Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The First Testament: A New Translation
Goldingay, John

Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2018 pp. xvii + 924. $60.00


Description: Most translations bend the text toward us. They make the rough places smooth, the odd bits more palatable to our modern sensibilities. In every translation something is gained and something lost. In The First Testament: A New Translation, John Goldingay interrupts our sleepy familiarity with the Old Testament. He sets our expectations off balance by inviting us to hear the strange accent of the Hebrew text. We encounter the sinewed cadences of the Hebrew Bible, its tics and its textures. Translating words consistently, word by word, allows us to hear resonances and see the subtle figures stitched into the textual carpet. In a day of white-bread renderings of the Bible, here is a nine-grain translation with no sugar or additives. In The First Testament the language of Zion comes to us unbaptized in pious religiosity. Familiar terms such as salvation, righteousness, and holiness are avoided. We cock our ears to listen more carefully, to catch the intonations and features we had not caught before: “Yahweh said to Abram, ‘Get yourself from your country, from your homeland, and from your father’s household, to the country that I shall enable you to see, and I shall make you into a big nation. I shall bless you and make your name big and you’ll become a blessing." (Gen 12:1-2) “Hey, you who wish for Yahweh’s day. What good really is Yahweh’s day to you?― it will be darkness, not light.” (Amos 5:18) “My shepherd being Yahweh, I don’t lack; he enables me to lie down in grassy pastures. He leads me to settled water; he turns my life back.” (Ps 23:1-3) The First Testament is an invitation to read the sacred text through the eyes of one of the most accomplished Old Testament scholars in the English-speaking world today. With introductions to each book, it is an attractive translation for the classroom as much as for personal study and enjoyment.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Literature, Methods, Linguistics, Translation and Translation Theory, Aramaic, Hebrew

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). In May 2019, SBL improved security of its main site with a new login procedure that requires an email address and a password, instead of an SBL member number. RBL’s login procedure is now synched to SBL’s. Please use your email address and SBL password to log in to RBL. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBL’s Terms of Use.

I don’t remember my SBL password.

Join SBL or renew your membership to read the review(s).


Email Address
SBL Password
 


Review by David G. Firth
Published 10/24/2019
Citation: David G. Firth, review of John Goldingay, The First Testament: A New Translation, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2019).


Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.

 

 
Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us