New Jerusalem Bible
The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 translation of the Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 published in 1985 by Darton, Longman & Todd and Les Editions du Cerf, and edited by the Reverend Henry Wansbrough
Henry Wansbrough
The Very Reverend Dom Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA , STL , LSS , is a biblical scholar and a monk of Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire, England....



The New Jerusalem Bible includes the deuterocanonical books and sections. The text of these is included where they occur in the context of the complete Septuagint, rather than being grouped together in an appendix. Deuterocanonical sections of books in the Hebrew canon are identified by the use of italics.


This version of scripture is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic". The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jérusalem
Jerusalem Bible
The Jerusalem Bible is a Roman Catholic translation of the Bible which first was introduced to the English-speaking public in 1966 and published by Darton, Longman & Todd...

, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." The introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jérusalem. The NJB's New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 is translated from the Novum Testamentum Graece
Novum Testamentum Graece
Novum Testamentum Graece is the Latin name editions of the original Greek-language version of the New Testament.The first printed edition was the Complutensian Polyglot Bible by Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, printed in 1514, but not published until 1520...

 25th ed., with occasional parallels to Codex Bezae
Codex Bezae
The Codex Bezae Cantabrigensis, designated by siglum Dea or 05 , δ 5 , is a codex of the New Testament dating from the 5th century written in an uncial hand on vellum. It contains, in both Greek and Latin, most of the four Gospels and Acts, with a small fragment of the 3 John...

. Its Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 is drawn from the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia
Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia
The Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, or ', is an edition of the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible as preserved in the Leningrad Codex, and supplemented by masoretic and text-critical notes...

 with Septuagint, and the Apocrypha
The term apocrypha is used with various meanings, including "hidden", "esoteric", "spurious", "of questionable authenticity", ancient Chinese "revealed texts and objects" and "Christian texts that are not canonical"....

 from the Septuagint with Vulgate
The Vulgate is a late 4th-century Latin translation of the Bible. It was largely the work of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the old Latin translations...



The New Jerusalem Bible is an update to the Jerusalem Bible
Jerusalem Bible
The Jerusalem Bible is a Roman Catholic translation of the Bible which first was introduced to the English-speaking public in 1966 and published by Darton, Longman & Todd...

, an English version of the French Bible de Jérusalem. It is commonly held that the Jerusalem Bible was not a translation from the French; rather, it was an original translation heavily influenced by the French. This view is not shared by Henry Wansbrough, editor of the New Jerusalem Bible, who writes, "Despite claims to the contrary, it is clear that the Jerusalem Bible was translated from the French, possibly with occasional glances at the Hebrew or Greek, rather than vice versa."

When the French version was updated in 1973, the changes were used to revise the Jerusalem Bible, creating the New Jerusalem Bible. The revisions were substantial. The revised version is said to be less literary but, for the most part, more literal. The introductions and footnotes, translated almost entirely from the French, have also been thoroughly revised and expanded, making it one of the most scholarly editions of the Bible.

The translation uses some "inclusive language", as in Exodus 20:17: "You shall not set your heart on your neighbor's spouse," rather than "neighbor's wife" or "neighbor's woman". For the most part, however, the inclusive language is limited to avoiding a "preference" for the masculine
Masculine or masculinity, normally refer to qualities positively associated with men.Masculine may also refer to:*Masculine , a grammatical gender*Masculine cadence, a final chord occurring on a strong beat in music...

, as the translators write in the foreword. The New Jerusalem Bible uses more gender inclusive language than the Jerusalem Bible, but far less than many modern translations such as the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
The New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition is a translation of the Bible adapted for the use of Catholics with the approval of the Catholic Church. It contains all the canonical books of Scripture accepted by the Catholic Church arranged in the traditional Catholic order...

, which changes "brothers" to "brothers and sisters", throughout the New Testament. For the inclusive language that it does contain, it has been rejected by many conservative American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Catholics in favor of the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
The Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition is an adaptation of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible for use by Catholics...

, the New American Bible
New American Bible
The New American Bible is a Catholic Bible translation first published in 1970. It had its beginnings in the Confraternity Bible, which began to be translated from the original languages in 1948....

, or the Douay-Rheims Bible
Douai Bible
The Douay–Rheims Bible is a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English made by members of the English College, Douai, in the service of the Catholic Church...

. Outside of America it has become the most widely used Catholic translation in English-speaking countries.

Like the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible makes the uncommon decision to render God's name, the Tetragrammaton
The term Tetragrammaton refers to the name of the God of Israel YHWH used in the Hebrew Bible.-Hebrew Bible:...

, in the Jewish scriptures as Yahweh
Yahweh is the name of God in the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jews and Christians.The word Yahweh is a modern scholarly convention for the Hebrew , transcribed into Roman letters as YHWH and known as the Tetragrammaton, for which the original pronunciation is unknown...

 rather than as Lord or Jehovah
Jehovah is an anglicized representation of Hebrew , a vocalization of the Tetragrammaton , the proper name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible....


The New Jerusalem Bible also transliterates the Hebrew term "Sabaoth" rather than using the traditional rendering, thus "Yahweh Sabaoth" instead of "Lord of hosts". This is for the sake of accuracy, as the translation of "Sabaoth" is uncertain.

Successor to the NJB

The French reference for The New Jerusalem Bible, and the source of its study notes, is the French La Bible de Jérusalem, last updated in 1998. The new Bible project is currently operating under the title The Bible in its Traditions. According to the notes, more weight will be given to the Septuagint in the translation of the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 Scriptures, though the Masoretic Text
Masoretic Text
The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible and is regarded as Judaism's official version of the Tanakh. While the Masoretic Text defines the books of the Jewish canon, it also defines the precise letter-text of these biblical books, with their vocalization and...

 will remain the primary source. The Demonstration Volume (in English, French and Spanish) is available now. The French portion of the Demonstration Volume is available online, together with a single sample of the English translation. In this new version, the tetragrammaton
The term Tetragrammaton refers to the name of the God of Israel YHWH used in the Hebrew Bible.-Hebrew Bible:...

is not transliterated as in the Jerusalem Bible and the New Jerusalem Bible, and several kinds of commentary are included in a manner different from the practice of other Bible editions.

External links

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