Messianic Bible translations

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Messianic Bible translations are translations, or editions of translations, in English of the Christian Bible, some of which are widely used in the Messianic Judaism and Hebrew Roots communities.

They are not the same as Jewish English Bible translations, although they are often translated by Jewish Christian scholars. They are often not standard straight English translations of the Christian Bible, but are translations which specifically incorporate Jewish elements for a Jewish audience.

These elements include, but are not limited to, the use of the Hebrew names for all books, the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) ordering for the books of the Old Testament, both testaments being named their Hebrew names (Tanakh and Brit Chadasha). This approach also includes the New Testament being translated with the preference of spelling names (people, concepts and place names) in transliterated Hebrew rather than directly translated from Greek into English. Some Sacred Name Bibles such as the Hallelujah Scriptures, conform to these elements and are therefore may be considered Messianic Bibles as well.


Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)[edit]

Complete Jewish Bible
Complete Bible
Textual basisOT: Masoretic Text . NT: Greek New Testament 3rd Edition UBS, 1975. Ancient Greek source manuscripts into modern English with some Yiddish expressions.
Translation typeDynamic equivalence
Reading levelHigh School
CopyrightJewish New Testament Publications, Inc.
Religious affiliationMessianic Judaism
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was unformed and void, darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the water. 3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed.

The Complete Jewish Bible (sometimes referred to as the CJB)[1] is a translation of the Bible into English by David H. Stern. It consists of both Stern's revised translation of the Old Testament (Tanakh) plus his original Jewish New Testament (B'rit Hadashah) translation in one volume. It was published in its entirety in 1998 by Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc.[2]

The Old Testament translation is a paraphrase of the public domain 1917 Jewish Publication Society Version, although scholar Bruce Metzger notes that where Stern disagreed with the JPS version, he translated from the Masoretic Text himself. The New Testament section is Stern's original translation from the ancient Greek.

Stern states that his purpose for producing the Complete Jewish Bible was "to restore God's Word to its original Jewish context and culture as well as be in easily read modern English." This translation was also intended to be fully functional for Messianic Jewish congregations.

Stern follows the order and the names of the Old Testament books in the Hebrew Bible, rather than those of typical Christian Bibles. He uses Hebrew names for people and places, such as Eliyahu for "Elijah", and Sha'ul for "Saul." The work also incorporates Hebrew and Yiddish expressions that Stern refers to as "Jewish English", such as matzah for "unleavened bread"[3] and mikveh for "ritual immersion pool".[4]

Tree of Life Version of the Holy Scriptures (TLV)[edit]

The Tree of Life Version, first published in 2011, is a Messianic Jewish translation of the Hebrew Bible (or TA-NA-KH) and the New Testament (or New Covenant) sponsored by the Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society and The King's University.[5]

According to the publisher, Baker Books, the Tree of Life Version is intended to be a translation that "speaks with a decidedly Jewish-friendly voice [...] to recover the authentic context of the Bible and the Christian faith." The sponsors of the translation sought to restore to the biblical texts "their actual Jewish essence," which, in their view, is lost in most English translations. Specifically, the project sought to restore "the Jewish order of the books of the Old Testament," "the Jewish name of the Messiah, Yeshua," "reverence for the four-letter unspoken name of God," and "Hebrew transliterated terms, such as shalom, shofar, and shabbat."[6]

The team of Messianic Jewish and Christian scholars commissioned to work on the project included Dr. Jeffrey L. Seif, Rabbi Dr. Jeffrey Feinberg, Rabbi Dr. Glenn Blank, Dr. Hellene Dallaire, Rabbi Jeff Adler, Rabbi Barney Kasdan, Dr. Vered Hillel. Other contributors included Mark Anthony, Michael L. Brown, Dr. Jack Cairns, Dr. Mordechai Cohen, Pat Feinberg, Dr. John Fischer, Dr. Patrice Fischer, Dr. Steve Galiley, Dr. Ray Gannon, Dr. Henri Goulet, Dr. Ihab Griess, David Harris, Dr. Stanley Horton, Dr. Daniel Juster, Liz Kasdan, Elliot Klayman, Dr. Seth Klayman, Dr. Craig Keener, Phillip Lanning, Dr. Barrie Mallin, Dr. Shawn Moir, Dr. Richard Nicol, Dr. Seth Postell, Dr. David Rothstein, Dr. Noel Rabinowitz, Dr. Rich Robinson, Dr. Matthew Salathe, Dr. Jim Sibley, Josh Sofaer, Dr. Greg Stone, Rabbi Eric Tokajer, John Taylor, Myles Weiss, Dr. Randy Weiss, Dr. Lon Wiksel, and Dr. Wayne Wilks.[7]

New Jerusalem Version (NJV)[edit]

New Jerusalem Version
Complete Bible
Textual basisOT: Masoretic Text . NT: Majority Text.
Translation typeWord-for-word
Reading levelHigh School
CopyrightHineni Publishers
Religious affiliationMessianic Judaism
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was chaos and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep, and the Ruach Elohim hovered over the face of the waters. 3 God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

The New Jerusalem Version is an English Messianic Bible translation first published in 2019 by Hineni Publishers. It’s primarily an update of the 1901 ASV, WEB and “The Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text,’’ published in 1917 by the Jewish Publication Society. It consists of both the TANAKH (Old Testament) and the Brit Chadashah (New Covenant). The TANAKH is based on the Masoretic text and the Brit Chadashah is mainly based on the Majority Text.[8]

According to the Publisher, Hineni Publishers, the goal of the New Jerusalem Version is to make the personal name of God known to English-speaking people from all around the world, and to help the reader to rediscover the Hebrew roots of the Bible. Where the personal unutterable name of God occurs in the Masoretic Text, the original Hebrew יהוה (the Tetragrammaton) has been preserved; and the name of the Messiah has been transliterated from Hebrew: Yeshua. Book titles are in both English and Hebrew,[9] and several Hebrew words such as shalom, Torah, kohen, Sheol, Gehinnom, etc. have been transliterated.[10]

The publisher states the New Jerusalem Version distinguishes itself from most English Bibles by restoring the:

  • Personal unutterable Hebrew name of God: יהוה
  • Hebrew name of the Messiah: Yeshua
  • Feasts of God: Pesach, Shavuot, Yom Kippur, etc.
  • Names of God: Adonai Elohim Tzva’ot, El Shaddai, El Elyon, etc.
  • Order of books: following the Jewish tradition of the TANAKH (Torah, Nevi’im, Ketuvim).[11]


  1. ^ "Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) - Version Information -".
  2. ^ "The Complete Jewish Bible". Bible Study Tools.
  3. ^ "Exodus 12:8 - CJB - That night, they are to eat the meat, roasted i..." Bible Study Tools.
  4. ^ "Ephesians 5:26 - CJB - in order to set it apart for God, making it cle..." Bible Study Tools.
  5. ^ Holy Scriptures. Tree of Life Version. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2015. Page iv.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Holy Scriptures. Tree of Life Version. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2015. Pages x-xii.
  8. ^ NJV Bible, New Jerusalem Version. Hineni Publishers, 2019. Preface. ISBN 978-90-829625-0-5
  9. ^ NJV Bible, New Jerusalem Version. Hineni Publishers, 2019. Table of Contents. ISBN 978-90-829625-0-5
  10. ^ NJV Bible, New Jerusalem Version. Hineni Publishers, 2019.Glossary. ISBN 978-90-829625-0-5
  11. ^ NJV Bible, New Jerusalem Version. Hineni Publishers, 2019. Hebrew Roots. ISBN 978-90-829625-0-5

External links[edit]