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Director's Lecture

Robert Alter, “The Challenges of Translating the Bible”


Event Summary

Translating the Bible into English requires subtlety, expressing compactness, precision, and evocative use of syntax. All this is challenging because the structure of modern English is so different from that of ancient Hebrew. Robert Alter, a professor of Hebrew and comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley, demonstrated his own struggles with these issues through part of the University's 125 Anniversary celebration. More than 350 first-year students attended as part of the College Core course "Human Being and Citizen."

Related Media

Robert Alter’s translation of the Hebrew Bible (Norton, 2018)

“Robert Alter to speak on challenges of translating the Bible” (UChicago News, October 2, 2015)