Good Bible


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a figment of your imagination
Can I get a recomendation for a good Hebrew translation to English?

Are there parallel Torah? Where I can read multiple translations from the literal, to the contemporary side by side?

This question stems from me reading Michener's 'The Source' where it is said that the KJV was written for Protestants as the Douay was for Catholics, but if we want to read the old testament as written we need to read a Hebrew translation by Jews.

They referenced where in Eclesiastes it was prophecied a virgin birth, yet the Hebrew translation is interpretted as young lady or unmarried...
Bananabrain was kind enough to lead me to
Be sure to click on the "show Rashi's commentary" link at the top right under the chapter title. I've found it to be a valuable resource. :)
Namaste SG,

love chabad, particularly counting the omer... I get great emails from them last week contemplating the seven directions and marriage as microcosm, good stuff.

But I don't know where they fit in the mix. I guess what I'm trying to figure out is what would the prefered translation be for:







thanx, wil
The translation on Chabad's site isn't that great. I think you'll find that the preferred translation of individuals within any movement is going to have some overlap but there are translations put out by individual organizations, sometimes an org affiliated with a particular movement.

For example, a lot of people like the JPS translation of the Tanach. The Jewish Publication Society is affiliated with Conservative Judaism but it's not like that makes it the official translation of Conservative Jews nor does it mean other people avoid it. On the contrary many people like it.

A lot of people also like the translation of the Torah by Everett Fox because he paid more attention to things like the music of the text, following the motivation of an earlier German translation by Buber and another guy whose name escapes me.

One of the bigger issues with any translation is the type of commentary you'll find. Some come with more traditional commentary, some come with modern commentary and some come with a mix of the two.

If you pick up a chumash, you'll get the hebrew text and the english text of the Torah. You'll likely also get some commentary and possibly rashi and targum onkelos.

Chabad is a hasidic sect (ultra-orthodox) with a fairly focused agenda on outreach to Jews and now to non-Jews as well. Their founder Reb Shneur Zalman of Liadi applied chasidus to yeshivish culture such that he moved the emphasis back to study. Early chasidism put a lot more emphasis on prayer, simple faith and the like, so much so that you get ideas like the niggun, a wordless melody that, by discarding the words, is pure soul. There's more to a niggun than that which BB might be quick to fill in because he's somewhat offended by it but I don't think it's particularly relevant in this case.

So now my turn to ask question:

What type of a translation do you want?

What type of commentary do you want?


On parallel editions. There are parallel commentaries for example mikraot gedolot. Any chumash I'd want to bother with is going to be offering more than one perspective on the texts. The targumim are alternative translations. But you won't find, to my knowledge, Jewish translations side-by-side with other Jewish translations. If you want to get a better sense of what the text is saying, grab a BDB, take it word by word, and identify a number of other places where the word appears. Look at how the word is used there, what the general application of that word is, then go back to what you're looking at. It's more fun too. I would advise you not rely on the definitions in the BDB so much as the places it cites words as appearing. Why do I recommend the BDB over anything else? Because it's so complete.

-- Dauer