New Books Day, pt 3

Only two books in the mail today.

  • Pietists: Selected Writings ed. by Peter C. Erb (Historical IV: Modern Church)
  • The Five Books of Moses tr. and commentary by Robert Alter

Now, I’m really excited about The Five Books of Moses. Technically, it wasn’t a required text to buy, but we are required to read the whole Pentateuch by the end of the Semester in either this translation or the one by Everett Fox. If I need to read it periodically through the semester (he actually wants each book to be read in one sitting by certain dates corresponding to the class schedule), I figured I should just get it. I did read Genesis 38 in Robert Alter’s translation for my Biblical Hermeneutics class and I enjoyed it. I also found sections of Alter’s The Art of Biblical Narrative to be engaging and informative, so I figured his translation might be a good one to have. He’s also done other portions of the Bible such as 1 and 2 Samuel, Psalms, and the Wisdom Books (Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes). If I ever were to purchase those, my obsessive compulsive behavior thought it would be better to have it by the same translator. His whole translation goal is to convey as much as possible the literary force of the Hebrew into English. While it’s definitely not a word-for-word type of translation, I do appreciate his attempt to see the Five Books of Moses as a piece (and pieces) of literature.


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