I’m stoked to find the Complete Jewish Bible is now freely available on BibleGateway.com, the most popular online Bible web app. The popular Messianic translation of the Bible was added to the site just weeks ago.
This is huge! BibleGateway.com is the most popular Bible lookup on the web. The Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) – a staple in Messianic circles – will now be read by the vast, global Christian audience on BibleGateway.
Why is the CJB important? As one reviewer put it,
Most modern English translators have only an academic understanding of Judaism. This translator, Dr. David Stern, is a Jew from an observant, well educated family. Dr. Ben Horin, a Reconstructionist Jewish author wrote, "A Jewish heart can be had quickly. Jewish eyes are the product of 4,000 years of special evolution." Being steeped in the Jewish life gives Dr. Stern a unique view. His translation of the New Testament is idiomatic, similar to NIV. But Dr. Stern's translation starts from the premise that the authors were Jews primarily writing to audience that was Jews and Righteous Gentiles. (Those were gentiles who attended synagogue and observed some of the commandments, but had not converted to Judaism.)
Why should a Christian read this book? Because Jesus spoke to Jewish groups, not gentiles, when He preached. He assumed a familiarity with the Torah that came from a specific set of teachings set in a specific culture. That culture is not always reflected in other translations. Just read Dr. Stern's treatment of Hebrews and compare it to any other English translation. It makes more sense then any I have read.
Why should a Jew read this book? Not to better understand Christians. For that I recommend the New King James and the New International Version. If you want to understand the teachings of the Jew whose life has impacted more Jews then any other Jew since Moses, this is the translation for you. You may not agree with Dr. Stern about whether Yeshua is the Mashiach, but at least you will understand what His followers had to say.
A few years back, Derek Leman and I tried to make this happen, and failed. I had spoke with the Biblegateway.com folks directly, asking them what must be done to get the CJB on BibleGateway, and they informed me there was only so much they could do until the CJB publishers came to them. I spoke to the publishers, and they weren’t too keen about it at the time.
I’m glad to see it’s finally come about!
Here’s a sample, CJB’s translation of Psalm 53:
If only salvation for Isra’el
would come out of Tziyon!
When God restores his people’s fortunes,
what joy for Ya‘akov! what gladness for Isra’el!