Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Real Douay-Rheims Bible (Review and Interview)

Dr. William von Peters is the author of The Real Douay-Rheims Bible Site, where you can find his transliteration of the original 1610 edition of the venerable Douay-Rheims Bible.  You can purchase both digital and print copies, in various editions, on the website.  

I received a review copy of the Rheims New Testament (1582) which was printed through Lulu.  As you will see from the images provided, it is a very basic paperback edition.   Yet, the print is very clear and the binding seems to be OK.  The scripture, itself, is set out by verse, not in paragraph form, which was custom at that time and remained popular until fairly recently.  Before each chapter you will find, in italics, a summary of that chapter.  In the margins you will find cross-references, commentary focusing on liturgical/lectionary connections, as well as brief notes.  At the end of each biblical chapter, you will find an extensive amount of annotations, which are much more detailed than the what is found in the margins.  These notes are both theological and apologetic.  You will notice two things, the use of the Church Fathers and Councils, as well as a direct focus on refuting the teachings of the Reformation.   In so many ways, these annotations are a window into the time in which they were written.  Many of the reformers are referred to by name, such most notably Martin Luther and John Calvin.  The "errors" of the Protestant reformers are not handled in the more ecumenical spirit of our current days.  For example, the annotation for Romans 3:22 refers to the Calvinist commentary on it as "wicked and vain."  Most of you are aware that by the time of the Challoner revision, much of that style of annotation was eliminated from the text.  

So, I see this text as a very interesting peek into a particular moment of time.  Much like the King James Version, most people who read the Douay-Rheims don't realize that it has been revised and edited since the original version was completed in the early 17th century.  

Recently, I was able to ask Dr. von Peters a few questions about this project.  I'd like to thank him for taking the time to answer my questions.


1) To begin with, could you tell my audience a little bit about yourself?
I am a natural physician with degrees in various natural therapies such as oriental, homeopathic and naturopathic medicine, as well as in religion and humanities. Religiously I'm a former Protestant seminarian and convert to the Catholic Church.


2) What interested you in making the original Douay-Rheims more readable for a modern audience?
As a Protestant, and particularly as a seminarian, we learned all about the unscriptural Catholic Church and its worship of statues and such. While not buying into the idea that Catholics were not Christians, they didn't seem to be Bible Christians.


One day an instructor in one of our courses remarked upon a verse, I can't remember which one any longer, and stated that our seminary believed it meant this, but Baptists thought it meant that, others something else, and Catholics, well they had their own strange ideas At that point I realized that if I was to be responsible for souls as a pastor, and could not be sure of correct interpretation of text, I could not continue, and so left seminary.


Years later, as a result of a divine intervention after being given a "rosary challenge" by a good Catholic, I was told out of the blue by a voice as I walked down the sidewalk that - "the oldest Church is the true Church" - and this set me upon the path of gradually becoming a Catholic. Having been brought up that the worst thing one could do was become a Catholic, it was difficult.


Once in the Church, I heard that the Douay Rheims was the official bible of the Catholic Church and the one that should be used.  Later I learned that the Challoner is not the real Douay Rheims, but Challoner's translation. So I bought a photocopy of the 1610 Douay Rheims, and began reading it. I was struck by the quality and erudition of the notes and annotations, as well as the difference in translation of the original DR compared to other translations I was familiar with.


Reading the notes and annotations of the 1610 original Douay Rheims I found that all the questions that Protestants throw at Catholics were answered easily. It occurred to me that "everyone should have a copy of this bible". The problem was that it was in old English script, and had never been rendered into Latin script; and so was basically unknown, and unreadable to the masses.


I had studied German in high school, and the German script is very close to the old English, and I had no trouble with it, but this would not be so for others. So I set about transliterating the text to render it readable.


3) What was the process by which you transliterated the text?  How long did it take?
The process was to simply sit down at my computer and begin typing. I began with the New Testament, and every evening I would type a chapter or two along with the notes and annotations, trying to keep the formatting close to the original. I'm sure my family wondered about this seeming obsession every evening, but I wanted to get it done as quickly as possible. And it was a daunting job.


My eyesight at that time was much better and I could read the very small print easily. Now I could not do it as with age my eyesight, while still good, is no longer up to the job.


When it was complete after several years of work, I began offering it for sale. The process was so long and intensive that I took a few years off, and didn't really want to get into the Douay Old Testament.


But then one day I decided to begin with it. People had been asking when the Douay would be available and I realized that I needed to get going again. So began the same process of sitting down and typing. During the process, and after I had completed about a third of the Old Testament, someone said they had a pdf file of the Douay, which they gave me.


This new technology enabled me to greatly speed up the process. So I began the slow work of rendering the old English into a workable copy in Latin script. At that point everything sped up as I could work on cleaning up and correcting the copy instead of continuing to type from scratch.


I began with the Rheims in early 1994, and finished just prior to Christmas in 2005. So overall, the time frame was close to twelve years before the entire REAL Douay Rheims Bible was complete.


4) Are there any differences between your work and the original?
Well, there is no difference between the two at all, as all I did was bring the Douay Rheims into our modern world of latin script which is the English that we are familiar with. There are some footnotes that I added to give the meanings for obsolete words in the text, which I got from the Oxford unabridged dictionary, but other than that it is what it was.

5) What else is included in your Real Douay-Rheims? Annotations? Cross-references?
The original Douay Rheims is a remarkable work by Dr. Gregory Martin and his team, and includes cross references, references to verses used in the Mass of various types, such as for a bishop, for a confessor, etc.



The annotations are prodigious. They take up about half of the space in the entire Bible and give the reasons why a certain text means what the Catholic Church says it does. It does this by quoting Doctors of the Church, Saints, Popes, Councils and others. In addition it goes into the reasons why Protestant arguments are not correct and are heretical.


The Bible is the product of the Catholic Church. She put the canon of Scripture together, carefully protected it from the fires of heresy and schism, and made it available to the world as the Word of God - one of the two sources of truth, the other being sacred Tradition.


6) Why do you consider the original Douay-Rheims to be superior to the Challoner revision?
Cardinal Wiseman said regarding Challoner's version: "To call it any longer the Douav or Rheimish Version is an abuse of terms. It has been altered and modified until scarcely any verse remains as it was originally published."


If one looks at the reasons for Bp. Challoner's work one can understand why he did what he did, but it is definitely inferior. He removed pretty much everything against the Protestants, soft pedaled doctrine, and made the translation in line with the King James Bible.


This was done for a reason. Under British penal laws being -caught with the Douay Rheims Bible was an executable offense. Henry VIII set up the Church of England as the only official church in his realm, and Catholics were hounded, persecuted, and executed. The Douay Rheims gave true Catholic doctrine and could not be permitted by the authorities.


So Catholics in England were not allowed the Douay Rheims Bible, and indeed had no bible until Challoner (who was a convert) made his edition and put it between the covers as the Douay Rheims in the 1700s. This was watered down enough to be allowed by the Crown to English Catholics.


As the REAL Douay Rheims was never printed in Latin script (what we today simply call modern English) it became basically an interest of scholars, and was lost to ordinary Catholics. This is what I sought to remedy.

31 comments:

Jeff S. said...

I bought the complete hardcover set of this along with the accompanying CD-ROM set back in early 2010 and actually read it cover-to-cover, all four volumes. That was the first time I'd ever read a Bible all the way through. And a few years later I bought one of those photocopies of the actual original version with all the difficult to read old font and very poor photocopy quality, and compared random passages with Dr. Peter's version and it seemed to be a very exact word-for-word copy of the the original.

I think he should be commended for a very good technical job plus a spiritually very valuable achievement. It would be great if the Catholic Church would grant this an Imprimatur and perhaps get some publishers like Ignatius, Scepter, Catholic Book Publishing, etc. to have a large-scale cooperative effort to bring this magnificent primal source English language Catholic Bible back to life in a high quality edition. Perhaps they could all agree to it (of course buying the rights from Dr. Peters) if they could get advance funding
sort of like the kick-starter way as did the Bibliotheca project
in the last few years.
The four hardcover volumes (3 for the OT and 1 for the NT) were printed in easy to read font. The accompanying notes were printed on the pages to the sides and are in smaller font.
I give this set my highest recommendation as the ultimate true English language version of the Catholic Bible since it's the the original one with no "modernistic" (as Pope Pius X would call them) accommodations.

Timothy said...

Thank you for this comment Jeff. Let's just take it easy on the whole "true English version of the Catholic Bible" and the boogie man "modernism" stuff. I don't want this to get derailed with that language. (BTW, I'm not saying that is what you are trying to do.)

Jeff S. said...

Good point Timothy. My thoughts are that when people talk about the great Douay-Rheims they should at least be aware of and have access to the original one of 1582-1610. Bishop Challoner grew up as a Protestant and converted to Catholicism and so his 1749-1752 revision of the original Douay-Rheims was influenced by his having grown up with the original King James version.

By the way, that's not a bad thing since
I have high respect for the original King James which DOES have the
Deuterocanonical(Apocrypha) books. I've bought the Cambridge
New Paragraph Bible with Apocrypha (edited by David Norton) and think
it's quite good. King James himself wanted a new "official" translation to replace the Geneva Bible which had anti-Catholic notes
strewn through the actual Bible and many anti-king type sentiments also which is what really angered him. So one of his requirements was that there be NO polemical notes on the pages of the Bible itself
(other than in the preface notes). But there are no notes at all in the actual Bible as far as I know that attack Catholicism.
And I know from from having read this blog for many years that there are several "litmus test" passages that people here have when judging any particular Catholic translation and from memory I think the only test that the KJV fails is the Luke 1:28 one where it does not say "Hail full of grace ..." but rather "favoured one".
But it does have Isaiah 7:14 translated in the traditional Catholic
way of "virgin". Dr. Peter Kreeft of Boston College has advocated
that the Catholics adapt the KJV with Apocrypha to be an official English language translation, with perhaps some editing on a few select passages. (my only objection to the editing would be that
it might seem odd to try to "change" a classic work that is now
406 years old.
Perhaps it might be better to leave it just as it is
and then as a private reading exercise, perhaps a faithful Catholic might do well to read Dr. Peter's rendition of the Douay-Rheims simultaneously with the original KJV with Apocrypha. For the latter,
I highly recommend the aforementioned Cambridge University Press version "New Cambridge Paragraph Bible with Apocrypha" (edited by David Norton). The latter is simply the original with some old-fashioned spellings of words changed to the modern spelling so they could be readily understood.

And if read in conjunction with each other, the older "Latinized"
names of people and places in the Douay-Rheims would be easily
connected to their "King James" style names.

Erap10 said...

I should get myself a copy!

Anonymous said...

I would like to see this picked up by one of the publishers as well - not so much just because it could be printed even better and more cheaply - but because, to be quite honest - I don't usually trust ordering from self-publisher websites and the such. Not to mention I'm currently taking theology classes from a Protestant school, and would need it to be in something other than a self-published version to be accepted as a legit resource by my professors I suspect. :( But the amount of notations seems quite intriguting!

Jerry Mc Kenna said...

I haven't compared the Douay original with the Challoner in all that many places, but in many places there are no difference and in places where they are different, the Challoner is often superior.

Here is one example from Hebrew: (original)
Diversely and many ways in times past God speaking to the fathers in the prophets, 2 last of all in these days hath spoken to us in his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all, by whom he made also the worlds.
(Challoner)
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 last of all, in these days hath spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world.
The original is bad English the Challoner is close to the King James version and much better English. I like reading the original, I enjoy reading 16th and 17th century English but one would be silly to assume that the average reader would enjoy this.

As far as the Douay never being printed in Latin type this is nonsense. I've download a version (someone here posted the link) to an early 17th century edition. It still uses the long s and uu for w but it is in Latin or Roman type. Even with my reservations, I think this is an excellent effort, if I could only afford it. So, use a pdf.

Matthew Doe said...

It is sad that this is seriously over-priced. I would have been interested, but not at $75 for a mere PDF download. I have no particular reason to doubt that the transliteration has been done faithfully. And if the text has been faithfully rendered, then I don't really care about the man behind it.

That said, his advertisement web page makes a big fuss about the Challoner & Haydock version rendering the Vulgate "Christus" as "Anointed" on occasion. And that complaint is just... well, LOL. Get some knowledge into your head, please. In particular if you are in the business of transliteration yourself (hint, hint).

Furthermore, the old English script text is absolutely not like old German "Fraktur" (which I can read, not that that is a major achievement). The sample picture he shows on his webpage is perfectly and easily readable Latin script except for the rendering of the characters "s" (like an "f" without the crossbar) and "w" (as two "v"). And it seems a "y" generally was written as "ie", "u" as "v" but "v" as "u", and little things like that.

I guess it is still nice to have this text re-typed, so that it is electronically available (as compared to just rendered in a picture). Still, a good photographic reproduction of the old text should be perfectly readable to basically everybody who can read the text I'm writing here.

So, yeah... this frankly seems like a bit of a rip-off to me. If you are so concerned about getting the best of all possible bibles into the hands of people, then consider the way of the Gideons, perhaps?

Matthew Doe said...

To add, here are decent and complete scans of the original DR:

https://archive.org/details/1582DouaiRheimsDouayRheimsFirstEdition1Of31609OldTestament
https://archive.org/details/1582DouaiRheimsDouayRheimsFirstEdition2Of31610OldTestament
https://archive.org/details/1582DouaiRheimsDouayRheimsFirstEdition3Of31582NewTestament

Quite readable, in my opinion.

Timothy said...

Just a reminder. I will not post anything that starts making accusations of "modernism", particularly in regards to modern translations. That is a rabbit whole we will not be jumping down.

Biblical Catholic said...

The big white elephant in the room that hasn't been addressed is that Challoner's revisions were necessary because the original Douay-Rheims was, in some places, almost if not completely ungrammatical, and represented barely comprehensible English.


The classic example of a completely ungrammatical translation in the Douay-Rheims is Hebrews 13:4 which reads in the NRSV:

"Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge fornicators and adulters"


The 1610 D-R contains this gem, which isn't even a proper sentence because it has no verb:

"Marriage honorable in all, and the bed undefiled. For fornicators and adulterers, God will judge."

'Let marriage be honorable in all' makes sense. But simply 'marriage honorable in all' frankly makes no sense at all, and it isn't even a proper sentence because it doesn't have a verb.

And the second sentence, where the verb comes at the very end, is an extremely literal translation of the Latin. Latin is one of those languages where the subject and verb come after the adjective at the very end of the sentence.

But that is not how English grammar works. In English, the subject and verb both come first, at the beginning of the sentence. No one ever says 'to the store went I', one says rather 'I went to the store.'

Another example is the infamous rendering where Jesus rebuts the charge by the Pharisees casts out demons by the prince of demons. In the D-R Jesus says 'But if, by the finger of God, I cast out demons.....'

This again is not proper English grammar. Proper English grammar would render it the way it appears in the NABRE "But if I cast out demons by the finger of God....'

The D-R, especially the original 1610 edition, is often so literal in its rendering of the Latin that it even preserves the original word order, resulting in ungrammatical and often (as in 'marriage honorable in all') results in English that is frankly completely incoherent.

Devin said...

I would be interested in a hard cover or leather edition of both testaments only as this would be used as a historical and study work.

Anonymous said...

I agree enough about the lack of a verb in your first example; though I would quibble that "completely incoherent" is too strong a criticism. It is fair to say that it is wrong (barring a discussion of implied verbs); but it is not difficult to understand what is being said.

I disagree on your second choice. 'But if, by the finger of God, I cast out demons...' is not bad grammar.

There is no iron rule that an adverbial clause has to follow the verb. Try these:

We left when the Mass ended.
When the Mass ended, we left.

Both are completely grammatical. If you prefer one vs. the other that is OK, but it isn't the case that one is wrong and the other right. If it were, we'd have to level the same ungrammatical criticism against just about every classic ever written in the English language.

Cody Cotton said...

I have to say that I agree with Biblical Catholic on the way English is used in the original Rheims Bible. Also, I don't know if I'm going down a rabbit hole by saying this, but I wonder if folks back in the 1500s thought that Challoner's revision was inferior to the original translation, like how Dr. Peters seems to think.

Timothy said...

I am not sure folks back in the 1500's had a chance to read Challoner's revision.

Jeff S. said...

To give more details to Tim's humorous remark, the
original Douay(Douai)-Rheims was 1582(NT)-1609 & 1610(OT)

While Challoner's revision was 1749-1752.
And so I think Tim is on safe ground when he says
"I am not sure folks back in the 1500's had a chance to read Challoner's revision." :)

Bob said...

The Real Douay-Rheims Bible Site seems to use the same logic that KJV-Only fundamentalists use to attack the post 19th century biblical translations.

The whole method of suggesting that the Challoner revision removed the name of Jesus some number of times shows a distinct lack of understanding of textual criticism. I could nitpick about several of the assertions there on historical grounds but I have no wish to pile on.

While Dr. William von Peters has done people interested in the history of the English speaking Church a great favor, I worry that his entire reasoning for why we should buy this bible is one big loud shout against so-called modernism.

I have a lot of sympathy for those who argue that we must pay more attention to the Vulgate and Septuagint, but casting doubt into the minds of believers that their bible is an actual bible is a bit suspect to me.

James McColgan said...

http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/The-Authentic-Original-DOUAY-RHEIMS-BIBLE-First-volume-published-in-1609-02209-/152510815650?hash=item23825a5da2%3Ag%3AKa4AAOSwc-tY653v&_trkparms=pageci%253Af038d1cd-787d-11e7-b7ce-74dbd180d1f8%257Cparentrq%253Aa977eda115d0a7f8a7f1406fffff97cf%257Ciid%253A2

Very expensive Bible!

Anonymous said...

There is a decently typeset and bound version of the 1582/1609 Douay-Rheims for sale here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Douai-Douay-Rheims-Bible-New-Not-a-Challoner-edition-First-edition-2011-/332293856626?hash=item4d5e41dd72:m:mr59FddLHvXxwGRzXLNce7A

It is incomplete, as it lacks the deuterocanonical books and the notes, as it seems to be published (for reasons known best to them) by a Protestant group.

I have a copy, and it is interesting.

Despite my defense of the original above against a claim of incoherence, I think that on the whole, Challoner's concern for literary qualities was a good thing.

Even so, I would not be against the Anglican Ordinate eventually leading to a KJV-CE...

Reading the Scriptures is not just about reading, but also about remembering. That is where the KJV has excelled, being not only accurate but highly memorable. It is why I suggest that on the whole Challoner's revisions have helped the Douay. In my view, it is one of the most important criticisms that might be leveled against most modern translations, but it is also possible to level against some old ones.

Michael Demers said...

I wonder if you can analyze and figure out how or what makes a Bible memorable. Is it mental or emotional?

Biblical Catholic said...

" have to say that I agree with Biblical Catholic on the way English is used in the original Rheims Bible. Also, I don't know if I'm going down a rabbit hole by saying this, but I wonder if folks back in the 1500s thought that Challoner's revision was inferior to the original translation, like how Dr. Peters seems to think."

Challoner's revisions were done in the 18th century. But here's the thing, the D-R essentially withered on the vine shortly after it was published, it was widely regarded and criticized at the time of its initial publication for being difficult to read and understand due to the excessive Latinisms and apparent lack of concern for English grammar.

In fact, not only did the D-R wither on the vine due to lack of interest, but in many places, there was overt hostility to it, not from Protestants, but from Catholics.

In the early 18th century, before Challoner made his revisions, there was an attempt by a bishop in Ireland to impose the D-R upon his diocese, the result were riots that went on for days from Irish Catholics who didn't want to be forced to use the D-R which they considered to be a very bad translation.

At the time that Challoner made his revisions, which were extensive, the D-R had been out of print for more than a century and was regarded with emotions ranging from indifference to contempt by English speaking Catholics.

Challoner's revisions, which really are so extensive as to practically amount to a new translation, were received enthusiastically by the Catholics of the time, and by the year 1900, the Challoner D-R was regarded by many Catholics with the same affection and esteem as the King James Version was by many Protestants.

Challoner's revisions actually saved the D-R from obscurity. The Challoner revision was absolutely not rejected as an 'inauthentic Bible' by contemporary Catholics.

Michael Demers said...

Here's Robert Alter on what makes for a memorable translation: http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2011/05/11/3214100.htm

Cody Cotton said...

Thanks for correcting me guys. XD
And thanks Biblical Catholic for the history lesson.

Jason said...

Excellent advice.

Every single English speaking Catholic Christian ought to own both a KJV w/ "apocrypha", and a Douay Rheims.

And it sure would be nice if we could get the original Rheims-Douai of 1582-1609/1610 in modern English type like this OP says... and with the Imprimatur.

The two greatest benefits of the Old Rheims-Douai (ORD) over the 1750 Douay-Rheims-Challoner (DRC) , in my opinion, are these:

1) in the ORD, the Tetragrammaton was consistently rendered as "Our Lord" instead of the KJV style "the LORD" or the DRC style "the Lord". I think this is a wonderful way to translate the Name of the Father and gives a wonderful connection between Old and New Covenants.

2) In the ORD, whenever the Latin of the OT reads "Christus" it is translated as Christ. The DRC kept some of these (Lam 4:20 for example) but got rid of many others (specifically in the Psalms) going with the KJV style of translating the Hebrew Mashiac/Mashia "anointed [one]" rather than "Christ".

The same happens a few times with the word Jesus - see Habakkuk 3:13,18 for example in the modern DRC it reads "for salvation with thy Christ" and "joy in God my Jesus".

The DRC does this here, but translated Jesus as "savior" in a few other places where the ORD translated it literally as "Jesus".

This translates the Hebrew word Yesh which does mean Savior but is also a contracted form of Hebrew-Aramaic Yehoshua/Yeshua (Which became Iesous in Gk. then Iesus in Lt. then Jesus in En.)

Jason said...

Excellent advice.

Every single English speaking Catholic Christian ought to own both a KJV w/ "apocrypha", and a Douay Rheims.

And it sure would be nice if we could get the original Rheims-Douai of 1582-1609/1610 in modern English type like this OP says... and with the Imprimatur.

The two greatest benefits of the Old Rheims-Douai (ORD) over the 1750 Douay-Rheims-Challoner (DRC) , in my opinion, are these:

1) in the ORD, the Tetragrammaton was consistently rendered as "Our Lord" instead of the KJV style "the LORD" or the DRC style "the Lord". I think this is a wonderful way to translate the Name of the Father and gives a wonderful connection between Old and New Covenants.

2) In the ORD, whenever the Latin of the OT reads "Christus" it is translated as Christ. The DRC kept some of these (Lam 4:20 for example) but got rid of many others (specifically in the Psalms) going with the KJV style of translating the Hebrew Mashiac/Mashia "anointed [one]" rather than "Christ".

The same happens a few times with the word Jesus - see Habakkuk 3:13,18 for example in the modern DRC it reads "for salvation with thy Christ" and "joy in God my Jesus".

The DRC does this here, but translated Jesus as "savior" in a few other places where the ORD translated it literally as "Jesus".

This translates the Hebrew word Yesh which does mean Savior but is also a contracted form of Hebrew-Aramaic Yehoshua/Yeshua (Which became Iesous in Gk. then Iesus in Lt. then Jesus in En.)

There are literally millions of Christians (and Jews) who have no idea that the words "Jesus" and "Christ" are plastered all over the entire Old Testament - the Law, Prophets, and Writings each contain multiple instances of "Jesus" and "Christ" - but its lost in translation because instead people are reading "salvation, savior", or "anointing, anointed" etc.... not that that's wrong - but it loses its Christological sense on people who don't know the original Hebrew words which are translated that way.

Jason said...

Quick correction: the Scripture you quoted is New Testament - meaning it was originally written in Koine Greek, not Biblical Hebrew.

Jason said...

Plus a false argument.

There's not a single modern English Catholic Bible with the Imprimatur that is "modernist" in the heretical sense.

To say otherwise is to be out of communion with the Infallible Magisterial Church.

Anonymous said...

Michael,

the article by Robert Alter that you linked is fascinating.

Thank you!,

Javier
Argentina

Biblical Catholic said...

Jason.

"There's not a single modern English Catholic Bible with the Imprimatur that is "modernist" in the heretical sense.

To say otherwise is to be out of communion with the Infallible Magisterial Church."


Are you suggesting that the granting of a nihil obstat and an imprimatur is an infallible act of the magisterium? If so, that is far from true, and there is no shortage of books that used to have an imprimatur that had the imprimatur removed.

An excellent example of this would be the Dutch Catechism. Another example is the book 'Christ Among Us' by Anthony Wilhelm.

Timothy said...

Let's not, once again, get distracted with the issue of "modernism".

Michael Demers said...

Javier,

Robert Alter is quite a scholar but see John Hobbins on Robert Alter’s translation with commentary of Joshua-2 Kings:

http://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/found-in-translation-by-john-hobbins/

Anonymous said...

Michael,
another extremely interesting essay. I enjoyed reading it immensely. Evidently Hobbins -as Alter- is a hugely learned scholar, with a deep understanding of biblical hebrew. This, at times, makes it a bit hard for the layman to try to follow his reasoning and examples (plus, english is obviously not my native tongue). Still, very -very- enriching.

Thank you!,

Javier
Argentina