The New Testament is a Jewish book--by Jews, mostly about Jews, and for Jews as well as Gentiles. Its central figure, the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), was and is a Jew. Vicarious atonement, salvation, immersion (baptism), the new covenant and the very concept of a Messiah are all Jewish. In sum, the New Testament is built upon and completes the Hebrew Scriptures.
The Jewish New Testament brings out Jewishness in three ways:
- Cosmetically--by using neutral terms and Hebrew names: "execution-stake," not "cross"; "Ya'akov," not "James."
- Culturally and Religiously--by highlighting Jewish features: "Chanukkah," not "the feast of dedication"; "tzitzit," not "fringe."
- Theologically--by correcting mistranslations resulting from anti-Jewish theological bias; for example, at Romans 10:4 the Messiah is "the goal at which the Torah aims," not "the end of the law."
Freshly rendered from the original Greek into enjoyable modern English by a Messianic Jew (a Jew who honors Yeshua as the Messiah of Israel), the "Jewish New Testament" challenges Jews to understand that Yeshua is a friend to every Jewish heart and the New Testament a Jewish book filled with truths to be accepted and acted upon. At the same time, while reaffirming the equality of Gentiles and Jews in the Messianic Community, it challenges Christians to acknowledge the Jewishness of their faith and their oneness with the Jewish people.
David H. Stern, born in Los Angeles in 1935, is the great-grandson of two of the city's first twenty Jews. He earned a Ph.D. in economics at Princeton University and was a professor at UCLA. In 1972 he came to faith in Yeshua the Messiah. He then received a Master of Divinity degree at Fuller Theological Seminary, did graduate work at the University of Judaism, and was active in the Messianic Jewish movement. In 1979 the Stern family made aliyah (immigrated to Israel); they now live in Jerusalem. Dr. Stern authored the "Messianic Jewish Manifesto". His highly acclaimed English translation, the "Jewish New Testament," restores the New Testament's Jewishness. His "Jewish New Testament Commentary" discusses the many Jewish issues found in the New Testament. His fresh translation, the "Complete Jewish Bible", expresses the unity of the Tanakh ("Old Testament") and the B'rit Hadashah ("New Testament"). This outstanding, scholarly work offers Bible readers a thorough, biblically Jewish version of God's word.