The Jewish New Testament

Q. Was the NT written in Hebrew or Greek? Being Jewish I heard about the Jewish NT and was thinking about buying it and want to make sure it is the same as the NT.

A. Most scholars believe the New Testament was written entirely in Greek, although there are some who believe Matthew’s Gospel was originally written in Hebrew. I have a Jewish New Testament and read from it periodically. But as I do I’m aware that it had to be translated from Greek into Hebrew and then from Hebrew into English. Every time you move from one language to another you lose some clarity because many words don’t have equivalent meanings in other languages.

In the Jewish New Testament you have what’s called a dynamically equivalent translation, or paraphrase, as opposed to a literal one. It’s good for casual reading and can provide insight into the customs of the Jewish culture, but it’s probably not accurate enough for serious study.

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