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Word for Word

The Hebrew Bible:  A Translation with Commentary by robert alter norton, 3500 pages, $125 In 1582, Catholic scholars in exile at Rheims published an English version of the New Testament prefaced by a lengthy explanation and defence of their rendering, which, they said, accorded with the rule of . . . . Continue Reading »

Thus Saith the Lord

One Sunday in high school, we went to the Anglo-Catholic parish where my headmaster served as an assistant priest. Catechized by evangelical Episcopalians and Presbyterians, I believed that the Bible was divinely inspired by God. But I had never seen it treated as such in a physical or ritual way. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Gospel According to
David Bentley

The New Testament: A Translation by david bentley hart yale, 616 pages, $35 David Bentley Hart’s new single-handed translation of the New Testament will strike the fair-minded reader by turns as startling, incisive, audacious, smug, shrewd, and quirky to the point of exasperation: everything, in . . . . Continue Reading »

Really Modern English

Reynard the Fox: A New Translationtranslated by james simpsonliveright, 256 pages, $24.95 A few weeks ago I found in my mailbox a brand-new, plastic-sealed, hardcover copy of Shakespeare’s complete works, sporting on its cover a close-up hellfire picture of a jester’s cap and bells, which looked . . . . Continue Reading »

Robert Alter’s Fidelity

As the Italians say, traduttori, tradittori: translators are traitors. But the translator who shrugs and—cheerfully or resignedly—agrees that “every translation is an interpretation, after all” has too readily embraced the way of the tradittore. The translator who strives for strict . . . . Continue Reading »

A Bible for Everyone

One summer years ago, I attended a conference that met at Princeton Theological Seminary; we participants stayed in the seminary dormitory. We soon discovered that the lounge on the first floor of the dorm had been converted into a kind of outsized study. A large table dominated the room; scattered . . . . Continue Reading »

Retuning the Psalms

The Psalter translated from the hebrew by the international commission on english in the liturgy. training publications, 150 pages, $18 cloth, $12 paper. There is no biblical book that has affected the inner lives of readers and worshippers over the ages more profoundly than the Book of Psalms. . . . . Continue Reading »

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