Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hebrew English Phonetic Bible

I recently found a Bible (in PDF) on the website of Hebrew World that is called the Hebrew English Phonetic Bible. It includes the Hebrew text of the Old Testament along with a transliteration and an English translation. The Bible is sold as a PDF on a CD-ROM. The copyright date is 2008. Of course, my interest is in the English translation. I wrote them to ask about the version. It is "very close to the King James version." It is described as "the one used in Israel." Does anyone know more history about this English version? Who developed it? When was it first available? I am curious about an English text being used in Israel that I haven't heard about!


  1. I think I figured this one out. It is the Koren Bible. AKA, The Jerusalem Bible (not the Catholic one from 1966). Some editions say "The Jerusalem Bible" on the spine but just "The Holy Scriptures" on the title page. An edition from 2010 is called "The Koren Tanakh." "Koren" is the name of the publisher. The English text was edited by Harold Fisch in 1962. It is a revision of "The Jewish School and Family Bible" published in 1881. Does anyone have a copy of that 1881 Bible? More information on the Koren Bible is at the Internet Bible Catalog:

  2. This English translation is definitely not taken from the Koren Tanakh, it is not from any of the known Jewish editions: Not the Benisch, the Leeser, the Harkavy, the Friedmann, not the JPS 1917 nor the 1962 and ff ones. It‘s not from Ph. Birnbaum, not from an early P. Valentine, nor the Margolin or any else that I could compare with. What I can read from their website sample (Gen 1:1-6) is that it differs only in one instance from the KJV text, but it is also not an RV/ ARV or a NKJV. I will not give up to check it out against already published versions in bookform. I have not opened up all the KJV variants.

    There has been indeed at least a part of the Hebrew Bible published to serve exclusively as a "phonetic Scripture": The "Tehillim Ben Israel", »Hebrew Translation Transliteration« by Israel Itshakov. In 2010 he published it under the subtitle ´Read it Right - Say it Right` in Jerusalem and New York. I just today entered the template to All necessary information is given there. As soon as the bibleswiki guru has uploaded all the information, you can see the pictured Tehillim. If there will be any further parts of the Tanakh by I. Itshakov brought out - no idea.

    1. I stand corrected. I checked again and some verses are indeed different.

    2. The photo on the title of this Hebrew / English Transliterated Bible 1, that shows a finger pointing to the Masorah of v. 5 of 2nd Kings (Melachim b) is indeed picturing a Koren Tanakh, unrevised ed. (prior to 2010), which is most common in Israel (as I point out in bibles.wikidot). Though I haven't been able to identifiy the interlinear translation so far, you're correct as far as the title picture is concerned which needs to be positioned upright.