The Jerusalem Crown

One of the most beautiful and unique editions of the Hebrew Bible available today is the Jerusalem Crown.

What is the Jerusalem Crown and where did it come from?

The full name of the Jerusalem Crown is the Jerusalem Crown: The Bible of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (כתר ירושלים: תנ”ך האוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים). It was first published in 2000.

The Jerusalem Crown is significant because it is the only modern edition of the Bible in Hebrew based upon the Aleppo Codex. This is in contrast to the standard scholarly edition, BHS, which is based upon the Leningrad Codex.

The Aleppo Codex was created in the 10th century and has had a long and complicated history. In 1947, it was partially destroyed and the remains of the manuscript were eventually brought to Israel.

Once in Israel, a team of scholars from Hebrew University worked for years to authenticate its remaining pages and to create a modern edition of the Hebrew Bible based upon the codex, the Jerusalem Crown. The Aleppo Codex remains one of the most authoritative biblical manuscripts available today.

The Jerusalem Crown is a source of great pride to Hebrew University and is the official bible of the State of Israel.

Distinctive Features of the Jerusalem Crown

As stated above, the most important feature of the Jerusalem Crown is that it is based upon the Aleppo Codex. Unfortunately, although the codex originally contained close to 500 pages, now less than 300 remain extant (most of the Torah is missing).

Because of these missing pages, scholars creating the Jerusalem Crown supplemented the Aleppo Codex with other information. This information included notes taken on the codex prior to 1947 and evidence from other early manuscripts.

There are several other distinctive features of the Jerusalem Crown:

  • The Jerusalem Crown has a very beautiful font. It was specially designed and created for the bible, meant to mimic the distinctive script of the Aleppo Codex itself. It is also quite easy to read.
  • The Jerusalem Crown also has a beautiful layout. It is clear that a lot of care went into making the Jerusalem Crown appear as aesthetically pleasing as possible.
  • Unlike BHS, the Jerusalem Crown doesn’t have a critical apparatus. However, it does have a Companion Volume that describes the history of the Aleppo Codex and how the Jerusalem Crown came to be published (the Companion Volume also includes illustrations and a helpful glossary).

Final Verdict

Scholars worked for years to create the Jerusalem Crown, an edition of the Hebrew Bible that is traditional, accurate, and attractive. The Jerusalem Crown is a unique edition of the Bible that is more than worth a look.

Information about purchasing the Jerusalem Crown can be found by clicking on the image below:

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