“In telling about God, his people Israel, and his Messiah Yeshua, the Bible’s constant theme is that human beings need to be saved and that God provides salvation,” the author writes in the introduction of his book, The Complete Jewish Study Bible: Insights for Jews and Christians.
~ What ~
Updated from 1998, this seventeen-hundred-twenty-eight-page hardbound targets those who want to read the Scriptures from a Jewish perspective from the first page to its end. With the help of over two dozen contributors, the book for Jews and Christians alike establishes Yeshua as the Messiah. With a four-section table of contents and two introductions, the books of the Holy Bible are divided into seven sections, ending with an appendix with glossaries, Shabbat Scripture readings, topical and theme indexes, biographies, and maps to name a few.
Paraphrased from the 1917 Jewish Publication Society and not divided into the Old and New Testament but the Tanakh and B’rit Hadashah, this has the standardized books of the Bible separated into (from a Christian standpoint) the Law, Prophets, Writings, the Good News of Yeshua, Acts, Letters/Epistles, and the Revelation of Yeshua. Instead of using the common names, God is ADONAI, Christ is Messiah, Jesus is Yeshua, and Rauch HaKodesh is the Holy Spirit. Written mainly in paragraph form with verse numbers included, also are poems and poetry such as in Psalms, bolded quotes of prophecies, and minor footnotes. With additional quotes from the Talmud, also are over one hundred highlighted articles covering a dozen themes regarding customs, prophecy, names of God, et cetera plus topical articles and excerpts.
~ Why ~
Being a King James Version Christian who does not know Hebrew or Greek, I am interested in reading the most true-to-the-original context of the Bible. This Bible that often reads like a story and focuses on Jewish customs, festivals, places, and dialect brings to light how the Jews were and still are God’s chosen ones who need to know their Messiah personally. In briefly researching its pages, I like how the names have been changed to their Jewish roots and that Romans 1:16 states the Good News is “to the Jew especially, but equally to the Gentile” (unlike the KJV which states to the Jew first, and also to the Greek). Another appreciated aspect of this version is the word belief or believing is often changed to trust, trusting, or faith.
~ Why Not ~
Those who do not believe in God may not be interested in the Holy Bible written from a Jewish perspective. Some may not like the names, places, and way of writing in a Jewish-based format; but the intention of the book is to view it from a Jewish mind. Others may wonder if it is like other versions where the author could be interpreting instead of translating. Initially, I found it strange reading a non-traditional format of the Old and New Testament but could get used to it. Similar to many current-day versions of Scripture, the word “begotten” which means “only-born” in Strong’s Concordance in John 1:18 and 3:16 and I John 4:9 is eliminated in this edition and changed to “only and unique Son” which may not show its full meaning. A questionable translation found in Romans 3:23 states, “all have sinned and come short of earning God’s praise” instead of the KJV’s “come short of the glory of God.” One would think older version would have a bigger impact on a Jew due to the Sh’khinah glory; stating we have the possibility of earning the Almighty’s praise may be misleading as it is His grace alone that saves us.
~ Who ~
A rabbi of Emmanuel Messianic Jewish Congregation in Clarksville, Maryland, the author is the director of The Lederer Foundation (now Messianic Jewish Publishers and Resource). Interpreter Stern has authored several books including Jewish New Testament, which has been incorporated into this book.
~ Wish ~
I wish all pronouns of ADONAI and Yeshua were capitalized for reverence, but few Bibles use this concept to honor Him this way. There are some minor reference editing issues.
~ Want ~
If you are Jewish and seeking the true Messiah who will be coming to Earth again, this Bible that will give Christians a new perspective holds all the answers. Without reading this entire version and unaware of other possible discrepancies, my plan is to read this one next, Lord willing, after I finish a chronological one.
Thanks to the CWA Review Crew for this complimentary book, accepting my unbiased positive or negative opinion.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.