Between text and commentary: A characteristic feature of Jewish Bible versions

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Jewish versions of the Bible frequently feature extensive commentaries in addition to translated text. In many instances these commentaries elicit as much attention as the translation itself-if not more. Typically combining grammatical and exegetical remarks, these commentaries accompany both freer and more literal renderings and may contain non-Jewish and non-traditional commentators along with substantial offerings from mainstream Jewish exegetes. The erudition displayed by these Jewish translators is extensive, often aimed at a more learned audience than the translated text itself. Overall, such Jewish versions may be seen as efforts to open up for non-Hebrew readers the intentionally ambiguous language of the original, where lexical and grammatical multivalence are characteristic features-features that are frequently lost when rendering words and expressions from one language to another.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-493
Number of pages18
JournalOpen Theology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies


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