The christians have that


Is there something like that for jews?

If there isn't, then perhaps lists of several good online jewish translation would be nice too. It helps me figure out how far the translations are different.

  • 5
    That may well exist, but I doubt it. Jewish scholars are much less interested in comparing different English translations than they are in just comprehending the original Hebrew and commentaries on it themselves.
    – Isaac Moses
    Nov 25, 2011 at 3:36
  • I assume you're referring to English translations. There are websites that provide side-by-side Aramaic (Targum) and Latin translations.
    – Shmuel
    Nov 25, 2011 at 7:54
  • Ah I see. Yes I mean english. Translation also helps me to see what somebody think the meaning is (when he is supposed to be very objective). Also when translations differs, I know something worth looking.
    – user4951
    Nov 25, 2011 at 8:28

2 Answers 2


I don't know of any site that provides multiple translations on the same page, but here are all the English Tanach websites that I know of. (Italics means the site only contains the first five books (Pentateuch), and an asterisk means it also contains select portions from Prophets (Haftorah). Regular font means the full Tanakh\Jewish Bible is available):

  1. Old JPS (1917)
  2. New JPS (1985)
  3. Judaica Press (Chabad)
  4. The Living Torah by Aryeh Kaplan
  5. The Bible by Isaac Lesser - The first Jewish English translation

Online translations that only allow partial viewing (Via Amazon.com's "See Inside" or Google Books):

  1. Artscroll Tanach
  2. *Artscroll Chumash** (Same translation as the Tanach)
  3. *Artscroll Chumash** (Alternative Listing)
  4. The Five Books of Moses by Robert Alter
  5. The Five Books of Moses by Everett Fox
  6. *Chumash by R' SR Hirsch**
  7. The Koren Jerusalem Bible

Other translations may be available online, either in full or via Amazon or Google Books. For example, the JPS Study Tanach, which is the New JPS plus additional commentary, is available on Amazon.

I unsucessfully attempted to find the "Birnbaum" translation, which should be out of copyright, but it's apparently not available online.

Differences between translations: Wikipedia has a list, with distinctions, of many of the major Jewish translations. You can view it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_English_Bible_translations This website also compares several different translations: http://www.bluethread.com/reviews/chumashim/index.html#Translation

Here's my personal opinion of the different translations, based on an somewhat-extensive unscientific survey:

Old JPS is based primarily on the KJV, but with major changes. It's pretty literal, accurate, and highly regarded. The main problems are 1. It's based on the KJV, and inherits a few of the KJV's problems; 2. Uses outdated English; 3. Doesn't have any translations based on linguistic research done since 1917. New JPS vs Artscroll: Both strike a middle-ground between strict literal and paraphrase, but Artscroll is more literal than JPS, and the JPS takes some (unjustifiable) liberties. For example, JPS will re-order the position of entire phrases (and rarely, verses) to make the English flow better. Artscroll will re-order words, but never whole verses. JPS breaks up the English paragraphs according to what they thought made sense, whereas Artscroll follows the Hebrew paragraph breaks (usually). JPS breaks up poetry into stanzas, which Artscroll does not do. In addition, Artscroll is unabashedly Orthodox, whereas JPS is non-denominational. This has the following implications: 1. The Introductions to the translations could not possible be more different. Artscroll has a ultra-Orthodox, "the Bible was never changed" approach (which is blatantly false, and has been acknowledged as such by traditional sources), whereas the JPS has a more academic approach. 2. The JPS has footnotes which frequently acknowledge when they're not sure of the translation of a certain word of phrase. Artscroll, following their ideology, almost never admits they don't know what a word means, and will give the "traditional" interpretation of that word without indicating such. They also (rarely) bend the text to match Halakha (Jewish Law) instead of the exact translation. Finally, Artscroll (depending on the version you buy) includes an Orthodox\Traditional commentary, which provide "Midrashim" and the interpretations of Rabbis and the Halakha (Jewish Law) on certain verses. JPS's commentary (again, depending on version) are more concerned with the text itself - for example, it'll say when a similar phrase is found elsewhere.

There are other translations, as well. For example, Artscroll provides additional versions that are based on a particular Rabbi's commentary. In addition, Robert Alter has a very good translation of the Pentateuch and Psalms). Everret Fox also produced a very unique translation of the Pentateuch, which attempts to keep the Hebrew syntax. Finally, you should avoid The Living Torah translation, and any translation by Aryeh Kaplan. Great man, but the translation is more commentary than text.

A good traditional general-purpose commentary that explains all the verses and provides short summaries and background information, then I highly recommend the Hertz Chumash, written by one of the former Chief Rabbis of England. It's older, and can sound some-what outdated, but it's still the best general-purpose Chumash around. If you're looking for a narrower commentary, keep reading. If you're looking for a strictly traditional (ultraOrthodox) approach, then Artscroll (Stone Chumash) is the way to go. If you're looking for a more academic approach, then Robert Alter's translation and commentary is recommended. If you're looking for a mix of tradition and academic, then I highly recommed the Da'at Mikra series (Hebrew only). If you're looking for a more progressive commentary, that's still somewhat traditional, then I recommend the JPS Study Bible. If you're looking for a traditional commentary that attempts to connect the verses to modern life, then R' Samson Rafael Hirsch's commentary is the one. There are commentaries to fill all niches.

Of course, there are also the Traditional commentaries written by the Medieval Rabbis, such as Rashi, Ramban (Nachmanides), Ibn Ezra and Abarbanel, to name a few. Artscroll has published English translations of Rashi and Ramban, and I believe translations exist for other commentators as well.

  • The Living Torah is online! That's awesome!
    – Isaac Moses
    Nov 25, 2011 at 13:27
  • 1
    Doesn't the Hertz chumash use the JPS translation? I thought all that's new in it is the commentary.
    – Alex
    Nov 25, 2011 at 21:03
  • @Alex: After a quick Google search, it appears that you're right - it uses the Old JPS (1917), as does Soncino. I don't have a copy of either at home to confirm, but I've edited the answer anyways.
    – Shmuel
    Nov 28, 2011 at 3:27
  • 1
    The Gutnick Edition Chumash Nov 29, 2011 at 6:21

Aryeh Kaplan's Living Torah is one of the best translation's of the Torah I've seen. His translation of the written Torah is informed by the Oral Torah - thus making it truly an example of the Jewish Heritage. For example see his discussion in the intro about how he treats idioms in the text. Any translation that does not take the Oral Torah (Talmud & Midrash) into account is no longer worthy to be called a Torah translation - rather an Old Testament translation and estranged from Judaism.

Another one to see is the Koren - though I don't know it that well yet to comment

  • How can you appreciate the Oral Torah's insights without knowing what the words mean without it?
    – Double AA
    Dec 1, 2016 at 14:33

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