BYU Professor Named Editor for New Edition of Hebrew Old Testament Slated to be ‘Most Accurate’

Brigham Young University professor of Hebrew Donald W. Parry has been appointed as an editor for a new edition of Biblia Hebraica Quinta, the Hebrew Old Testament.

Parry will work on the updated translation of Isaiah along with scholars of the United Bible Society and the German Bible Society. Biblia Hebraica Quinta will be used by 140 worldwide Bible organizations and translated into 140 different languages, including Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Finnish, Portuguese, Chinese, Italian and German.

“This will benefit the entire world community of believers in the Old Testament, which includes Christians and Jews,” Parry said.

Parry was invited to serve as an editor of Biblia Hebraica Quinta, the fifth edition of the Hebrew Bible. He is one of about two dozen editors from the world wide community and one of only a few from the United States . He hopes to provide a unique perspective to the project as he works with this interconfessional group.

He will compare the Hebrew Bible, also known as the traditional Old Testament, with the Dead Sea Scrolls books of Isaiah. In addition, he will compare the two Hebrew texts with the Greek translation, the Septuaginta.

“In the book of Isaiah, there are many rare Hebrew words that we didn’t understand before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls,” Parry said. “But that discovery has clarified a great number of rare Hebrew words that translators could only guess at before. The end user will better understand Isaiah’s writings as a result of this project.”

By using all three variations of the Bible, he and others working on Biblia Hebraica Quinta will create the most accurate edition of the Hebrew Bible to be used by people all over the world. Parry will specifically contribute to the book of Isaiah in the collection.

“Jesus Christ commanded us to study Isaiah; for a number of reasons the writings of Isaiah are of great value to those of us who live in these days,” Parry said. “This is a blessing and a gift from the Lord to work on this project.”

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