Jewish Bible Translations is the first book to examine Jewish Bible
translations from the third century BCE to our day. It is an
overdue corrective of an important story that has been regularly
omitted or downgraded in other histories of Bible translation.
Examining a wide range of translations over twenty-four centuries,
Leonard Greenspoon delves into the historical, cultural,
linguistic, and religious contexts of versions in eleven languages:
Arabic, Aramaic, English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian,
Italian, Russian, Spanish, and Yiddish. He profiles many Jewish
translators, among them Buber, Hirsch, Kaplan, Leeser, Luzzatto,
Mendelssohn, Orlinsky, and Saadiah Gaon, framing their aspirations
within the Jewish and larger milieus in which they worked.
Greenspoon differentiates their principles, styles, and
techniques—for example, their choice to emphasize either literal
reflections of the Hebrew or distinctive elements of the vernacular
language—and their underlying rationales. As he highlights
distinctive features of Jewish Bible translations, he offers new
insights regarding their shared characteristics and their limits.
Additionally, Greenspoon shows how profoundly Jewish translators
and interpreters influenced the style and diction of the King James
Bible. Accessible and authoritative for all from beginners to
scholars, Jewish Bible Translations enables readers to make their
own informed evaluations of individual translations and to
holistically assess Bible translation within Judaism.