Friday, October 07, 2005

The Jewish Bible

I just bought "The Jewish Bible" by a Messianic believer, David Stern. He originally did a translation of the New Testament for Jewish readers, readers who have memories of a lot of centuries of hatred and prejudice from so-called "Christians". So that was why he did the translation - because Yeshua was Jewish - (duh) and because tentative Jewish believers would find a Jewish rendering of the NT less threatening and foreign sounding to read.

I love it. I have to confess - I've been a believer since I was 19 years old. I am now 50. I've studied the Bible through Pastor Teachers who teach the word exegetically, isagogically and categorically - who are also dispensationalists. It is wonderful teaching.

BUT - I've NEVER read the whole Bible for myself. And believe me, I feel GUILTY (which is a sin - sheesh!!) I've read the easy parts of the OT - the story parts like Genesis and Exodus and even parts of Judges and Joshua. I've read parts of Psalms and Proverbs and Isaiah and the stories of David and Saul. But I've never read the WHOLE THING through. I've read parts of the New Testament - the gospels, which I always end up with questions about - and I love the book of Acts. Romans, especially, and Hebrews next - put me in a coma. Mostly Romans - I think Paul was obsessive-compulsive and was afraid to end a sentence with a period. There are SO many commas and clauses in Paul's sentences that I can't follow them. If I tried to diagram them, I'd need a piece of paper approximately the width and length of my backyard - AND a bottle of wine AND a funnel for the short, fuggeddaboudit.

But this Bible translation isn't wooden. The formal phrasing is gone, and you can almost hear Yeshua say, "oy!" But, of course, you don't. I know there are other less formal English translations, but this one puts the Jewishness of Jesus in - and that seems totally appropriate.

I'm going to enjoy reading the Bible through for the FIRST time in my life - yikes!! And I bought the NT commentary by David Stern also - he touches on a lot of Jewish things that non-Jews miss in the NT. I know David Edersheim wrote "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah", which I also have - but that is a TOME and not easy reading. David Stern's NT translation and his commentary are easy to read and very enjoyable.

So - I'm going to go off and read now.


Blogger Stephen said...

The CJB's my favorite translation, too. It's hard for me to go back to the New King James and other translations now, just becaue I enjoy this one so much. :)

6:13 PM  
Blogger Suze said...

Yeah - it's like - the English ones are English, not Jewish.....they just don't ring as least to the ear - I know they are correct translations, but the best for reading is CJB!!

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its Alfred Edersheim that wrote the book

6:23 PM  

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