Talk:Jewish English Bible translations

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Hebrew Publishing Company Translations[edit]

What is the background of the Biblical translations published by the Hebrew Publishing Co.? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:25, 30 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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Opening section "Lack of centrality" lacks focus and clarity[edit]

An article's opening section, in our case the one titled "Lack of centrality", ought to provide a clear guide into a topic, with particular concern to assisting a relative outsider to the topic. But in this article's case, this section doesn't do that. Not even its own meaning or purpose is clear. (Is it something to do with contemporary usage? But this article is, by virtue of its title, primarily about translations not usage; contemporary usage would be a secondary issue so should not be the opening section.)

A subsidiary factor is that it seems to have taken a verse apparently at random (why this particular verse?) and simply listed the translations. And that listing itself is poorly formatted. What specific feature or features is this list trying to illustrate? How does this particular verse (as distinct from some other) particularly illustrate that feature? And how does this verse do it better than other verses might? And what order is the list? It's not chronological, so what is it?

How might we begin to tidy this up? Happy to help...but at present we lack a sense of purpose for this section. Thanks.

Feline Hymnic (talk) 12:17, 27 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's a fair point. I don't remember at this point if I wrote it or just edited it. The general concept here is that within Christianity, and especially Protestant Christianity, Bible study is important, yet few people studying the Bible can read the Hebrew or Greek. So the translation is critical/central to their religious lives, and has been for centuries. In contrast, for English-speaking Jews:
  1. English has only been an important language for Jewish Bible study since about the end of World War II/Holocaust. Before 1945, there were English translations, but for the most part, even in Anglophone countries, the main non-Hebrew language used was Yiddish.
  2. Most Jews who are relatively serious about their Bible study have some Hebrew, so their Bibles frequently have it either alone or alongside the English. Even in Reform and Conservative synagogues, the Bibles available in the synagogue for Torah reading are bilingual, not English-only. On the whole, then, the translation is never more than equally important as the original Hebrew, and frequently it is less important.
  3. There is not really a central authority managing the translation process, so each translation is highly dependent on the translators' own idiosyncratic concepts around the translation.
The verse chosen is from the Ten Commandments, is fairly familiar to most Jews, and is about a topic fairly familiar to most Jews. It uncovers language choices (earlier formal language vs. modern formal language vs. more contemporary) and the approach to expressing the Tetragrammaton in the translation. If you want to suggest an alternative you can, but this seems to work pretty well, at least as far as I am concerned. StevenJ81 (talk) 14:54, 27 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

StevenJ81: Many thanks for the reply. I'll have a little go at some tidying. Please feel free to check I'm on the right lines. I'm from a Christian background, but learning to appreciate the Hebrew Bible (our "Old Testament") in its own right... and a long-term fan of Robert Alter's work. Feline Hymnic (talk) 20:44, 27 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Oh, and there is also a discussion at Template talk:English Bible translation navbox. It is in the section titled "New Testament translations?" (which is what triggered the thought process there) but you'll see that it also tries to honour Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) translations. Feline Hymnic (talk) 22:04, 27 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]