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What is the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)?

Complete Jewish Bible, CJB

Question: "What is the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)?"

Complete Jewish Bible - History

The Complete Jewish Bible was translated by David H. Stern, an Israel-based Messianic Jewish theologian. Published in 1998 by Jewish New Testament Publications, the CJB claims to be “Jewish in manner and presentation.” The names of the books are Jewish along with their English names (if different). Semitic names are used for people and places. It also incorporates Hebrew and Yiddish expressions that Stern refers to as “Jewish English.”

Complete Jewish Bible - Translation method
The Complete Jewish Bible Old Testament is a paraphrase of the 1917 Jewish Publication Society version of the Tanakh (also known as the Masoretic Text). The New Testament is an original translation from the ancient Greek. The CJB is a free translation, with Yiddish and modern Jewish cultural expressions. Stern claims 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."

Complete Jewish Bible - Pro’s and Con’s
Restoring the "Jewishness" of the Bible is a good thing. The Bible was written predominantly by Jews and to a Jewish audience. The Complete Jewish Bible should be commended for recognizing those facts. Overall, the CJB is a good and accurate translation of the Bible. It does tend to be too "free" in its renderings, sometimes interpreting instead of translating. Also, although it was in no sense the purpose of the Complete Jewish Bible, the idea of there being a separate Bible for Jews can lead toward division in the Body of Christ.

Complete Jewish Bible - Sample Verses
John 1:1, 14 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became a human being and lived with us, and we saw his Sh'khinah, the Sh'khinah of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth.”

John 3:16 – “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.”

John 8:58 – “Yeshua said to them, ‘Yes, indeed! Before Avraham came into being, I AM!’”

Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For you have been delivered by grace through trusting, and even this is not your accomplishment but God's gift. You were not delivered by your own actions; therefore no one should boast.”

Titus 2:13 – “while continuing to expect the blessed fulfillment of our certain hope, which is the appearing of the Sh'khinah of our great God and the appearing of our Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah.”

Recommended Resources: How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth: A Guide to Understanding and Using Bible Versions by Gordon D. Fee & Mark L. Strauss and Logos Bible Software.


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How does the translation process impact the inspiration, inerrancy, and infallibility of the Bible?

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What is the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)?



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What is the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)?