The Orthodox Jewish Bible: Neither Orthodox nor Jewish

The Orthodox Jewish Bible

What do you get when you take a Christian Bible, add a bunch of Hebrew words in odd places, and slap a Star of David design on the cover? You get The Orthodox Jewish Bible, written by an Assemblies of God missionary named Phillip E. Goble.

Here’s an excerpt from the “Bersuras HaGelula according to Mattiyahu”—better known as the Gospel of Matthew:

The huledet (birth) of Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach was as follows. When Moshiach’s Em, Miryam, had been given in erusin to Yosef [ben Dovid], but before they came together, she was found with child through the Ruach Hakodesh. Her shidduch, Yosef [ben Dovid], being a tzaddik and not wanting to humiliate her publicly, planned to deal with the get (divorce) in a private arrangement. Now just when Yosef [ben Dovid] had thought through to this tachlis (purpose) hinei! A malach Hashem appeared to him in a chalom, and said, Yosef ben Dovid, do not shrink from taking Miryam in nisuim (marriage) as your [basherte (destined mate) aishes chayil (virtuous woman)] kallah (bride), because what has been conceived in her is through the Ruach Hakodesh.

You can even “listen to a professional actor” read aloud the first chapter of Genesis! If you’re expecting the rich baritone voice of James Earl Jones, though, prepare to be disappointed: the so-called “actor” is simply Goble himself.

I was tempted to dismiss this as an obscure work of a lone Internet kook, especially after checking out a video of him on YouTube. However, he appears to have some support from other missionaries, who distributed copies of his work in Crown Heights. As you might guess, the Jews there were not amused.

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2 thoughts on “The Orthodox Jewish Bible: Neither Orthodox nor Jewish

  1. I’ve got a copy. When you need a good laugh, the “orthodox jewish bible” is a great place to turn!

    Goble has the support of missionary organizations because he’s basically the grandfather of the homogenous proselytizing movement – he set up shop in an orthodox jewish community before it was en vogue, and developed the plan for how to do so.

    We can’t really call it homogenous proselytizing, though, since Phil isn’t Jewish. He’s an ordained Baptist minister, having graduated from Fuller Theological.

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