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The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with…
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The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary (edition 2019)

by Robert Alter (Author)

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308367,854 (4.96)4
"A landmark event: the complete Hebrew Bible in the award-winning translation that delivers the stunning literary power of the original. A masterpiece of deep learning and fine sensibility, Robert Alter's translation of the Hebrew Bible, now complete, reanimates one of the formative works of our culture. Capturing its brilliantly compact poetry and finely wrought, purposeful prose, Alter renews the Old Testament as a source of literary power and spiritual inspiration. From the family frictions of Genesis and King David's flawed humanity to the serene wisdom of Psalms and Job's incendiary questioning of God's ways, these magnificent works of world literature resonate with a startling immediacy. Featuring Alter's generous commentary, which quietly alerts readers to the literary and historical dimensions of the text, this is the definitive edition of the Hebrew Bible." --… (more)
Member:KristinRobidou2014
Title:The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary
Authors:Robert Alter (Author)
Info:WW Norton (2019), 3500 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary by Robert Alter

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Well, six months and ten days later, here we are.

No idea how to use the rating or reviewing features for this one, folks.

More later.
  misslevel | Sep 22, 2021 |
I've only seen the first volume, The Five Books of Moses - Torah, and only read the many introductions and a large part of Deuteronomy and related texts, but I've found the translation and commentaries and explanations very informative. I'm happy to see that, while he disapproves of most modern translations, he's OK with Everett Fox's.

I do have one concern, and that is not with book, but with the Common Knowledge aspect of LibraryThing! Characters and Events have been listed that are not in The Hebrew Bible. Just as I would not include, say, Abraham smashing the idols in his father's store, because, while the Midrash (Genesis Rabbah) notes this important event in Abraham's life, it is not mentioned in the actual text of the Torah, similarly, no one should include Jesus or Timothy and use as a proof text a reference from the New Testament. I must confess I'm not sure how to handle this: do I delete names and events I don't think are relevant? This is quite different from wondering if I add a middle name to a character who appears in several books. ( )
  raizel | Sep 14, 2021 |
Reviewing the Bible itself is somewhat superfluous, so this is really a review of the translation.

I've always been interested in Bible translation and the differences between translations. I can read the Bible in Hebrew, but I'm not fluent, so if I want detail and nuance, I need the English. That's aside from the historical and literary importance of various translations. My go-to for years has been the JPS translation. (The KJV has literary value for its influence on the English language, but not as a working translation for understanding source text.) I prefer it to the Artscroll, which is prone to ideological bias.

Alter's translation makes use of the Septuagint as well as the Masoretic text and he uses historical evidence outside of traditional Jewish sources to determine meaning, which will be controversial for some Jews. However, his commentary is extremely informative regarding his choices and his reasoning, and was enlightening. He does consider himself to be *the* expert--there's a touch of arrogance--but his opinions are interesting.

His style strikes a good balance. It has an appropriate feel of formality, unlike some contemporary Christian translations, but is not archaic, and he seeks to preserve a sense of the Hebrew--for example, by preserving the conjunctions and long sequences of verbs that are used for narrative flow.

I've read the Bible before, though I don't think I've ever managed to read it all in order rather than one book at a time, but I enjoyed the re-read. I would have liked to have seen it paired with the Hebrew source for easy comparison, but given the length of the text as is, that would be quite the set. ( )
1 vote arosoff | Jul 11, 2021 |
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For Jonas, Judah, Amos, and, especially, Michael, dear friends now gone whose presence in my life made a difference in all this.
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"A landmark event: the complete Hebrew Bible in the award-winning translation that delivers the stunning literary power of the original. A masterpiece of deep learning and fine sensibility, Robert Alter's translation of the Hebrew Bible, now complete, reanimates one of the formative works of our culture. Capturing its brilliantly compact poetry and finely wrought, purposeful prose, Alter renews the Old Testament as a source of literary power and spiritual inspiration. From the family frictions of Genesis and King David's flawed humanity to the serene wisdom of Psalms and Job's incendiary questioning of God's ways, these magnificent works of world literature resonate with a startling immediacy. Featuring Alter's generous commentary, which quietly alerts readers to the literary and historical dimensions of the text, this is the definitive edition of the Hebrew Bible." --

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