Messianic Bible translations

Messianic Bible translations are translations, or editions of translations, in English of the Christian Bible which are widely used within Messianic Judaism. They are not the same as Jewish English Bible translations.


Heinz Cassirer's translation

After the Cassirer family fled Hitler's persecution of Jews, Heinz Cassirer came to believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah and was baptized into the Anglican Church in 1955 and considered himself henceforth a Jewish Christian. He eventually translated the New Testament, God's New Covenant: A New Testament Translation. Cassirer completed his translation of the New Testament in just thirteen months.[1]

In 1989, his late widow, Olive Cassirer published his work through the William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company a decade after his death, Olive died in 2008. This publication is now out of print.

Complete Jewish Bible

Not to be confused with the Complete Tanach with Rashi.
Complete Jewish Bible
Abbreviation CJB
Complete Bible
Textual basis OT: Masoretic Text . NT: Greek New Testament 3rd Edition UBS, 1975. Ancient Greek source manuscripts into modern English with some Yiddish expressions.
Translation type Dynamic equivalence
Reading level High School
Copyright Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc.
Religious affiliation Messianic Judaism

The Complete Jewish Bible (sometimes referred to as the CJB) [2] is a translation of the Bible into English by Dr. David H. Stern. It consists of both Stern's revised translation of the Old Testament (Tanakh) plus his original Jewish New Testament (B'rit Hadashah) translation in one volume. It was published in its entirety in 1998 by Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc.[3]

The Old Testament translation is a paraphrase of the public domain 1917 Jewish Publication Society Version, although scholar Bruce Metzger notes that where Stern disagreed with the JPS version, he translated from the Masoretic Text himself. The New Testament section is Stern's original translation from the ancient Greek.

Stern states that his purpose for producing the Complete Jewish Bible was "to restore God's Word to its original Jewish context and culture as well as be in easily read modern English." This translation was also intended that it be fully functional for Messianic Jewish congregations.

Stern follows the order and the names of the Old Testament books in the Hebrew Bible, rather than those of typical Christian Bibles. He uses Hebrew names for people and places, such as Eliyahu for "Elijah", and Sha'ul for "Saul." The work also incorporates Hebrew and Yiddish expressions that Stern refers to as "Jewish English", such as matzah for "unleavened bread"[4] and mikveh for "ritual immersion pool".[5]

World Messianic Bible

The World Messianic Bible (formerly known as The World English Bible: Messianic Edition (WEB:ME) or The Hebrew Names Version (HNV) is a free public domain Messianic Bible which is available online in its entirety and can be read, printed, reproduced, quoted, taught from and used freely without restrictions. Such use is permitted as long as the text is not altered in any way, shape or form other than for grammatical reasons from American English to British English or vice versa. If this is violated, it can no longer be called the World Messianic Bible nor by its former names such as The World English Bible: Messianic Edition nor Hebrew Names Version.

The Tanakh (Old Testament) section of this edition follows the order of books as found in the Hebrew Bible as opposed to the order found ordinarily in Christian Old Testaments. It's a work in progress with only the New Covenant, Psalms and Proverbs available in print as of December, 2014.[6]

Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Tree of Life Version
Abbreviation TLV
Complete Bible
Textual basis OT: Masoretic Text . NT: 27th Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece.
Translation type Word-for-Word
Reading level High School
Copyright Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society, Inc.
Religious affiliation Messianic Judaism

The Tree of Life Version is a translation of the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts by a collaborative team of over 70 people, including 34 Ph.Ds, for the purpose of crafting a vetted, authoritative translation by Jewish and Non-Jewish believers in Jesus. This project was spearheaded by the Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society - a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization seeking to represent the various branches of modern Messianic Judaism while safeguarding the text. The Tree of Life Version used the Masoretic Texts, 27th Nestle-Alland Novum Testemetum Graece, The Septuagint, and other reputable sources for their translation origination.

With goals of being " reverent as the King James Version (KJV), as readable as the New International Version (NIV), and as accurate as the New American Standard (NASB)," the Tree of Life Version is a word-for-word translation, maintaining much of the Hebrew idiom and syntax, as well as maintaining the historical-present tense of the Greek. Sixteen key principles of translation were developed by the Board of Directors, which then guided the seven-step translation process. The Tree of Life Version also uses the Jewish canon of the Old Testament or TANAKH and follows Jewish tradition of replacing the unpronounceable name of God (The Tetragrammaton) with the Hebrew word for Lord - Adonai. Additionally, there is minimal usage of transliteration, using it sparingly for Hebraic concepts that are often not easily translatable into English, such as shalom, chesed, and ruach. The Tree of Life Version refrains from using Yiddish or modern Hebrew phrases in order to avoid anachronisms.

The Tree of Life Version was begun in 2009 and published in its entirety by the Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society in 2014. The Tree of Life New Covenant was published in 2011 by Destiny Image Publishers. The Tree of Life New Covenant could also be found in the Shared Heritage Bible, paired with the 1917 Jewish Publication Society Old Testament (TANAKH), published by Destiny Image Publishers in 2012. The Tree of Life Version was licensed by Baker Publishing Group in 2015, who then published the Tree of Life Version — Thinline Edition in 2016.


In the late 1800s, Lutheran missionary and Christian Hebraist[7] Franz Delitzsch (with subsequent editors) translated the Greek New Testament into Hebrew.[8] It has been edited and reprinted by modern publishers.


  1. p. 330. James K. Hoffmeier, Dennis R. Magary. 2012. Do Historical Matters Matter to Faith?: A Critical Appraisal of Modern and Postmodern Approaches to Scripture. Crossway.
  7. Toy, Crawford Howell; Gottheil, Richard. "DELITZSCH, FRANZ". Retrieved 19 August 2011. DELITZSCH, FRANZ: Christian Hebraist; born at Leipsic Feb. 23, 1813; died there March 4, 1890.
  8. Schaff-Herzog encyclopedia; Johann Jakob Herzog (1883). A religious encyclopædia: or, Dictionary of Biblical, historical, doctrinal, and practical theology. Based on the Realencyklopädie of Herzog, Plitt, and Hauck. Funk & Wagnalls. pp. 953–. Retrieved 19 August 2011.

External links

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