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Genesis: Translation and Commentary [Paperback]

By Robert Alter (Editor)
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Item Number 158016  
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Item description for Genesis: Translation and Commentary by Robert Alter...

Attending to the usages, rhythms, and narrative patterns of biblical Hebrew and rendering them with clarity and literary appeal, an acclaimed translation and commentary deepens the reader's understanding of Genesis as a cohesive book. Reprint.

Publishers Description
Genesis begins with the making of heaven and earth and all life, and ends with the image of a mummy--Joseph's--in a coffin. In between come many of the primal stories in Western culture: Adam and Eve's expulsion from the garden of Eden, Cain's murder of Abel, Noah and the Flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham's binding of Isaac, the covenant of God and Abraham, Isaac's blessing of Jacob in place of Esau, the saga of Joseph and his brothers. In Robert Alter's brilliant translation, these stories cohere in a powerful narrative of the tortuous relations between fathers and sons, husbands and wives, eldest and younger brothers, God and his chosen people, the people of Israel and their neighbors. Alter's translation honors the meanings and literary strategies of the ancient Hebrew and conveys them in fluent English prose. It recovers a Genesis with the continuity of theme and motif of a wholly conceived and fully realized book. His insightful, fully informed commentary illuminates the book in all its dimensions.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Genesis: Translation and Commentary by Robert Alter has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Publishers Weekly - 07/28/1997
  • New York Times - 11/09/1997 page 36

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Item Specifications...

Studio: W. W. Norton & Company
Pages   384
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.2" Width: 5.4" Height: 1"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 17, 1997
Publisher   W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN  039331670X  
ISBN13  9780393316704  

Availability  26 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 24, 2016 05:09.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Robert Alter

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Robert Alter is a Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime contributions to American letters, he lives in Berkeley, California.

Robert Alter currently resides in Berkeley, in the state of California. Robert Alter has an academic affiliation as follows - University of California, Berkeley.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory > General
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > History & Criticism > Criticism & Theory
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Old Testament
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament > Old Testament

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Reviews - What do customers think about Genesis: Translation and Commentary?

A revelation!  Jan 10, 2008
For so long I naively believed in the theory of evolution. But then I discovered this book and realised I was completely mistaken - the world was actually created by God in six days! Quite remarkable. I won't make the mistake of putting blind faith in tatty old folk tales written by senile old loonies again.
book  Jan 1, 2008
Even from a non-religions point of view, Genesis is a valuable piece of literature. Being one of the first texts ever it has had a great influence on our society and is the basis for many of our customs. It isn't the most exciting read, there is a lot of who begot who, but its interesting to see what so many people have put so much faith into.
It is the type of book where you can always look for a deeper meaning, which the footnotes help greatly with, but simply reading it for what it is you're still able to get a lot out of it. Obviously you can's take everything seriously, there are many metaphors used. But many of the stories teach simple morals that still are prevalent today.
With out a doubt you could find a more appealing book to read than Genesis, but its still worth picking up. It been very influential to many people and appears countless times in other pieces of literature, also its short and uses relatively simple language.

Genesis  Jan 1, 2008
Genesis is a difficult read in many ways. The writing style is over a thousand years old, this combined with the density of the material makes it a very time consuming read. The text requires a lot of analyzing and critical thinking while reading. While it is a hard and dense read, in the end it is a very rewarding one. You cannot claim to have an understanding of literature until you have read Genesis. Being one of the first true texts and the guide to life for many, many great novels have drawn connections both to and from it. Robert Alter's translation of one the greatest texts ever written is magnificent. He uses a great deal of footnotes to help in the translation and explain the old Hebrew. Genesis is truly a work of art.
Life Changing  May 2, 2006
There are hosts of people for whom reading the Bible has been a life-changing experience. Reading this book was a life-changing experience for me as it changed the way I read the Bible.

Alter shows Genesis as a work of literature. This doesn't mean that it holds no timeless truths. Rather the reverse. The fact that Genesis was written with a spirit beyond that found in a mere journalistic account make it more valuable not less.

This is one of those books where in the footnotes are longer than the text. Through these, Alter passes on wisdom from commentators throughout the ages.

The stories of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Jacob, and Joseph we all remember from Sunday school. Alter's work brings them to life in a way nothing I've seen ever has before. If you revere the Bible, you owe it to yourselve to buy this book.
Genesis  Oct 14, 2005
I am currently taking a literary course on Genesis taught by a Jewish Rabbi. The translation is an excellent secularly attempts to give the non-Jewish individual the feel and cadence of the original Hebrew.

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