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The Jerusalem Bible: Reader's Edition Hardcover – Abridged, February 15, 2000

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for THE JERUSALEM BIBLE (1966 edition):

"This is one of those really monumental works.--There is just nothing like it in English, and I will not live long enough to see anything like it."--Father J. L. McKenzie, President, Society of Biblical Literature

From the Inside Flap

When it comes to Bible translations, readability and reliability are what count; and on both counts, the original JERUSALEM BIBLE stands alone. A product of the age of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), THE JERUSALEM BIBLE (published in 1966) was the first truly modern Bible for Catholics. Using definitive original language texts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, biblical scholars of L'École Biblique in Jerusalem produced a meticulously accurate, wonderfully readable French translation of the complete canon of Scripture (La Bible de Jérusalem). From this French original came the English edition, edited by renowned Bible scholar Alexander Jones.

For all the people around the world who are discovering or revisiting the mysteries contained in the Scriptures, only a clear, understandable Bible translation will do. With language as exquisite but more modern than the King James Version, THE JERUSALEM BIBLE is the one they can trust.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1696 pages
  • Publisher: Image; Reissue edition (February 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385499183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385499187
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

It's a keeper in my library!
J.L. Populist
Both the language and the format of this Bible make it one of the most beautiful and readable translations available.
Barbara S. Mustain
Very easy to understand and is a quick read.
lydia whisenand-gilbert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

234 of 246 people found the following review helpful By Ex Libris on August 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
How fortunate that this wonderful translation is still in print. After nearly 40 years, the Jerusalem Bible in English is still as exciting and fresh as when it first appeared in 1966. At the time, it heralded an entirely new approach to the Scriptures. It was the first translation by Catholic scholars to use the original languages rather than the Latin Vulgate. It was translated into modern English. It was the only version to break with King James tradition and spell out the divine name (Yahweh). Despite being the work of French Dominicans, the annotations were non-doctrinal and acclaimed by scholars of all faiths.
How disingenuous to the original spirit, therefore, that the back cover proclaims that "it still holds to the traditional (noninclusive) language that appeals to conservative Catholic and Protestant Christians." It was not the specific intention of the editors and translators to produce a Bible described like that. Gender inclusive language was not even an issue at that time. If the Jerusalem Bible lacks gender inclusive language, it's due to its historical dating rather than a deliberate decision taken by its translators. There has also been some writing about how the JB compares to the New Jerusalem Bible (1985) in this regard. While the producers of the NJB acknowledge that they made some very minor changes to accomodate gender neutrality, they are by no means severe. In both the JB and NJB, for example, "brothers" does not become "brothers and sisters" throughout the New Testament (as it does in the NRSV). Also God created "man" in both the JB's and NJB's accounts of Genesis--not "humankind"(as in the NRSV).
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91 of 94 people found the following review helpful By OverTheMoon on February 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
No other bible can be compared to the quality and accuracy of The Jerusalem Bible (1966). It is approved for liturgical use in Europe by the Vatican. That makes it an official Catholic bible. With relaxations of the official church position on bible translations, Alexander Jones of Christ's College, Liverpool took the opportunity as an editor to guide a team of translators in an English language translation of the Holy Bible using a method already accomplished by the Dominican Biblical School in Jerusalem with their production of La Bible de Jerusalem (1956) in French, by means of Hebrew and Greek sources while bypassing the Latin Vulgate (the key reason why the Catholic Church thought long and hard about approving this process). Thus the English version of the JB is not French to English translation as some have erroneously suggested. Along with creating the JB the editors also historically researched each book of the bible, and prepared an introduction for most books along with creating sets of footnotes that would cross-reference the entire bible. The Old Testament sources are the Masoretic texts, with a critical inspection comparison using the Greek Septuagint (the LXX). Since the Dead Sea Scrolls mostly matched the LXX, the JB happens to be the most accurate rendition of the OT. It is even better than the Jewish Tanakh and the Masoretic texts themselves that are not always in line with the Dead Sea Scrolls. The critical combination of the LXX and the Masoretic texts produce a version of the Old Testament of the quality used by Jews and certainly the apostles, at the time of Christ.Read more ›
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The Jerusalem Bible is THE BEST Bible translation in my opinion! So rich and poetic, but yet simple to read and understand! This is the best Catholic bible to buy. Other reviewers have complained about the binding and printing, but I bought it anyway because I just loved the translation and wanted to own it! When I got the bible I was very surprised...It was not at all as horrible as the other reviewers were making it out to be! The binding was very tight and neat. The printing job, although small and tiny, very clear and easy to see...not terrible like the other reviews make it out to be!
So I say to you Catholics (and even non-catholics) BUY THIS BIBLE NOW! Don't listen to the other reviewers and what they say about the print job...I did for a long time and never bought it because of what they said...then when I finally did, it wasn't NEARLY as bad as they had made it out to be! Its a beautiful translation and its a neat carry-around size with a beautiful Gold/White/Burgandy cover! I also recommend the New Jerusalem Bible...although not as wonderful as this one, still pretty great!
Rev. 12:1
Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown.
(from The Jerusalem Bible)
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful By J.L. Populist on June 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The Jerusalem Bible I am reviewing is the burgundy cloth,hard covered edition from 1966 edited by Alexander Jones.J.R.R. Tolkien was on the committee that worked on this version.
This is the original edition and it's becoming harder to find.This is not to be confused with the "reader's edition" or New Jerusalem Bible.

A few negatives on this Bible:it is cumbersome to carry.It is thick!Approximately 2 3/4 inches thick.And heavy.

Now a review of what's inside the covers.
My understanding of this version is that it was commissioned by the Catholic Church and it was the first departure from the Latin Vulgate or another words; there was a lot of investigating/studying the Greek and Hebrew texts.
This Bible uses the name "Yahweh" instead of titles like "God" or "Lord" in the OT.
There are educational Introductions to each book in this Bible.The Jerusalem Bible has 7 more books than the KJV has.They are:1 Maccabees, 2Maccabees, Judith, Tobit, Baruch, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus.
The footnotes are exhaustive and very helpful for study.
For example a footnote on Isaiah 7:14 describes the subtle difference between Greek and Hebrew for the description of Immanuel's mother as a virgin(Greek) or maiden,young girl,or recently married woman(Hebrew).The JB uses "maiden" in that verse where I would argue that it was a prophecy of the "virgin" birth.

Matthew 6:13 uses the wording "put us not to the test" rather than "lead us not into temptation"in the Lord's Prayer. This wording is more in line with James 1:13 "Never, when you have been tempted, say,'God sent the temptation';God cannot be tempted to do anything wrong,and he does not tempt anybody."
Another curious difference in text wording can be found in Rev.22:19.
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