May 10, 2010 David Lang

Jewish Tanakh Tagged with Strong's Numbers

When we first released our Jewish Collection CD-ROM, we included Jewish translations of the Hebrew Bible such as the Jewish Publication Society's Tanakh (JPS) and Everett Fox's translation of the Torah (SB). We also included the Old Testament portion of the King James Bible tagged with Strong's numbers (KJVH). Although not an ideal solution, we included the KJVH so that our Jewish users could have the ability to connect an English translation with the original Hebrew.

Recently, we began expanding our offering of Strong's numbered Bibles by adding Strong's numbers to the ESV, the NRSV, the NKJV, and the Spanish RVR60. We also added a new edition of the HCSB tagged with Strong's numbers by the publisher. Earlier this year, we had a meeting to discuss what other Bibles, if any, we should tag with Strong's numbers, and someone suggested tagging the JPS. Everyone present immediately latched on to the idea, and it was decided to begin work on it right away.

I'm very pleased to announce that the JPS with Strong's numbers (JPSS) is now available for purchase and download. This initial release has complete Strong's numbers in the Torah, and partial numbers throughout the rest of the text. Completion of the Key numbers is planned for later this year, but we wanted to get this into our Jewish users' hands as soon as possible.

By the way, the appeal of the JPS translation is hardly limited to Jewish users. It is a highly regarded translation which is extremely useful when doing comparative translation work. In the screenshot below, you can see that key number highlighting can make it easy to compare how multiple translations, including the JPS, render a given Hebrew word or phrase.


Here you can see that where most translations render ‏בראשׁית ברא אלהים in Genesis 1:1 as "In the beginning God created," the JPS renders it "When God began to create." Differences like this can prompt Christians to explore the text with fresh eyes and new questions. By the way, if you'd like a good explanation of why the JPS renders the Hebrew this way, be sure to consult the excellent JPS Torah Commentary.

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