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The CJB has this to say about itself in the Introduction: “The Complete Jewish Bible is the only English version of the Bible fully Jewish in style and presentation that includes both the Tanakh ("Old Testament") and the B'rit Hadashah (New Covenant, "New Testament"). Even its title, the Complete Jewish Bible, challenges both Jews and Christians to see that the whole Bible is Jewish, the B'rit Hadashah as well as the Tanakh. Jews are challenged by the implication that without it the Tanakh is an incomplete Bible. Christians are challenged with the fact that they are joined to the Jewish people through faith in the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus) -- so that because Christianity can be rightly understood only from a Jewish perspective, anti-Semitism is condemned absolutely and forever.” I own the Complete Jewish Bible. While recommend for Christians, nevertheless it is a paraphrase. So for those wishing to do critical studies, and are looking for a text that sticks close to a word-for-word literal translation, this version may not be for you. But since it provides a refreshing Messianic Jewish perspective—one you might not otherwise have a chance to interact with unless you actually meet a Messianic Jew—I feel this is worth adding to your arsenal of Bible tools. IMPORTANT: David H. Stern holds to a typical Messianic Jewish position concerning Torah in the lives of Christians. This means, he is pro-Torah, and his translation reflects this bias. He does not believe the Torah was abolished in Christ. On the contrary, he believes it has ongoing relevance in the practical lives of every Christian, both Jewish and Gentile. Example from Romans 10:4: Typical translation: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” CJB rendering: “For the goal at which the Torah aims is the Messiah, who offers righteousness to everyone who trusts.” Some critics of the CJB have said that Dr. Stern's translation of Romans 10:4 (τελος γαρ νομου Χριστος εις δικαιοσυνην παντι τω πιστευοντι) -- and in particular the word "telos" in this verse -- has been incorrectly translated as, "For the Messiah is the goal (telos) at which the Torah aims..." instead of "For Messiah is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes." This might be quibbling on their part, since "teleology" implies the design or the causative purposes for something, and it surely is true that Yeshua is the Goal of Torah in that sense. Indeed, Yeshua is the Living Torah Himself -- it's very Author and Perfector.... Yeshua is our Torah-righteousness in the Heavenly Courtroom of God's justice and truth. He is our Advocate, our "defense attorney," and our intercessor at the bar of the Judgment. Wondering about Dr. Stern’s credentials? From the back: “David H. Stern, born in Los Angeles in 1935, is the great-grandson of two of the city's first twenty Jews. Stern's background includes surfing, plus a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, graduate work at the University of Judaism (now the American Jewish University), and a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University. He taught the first course in 'Judaism and Christianity' at Fuller Theological Seminary and at UCLA he was a professor.” Endorsements for the CJB include: • Dr. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., President Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts • Jack W. Hayford, Senior Pastor The Church On The Way, Van Nuys, California • Dr. Arthur F. Glasser, Dean Emeritus Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California • Dr. Louis Goldberg, former Professor of Theology and Jewish Studies Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois • Vinson Synan, Dean, School of Divinity, Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia • Dr. Walter Elwell, Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois • F. LaGard Smith, Author and former Professor of Law, Pepperdine University
I use it on occasion. Presenting the Word of God as a unified Jewish book, the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) is a translation for Jews and non-Jews alike. It connects readers with the Jewishness of the Messiah, i.e. with His Jewish character. Names and key terms are returned to their original Hebrew and presented in easy-to-understand transliterations, enabling the reader to say them the way Yeshua (Jesus) did. The CJB is a translation of the Bible into English by Dr. David H. Stern. It consists of Dr. 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. The Old Testament translation is a paraphrase of the public domain 1917 Jewish Publication Society version. The New Testament section is Dr. Stern's original translation from the ancient Greek. Dr. Stern's 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." The CJB follows the order and the names of the Old Testament books in the Jewish Bible, rather than those of typical Christian Bibles. It 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, such as matzah for "unleavened bread" and mikveh for "ritual immersion pool". About the Translator David H. Stern was born in Los Angeles in 1935, the great-grandson of two of the city's first twenty Jews. He earned a Ph.D. in economics at Princeton University and was a professor at UCLA, mountain-climber, co-author of a book on surfing, and owner of health-food stores. In 1972, he came to believe in Yeshua as the Messiah, after which he received a Master of Divinity degree at Fuller Theological Seminary and did graduate work at the University of Judaism. Dr. Stern taught Fuller Theological Seminary's first course in "Judaism and Christianity," organized Messianic Jewish conferences and leaders' meetings, and was an officer of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America.
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