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Some CJB Terminology in Romans

I did my lectionary reading today from the Complete Jewish Bible. Each day I read two sets of lectionary texts, one from the current week, and one from the week following. I try to choose a different version each day, and also read them at least once from the original languages.

This week’s epistles passage is Romans 5:12-19, and next week’s is Romans 4:1-5, 13-17. I’m going to stick to some terms in those to give a flavor of the use of terminology. I will work through these in the order in which they appear in Romans. Note also that I would not criticize all of these renderings. I’m just trying to provide a flavor for those who have never worked with this version. Some of these are not bad, in fact, though they will sound very unusual to the ears of one who is accustomed to one of the more standard English versions.

Romans 4:1 Avraham replaces the familiar Abraham. In the CJB all names are replaced with something close to their Hebrew equivalents, even when translating Greek.

Greek kata sarka (according to the flesh) translated “by his own efforts.”

Romans 4:2 Greek ergon (works) translated “legalistic observances.”
Romans 4:3 Greek graphe (scripture) translated “Tanak.”
Romans 4:13 Greek dia nomou (through the law) translated “through legalism”
Romans 4:14 Greek ek nomou (from the law) translated “by legalism”

Greek pistis (faith) translated “trust”

Romans 4:16 Greek to ek tou nomou monon (to one who holds to the law) translated “those who live within the framework of the Torah
Romans 5:13 Greek me ontos nomou (when there is no law) translated “when there is no Torah
Romans 5:15 Greek Iesou Christou (Jesus Christ) translated “Yeshua the Messian.”

Again, as I mention in my notes on this version, the literary style and quality is quite variable as the translator makes an effort to clarify his understanding of Jewish concepts in the text. He may be hyper-literal or ultra-paraphrastic in order to accomplish that goal.

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