Is the Alter Bible Jewish, in Some Definable Sense?

Robert Alter himself conspicuously does not call his own version Jewish in any way. Can we?

February 18, 2019 | Leonard Greenspoon
About the author: Leonard J. Greenspoon, Klutznick Chair in Jewish Civilization at Creighton University, is the author of, among other works, Jewish Translations of the Bible, forthcoming from the Jewish Publication Society.
This is a response to How to Judge Robert Alter's Landmark Translation of the Hebrew Bible, originally published in Mosaic in February 2019

From the cover of Robert Alter’s translation of the Hebrew Bible.

In his elegant review of Robert Alter’s English-language version of the Hebrew Bible, and in his extensive interactions with Alter’s word choices, Hillel Halkin has provided Mosaic readers with invaluable access to this new and important literary achievement. While generally appreciative of Alter’s guiding principles—with the exception of a significant caveat at the very end of his essay—Halkin’s word-by-word analysis of some of Alter’s renderings demonstrates that, even by the translator’s self-imposed standards, there is room for improvement.

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register Already a subscriber? Sign in now