Biblical Archaeology Review 9:2, March/April 1983

Queries & Comments

NJPS Not Consistent

To the Editor:

Marc Brettler’s insightful review of the New Jewish Publication Society translation of the Bible (The Torah, The Prophets and The Writings—A New Jewish Translation,”BAR 08:06) praises it because, for the most part, it maintains a one-to-one correspondence between English and Hebrew; that is, the same English word is used for a single Hebrew word.

Recently, however, I found a number of unforgivable departures from this principle:

The Hebrew word ulam is a part of Solomon’s temple. In 1 Kings 6:3, it is translated “portico”; in 1 Chronicles 28:11 and 2 Chronicles 3:4, it is translated “porch.”

The debir was the Holy of Holies in Solomon’s temple. Debir is translated “Shrine” in 1 Kings 6; it is translated “inner sanctuary” in 2 Chronicles 3:16 and 5:7. (Just to make matters more confusing, Kodesh is translated “sanctuary” in 2 Chronicles 5:11.)

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