewish communities and became one of the most widely distributed Hebrew editions ever published. It rejects Greek titles, Latin numerals, and chapter divisions based on non-Jewish authority. The English text is divided up according to the traditional system of petuhot (open line divisions) and setumot (closed spaces) as found in ancient Hebrew manuscripts. This Koren Tanakh is in English on the left-hand pages and Hebrew on the right-hand pages and names of people and places in the translation are transliterations of the Hebrew names, as opposed to the Hellenized versions used in most translations. For example, the Hebrew name Moshe is used instead of the more familiar Moses. It uses Koren Type, created by typographer Eliyahu Koren specifically for The Koren Bible, and is a most accurate and legible Hebrew type.

Since the Koren Tanakh is produced by Jews who believe in the inspiration of Scripture, it remains free from the errors and biases of the ‘New Age’ approach to the Bible. {editor Koren Publishers}

The Bible Society in Israel derived from a phrase in the Book of Jeremiah, in the Hebrew Bible the name Habrit Hakhadasha/Haderekh ( ‘the road’ or the New Covenant) for its paraphrased bible (1976, revised 1991). It uses more basic vocabulary and literary style than does Delitzsch, and is similar to English versions such as the 1966 Good News Bible (GNB), also called the Good News Translation (GNT) in the United States or the Kenneth N. Taylor paraphrasings of 1962 New testament Living Letters and the 1971 “A Thought-For-Thought TranslationThe Living Bible (TLB). The Living Bible being the best-selling book in America we can imagine that the Jewish community also wanted a similar Jewish bible.

ArtScroll Tanach Series presenting the comments of the classic giants of ancient and contemporary times in a logical, comprehensible manner, like a master teach on an exciting voyage of intellectual discovery.

Stone Edition Tanach Student SizeFrom 1976-1993 work was made to deliver a giant of Jewish versions, the version of choice for Orthodox Jews, and one of the best selling among all Jews, where this publisher is concerned you are spoiled for choice. The rabbinical commentaries are so exhaustive that Mesorah first released their ArtScroll Tanach as 24 volume set.  A single volume of all 24 books of the Torah, Prophets, and Writings is presented in one 2,200 page volume, as interpreted by the classic sages of Talmudic and Rabbinic literature, with the Stone Edition of the Tanach.

In 1981 Moznaim Publishing The Living Torah by the American Orthodox rabbi and author known for his knowledge of physics and kabbalah, Aryeh Kaplan offered an Orthodox translation into contemporary English. He includes the rabbinic elucidation of the text, which he consciously interspersed with later rabbinic commentary and Jewish law. It was reissued in a Hebrew-English version with haftarot for synagogue use. After Kaplan’s death in 1983, The Living Nach was translated in the same style by Yaakov Elman for Nevi’im (two volumes: “The Early Prophets” and “The Latter Prophets”) and Ketuvim (“Sacred Writings” in one volume) by Moshe Schapiro, M.H. Mykoff (Breslov Research Institute), and Gavriel Rubin.

Inspired by the German translation prepared by the  Austrian-born Israeli Jewish philosopher, honorary professor at the University of Frankfurt am Main, Martin Buber and the German Jewish theologian, philosopher, and translator Franz Rosenzweig, Everett Fox translated the Torah (The Five Books of Moses, 1995) for Schocken Press. It uses hyphenated phrases and is printed in blank verse, and the personal and place names are transliterated versions of the Hebrew names.

In 2005 appeared Jay P. Green’s The Interlinear Bible: Hebrew-Greek-English (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers) based on the Masoretic text. The words are keyed to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. The print is much smaller than John R. Kohlenberger III, Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament (based on the Hebrew text of BHS and the NIV) But the Green translation does seem not as accurate. Volume also contains a Linear Greek New Testament.

Rudolf Kittel’s Biblia Hebraica, the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia were used as a basic for several Jewish translations and also used for the 1995 revision of the American Bible, maintaining a word-for-word translation style, presented by the Lockman Foundation as the New American Standard Bible, which is widely regarded as the most literally translated of major 20th-century English Bible translations. A committee consisted of people from many Protestant, predominantly conservative, denominations, Presbyterian, Methodist, Southern Baptist, Church of Christ, Nazarene, American Baptist, Fundamentalist, Conservative Baptist, Free Methodist, Congregational, Disciples of Christ, Evangelical Free, Independent Baptist, Independent Mennonite, Assembly of God, North American Baptist, and “other religious groups” prepared the original work (1963-1971) and more than 20 individuals worked on modernizing the NASB in accord with the most recent research, supplanting the 1977 text in current printings, save for a few (Thompson Chain Reference Bibles, Open Bibles, Key Word Study Bibles, et al.) It got further revisions from 1992 up to 1995.

Early this century Robert Alter translated the Torah in The Five Books of Moses (2004) and in a Chasidism translation created the Gutnick Edition of the Chumash (2006).

Rashi.JPG

16th-century depiction of the French religious scholar Rashi, acronym of Rabbi Shlomo Yitzḥaqi (1040-1105) renowned medieval French commentator on the Bible and the Talmud

Judaica Press, an Orthodox Jewish publisher, has published a multi-volume bilingual Hebrew–English translation of the Bible that includes the medieval French rabbi Rashi‘s comprehensive commentary on the Talmud and commentary on the Tanakh in both Hebrew and English, Complete Tanach with Rashi.

Although the Pentateuch has not been fully published in hardcopy (Genesis [in three volumes] and Exodus [in two volumes] only), Judaica Press also published a set of 24 bilingual Hebrew–English volumes of Mikraot Gedolot for Nevi’im and Ketuvim, published as Books of the Prophets and Writings. As in traditional Mikraot Gedolot, the Hebrew text includes the masoretic text, the Aramaic Targum, and several classic rabbinic commentaries. The English translations, by Rosenberg, include a translation of the Biblical text, Rashi’s commentary, and a summary of rabbinic and modern commentaries. {Free Encyclopedia Wikipedia}

Cover

The Jewish Annotated New Testament, Edited by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Z. Brettler

In 2011 University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies Amy-Jill Levine, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies, Vanderbilt Divinity School, and Marc Z. Brettler, Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies, Brandeis University, edited The Jewish Annotated New Testament. It brings out Jewish background of early Christianity, New Testament writers and can be very helpful for non-Jewish readers interested in the Jewish roots of Christianity, also making it clear where certain Christians went wrong in their thinking because of their insufficient knowledge of Jewish way of speaking and thinking. The book also explains Jewish concepts (e.g., food laws, rabbinic argumentation) for non-Jews, Christian concepts (e.g., Eucharist) for Jews.

 

***

***

***

*

Please find to read

  1. Magil’s linear school Bible, by Joseph Magil. Hebrew text and English translation … The five book of Moses.
  2. Magil’s linear school Bible
  3. Magil’s linear school Bible, or, The Hebrew Bible in its original language : self taught for teachers and students . . . : a new and easy method for popularizing the study of the original Hebrew Bible by means of a linear translation – Archive copy Robarts – University of Toronto
  4. Magil’s linear school Bible or The Hebrew Bible in its original language self taught for teachers and students, ., a new and easy method for popularizing the study of the original Hebrew Bible by means of a linear translation *EBOOK*
  5. Leeser’s Jewish Bible (1853)
  6. The twenty-four books of the Holy Scriptures, carefully translated according to the Massoretic text, on the basis of the English version, after the best Jewish authorities and supplied with short explanatory notes by Isaac Leeser
  7. Isaac Leeser: The Right Man at the Wrong Time
  8. The New Jewish Publication Society Version
  9. Samuel ben Meir (Rashbam)
  10. Rabbi Samuel Ben Meir (Rashbam): A Short Bio
  11. Jerusalem Bible (Koren)
  12. Full text of “Oxford Annotated Bible Revised Standard Version -(R.S.V.) 1952
  13. Living Nach – Sacred Writings
  14. New JPS+ Mari
  15. Online reading of: The Living Torah
  16. The Complete Tanach with Rashi’s Commentary
  17. Stone Edition of the Tanach.

+

Preceding articles:

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #2 King James Bible versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #3 Women and versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #4 Steps to the women’s bibles

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #5 Further steps to women’s bibles

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #6 Revisions of revisions

++

Additional reading

  1. Written and translated by different men over thousands of years
  2. Lord in place of the divine name
  3. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  4. Lord and owner
  5. People Seeking for God 7 The Lord and lords
  6. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers

+++

Further reading

  1. The Jewish Bible ≠ The Old Testament
  2. New JPS Commentary Volumes, Now in Accordance
  3. Your Life Without Torah
  4. From the Desk of Kenneth Seeskin
  5. From the Desk of Alan Levenson
  6. From the Desk of Zev Eleff: A Touchy Subject
  7. Torah on Tap; the Tragedy of Leadership
  8. The Jerusalem Debate – Eleven Objections and Responses | The Lamb’s Servant
  9. 613 Mitzvot & Yeshua keys to be Nazarene Jews
  10. Shabbat Lekh L’kha: Go Forth, in Jewish
  11. We Need A Word Make-Over
  12. The Completely Not-Boring History of the Bible, part 1
  13. Israel: Does the Hebrew Bible indicate the Messiah, the Anointed One of the House of David, is divine?
  14. Israel: According to the Hebrew Bible did the Lord ever become a man
  15. Did Avraham keep all Torah Mitzvot?
  16. Yom Teruah
  17. More on English Bible Versions
  18. Sermon: A Man Who Gave His Life that You Might Have an English Bible
  19. Dr. John Wyclyffe, Low-Tech Bible Translator
  20. Williams Tyndale: The Experiential Outworking of Sola Scriptura
  21. Was Dr. John R. Rice a Heretic?

+++

Related articles

Save

Save

Tag Cloud

johnsweatjrblog

Doxology rooted in Theology: Nothing more, Nothing less

jamesgray2

A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A WordPress.com site

Unmasking anti Jehovah sites and people

Showing the only One True God and the Way to That God

The Eccentric Fundamentalist

Musings on theology, apologetics, practical Christianity and God's grace in salvation through Jesus Christ

John 20:21

"As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you."

The Biblical Review

Reviewing Publications, History, and Scripture

Words on the Word

Blog by Abram K-J

Bybelverskille

Hier bestudeer ons die redes vir die verskille in Bybelvertalings.

Michael Bradley - Time Traveler

The official website of Michael Bradley - Author of novels, short stories and poetry involving the past, future, and what may have been.

BIBLE Students DAILY

"Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life." Revelation 2:10

God's Simple Kindness

A place to share your daily blessings

takeaminutedotnet

All the Glory to God

Groen is Gezond

van zaadjes in volle grond tot iets lekkers op het bord

Jesse A. Kelley

A topnotch WordPress.com site

JWUpdate

JW Current Apostate Status and Final Temple Judgment - Web Witnessing Record; The Bethel Apostasy is Prophecy

Sophia's Pockets

Wisdom Withouth Walls

ConquerorShots

Spiritual Shots to Fuel the Conqueror Lifestyle

Examining Watchtower Doctrine

Truth Behind the "Truth"

Theological NoteBook

Dabbling into Theology

Beit T'Shuvah

Redefining Recovery

%d bloggers like this: