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Leeser’s 1853 Jewish Translation

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Overview

Isaac Leeser’s translation of the Jewish scriptures from the Massoretic tradition served as the definitive translation for half a century. Translated by the nineteenth century’s preeminent Jewish scholar, this 1853 edition of the Jewish Scriptures was the first to be published in English. The culmination of a lifetime of scholarly work in the Hebrew Scriptures, Leeser’s work is a highly valuable historical and scholarly resource for serious Bible students.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Be sure to check out the Jewish Publication Society’s 1917 translation, Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures according to the Masoretic Text (1917).

  • Presents the first English translation of the Jewish scriptures from the Massoretic Text
  • Provides a translation of the Hebrew Bible from a Jewish perspective
  • Includes Isaac Leeser’s explanatory notes on the Massoretic Text
  • The Pentateuch; or the Five Books of Moses
  • The Earlier Prophets
  • The Later Prophets
  • The Holy Writings, or Hagiographa
[The author’s] magnum opus . . . The product of 17 years of work, it was the first translation of the Bible into English by a Jew. Until the edition by the Jewish Publication Society in 1917, it served as the authoritative translation, reprinted again and again.

Abraham J. Karp, late professor of history and religious studies, University of Rochester

The reader will perceive . . . that the plan of the work is excellent; and he will find much to instruct and interest him in the manner in which it is executed.

Princeton Review

  • Title: The 24 Books of the Holy Scriptures, Carefully Translated according to the Massoretic Text, on the Basis of the English Version, after the Best Jewish Authorities and Supplied with Short Explanatory Notes
  • Translator: Isaac Leeser
  • Edition: First
  • Publication Date: 1853
  • Pages: 1,011
  • Resource Type: Bibles
  • Topic: Judaica

Isaac Leeser (1806–1868) was an eminent Jewish scholar in the United States. His 1853 translation of the Massoretic Text was an authoritative English version of the Hebrew Bible, used by Christian and Jewish students of the scriptures in order to understand the text within the Massoretic Tradition. In addition to translating and writing, Leeser was an ardent advocate for the Jewish religion.

Reviews

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  1. Steven W.Wilson
    I am interested, after reading the three brothers comments here, about Isaac Leeser translation and his source of reference. Looking forward to having it.
    Reply

  2. Andy Fischer

    Andy Fischer

    2/18/2017

    I heard of a Lesser translation when doing study on the Messiah in Isaiah 53. Excellent insight in the chapter. I found it on the internet and it was amazing. The study on the Atonement by T. J. McCrossan spoke of him. Thanks for this translation.
    Reply

  3. John W Gillis
    What is the difference between this edition and the 4th edition (1891), which is already available (and part of the 24-volume English Bible Collection? If Leeser died in 1868, then an edition of his work published in 1891 may very well just be a reprint of his earlier edition...?
    Reply

  4. Gregorio Billikopf
    I ‘discovered’ Isaac Leeser in 2014, as a new Bible in my e-Sword collection. As I work on the book of Isaiah, and other prophetic books, I often go through all of the translations I own. I began to notice that Leeser’s translation was often superb. He based his translation on the King James Version, but he also consulted the Masoretic text and often corrected it. After a few months I was so intrigued by Leeser’s edition, that I wanted to know more. As it turns out, he lived in both Philadelphia and in Richmond, Virginia, as a Jewish immigrant to the United States. My own paternal family (also Jewish) lived in both of those cities. I began reading biographical sketches on Isaac Leeser and there are many wonderful ones available on the Web. At any rate, I was so impressed with his 1853 Jewish translation that I decided to purchase a hard copy, which I picked up in my latest trip to the United States and have it right next to me here, in a place of honor in my library in Chile. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I realize that my Jewish friends and family do not share my convictions. And of course I do not expect Isaac Leeser’s translation to have a Christian orientation, but nevertheless, I love this Bible translation and I highly recommend this book. By the way, Logos is very conservative when they say that it would cost $70 to get a hard copy of this book. My copy cost $75, and I believe you will have a hard time finding a copy today. I hope that many Logos subscribers will also sign up for this Bible so Logos can produce it quickly.
    Reply

$19.99

Print list price: $70.69
Save $50.70 (71%)