In 1970 the Bible Society in Israel, then based in Haifa, began a project of translating the New Testament to Modern Hebrew; it took five years. The initiative was that of the Executive Secretary, Magne Solheim. Solheim visited retired Prime Minister David Ben Gurion in Sde Boker, and Ben Gurion expressed his excitement with the project.
The translation was made by a team of experts, the most notable ones being Joseph Atzmon and Yochanan Elichay. The translation process was somewhat complex, since Atzmon was the expert in Modern Hebrew, and Elichay was the expert in the Greek NT. Other members of the team included Bob Lindsay, Gabriel Grossman, Miriam and Yohanan Ronen and Yann de Waard. The translation was also reviewed twice a year by a team of eight experts in biblical languages. The result was a work faithful to the ancient Greek manuscripts.
In 1977 the first Modern Hebrew New Testament was printed in Jerusalem. A dedication service was held in the Old City of Jerusalem. Solheim, who had retired the year before, visited Israel for the occasion and delivered a beautiful speech in Hebrew. There were only a few hundred Messianic Jews in Israel at the time, but 6,000 copies of the New Testament were distributed.
The translation has been reviewed and has undergone changes several times since then (the latest one being in 2010). It is fully vowel-pointed, written in an easy-to-understand language, without compromising the linguistic correctness of the Hebrew.
Most Hebrew-speaking users (Messianic believers as well as scholars and others) prefer the modern translation.
In 2009 the Bible Society in Israel produced the first Dramatized Audio New Testament, making the Hebrew New Testament available to more people than ever before. It is the timeless message in the ancient language with the most modern technology.