New Jewish Publication Society of America Version

The New Jewish Publication Society of America Version of the Jewish Bible (i.e. the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, referred to by Christians as the Old Testament) is the second translation published by the Jewish Publication Society of America (JPS), superseding its 1917 Jewish Publication Society of America Version. It is a completely fresh translation into modern English, independent of the earlier translation or any other existing one. Current editions of this version refer to it as "The Jewish Publication Society Tanakh Translation." Originally known by the abbreviation “NJV” (New Jewish Version), it is now styled as “NJPS.”

The translation follows the Hebrew or Masoretic text scrupulously. The main text avoids the emendations found in most 20th century translations, though emendations are occasionally mentioned in footnotes. The order of the books is that in published Hebrew Bibles, rather than the usual English order. In particular, it has the traditional Jewish division into Torah (the five books of Moses), Nevi'im (Prophets) and Ketuvim (Writings or Wisdom Literature). Further, the division into chapters, following Hebrew tradition, occasionally differs from other English Bibles, and in the Psalms the titles are often counted as the first verse, causing a difference of one in verse numbering for these psalms from other English Bibles.

The editor in chief of the Torah was Harry Orlinsky, who had been a translator of the Revised Standard Version and would become the only translator of that version to work also on the New Revised Standard Version. The other editors were E. A. Speiser and H. L. Ginsberg. It appeared in 1962, with a second edition in 1967.

The Five Megilloth (Five Scrolls) and Jonah appeared in 1969, the Book of Isaiah in 1973 and the Book of Jeremiah in 1974. Revised versions of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Jonah appeared in Nevi'im, edited by Professor Ginsberg assisted by Professor Orlinsky, published in 1978.

A separate committee was set up in 1966 to translate the Kethuvim. It consisted of Moshe Greenberg, Jonas Greenfield and Nahum Sarna. The Psalms appeared in 1973 and the Book of Job in 1980. Revised versions of both, and the Megilloth, appeared in the complete Ketuvim in 1982. The 1985 edition listed the Kethuvim translation team as also including Saul Leeman, Chaim Potok, Martin Rozenberg, and David Shapiro.

New enhanced versions

*"The Torah: A Modern Commentary", the Humash published by the Reform Movement in 1974–1980, with a one-volume edition in 1981, includes the NJPS translation.
*The first one-volume edition of the NJPS translation of the entire Hebrew Bible was published in 1985 under the title "Tanakh". It incorporates a thorough revision of the translation’s sections previously issued individually.
*A third edition of "The Torah" (the first section of the NJPS "Tanakh") was published in 1992.
*A bilingual Hebrew-English edition of the full Hebrew Bible, in facing columns, was published in 1999. It includes the second edition of the NJPS "Tanakh" translation (which supersedes the 1992 "Torah") and the masoretic Hebrew text as found in the Leningrad Codex.
*The recent series of JPS Bible commentaries all use the NJPS translation.
*"Etz Hayim," the Humash published by the Conservative Movement in 2001, incorporates the NJPS translation (with minor modifications).
*The Jewish Study Bible, published in 2003, contains the NJPS translation in one volume with introductions, notes, and supplementary material. Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-529754-7
*"The Torah: A Modern Commentary", revised edition (2005), includes a version of the NJPS translation for the books of Exodus through Deuteronomy, newly adapted for gender accuracy. (The translations of Genesis and of the prophetic texts in this edition come from a different source.)
*"The Contemporary Torah: A Gender-Sensitive Adaptation of the JPS Translation", published in 2006, includes the Five Books of Moses and a supplementary “Dictionary of Gender in the Torah.” Its version of NJPS, which goes by the abbreviation CJPS, is “contemporary” in its use of gendered language only where germane, and in its drawing upon recent scholarship about gender roles in the ancient Near East. With regard to human beings, the CJPS adaptation sets out to represent the gender implications of the Torah’s language as its composer(s) counted on the original audience to receive them, given the gender assumptions of that time and place. With regard to God, the CJPS adaptation employs gender-neutral language except where certain poetic passages invoke gendered imagery.

ee also

*Jewish English Bible translations

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