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eBook JPS Hebrew-English (Jewish Bible) Tanakh
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Author:  JPS / Varda Books
Publisher:  Varda Books
Original Publisher:  The Jewish Publication Society
Published:  2002
Language:  English
Pages:   2068


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About the Book -- JPS Hebrew-English (Jewish Bible) Tanakh

A searchable true replica of the original 2nd printed edition, it is a MUST for any serious student of The Holy Scriptures and perfect a participant in Bible-study groups. The authoritative Hebrew text of this work--placed side-by-side with the renowned JPS English translation--is based on The Leningrad Codex and is in full accordance with masoretic tradition (accepted by scholars and rabbinic authorities), complete with cantillation marks, vocalization and verse numbers.

This ground-breaking electronic edition of "The JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh" is prepared in Adobe PDF format for working offline without being connected to the Internet and for working as a part of a sophisticated online digital library utilizing Secure Searchable Image Format developed by Varda Books.

Both Scholar and Teacher Editions of Tanakh are made to work interactively with other properly prepared books: when one clicks on a biblical reference in let's say in Commentaries, the Tanakh pop up in a separate window, displaying the indicated passage.

Click to the right on the thumnail to see a larger screenshot of Tanakh in PDF format. Such format is excellent for printing pages for personal use.

Click on the following icon to see a larger to magnify a screenshot of an example from the optional online digital library.

eTanakh Highlights

Made in Adobe"s open-standards Portable Document Format (PDF), it retains most of the benefits of its hardcopy counterpart while adding the rich functionality that comes along with this approach, while protecting the buyer against technological obsolescence.

Combined with the functionality and the power provided by PublishersRow.com, eBookShuk.com books allow for unlimited expansion of individual library and its great ease of use: any new properly prepared book added to this PDF library will be searchable in the same way no matter who was its publisher. All of them can be instatly searched in one pass.

One of the unique features of our Tanakh (Scholar PDF edition only) is that it has been programmed to accept references from any book published by any publisher which has been properly prepared. What it means is when you use another electronic book, i.e. JPS Torah Commentaries and click on some reference to Tanakh there, the referred to place in Tanakh will pop-up in a separate window exactly in its right place.

"JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh (electronic edition)" is truly the Bible for the 21st Century and is perfect for individual and group study.

OTHER BENEFITS OF THIS ELECTRONIC EDITION

Hebrew

Find the authoritative Hebrew text according to masoretic tradition (accepted by scholars and rabbinic authorities), complete with cantillation marks, vocalization and verse numbers. The Hebrew text is conveniently formatted to match the English translation, and is slightly larger than the English for easy reading.

  • Hebrew headers
    to identify place in Hebrew text
  • K"ri and Ketiv
    traditional variants indicated in Hebrew text
  • Cantillation marks
  • Vocalization
  • Arabic verse numbers
    within Hebrew text
  • Paragraph breaks
  • Parasha breaks
  • Poetry
    Hebrew formatted to English poetry
  • Traditional footnotes
    in Hebrew
  • Index of Torah Readings

English

The renowned JPS English translation is considered by both Jewish and Christian scholars to be the most authoritative translation of Hebrew scripture, reflecting the latest findings in biblical scholarship, archaeological research, comparative Semitics and linguistic analysis.

  • Scholarly footnotes
    in English from JPS translation
  • English headers
    identifying biblical book, verse, and weekly portion (for the Torah)
  • Verse numbers
    in English

Search

Automated search in English translation for specific names, words or phrases throughout
the entire Bible or on any given page. All search features outlined below requires the use of free Acrobat 5.0 or higher with Search function.

  • Simple and Powerful Find command:
    refine by selecting Match Whole Word Only, Match Case, Find Backwards
  • Word Stemming Search:*
    find all search term derivatives
  • "Sounds Like" Search:*
    find alternative spellings of proper names
  • Search using Thesaurus:*
    find synonyms for the search term
  • Proximity Option Search:*
    find two separate items on the same page
  • Set Preferences:*
    control the order of your search results, determine the number of searches you want to display, choose how highlights are displayed (by page, by word, or not at all)
  • Refine Search using Boolean terms*
  • Search Simultaneously the Tanakh and other PDF documents.*

Copy, Paste and Share*

Copy and paste of what you have found into your word-processor; no need to retype the text.

  • Copy English text:
    use "Column Select Tool" to select exactly the text you need and re-flow it
  • Copy Hebrew text:
    use "Graphics Select Tool" to copy and paste perfectly formatted Hebrew text (be it a single glyph or an entire page) into virtually any word-processor; no special fonts necessary.
  • Share copied Hebrew text:
    Because you have pasted Hebrew as an image, you can send it as a part of your Word Processor"s file almost to anyone else. No need to worry about "embedding" or installing properly fonts on another person"s system.

Print *

  • Print Hebrew and English text together:
    the result will be page-for-page identical to the paper version of the JPS Tanakh; perfect for making personal or scholarly notes and always being on the same page as others reading from this now-standard Bible edition.

* Applies only to Student PDF and Scholar PDF formats; does not apply to Reader PDF version.



About the Book

About the Author -- JPS Hebrew-English (Jewish Bible) Tanakh

JPS / Varda Books ---

The finest Jewish Bible scholars, from all branches of Judaism, labored thirty years to compile the clearest, most accurate translation of the Hebrew Bible into English.

It took another two-and-a-half years to set side-by-side with it the authoritative version of the oldest known complete Hebrew text of the Holy Scriptures.

Finally, after another year-and-a-half of labor, the craftsmen of Varda Books with the cooperation of the Jewish Publication Society (Philadelphia) and its visionary Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Ellen Frankel, gave birth November to this truly revolutionary electronic version of "The JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh."



 

Contents -- JPS Hebrew-English (Jewish Bible) Tanakh

Preface to the 1999 Hebrew-English Edition

Preface to the 1985 English Edition

TORAH THE FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES

GENESIS

EXODUS

LEVITICUS

NUMBERS

DEUTERONOMY

NEVI"IM THE PROPHETS

JOSHUA

JUDGES

1 SAMUEL

2 SAMUEL

1 KINGS2 KINGS

ISAIAH

JEREMIAH

EZEKIEL

HOSEA

JOEL

AMOS

OBADIAH

JONAH

MICAH

NAHUM

HABAKKUK

ZEPHANIAH

HAGGAI

ZECHARIAH

MALACHI

KETHUVIM THE WRITINGS

PSALMS

PROVERBS

JOB

THE SONG OF SONGS

RUTH

LAMENTATIONS

ECCLESIASTES

ESTHER

DANIEL

EZRA

NEHEMIAH

1 CHRONICLES

2 CHRONICLES

Guide to English Footnotes

Guide to Hebrew Footnotes

Bere Bere

TABLE OF SCRIPTURAL READINGS
W E E K L Y  S A B B A T H  R E A D I N G S

 

TORAH

 NEVI'IM

GENESIS

Bere'shit 1.1–6.8 

Isaiah 42.5–43.10 (42.5–21)a

Noah 6.9–11.32 

Isaiah 54.1–55.5 (54.1–10)

Lekh Lekha 12.1–17.27

Isaiah 40.27–41.16

Va-yera' 18.1–22.24

2 Kings 4.1–37 (4.1–23)

Hayyei Sarah 23.1–25.18 

1 Kings 1.1–31

Toledot 25.19–28.9

Malachi 1.1–2.7

Va-yetse' 28.10–32.3 

Hosea 12.13–14.10 (11.7–12.12)

Va-yishlah 32.4–36.43

Hosea 11.7–12.12 (Obadiah 1.1–21)

Va-yeshev 37.1–40.23 

Amos 2.6–3.8

Mikkets 41.1–44.17

1 Kings 3.15–4.1

Va-yiggash 44.18–47.27

Ezekiel 37.15–28

Va-yehi 47.28–50.26 

1 Kings 2.1–12

EXODUS

Shemot 1.1–6.1

Isaiah 27.6–28.13; 29.22, 23 (Jeremiah 1.1–2.3)

Va-'era' 6.2–9.35

1 Kings 2.1–12

Bo' 10.1–13.16

Jeremiah 46.13–28

Be-shallah 13.17–17.16

Judges 4.4–5.31 (5.1–31)

Yitro 18.1–20.26

Isaiah 6.1–7.6; 9.5, 6 (6.1–13)

Mishpatim 21.1–24.18

Jeremiah 34.8–22; 33.25, 26

Terumah 25.1–27.19

1 Kings 5.26–6.13

Tetsavveh 27.20–30.10

Ezekiel 43.10–27

Ki Tissa' 30.11–34.35

1 Kings 18.1–39 (18.20–39)

LEVITICUS

Va-yikra' 1.1–5.26

 Isaiah 43.21–44.23

Tsav 6.1–8.36

Jeremiah 7.21–8.3; 9.22, 23

Shemini 9.1–11.47

2 Samuel 6.1–7.17 (6.1–19)

Tazria‘ 12.1–13.59

2 Kings 4.42–5.19

Metsora‘ 14.1–15.33

2 Kings 7.3–20

Aharei Mot 16.1–18.30

Ezekiel 22.1–19 (22.1–16)

Kedoshim 19.1–20.27

Amos 9.7–15 (Ezekiel 20.2–20)

Emor 21.1–24.23

Ezekiel 44.15–31

Be-har 25.1–26.2

Jeremiah 32.6–27

Be-hukkotai 26.3–27.34

Jeremiah 16.19–17.14

NUMBERS

Be-midbar 1.1–4.20

Hosea 2.1–22

Naso' 4.21–7.89

Judges 13.2–25

Be-ha‘alotekha 8.1–12.16

Zechariah 2.14–4.7

Shelah-Lekha 13.1–15.41

Joshua 2.1–24

Korah 16.1–18.32

1 Samuel 11.14–12.22

Hukkat 19.1–22.1

Judges 11.1–33

Balak 22.2–25.9

Micah 5.6–6.8

Pinhas 25.10–30.1

1 Kings 18.46–19.21

Mattot 30.2–32.42

Jeremiah 1.1–2.3

DEUTERONOMY

Devarim 1.1–3.22

Isaiah 1.1–27

Va-'ethannan 3.23–7.11

Isaiah 40.1–26

‘Ekev 7.12–11.25

Isaiah 49.14–51.3

Re'eh 11.26–16.17

Isaiah 54.11–55.5

Shofetim 16.18–21.9

Isaiah 51.12–52.12

Ki Tetse' 21.10–25.19

Isaiah 54.1–10

Ki Tavo' 26.1–29.8

Isaiah 60.1–22

Nitsavim 29.9–30.20

Isaiah 61.10–63.9

Va-yelekh 31.1–30

Ha'azinu 32.1–52

2 Samuel 22.1–51

Ve-zo't Ha-berakhah 33.1–34.12

Joshua 1.1–18 (1.1–9)

 
 

R E A D I N G S  F O R  S P E C I A L  S A B B A T H S

 

TORAH

NEVI'IM

Sabbath coinciding
with Rosh Hodesh

Weekly portion and Numbers 28.9–15

Isaiah 66.1–24

Sabbath immediately preceding
Rosh Hodesh

Weekly portion

1 Samuel 20.18–42

Shekalim

Weekly portion and Exodus 30.11–16

2 Kings 12.1–17 (11.17–12.17)

Zakhor

Weekly portion and Deuteronomy 25.17–19

1 Samuel 15.2–34 (15.1–34)

Parah

Weekly portion and Numbers 19.1–22

Ezekiel 36.16–38 (36.16–36)

Ha-Hodesh

Weekly portion and Exodus 12.1–20

Ezekiel 45.16–46.18 (45.18–46.15)

Ha-Gadol

Weekly portion

Malachi 3.4–24

First Sabbath Hanukkah

Weekly portion plus the verses relating the prince
(nasi) of the day corresponding to the day of Hanukkah

Zechariah 2.14–4.7

Second Sabbath Hanukkah

Weekly portion and Hanukkah portions as above

1 Kings 7.40–50



 

R E A D I N G S  F O R  DAYS OF AWE

 

TORAH

NEVI'IM

Rosh Ha-Shanah

 

 

First Day

Genesis 21.1–34; Numbers 29.1–6

1 Samuel 1.1–2.10

Second Day

Genesis 22.1–24; Numbers 29.1–6

Jeremiah 31.2–20

Sabbath Shuvah

Weekly portion

Hosea 14.2–10; Micah 7.18–20; Joel 2.15–27 (Hosea 14.2–10; Micah 7.18–20)

Yom Kippur

 

 

Morning

Leviticus 16.1–34; Numbers 29.7–11

Isaiah 57.14–58.14

Afternoon

Leviticus 18.1–30

Jonah 1.1–4.11; Micah 7.18–20

 

R E A D I N G S  F O R  T H E  F E S T I V A L S

 

TORAH

NEVI'IM

Sukkot (Tabernacles)

 

 

First Day

Leviticus 22.26–23.44;  Numbers 29.12–16

Zechariah 14.1–21

Second Day

Leviticus 22.26–23.44; Numbers 29.12–16

1 Kings 8.2–21

Sabbath during the
Middle Days

Exodus 33.12–34.26; Daily portion from Numbers 29

Ezekiel 38.18–39.16
 

Eighth Day

Deuteronomy 14.22–16.17 (15.19–16.17);
Numbers 29.35–30.1

1 Kings 8.54–66

Simhat Torah

Deuteronomy 33.1– 34.12; Genesis 1.1–2.3;
Numbers 29.35–30.1

Joshua 1.1–18 (1.1–9)

Pesah (Passover)

 

 

First Day

Exodus 12.21–51; Numbers 28.16–25

Joshua 5.2–6.1; 6.27

Second Day

Leviticus 22.26–23.44; Numbers 28.16–25

2 Kings 23.1–9; 21–25

Sabbath during the Middle Days

Exodus 33.12–34.26; Numbers 28.19–25

Ezekiel 37.1–14

Seventh Day

Exodus 13.17–15.26; Numbers 28.19–25

2 Samuel 22.1–51

Eighth Day

Deuteronomy 15.19–16.17;a
Numbers 28.19–25

Isaiah 10.32–12.6

Shavuot (Pentecost)

 

 

First Day

Exodus 19.1–20.23; Numbers 28.26–31

Ezekiel 1.1–28; 3.12

Second Day

Deuteronomy 15.19–16.17;a
Numbers 28.26–31

Habakkuk 3.1–19 (2.20–3.19)

 

R E A D I N G S ON WEEKDAY O C C A S I O N S

 

TORAH

NEVI'IM

Purim

Exodus 17.8–16

Ninth of Av

 

 

Morning

Deuteronomy 4.25–40

Jeremiah 8.13–9.23

Afternoon

Exodus 32.11–14; 34.1–10

Isaiah 55.6–56.8

Public Fast Days

 

 

Morning

Exodus 32.11–14; 34.1–10

Afternoon

Exodus 32.11–14; 34.1–10

Isaiah 55.6–56.8

 

R E A D I N G S  O F  T H E  F I V E  M E G I L L O T H

The Song of Songs

Sabbath during Pesah (Passover)

Ruth

Shavuot (Pentecost)

Lamentations

Ninth of Av

Ecclesiastes

Sabbath during Sukkot (Tabernacles)

Esther

Purim

 

INDEX OF TORAH READINGS
(in alphabetic order)
 

'Aharei Mot

Lev. 16.1

244

Balak

Num. 22.2

335

Be-har

Lev. 25.1

265

Be-ha‘alotekha

Num. 8.1

300

Be-hukkotai

Lev. 26.3

269

Be-midbar

Num. 1.1

277

Bere'shit

Gen. 1.1

1

Be-shallah

Exod. 13.17

140

Bo'

Exod. 10.1

131

Devarim

Deut. 1.1

373

‘Ekev

Deut. 7.12

391

'Emor

Lev. 21.1

256

Ha'azinu

Deut. 32.1

445

Hayyei Sarah

Gen. 23.1

41

Kedoshim

Lev. 19.1

251

Ki Tavo'

Num. 19.1

327

Ki Tetse'

Deut. 21.10

420

Ki Tissa'

Exod. 30.11

180

Korah

Num. 16.1

319

Lekh Lekha

Gen. 12.1

21

Mase‘ei

Num. 33.1

362

Mattot

Num. 30.2

355

Metsora‘

Lev. 14.1

237

Mikkets

Gen. 41.1

85

Mishpatim

Exod. 21.1

157

Nitsavim

Deut. 29.9

439

Noah

Gen. 6.9

11

Pekudei

Exod. 38.21

287

Pinhas

Deut. 11.26

401

Re'eh

Num. 4.21

287

Shelah-Lekha

Num. 13.1

311

Shemini

Lev. 9.1

224

Shemot

Exod. 1.1

113

Shofetim

Deut. 16.18

411

Tazria‘

Lev. 12.1

231

Tetsavveh

Exod. 27.20

172

Toledot

Exod. 25.1

48

Tsav

Lev. 6.1

217

Va-'era'

Exod. 6.2

122

Va-'ethannan

Deut. 3.23

381

Va-yakhel

Exod. 35.1

191

Va-yehi

Gen. 47.28

104

Va-yelekh

Deut. 31.1

442

Va-yera'

Gen. 18.1

30

Va-yeshev

Gen. 37.1

77

Va-yetse'

Gen. 28.10

56

Va-yiggash

Gen. 44.18

96

Va-yikra'

Lev. 1.1

207

Va-yishlah Gen. 32.4 67
Ve-zo't Ha-berakhah Deut. 33.1 450
Yitro Exod. 18.1 151



 
 
 
 

 


An Excerpt from the Book -- JPS Hebrew-English (Jewish Bible) Tanakh

Preface to the 1999 Hebrew-English Edition"

A court of law relies on witnesses to establish the facts of a case. But for those who seek the “facts” of the original biblical texts, no firsthand witnesses exist. We have only the testimony of various manuscripts, produced hundreds of years after the Bible's books were completed. And even if we had an autograph copy of, say, the Book of Ezra, it would not answer all our questions, for it was created at a time (2400 years ago) when writing was imprecise--even before the invention of punctuation.

Through the intervening centuries, scribes have figured out how to record the oral traditions more precisely. At the same time, during each transmission of the books from person to person, uncertainty has grown. For schools have sometimes disagreed on pronunciation. Handwriting has not always been legible. And every scribe has occasionally made mistakes in copying.

Witnesses testifying in court often disagree. Little surprise, then, that the Bible's textual “witnesses”--farther removed from the original “event”—differ from each other in a wide range of small ways: spelling, punctuation, layout of poetry, and so on. Sometimes entire verses appear in only a few manuscripts.

So which version is true? This was the first question faced by the [editors] in preparing [the] Hebrew text.

The Unbroken Chain of Uncertainty

Accuracy has been ensured via side documentation—part of what is called masorah. This gives rise to a “masoretic text”—a Bible that accords with the masorah. Yet the number of details has been too vast for masorah. to address all room for disagreement. And the masoretic notes have been neglected through the ages; written in shorthand, they are often vague, and their own textual witnesses sometimes disagree.

Much masorah seems to have been created only after problems arose; in such cases, it could only reinforce the torn textual fabric, not mend the hole. Unable or unwilling to choose between variants, scribes sometimes preserved two versions of a word side by side—transmitting both.

Furthermore, by nature the Bible is not predictable. Because of its spiritual subject matter, its choice of words must be improbable at times. So is a given puzzling phrase due to scribal error—or religious mystery? When to expect the text to follow rules of grammar—and when to allow for artistic expression?

Despite these pitfalls, Bible scholars have always refined the text as they found it. Each expert begins with a different set of available manuscripts, from scribes of varying (and uncertain) reliability. They each use different methods for resolving textual problems. So the experts come to different conclusions as to what is the “best” Bible text.

Ironically, the result is a Bible whose text continually evolves—the changes being justified to preserve the accuracy of tradition. Thus, an early printed Bible edited in Italy by R. Jacob ben Hayyim Ibn-Adoniyah (1525 C.E.) reconstructed the work of the Tiberian textual tradition from six hundred years earlier. His effort was impressive enough that soon afterward, owners of old manuscripts all across Europe altered their parchments to match his newly authoritative book.

As mistakes were corrected, new ones appeared. R. Meir Letteris of Austria edited a Hebrew Bible first published in 1852 C.E., based on lists of “corrections” by experts who perceived mistakes in earlier editions. It became the standard Hebrew text among many Jews to this day. Yet like all prior printed Bibles, it contained hundreds of its own typographical errors.

Meanwhile, in the modern era, certain early medieval manuscripts—safeguarded in isolated Middle Eastern communities—were brought to the attention of Bible scholars. These have proven to be the oldest known witnesses of the now-standard Tiberian tradition. Only recently has the wider, evolutionary, corrective process taken these unusually reliable texts into account. These manuscripts still contain inconsistencies and differ slightly from each other. But on the whole, they confirm the “received” (evolutionary European) traditions of the Bible text, especially for the Torah.

Amazingly, manuscript differences are truly minor. More than 99.9 percent of the time, the masoretic Bible's witnesses give identical accounts. Rarely does the variation impact the meaning of a given verse. Yet even this small uncertainty can vex a publisher who—for each detail of the text—must pick one possibility over another.

If a definitive text of the Hebrew Bible does not exist, the best a publisher can do is produce a defensible text that is sufficiently accurate for the edition's intended purpose. Therefore [we] explain our text's history and [the editing] approach [used]—and let the reader judge its soundness.

The History of Our Hebrew Text

Since ancient times, Jews have traced the chain of transmission of Scripture: “Moses received Torah at Sinai and handed it on to Joshua, Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the prophets. And the prophets handed it on to the Great Assembly. . .” (Mishnah Avot 1:1). For the present volume, the textual transmission history is as follows.

Aaron ben Moses Ben-Asher (Tiberias, c. 930 C.E.)

An industrious family of masoretes once lived in the Galilean town of Tiberias (an ancient center of Jewish scholarship). The last in their line of scholars was Aaron ben Moses Ben-Asher, who flourished circa 930 C.E. He authored a classic masoretic treatise. He is the first known scribe to complete a manuscript of the entire Bible (whose books had been preserved somewhat independently). An important part of his work included the proofreading of others' manuscripts, which is how he enters into our picture.

Samuel ben Jacob (Egypt, 1010 C.E.)

Two generations later, a scribe in Fostat (Egypt's thriving center of trade and learning) spent years composing a Bible codex. Noting its completion in 4770 A.M. (1010 C.E.), he recorded that he copied from several manuscripts into this one volume: “Samuel ben Jacob wrote out the consonants, vowels, punctuation, accents, and annotations of this codex of Scripture from the texts checked and corrected by the late master Aaron ben Moses Ben-Asher; it has been checked and corrected per tradition.”

Samuel's Bible contains sixty thousand marginal notes on the text, including more than a thousand divergences between consonantal text (kethib) and reading tradition (qere).

In proofreading and correcting his work, Samuel ben Jacob missed (or let stand) hundreds of errors—which is actually an impressive result, given the millions of characters in a Hebrew Bible. As the contemporary scholar E.J. Revell comments, “This is a long way from perfection, but it is close to ideal when compared to the situation in most [later] medieval manuscripts.”

Recent Editions of the Leningrad Codex

Today, Samuel ben Jacob's work is the oldest known complete Hebrew Bible, and the oldest complete representative of the Ben-Asher tradition. For centuries, however, it was kept out of circulation, unknown to historians or Bible editors. Then in 1840 C.E., a manuscript collector announced possession of this Bible—which has since become known as the Leningrad Codex.

Repeatedly since then, international teams of Christian and Jewish scholars (both religious and academic) have edited this codex for modern use. The first group, led by Rudolph Kittel and Paul Kahle, made it the base text for a critical edition, Biblia Hebraica Kittel (BHK, 1937). After World War II, another team revised BHK, producing Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS, 1967–1977), for which Karl Elliger, Wilhelm Rudolph, and Gerard Weil served as lead editors. Then, at the University of Michigan, H. Van Dyke Parunak and Robert Eckert devised computer-readable codes for the biblical text's characters and main features; Parunak oversaw the transcription of BHS into three megabytes of data (1982). Soon thereafter, Richard E. Whitaker of the Claremont Graduate Schools coordinated revisions. Finally, J. Alan Groves of Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia) with Emanuel Tov of The Hebrew University (Jerusalem) directed a proofreading team (1987), a project that JPS helped to fund.

The result is called the Michigan-Claremont-Westminster (MCW) electronic BHS. It has provided JPS with a text nearly identical to the Leningrad Codex manuscript. Each round of revision has corrected previous typographic errors and misreadings while introducing a smaller number of other typos and mistakes. Its machine-readable text format has nearly precluded new typos in our own production process. Meanwhile, BHS notes have provided vital supporting documentation. . .

-- Rabbi David E. Sulomm Stein, Managing Editor

The JPS Translation of the Holy Scriptures

The translation of Tanakh, the Holy Scriptures, produced by the Jewish Publication Society, was made directly from the traditional Hebrew text into the idiom of modern English. It represents the collaboration of academic scholars with rabbis from the three largest branches of organized Jewish religious life in America: Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox. Begun in 1955, the ongoing translation was published in three main stages: The Torah in 1962, The Prophets (Nevi'im) in 1978, and The Writings (Kethuvim) in 1982. These three volumes, with revisions, are now brought together in a complete English Tanakh (Torah-Nevi'im-Kethuvim), the latest link in the chain of Jewish Bible translations.

-- The Jewish Publication Society

To aid modern readers, its various editors have brought the codex's outward features in line with the more familiar evolution of Bibles, by:

  • Adding chapter and verse numbers (invented after the codex was written);

  • Changing the order of books (putting Chronicles at the end, rather than before Psalms);

  • Redividing Psalms to show 150 chapters rather than the codex's 149;

  • Adding end-of-verse punctuation where Samuel ben Jacob had omitted it;

  • Inserting typographic markers to show the codex's paragraphing;

  • Placing each qere entry in the text (rather than in the margin), following its kethib, and transferring pointing to the qere consonants—which occasionally meant inferring pointing (a dagesh or maqqef ) not in the codex;

  • Omitting the diacritical sign rafé (ubiquitous in the codex) in all but six places, which most modern Bibles have dropped as superfluous and hard to print;

  • Turning many marginal notes on superfluous letters (yatér) into qere entries;

  • Tripling the number of masoretic notes by filling in cross-references; and

  • Flagging the apparent scribal errors.


An Excerpt from the Book

Reviews

"Simply wonderful!"

-- Prof. David Lieber
Chairman-Emeritus,
University of Judaism, Los Angeles


"Superior translation . . . aesthetically and graphically more pleasing . . . an easier program to use . . . great support. I have other electronic editions of Tanakh, however I prefer to use this one."

-- Rabbi Daniel Shevitz
Congregation Mishkon Tephilo

"It is open on my desktop all the time . . . accurate and attractive Hebrew text, authoritative and highly respected Jewish translation, convenient and easy to use format, great search engine--an unbeatable combination."

-- Rabbi Miles B. Cohen
The Jewish Theological Seminary

But with the passing of the years we have come to appreciate this translation because it makes the Bible make sense and because it is a Bible that we can read and feel directly addressed by because it speaks in the language of our time.

Now the JPS has provided us with a new edition which provides the Hebrew text and the English translation side by side. It has an engaging format that enables readers to move easily from one language to the other.

Scholars will appreciate the hundreds of spelling variants, the modifications in the Hebrew text that take into account different manuscript readings, the six hundred some footnotes to the Hebrew side, and the one thousand three hundred and twenty two ketiv/qere instances (plus two more that have been added for clarity) that are preserved on the Hebrew side in this edition. But for the general reader, these matters are inconspicuous and do not interfere with the smooth flow of the reading.

It belongs on the shelf of every person who wants to study the Bible for the first time or who wants to come to it afresh.

-- Rabbi Jack Riemer,
Book Review

A gorgeous new Bible... real value comes from adding the Hebrew, paired with its translation in a dual column format on each page...a collaboration among eminent Bible scholars representing all perspectives within the Jewish community...following principles of contemporary critical scholarship and sensitivity to the cultural nuances of translation.

-- Star Tribune

"What a wondrous combination-the highly praised JPS English translation of the Bible with the complete Masoretic Hebrew text. Add to this the elegant page design, easily readable type, sewn binding, and fine Bible paper-and you have an extraordinary lasting work."

-- Chaim Potok


 

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JPS Torah Commentary: Exodus by Nahum M. Sarna / Varda Books
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The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges: The Book of Exodus by S. R. Driver
Ah, Assyria... (Scripta Hierosolymitana XXXIII) by Mordechai Cogan
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A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (Part I): from Adam to Noah by Umberto Moshe David Cassuto;
The International Critical Commentary (ICC): Judges by George F. Moore
The Documentary Hypothesis and the Composition of the Pentateuch: Eight Lectures by Umberto Moshe David Cassuto;
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Biblical and Oriental Studies (2 volumes) by Umberto Moshe David Cassuto;
Tanakh: Interactive Hebrew Bible by Varda Books
The International Critical Commentary (ICC): Chronicles by Curtis, E. L.; Madsen, A. A.
Literary Studies In The Hebrew Bible Form And Content by TALMON SHEMARYAHU
The International Critical Commentary (ICC): Amos and Hosea by W. R. Harper
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Studies in Bible II (Scripta Hierosolymitana, XXXI) by Sara Japhet
The International Critical Commentary (ICC): ESTHER by Lewis Bayles Paton
The International Critical Commentary (ICC): Jobs (in 2 volumes) by GEORGE BUCHANAN Gray
The Goddess Anath by Umberto Moshe David Cassuto;
The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges: The Book of Deuteronomy by A. F. Kirkpatrick
The International Critical Commentary (ICC): DEUTERONOMY by S. R. Driver
A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (Part II): from Noah to Abraham by Umberto Moshe David Cassuto;
The International Critical Commentary (ICC): Micah, Zephaniah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Obadiah, Joel by Bewer, J. A.; Smith, J. M. P. ; W. H. Ward
Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament by S. R. Driver
A Commentary on the Book of Exodus by Umberto Moshe David Cassuto;
The International Critical Commentary (ICC): NUMBERS by GEORGE BUCHANAN Gray
Hebrew-English Tanakh: the Jewish Bible by Varda Books
Aspects of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Scripta Hierosolymitana IV) by Chaim Rabin
Hebrew-English Torah: The Five Books of Moses by Varda Books
The International Critical Commentary (ICC): Ezra and Nehemiah by Loring W. Batten
The International Critical Commentary (ICC): PROVERBS by Crawford H. Toy
The International Critical Commentary (ICC): HAGGAI, ZECHARIAH, MALACHI AND JONAH by Hinckley G. Mitchell,
The International Critical Commentary (ICC): Ecclesiastes by George Aaron Barton
Studia Biblica et Ecclesiastica, in 5 volumes by S. R. Driver
The International Critical Commentary (ICC): Psalms (in 2 volumes) by Charles A. Briggs,
 


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