May 17, 2023 | 26 Iyar, 5783
Over the past several years, Sefaria has partnered with The Jewish Publication Society (JPS), one of the world's leading Jewish publishers, to broaden access to Torah online. Today we're excited to share another JPS addition to our library: their newest English translation of the books of the Prophets (Nevi'im), part of THE JPS TANAKH: Gender-Sensitive Edition.
This Revised JPS (RJPS) edition is the first major update of the iconic 1985 JPS Tanakh translation in nearly four decades. It aims to present a more linguistically and historically accurate translation that reflects advances in scholarship and changes in the English language, while staying true to the original Hebrew. Most significantly, it re-evaluates each instance of gendered language to offer contemporary English versions closest to the original’s intended meaning based on the latest research.
The result? A translation that refers to individuals in ways that are consistent with ancient gender norms, while using inclusive language to refer broadly to people, ancestors, and humankind. Most references to God are gender-neutral, and the four-letter Hebrew name of God appears as “GOD” (with small capitals). You’ll also find some additional updates to general outdated language and ritual terminology.
Here's what Rabbi Barry Schwartz, director emeritus of JPS, had to say about the new translation:
"The RJPS makes the case that the art of Bible translation is always a work in progress, and should take into account not only our deeper understanding today of biblical Hebrew but also the significant changes that have occurred in the use of English over the past decades.
Tanakh is the foundational text of the Jewish people, and we share Sefaria's desire for everyone to be able to access it in language that is appropriate and meaningful for them while remaining faithful to the original."
Want to learn more about the philosophy and process behind the gender-sensitive edition? Read the Preface.
As we grow our collection, we encourage you to use the translations that best serve your learning. To browse available editions, click on any passage of text to open the resource panel and select ‘Translations.’
The full RJPS in English will be available in print this fall, and you’ll be able to access the English alongside the original Hebrew of the entire Tanakh exclusively on Sefaria under a CC-BY-NC license. Until then, we hope you enjoy exploring this new Prophets translation!
We extend our gratitude to JPS for our ongoing partnership, to Sally Gottesman for sponsoring this text on Sefaria, and to all of you in our community whose support makes our work possible.