What It Means to Read the Bible as Nothing More than Great Literature https://mosaicmagazine.com/response/uncategorized/2019/02/what-it-means-to-read-the-bible-as-nothing-more-than-great-literature/

Like all of the other methods that have been devised for approaching the Bible, the literary method has its inevitable limitations.

February 11, 2019 | Jon D. Levenson
About the author: Jon D. Levenson is the Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies at Harvard University and the author of Inheriting Abraham: The Legacy of the Patriarch in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Library of Jewish Ideas; Princeton University Press).
This is a response to How to Judge Robert Alter's Landmark Translation of the Hebrew Bible, originally published in Mosaic in February 2019

A detail from Tsadi Pe, a tapestry designed by the Israeli artist Mordecai Ardon and now used for the cover of one of the volumes of Robert Alter’s translation of the Hebrew Bible. 

In his enlightening essay on Robert Alter’s new translation of the Hebrew Bible, Hillel Halkin identifies Alter as “a leading advocate of the view, rarely voiced before the mid-20th century, that the Bible needs to be read as great literature and not just for its religious or historical content.” As he goes on immediately to note, Alter has now also “sought to bring this perspective to bear on [the Bible’s] translation.”

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