6 tastes of Ruach ha-Aretz
Joel Hoffman on the perils of Bible translation

Joel Hoffman is coming to town

Joel Hoffman is a Biblical scholar and translator. His latest book is And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible's Original Meaning. As you might imagine, it sounds right up my alley. (I've been meaning to read it for a while now, but somehow life has been too busy to permit much leisure reading. Go figure.)

Even the Table of Contents fascinates me. The chapters have titles like "The King's English: Why We're All Stuck in the Middle Ages" and "Virgins and Other Young People: How We Mark Our Years." There's also "Bridging the Gap: Writing Hebrew in English," where Hoffman writes:

"Out of sight, out of mind," sounds like it might be paraphrased as "blind idiot," but of course it cannot. Yet many translations of the Bible make this sort of basic mistake when they render ancient Hebrew in modern English...

Dr. Hoffman is coming to Congregation Beth Israel, my synagogue, tomorrow night! He'll be giving a lecture at 7:30pm, and I'm planning to leave Drew with his grandmother so I can go and hear him speak.

If this kind of thing is interesting to you, and you live in or near the Berkshires, come and join us! (And if you don't live locally, never fear -- I'm planning to post about the talk later in the week.)