A New Translation
by Edward L. Greenstein
Pub Date 20 Aug 2019
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The book of Job has often been called the greatest poem ever written. The book, in Edward Greenstein’s characterization, is “a Wunderkind, a genius emerging out of the confluence of two literary streams” which “dazzles like Shakespeare with unrivaled vocabulary and a penchant for linguistic innovation.” Despite the text’s literary prestige and cultural prominence, no English translation has come close to conveying the proper sense of the original. The book has consequently been misunderstood in innumerable details and in its main themes.
Edward Greenstein’s new translation of Job is the culmination of decades of intensive research and painstaking philological and literary analysis, offering a major reinterpretation of this canonical text. Through his beautifully rendered translation and insightful introduction and commentary, Greenstein presents a new perspective: Job, he shows, was defiant of God until the end. The book is more about speaking truth to power than the problem of unjust suffering.
A Note From the Publisher
Edward L. Greenstein is professor emeritus of Bible at Bar-Ilan University and a prolific, world-renowned scholar in many areas of biblical and ancient Near Eastern studies.
“[An] excellent, accessible translation . . . For both scholars and general readers of the Bible, Greenstein’s novel interpretation of Job’s significance and keen analysis of the Bible’s own discussion of theodicy will be eye-opening.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Greenstein's Job offers the rarest combination of talents: a philologist's determination to hunt down the meaning of every word and a poetic delight in language and making the text sing."
“A masterful translation, new, bold, and often startling, by one of the great masters of this masterpiece of world literature. Greenstein's Job offers authoritative guidance to a book whose profundities and conundrums continue to challenge.”
—Peter Machinist, Harvard University
“Greenstein’s Job is a brilliantly imaginative rendering of a book whose elemental sublimity and resplendent beauty never cease to astonish. It is rare to find scholarship of this quality combined with poetry of such power.”
—David Bentley Hart, author of That All Shall Be Saved
“Grounded in deep literary sensitivity and decades of meticulous philological scholarship, Greenstein’s translation of Job brings us closer to the sublime text and uncompromising spirit of this great and challenging biblical book than anyone has previously done.”
—Everett Fox, Clark University
“A singular achievement by one of the foremost Biblical linguists, who deftly renders the rhetorical and verbal genius of Job. The translation speaks to the contemporary ear while retaining the original's sinewy structure.”
—Michael Fishbane, University of Chicago
“An immense pleasure for the reader, this novel translation recreates the flavor of the ancient Hebrew poetical text in its original setting. It is perhaps the first Job translation to free itself from traditional interpretations and it reflects the author’s decades of thorough research.”
—Emanuel Tov, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem