Bray & Hobbins, “Genesis 1-11”

One of the first conferences that Mark and I put together several years ago concerned Genesis“religious legal theory”–the nature of religious law and comparative approaches within and among religious traditions. The study of religious law remains a focus of our Center. Here’s a wonderful new translation of Genesis 1-11 authored in part by UCLA law professor Samuel Bray (a participant in the first leg of our Tradition Project last year) and Hebrew scholar John F. Hobbins, whose subtitle is “A New Old Translation for Readers, Scholars, and Translators.”

How does this new translation relate to law? Principally because law is all about words and their uses to convey meaning. But for more, you should check out Sam’s wonderfully interesting posts at the Volokh Conspiracy, which cover issues ranging from the Tower of Babel to those of “double translation” and its pitfalls. And the translation itself has something that should appeal to textualists–great faithfulness to the original. The publisher’s description is below.

This translation of Genesis 1-11 follows the Hebrew text closely and leaves in what many translations leave out: physicality, ambiguity, repetition, even puns. Bray and Hobbins also draw deeply from the long history of Jewish and Christian interpretation. Their translation and notes offer the reader wisdom and delight.

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