Frequently asked questions
What is the goal of the NJV?
The goal of the NJV is to make the personal name of God known to English-speaking people from all around the world, and to help the reader to rediscover the Hebrew roots of the Bible.
Does the NJV also contains the New Testament?
Yes, the NJV contains both the Tanakh (Old Testament) and Brit Chadashah (New Testament).
Is the NJV geared to a particular denominational interest?
No, but the NJV is particularly interesting for people with an interest in the Hebrew roots of the Judeo-Christian faith.
Why is the name of Jesus translated as Yeshua?
The name Jesus (Greek Iēsous (Ιησους)) is derived from the Hebrew name Yeshua (ישֵׁוּעַ), which is based on the Semitic root y-š-ʕ (Hebrew: ישע), meaning "to deliver; to rescue." In the Greek manuscripts of the Bible the name Iēsous occurs in both the Old and New Testament. In the Old Testament the Greek Iēsous is found is several passages (1 Chr. 24:11, 2 Chr. 31:15 and Ezra 2:2,6,36). In the Masoretic text, the Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament, the name is ישֵׁוּעַ, Yeshua.
In Matthew 1.21 the Angel spoke to Joseph “She shall give birth to a son; and you shall call his name Yeshua, for it is he who shall save his people from their sins.’’ The angel most certainly did not speak Greek, as Joseph was a jew from the tribe of Judah (Matthew 1.1-6). Just like Joseph also Paul had a divine encounter with an angel; on his way to Damascus Paul heard a voice speaking to him in the Hebrew language (Acts 26:14). All divine encounters in the Bible are spoken in Hebrew, we therefore know the angel called the name of King Messiah ישֵׁוּעַ, Yeshua.
Why is the name of God not translated as the LORD?
The name of God is most significant in the Scriptures, where He manifests Himself in various ways. A common name used for the Supreme Deity is God, a translation of the Hebrew “Elohim.” Another title for the Supreme Deity is Lord, a translation of the Hebrew “Adonai.” However, these do not represent the personal name of God. God’s personal, most holy and unutterable name is written and read in Hebrew from right to left: יהוה. The name is composed of the Hebrew letters Yod (י), Hey (ה), Vav (ו), Hey (ה), it is also referred to as the “Tetragrammaton,” which means “the four letters;” YHVH in Latin script. In the Jewish tradition the Divine Name is too sacred to be uttered, it was therefore already in ancient times replaced vocally by the Hebrew “Adonai” (LORD), which was translated as “Kyrios” (LORD) in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Septuagint or LXX). Most English Bibles owing to the Jewish tradition therefore write the name as ‘LORD.’
Out of respect for the holy name the New Jerusalem Version has preserved the original Hebrew: יהוה. It is up to the reader how to pronounce the most holy name, though not to be used in vain. In Jewish tradition it is not without reason that when the name is spoken aloud it is uttered as “Adonai” or “Hashem” (The Name). This goes back to the third commandment: “You shall not take the name of יהוה your God in vain; for יהוה will not hold him guiltless who misuses His name.” (Deut. 5:11)
What makes the New Jerusalem Version different from other Bibles?
The NJV distinguishes itself from most English Bibles by restoring the:
- Personal unutterable Hebrew name of God: יהוה
- Hebrew name of the Messiah: Yeshua
- Feasts of God: Pesach, Shavuot, Yom Kippur, etc.
- Names of God: Adonai Elohim Tzva’ot, El Shaddai, El Elyon, etc.
- Order of books: following the Jewish tradition of the TANAKH (Torah, Nevi’im, Ketuvim).
Who were the translators and scholars for the NJV?
The NJV is primarily an update of the 1901 American Standard Version (ASV), therefore most choices made by the original scholars that made this translation hold. Some verses have been re-translated to do justice to the Masoretic text. For example Exodus 3:14, when Moses asks God what His name is; God answers “I AM WHO I AM”. To provide this translation would be inaccurate, therefore the verse has been transliterated as “EHYEH ASHER EHYEH”, with a footnote referring to different English translations.
How accurate is the New Jerusalem Version?
The first goal of a translation must be to convey accurately and clearly the meaning of the original. There are two main types of Bible translations: “word-for-word’’ and “thought-for-thought.’’ A “word-for-word’’ translation attempts to translate each Hebrew or Greek word into a corresponding English word. A “thought-for-thought’’ translation seeks to express the basic thoughts of each sentence or paragraph from the original language in simple up-to-date English without being tied to translating every word.
The New Jerusalem Version is primarily an update of the 1901 ASV, WEB and “The Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text,’’ published in 1917 by the Jewish Publication Society. Both translations are considered to be highly reliable “word-for-word’’ translations.