05 Feb New Book Release: “And God Said” by Joel Hoffman
Fellow blogger Dr. Joel Hoffman has announced his newest book, And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible’s Original Meaning, which deals with some of the tricky aspects of Bible translation and the way that English translations often obscure the meaning of the ancient texts in their original context. Joel is an excellent writer; this is an especially recommended book for laypeople and non-specialists, for whom Joel does a great job explaining the problems and possible solutions. If you’re interested in knowing the Bible better, this book is for you.
I’m thrilled to announce that my latest book, And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible’s Original Meaning, goes on sale today.
I want to keep “God Didn’t Say That” as commercial-free as possible, so I’ve set up a separate blog for the book here, though the book is about Bible translation, so I’m sure there will be considerable overlap.
It took me four months and fifteen years to write. I hope you enjoy it.
From Publishers WeeklyAuthor Hoffman, a linguist and a translator, uses his knowledge and his skills to correct some of the common errors in translating the language of the Bible from Hebrew into English. His initial three chapters are devoted to explaining linguistics and translation theory, skillfully clarifying complex concepts. The remaining five chapters ably apply these ideas to biblical phrases that, according to Hoffman, require rewording. He begins with the important commandment, And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. He convincingly claims that the Hebrew words for heart and soul have been severely mistranslated and should be rendered as mind and body. Similarly, Hoffman effectively demonstrates errors in rendering shepherd, my sister, my bride, two of the Ten Commandments, and virgin. Attentive readers will find this book to be valuable for properly understanding the Bible. (Feb.)
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ADVANCE PRAISE FOR AND GOD SAID
“A wise and important book, and a lot of fun to read.”
–Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People
“Hoffman is wise and gentle as he exhibits the issue of distortion by way of translation. Short of all readers learning Hebrew, Hoffman’s work is the best gift for a careful reader of a text that defies easy contemporary rendering.”
–Walter Brueggemann, author of The Prophetic Imagination
“[Hoffman] unites Biblical scholarship and translation theory, embracing modern science and modern linguistics, to help us understand what the Prophets and our forebears were doing and how they wrote. He retrieves what the Bible really was and what it can be for us now.”
–The Very Reverend James A. Kowalski, The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine