On this week’s episode of Mere Fidelity, Derek and I were joined by John Hobbins and Samuel Bray, who have just produced a ‘new old translation’ of Genesis 1-11. The translation itself is great, but the notes and commentary upon it provide a wonderful window into a world of which most Christians are only dimly aware. I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to discover more about the process of translating Scripture and the sort of judgments that need to be made by the scholars engaged in such a task.
Bray and Hobbins’ translation has received praise from a number of scholars:
“Bray and Hobbins have themselves given us the best possible description of their Genesis 1-11 book. It is ‘a new old translation’ for everyone. They resist the temptation to innovate for innovation’s sake. They do not fix what’s not broken. And their lively writing mines the best of the ancient and the new to give us a dragon’s hoard of learned enjoyment. The translation itself gives these famed biblical chapters a more lucid splendor. But more than that, their engaging notes and essay ‘To the Persistent Reader’ are a journey into the translator’s world that will enrich lay-folk and scholar alike.”—Raymond C. Van Leeuwen, Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, Eastern University, author of “The Book of Proverbs” in The New Interpreter’s Bible
“This is a wonderfully provocative exercise in translation, commentary, and book-making–certain to bring instruction and delight to any Persistent Reader, and to make this vital portion of the biblical text stand forth in a new light.”—Alan Jacobs, Distinguished Professor of Humanities in the Honors Program at Baylor University, author of “The Book of Common Prayer”: A Biography and a critical edition of W.H. Auden’s The Age of Anxiety: A Baroque Eclogue
The translation has been reviewed here. Bray has also written a wonderful series of articles on the process of translation that will give you a taste of the book. I highly them to you:
- Translating Genesis
- Translating Genesis: Double Translation
- Translating Genesis: Physicality
- Translating Genesis: Physicality Continued
- Translating Genesis: Repetition
- Translating Genesis: Figures of Speech
- Translating Genesis: Concluding Thought on Legal Interpretation and Biblical Translation
Buy a copy of their book for yourself here.