I will start by saying that I know nothing and must admit I was raised Christian. I had some curiosity as to why Christians are Christian when our guy that we are supposed to imitate and be like told us constantly to obey the law, that the law was perfect, and is very much presented as an Orthodox Jew.

It seemed to me that the character of Jesus was borderline obsessive about the Tanakh (Laws of Torah and quoting the prophetic books), and we basically ignore its teachings as a church to a great degree, and I have been told that Christian Old Testament's are not accurate in the first place.

Anyway, long story short this has lead me down a ridiculous rabbit hole that I am very glad to go down, but I have realized I will not understand the Tanakh as I would like without learning Biblical Hebrew.

I have started taking online classes, hardly, I should say I am in the process of starting, and I would like to purchase a complete Tanakh in as close to original form as possible. I have been told that Mikraos Gedolos Is where to turn but being as I do not speak Hebrew (yet), I know basically nothing, and I am not Jewish (yet, we’ll see where this journey takes me) I am having quite a time trying to find what to buy to use for studying as I move into understanding the text.

Hope I can get some answers!

(I also am beginning to get the feeling that the only way to live the life advised by the Jesus character I grew up with would be to convert to Orthodox Judaism, however I am very aware that that position would not be accepted by Orthodox Judaism or by the Christian Church, it just happens to be where I am at in understanding at this point in my journey.)

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    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikraot_Gedolot may be a bit advanced for you
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 0:28
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    The main feature of Mikraos Gedolos is that it has lots of (Hebrew) commentaries gathered together. But based on your post, I'm not sure that's really what you're looking for. What about a Tanakh that has Hebrew and English?
    – Alex
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 1:23
  • On line you can use The Complete Tanakh (Tanach) - Hebrew Bible. Offline you can use the Art Scroll Chumash translated into English and with English commentary. For a more advanced student, Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirch's commentary has been translated into English from the German. Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 1:27
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    It is impossible to understand the Bible just reading the literal text, even if you understand Hebrew. You do need the correct commentaries to understand what is being said. The correct Hebrew is given in both the Art Scroll and Ribbi Hirsch's volumes, and the translations are correct. Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 1:49
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    @sabbahillel feel free to post those as an answer, and do you have any reason why you would choose those two translations over others? Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 4:07

1 Answer 1


I recommend reading this translation for [being praised as being] one of the most complete English translations of the Torah (Pentateuch) based on The Jewish Tradition. (Also available in print as: The Living Torah, by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan; as a side note many of Aryeh Kaplan’s books would probably be a great springboard for stuff it seems you’re looking for.)

For the rest of the Bible (prophets, writings), the same style of translation was done by the successors of the author, after the author’s death.

Learning Biblical Hebrew should not be any more difficult than studying any other language. There are multitudes of rich resources that can be found with a google search. The translation above will explain idiom among all else.

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    Awesome, thank you for your help, you guys have been extreamly helpful and it is greatly appreciated!
    – Michael
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 2:55
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    We’re thrilled to help naturally, your great appreciation is perhaps due to “I pray you guys don’t steer me in the wrong direction because I am coming from a Christian perspective” - as a rule, you never have to worry about such things from people like us, I’d say. You’re welcome!
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 2:58
  • Dr. Shmuel, I apologize for that remark, I know that the church of my parents has done some horrible things historically and that some carry justified suspicion of Christians reaching towards Jewish circles, but every rabbi I’ve met with or synagogue I’ve attended has been insanely welcoming and supportive of me striving for truth. Maybe I’ve spent too much time around a xenophobic extended family and as a young adult now have to realize that everyone is not like that 😌. My apologies and thank you again! God bless
    – Michael
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 3:35
  • “For the rest of the Bible... done by successors...” I think it should be “successor”; by Prof. Yaakov Elman ‘The Living Nach’.
    – Oliver
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 14:51
  • I was under the impression that he co-authored it.. dunno.. @oliver
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 15:11

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