Thursday, September 03, 2020

Greenspoon, Jewish Bible Translations

Jewish Bible Translations and Translators

By the last decades of the nineteenth century, American Jews became more centrally organized and more numerous. Among the institutions founded beyond any single denomination was the Jewish Publication Society (JPS), headquartered in Philadelphia. At a time when Jewish biblical scholarship and interpretation were not highly regarded in academic circles, avenues for publishing Jewish works were similarly constrained. To fill this gap, the JPS was organized. Its first major project was an English-language version of the Bible. As mentioned earlier, it was essentially a Judaized version of KJV, which retained as much of the classic’s style and cadence as possible. It was also formatted and printed to look very much like editions of KJV in appearance. It brought together the rabbinic and lay leadership of most American Jewry, including its editor-in-chief Max L. Margolis, and was very well received. It has functioned with this status for over fifty years.

See Also: Jewish Bible Translations: Personalities, Passions, Politics,
(Jewish Publication Society, 2020).

By Leonard J. Greenspoon
Creighton University
September 2020
Cross-file under New Book. The scope of the book is wider than the summary implies. It starts with the Greek Septuagint in antiquity and moves chapter-by-chapter to the modern era.

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