The Jerusalem Bible

From Tolkien Gateway
The Jerusalem Bible
Publication Information
AuthorEdited by Alexander Jones
PublisherLondon: Darton, Longman & Todd
Released4 July 1966
FormatHardback in dustwrapper

The Jerusalem Bible is a Roman Catholic translation of the Bible. Its sources were the original Hebrew and Greek texts, with some contribution from later Greek and Latin translations. Members of the Dominican Order and other scholars at the École Biblique in Jerusalem translated the scriptures into French, and published their work as La Bible de Jérusalem in 1956. This French translation served as the impetus for an English translation in 1966.

J.R.R. Tolkien was among its contributors, as translator and lexicographer. The extent of Tolkien's contribution to the translation of this bible is uncertain, but he is thought to have worked on the books of Jonah and Job, and Tolkien's final draft of Jonah was heavily edited. [1] Although the translation of the book of Job was based on what Tolkien called a bad literal French version, his sense of rightness for this task led him to prepare himself learning a great amount of Hebrew.[2]

In Letter 294 to Charlotte and Denis Plimmer, Tolkien stated:

Naming me among the 'principal collaborators' was an undeserved courtesy on the part of the editor of the Jerusalem Bible. I was consulted on one or two points of style, and criticized some contributions of others. I was originally assigned a large amount of text to translate, but after doing some necessary preliminary work I was obliged to resign owing to pressure of other work, and only completed 'Jonah', one of the shortest books.

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