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Jerusalem Bibles (JB)

The Jerusalem Bible was commissioned by Pope Pius XII in 1943, who encouraged Roman Catholic scholars to translate from the original Greek and Hebrew rather than the Latin Vulgate (which many believe to have misinterpreted some verses). Originally translated into French, an English version was eventually produced in 1966.

It’s translation style is described as being a historical-critical method. With this literal approach and high level of scholarship, the Jerusalem Bible was admired beyond its Catholic audience. Revised in 1985, the New Jerusalem Bible was a completely fresh translation cutting all translation ties with its French beginnings.

Many don’t realise that it’s literary beauty is attributed to one particular contributor – author of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ J.R.R. Tolkien – who was himself a Catholic and keen translator (his primary contribution was the translation of the book of Jonah).

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