A masterpiece of deep learning and fine sensibility, Robert Alter’s translation of the Hebrew Bible, now complete, reanimates one of the formative works of our culture. Capturing its brilliantly compact poetry and finely wrought, purposeful prose, Alter renews the Old Testament as a source of literary power and spiritual inspiration. From the family frictions of Genesis and King David’s flawed humanity to the serene wisdom of Psalms and Job’s incendiary questioning of God’s ways, these magnificent works of world literature resonate with a startling immediacy. Featuring Alter’s generous commentary, which quietly alerts readers to the literary and historical dimensions of the text, this is the definitive edition of the Hebrew Bible.
The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary
“Robert Alter’s historic one-man translation of the entire Hebrew Bible is like two worlds at once, the heavens and the earth, with the translation above and the commentary below. One can spend a lifetime in either of these worlds.” – Aviya Kushner
Robert Alter spent a two-decades translating the Hebrew Bible into English — and many more as a biblical scholar and literary critic — resulting in the impressive three-volume set The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary. The completed work is an achievement that The New York Times Book Review calls “monumental, marked by literary grace and intelligent commentary.” Alter’s translation is the first translation of the Hebrew Bible by a single person, and his translation coupled with his commentary have made the Hebrew Bible accessible to an even wider audience — a resource for not only academics and serious bible scholars, but a vital contribution to every Jewish home library and reader. His work showcases the role of translation in our understanding of the Hebrew Bible, and the necessary effort that goes into accurately capturing its text, rhythm, and poetics.
Jewish Book Council is proud to honor Alter’s work with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his valuable contribution to the community, which will surely be treasured for years to come.
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