The New Jerusalem Bible
GENERAL EDITOR’S FOREWORD
Since its publications in 1966, the Jerusalem Bible has become widely used for liturgical purposes, for study and for private reading. Credit both for the idea of the translation of the French Bible de Jérusalem and for the great labours involved in its execution belongs to Alexander Jones; it is sad that he did not live to see the full impact of his work. Both as an intelligible modern translation and as a well laid-out and easily manageable book, the Jerusalem Bible set a new standard for versions of the Bible.
However, in 1973 a new edition of the Bible Jérusalem was published, which incorporated progress in scholarship over the two decades since the preparation of its first edition. The introductions and notes were often widely changed to take account of linguistic, archological and theological advances, and the text itself in some instances reflected new understanding of the originals.
This 1973 revision was important enough to warrant a completely new edition of th English-language Jerusalem Bible. In this new edition, the introduction and notes are drawn from the revision, with some additional changes especially in the introduction and notes to the New Testament to take into account further recents advances in scholarship.
The biblical text of the first edition was occasionally criticised for following the french translation more closely than the originals. In this edition, the translation has been made directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic. Only where the text admits of more than one interpretation has the option chosen by the Bible Jérusalem been followed, unless permission to adopt another view as granted by the editors of that work.
The character of the Jerusalem Bible as primarily a study Bible has been kept constantly in mind, and for that reason accuracy of translation has been a prime consideration. Paraphrase has been avoided more rigorously than in the first edition; care has been taken that in parallel passages (for example in the first three gospel) the similarities and differences should be mirrored exactly in the translation.
Key terms in the originals, especially those theological key concepts on which there is a major theological note, have been rendered throughout (with very few exceptions) by the same English word. At the same time, the widespread liturgical use of this version has been taken into account; while it is hoped that the translation is fresh and lively, care has been taken to reproduce the dignity of the originals by a certain measured phrasing and avoidance of colloquial.
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