Page 48 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 15

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
Society, is the seventh member of the committee. Dr. Freedman
has now moved to Melbourne, Australia, but continues to partic­
ipate actively in the work by correspondence.
The committee proceeds as follows: A draft text, with notes, is
prepared by Dr. Orlinsky and circulated to all the members.
Each then sends in written suggestions for improving the draft,
and these are circulated also. When the committee meets, all
opinions are considered fully. Often discussion leads to unanimous
agreement; if not, a majority vote decides. Progress is slow; yet
experience shows that discussion often produces a rendering supe­
rior to any of those available in print or suggested prior to the
meeting.
AT and RSV frequently offer a translation not of the received
Hebrew text, but of emended readings based on the ancient ver­
sions or on free conjecture. Such deviations from the Masoretic
text are usually, but not invariably, noted. (Even JPS, which
supposedly adhered to the received text, makes occasional tacit
emendations). The new version will adhere to the traditional text
with rare exceptions; in the few instances where emendation ap­
pears absolutely necessary or at least highly desirable, the modified
reading will appear in the margin. The notes will not be as nu­
merous or extensive as Leeser’s, but will be less sparse than those
of JPS, which are devoted chiefly to explanations of Hebrew
word-plays. The new version will also indicate every instance
where the meaning of a Hebrew word or phrase is uncertain or
obscure. Thus the innocent reader need not blame himself if he
finds these passages incomprehensible.
When will the new Bible translation be available to the reading
public? I wish a definite answer could be given. Obviously there
is no point in publishing another translation unless it represents
a substantial improvement over what is already available. The
committee hopes, through long, hard work, to meet that require­
ment.