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Fenton was a London businessman with an interest in Oriental poetry and the belief that that he had discovered the metrical principles behind “the varied and beautiful forms of ancient Hebrew versification.” Some of his translations of biblical poetry were quite good. The King James Bible begins, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.And the Earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
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The result of decades of work, consisting of over 3,000 pages of translated text and commentary, it includes every one of the 35 books from Genesis to Chronicles that constitute Jewish scripture.
Smith, also self-taught, was the daughter of a Connecticut congregational minister.
She said of the Bible, “I do not see how anyone can know more about it than I do,” and produced a grotesquely unreadable version of it.
The 1611 King James Bible, which was Bible for generations of English readers and retains for many a hallowedness that no other English Bible has, was the work of 47 scholars pooling their knowledge, skills, and judgments.
All of the better-known modern English Bibles—the (initiated in 1956 and now nearing completion)—have been joint efforts.He translates the King James’s “without form and void.” He seeks to reproduce the Hebrew’s strong cadences, as in “and the éarth then was wélter and wáste and dárkness over the déep.” He eschews all rhetorical paraphrases like Petersen’s “inky blackness” and “brooded like a bird,” which he considers a bane of modern Bible translation.All of this works well, even if it doesn’t have quite the majesty we have come to associate with the King James.When God began to form the universe, the world was void and vacant, darkness lay over the abyss.” And now we have Alter.Today a professor emeritus at the University of California in Berkeley, he has, like Moffat, the solidest of academic backgrounds, though not in biblical studies but in Hebrew and European literature, on which he has published widely.This section offers essay topics that help students think about the people in the Bible as literary characters, with different motivations, traits, and outcomes. We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities.You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree.The first lines of Alter’s Bible are, “When God began to create heaven and earth, and the earth then was welter and waste and darkness over the deep and God’s breath hovering over the waters, God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light.” They illustrate several of his main points about biblical language and its translation.He preserves, because he thinks it stylistically crucial, the Bible’s repetitive use of the coordinating conjunction “and” instead of varying it with such alternatives as “while,” “then,” “but,” etc., or eliminating it completely, as most modern translations do.One might call it the translator’s equivalent of a solo circumnavigation of the globe were it not that sailing a boat around the globe takes far less time.Of the over 100 English translations of the Hebrew Bible, many of them revisions or adaptations of previous ones and most published together with the Christian New Testament, almost all have been done by teams or committees.