Publisher’s Weekly covers CJV Critique of “Gender-sensitive” Mistranslation of Biblical Texts
August 28, 2023

In Publisher’s Weekly, reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman covered a new “gender-sensitive” English translation of Tana”ch (the Jewish Bible) from Jewish Publication Society in a piece entitled “A New Jewish Bible Triggers a Translation Debate.” The new JPS translation is to be included in the Sefaria online repository, which is often used by those looking for authentic translations of Jewish texts. The sole critic of the new translation, and its inclusion in Sefaria, cited in the piece was Rabbi Menken of CJV:

Rabbi Yaakov Menken, managing director of the Coalition for Jewish Values, an Orthodox political advocacy organization, criticized the move on X (formerly Twitter), writing that, next, “to be more inclusive of atheists, they’ll provide a ‘historically accurate translation’ that avoids mention of the Supreme Being. ‘In the beginning, heaven and earth were created.’ ”

Despite his dig, Menken tells PW that the translation is no laughing matter. “Not more than 15% to 17% of Jews living in America can read and understand a Hebrew text. And with this book, they would be relying on a translation that is deliberately not true to the text. Hebrew is a gendered language. The Torah was given in a gendered language. That’s the package it comes with. We want to understand the original faithfully, whether we like it or not.”

See the full article in Publishers Weekly

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