For nearly a century, the 1917 translation of the Tanakh from the Jewish Publication Society has remained a prominent English translation of the Hebrew Bible. The translation project began in 1882 with twenty-two translators working under the editorship of Marcus Jastrow, and expanded to include a committee of translators from both sides of the Atlantic led by Max Margolis. The 1917 Tanakh takes into account the Septuagint, the Targums, the Peshitta, the Vulgate, and numerous other translation traditions. It offers a uniquely Jewish translation for the English-speaking world. The resulting work is still in wide use nearly a century after its original publication.
The [1917 Tanakh] aims to combine the spirit of Jewish tradition with the results of biblical scholarship, ancient, medieval, and modern. It gives to the Jewish world a translation of the Scriptures done by men imbued with the Jewish consciousness, while the non-Jewish world, it is hoped, will welcome a translation that presents many passages from the Jewish traditional point of view.
—From the Preface
The Jewish Publication Society of America was founded in Philadelphia in 1888 to provide the children of Jewish immigrants to America with books about their heritage in the language of the New World. As the oldest publisher of Jewish titles in the English language, the mission of JPS is to enhance Jewish culture by promoting the dissemination of religious and secular works of exceptional quality, in the United States and abroad, to all individuals and institutions interested in past and contemporary Jewish life.
Over the years JPS has issued a body of works for all tastes and needs. Its many titles include biographies, histories, art books, holiday anthologies, books for young readers, religious and philosophical studies, and translations of scholarly and popular classics. It is perhaps known best for its famous JPS Tanakh, the translation of the Hebrew Bible in English from the original Hebrew.