Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226477725 Will Publish April 2018
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226477695 Will Publish April 2018
E-book $35.00 Available for pre-order. ISBN: 9780226477862 Will Publish April 2018

A History of German Jewish Bible Translation

Abigail Gillman

A History of German Jewish Bible Translation

Abigail Gillman

320 pages | 31 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2017
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226477725 Will Publish April 2018
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226477695 Will Publish April 2018
E-book $35.00 ISBN: 9780226477862 Will Publish April 2018
Between 1780 and 1937, Jews in Germany produced numerous new translations of the Hebrew Bible into German. Intended for Jews who were trilingual, reading Yiddish, Hebrew, and German, they were meant less for religious use than to promote educational and cultural goals. Not only did translations give Jews vernacular access to their scripture without Christian intervention, but they also helped showcase the Hebrew Bible as a work of literature and the foundational text of modern Jewish identity.

This book is the first in English to offer a close analysis of German Jewish translations as part of a larger cultural project. Looking at four distinct waves of translations, Abigail Gillman juxtaposes translations within each that sought to achieve similar goals through differing means. As she details the history of successive translations, we gain new insight into the opportunities and problems the Bible posed for different generations and gain a new perspective on modern German Jewish history.
Review Quotes
Ismar Schorsch, Jewish Theological Seminary
A History of German Jewish Bible Translation is important because the subject of Bible translations is a key to the mentalité of German Jewry since Moses Mendelssohn. With a novel handle on a complex body of literature, Professor Gillman has crafted an original conceptual grid to overcome the atomized character of eleven distinct translations that, until now, have defied treatment by a single scholar. Gillman’s goal is not to discuss all translations, but rather to highlight the endless effort by German Jews to cultivate their religious identity in a Christian body politic deeply ambivalent about their integration.”
Amir Eshel, Stanford University
“Abigail Gillman’s work is a major scholarly achievement, indeed probably the most comprehensive study to date of the 170-year tradition of Jewish Bible translations into German. Gillman’s history is at the same time an important contribution to our understanding of the unique German-Jewish encounter in modernity, that is, of the philosophical, literary, cultural, and linguistic junction that brought to the world the likes of Moses Mendelssohn, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Else Lasker-Schüler, Franz Kafka, Walter Benjamin, Gershom Scholem, Nelly Sachs, and Paul Celan, to name only a few luminaries. I am hard pressed to think of another book that brings together such a thorough consideration of Biblical translation across languages and cultures.”
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