New JPS Translation

By Jewish Publication Society of America, 1917

The Jewish Publication Society of America Version (JPS) of the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) was the first Bible translation published by the Jewish Publication Society of America and the first translation of the Tanakh into English by a committee of Jews (though there had been earlier solo efforts, such as that of Isaac Leeser). The full publication title is The Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text: A New Translation with the Aid of Previous Versions and with Constant Consultation of Jewish Authorities.

The translation, which appeared in 1917, is heavily indebted to the Revised Version and American Standard Version. It differs from them in many passages where Jewish and Christian interpretations differ, notably in Isaiah 7:14, where it has "young woman" as opposed to the word "virgin" which is used in most Christian Bibles.

The translation was initiated in 1892 by the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the organization of Reform rabbis, and the original intention was to assign different books of the Bible to individual rabbis and scholars. A committee of editors would ensure quality and consistency. It became clear after several years that this method was hard to implement, and after more than a decade only the Book of Psalms had been sent to press. In 1908 the Jewish Publication Society agreed to take over the project.


License: Public Domain

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