Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Jubilee Bible - From the Scriptures of the Reformation

The Jubilee Bible is a unique translation of the Holy Bible taken from the Scriptures of the Reformation. Translators from the original texts in Hebrew and Greek into Spanish were made by Casiodoro De Reina, Cipriano de Valera, Francisco de Enzinas, and Juan Perez de Pineda, godly men of the reformation period. Russell Stendal, a missionary to Columbia, then translated their work from Spanish to English. He painstakingly compared this translation to that of English translator William Tyndale and also compared it word for word with the text of the authorized version of the King James Bible. Stendal's intention was to return the translations to the closest possible version of the original received text (Textus Receptus).
Editor Russell Stendal

The Jubilee Bible is written so the reader does not need to depend on theological dictionaries or reference materials. The Jubilee Bible is the only translation we know of that has each unique Hebrew word matched and mated with a unique English word so that the usage (number of occurrences and number of verses where the word occurs) sets forth a meaningful number pattern and a complete definition of what God means by each word.

This Bible is a bound in a leatherette tan material. It is embossed with a lovely tree design on the front cover along with the title. The Bible includes a ribbon marker, a listing of both Old and New Testament books, a dictionary of Proper Names, and translator's notes. The paper used is lightweight and the font is small at 10 points. Text is tight and margins are very small. There is no gold gilding to the pages and the words of Jesus are not written in red.

As the owner of many versions of the Holy Bible, I compare the Jubilee Bible most closely to my King James Bible. I did notice, in most of my other Bibles, each verse begins with a capital letter. This is not so in the Jubilee Bible because of the attention to grammar. There are some words added in italics by the translator for clarification.

I would like to give an example of text in various translations for comparison's sake. I have chosen John 15 verse 6:

Jubilee Bible: He who does not abide in me shall be cast forth as an unsound branch and shall wither, and they are gathered and cast into the fire and are burned. 

Authorized King James Version: If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Amplified Bible: If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken off] branch, and withers and dies; and they gather such branches and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

I found it interesting the word used to describe the branch in the Jubilee Bible was "unsound." In Hebrew, the word indicates infirmity, sickness or disease. I'd never thought of the branch as being diseased until I read the Jubilee version and this helped me gain a deeper insight into the verse. 

The Jubilee Bible is appealing to me because of the similarity to the King James Version of the Bible I grew up on, but for those unfamiliar with the text of the King James, the use of Old English might prove difficult to read or understand. 

Overall, I would give this Bible an A. It is well made and the translation is sound. I would have liked to have seen better paper used for the pages and a more defined transition between books of the Bible but those are my own personal preferences. 

Thank you, Aneko Press Publishers, for allowing me the chance to read and review this lovely Bible. It was my pleasure to do so. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and I was not encouraged to give a positive review.

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