From what I understand, the Jewish tradition is very insistent that translations of the Hebrew Bible accurately reflect the original text.

Because of this, several Jewish English Bible translations have been produced - specifically by Jews and for Jews.

I am wondering, however, if there is any particular Jewish English translation of the Hebrew Bible that is also available in several different languages worldwide.

I have 2 reasons for asking this question:

(1) The several Jewish English Bible translations that I have come across (produced specifically by Jews and for Jews) are not available in any language other than English

(2) A while back ago, I asked this question about whether or not there is a Jewish Greek Bible translation (other than the Septuagint, which is not used by Jews outside of Beta Israel, or the 1547 Yevanic Greek Torah in the "Constantinople Pentateuch," which only includes the first 5 books, or the Greek translation by Aquila/Onkelos, which has not survived apart from a few fragments.) I did not get any answers.


1 Answer 1


I think that for the most part, Jewish translations of the Bible are made directly from the original Hebrew text into the given foreign language, rather than translated from one foreign language into another1. So, while it's likely that there are Jewish Bible translations out there in Aramaic, Arabic, Spanish, German, Russian, Yiddish, English, etc., most of them will have been done as independent projects, each to suit a particular Jewish Diaspora population in a given era, and few of them are likely to have been done as coordinated multilingual projects or as secondary translations of each other. Therefore, I doubt that there is a body of work out there that represents a single Jewish translation into many languages.

1. Two exceptions that I can think of are: a) the Aramaic Targum Onkelos on the Pentateuch, which has achieved canonical status as an interpretive text in its own right, and which has therefore been translated (multiple times - see Versions here) into English and probably some other languages; and b) R' Samson Raphael Hirsch's German interpretive translation of the Pentateuch, which has been translated in turn into English, to capture R' Hirsch's interpretive spin.

  • And as far as you know, there is no complete Jewish Greek Bible translation in existence today? I wonder how Greek-speaking Jews get by without one.
    – user16888
    May 18, 2019 at 17:04
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    Rav Sa'adya Ga'on's tafsir has also been back-translated into Hebrew. Some other Aramaic Targumim have been translated into English here
    – b a
    May 18, 2019 at 18:16
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    @7MessRobHackOpen I'm not sure how anything I said suggested that there's no Jewish Greek translation. I don't think there are very many Jews left whose primary language is Greek, and I'll bet that most or all of them read other languages as well, as Europeans and Jews are wont to do.
    – Isaac Moses
    May 19, 2019 at 3:44
  • According to Wikipedia, there are 50,000+ Romaniote Jews in the world today. Not sure how many of them speak non-Greek languages though. But still, I find it surprising that they have not yet translated any of the Hebrew Bible (other than the Torah in 1547) into Greek.
    – user16888
    May 19, 2019 at 16:45

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