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What do you think about the Jewish New Testament and the Complete Jewish Bible?

QUESTION: What do you think about the Jewish New Testament and the Complete Jewish Bible?

ANSWER:

In reading through the text written by David Stern, I personally do not see it as a translation. There are a handful of improvements that were made from a translational point of view, but not nearly enough to distinguish it as a translation, compared to other paraphrases that are already available. Sternís work would be better described as a transliteration, not a translation. In other words, he went backwards instead of forwards from a translational point of view. The result of Sternís work was to not translate certain words, and instead replace their translation with a transliteration. He wrote Hebrew words with English letters so that a reader would read two languages simultaneously. The Complete Jewish Bible is a hybrid of English and Hebrew, not a better translation from Hebrew to English.

The Complete Jewish Bible was written for the Messianic Movement. It has been used to assist people with their pursuit of trying to grow closer to God through their liberalized version of Judaic worship and culture. Many people assume that their understanding of the Scriptures and their God will be improved through their insertion of Hebrew words into their English vocabulary. The inadequate transliterations have resulted in a new and isolated Hebraic dialect that is built on bad pronunciations within messianic congregations.

If a person will read the Complete Jewish Bible, then I would want to encourage them to read it. I sincerely believe that a person will benefit from reading the Scriptures and the Lord will reveal Himself while we pursue the knowledge of Him. What I am not willing to say, is that a person will have a distinct advantage in this regard by reading this text more than any other translation we have at our disposal. I have personally encountered many people who think this will be the case. The specific translation is not the priority to me. Using supposed better pronunciations of Hebrew names by reading transliterations is not important to me. What is important, is do you know the person behind the name. Do you know the humanity of the Prophets and the Disciples? Do you know the humanity and deity of the Lord Jesus? You may know about a person, but do you truly know the person? I know many people who believe this text will help them more than others in this regard. I simply do not agree.

I think the title is also very misleading depending on your point of view. If you believe that Jews are using this text over any other, you are very much mistaken. A religious Jew would not use this text for the purpose of knowing their God. If you believe that becoming more Jewish will make you more like Jesus, because Jesus was Jewish, the title does imply that this is the book for you. There is nothing Jewish about the text. I believe it is a marketing ploy directed towards those who sincerely believe they will get closer to God by becoming more Jewish.

Aaron Budjen




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