God Didn't Say That

Bible Translations and Mistranslations

Win a Free, Signed Copy of And God Said

Until June 30, you have another chance to win a free, singed copy of my And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible’s Original Meaning.

From the book’s blog:

We’re giving away a free copy of And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible’s Original Meaning, autographed by the author.

For the best chances of winning, enter the sweepstakes via Twitter. You can also enter from the book’s Facebook page (and while you’re there, you can become a fan), or directly.

A winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries shortly after Saturday, June 30, 2012. So hurry!

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June 1, 2012 Posted by | announcements | , , , | Leave a comment

Back from London and Amsterdam

London Reflection

London Reflection

I’ve just returned from an exhilarating if exhausting round of teaching in London and Amsterdam. I posted periodic travel updates on the official And God Said blog, so that’s the place to look for details.

Of particular interest are The Eurostar Biathlon, about my adventures trying to get back to London from Amsterdam in time to teach; Limmud Netherlands, which includes a short description of what it was like teaching about Bible translation to a group of non-native English speakers in Amsterdam; and London, which has some photos of Hampton Court Palace (where the KJV was commissioned), among others. More photos are on my Flickr page.

Now that I’m back in New York, I’ll be able once again to devote attention to this site. So look for regularly scheduled programming to resume soon.

Dutch Scenery Zipping By

Dutch Scenery Zipping By

June 21, 2011 Posted by | meta | , , , , | 1 Comment

Win a Free, Signed Copy of And God Said

Until January 31, you have another chance to win a free, singed copy of my And God Said.

From the book’s blog:

We’re giving away a free copy of And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible’s Original Meaning, signed by the author.

For the best chances of winning, enter the sweepstakes via Twitter. You can also enter from the book’s Facebook page (and while you’re there, you can become a fan), or directly.

A winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries shortly after Monday, January 31. So hurry!

January 25, 2011 Posted by | announcements, Off Topic | , | Leave a comment

The JBC Tour

I’m in Houston, my first stop on a four-city, two-week book tour about And God Said. (Read more.) Sponsored by the JBC, the tour brings me to Houston, San Diego, Milwaukee, and Boulder this month, in addition to Queens (last month) and Wilmette, IL (in March).

Those who are so inclined can follow along from the book’s blog.

November 4, 2010 Posted by | announcements | , | Leave a comment

Another Chance to Win a Signed Copy of My Latest Book

Here’s another chance to win a free, signed copy of my latest book, And God Said.

From blog.AndGodSaid.com:

In honor of the three-month anniversary of And God Said (already in its second printing!), we’re giving away another free copy signed by the author.

To enter, visit the “Sweepstakes” tab of And God Said’s Facebook page. (And while you’re there, why not become a fan?)

You can also enter via Twitter.

A winner will be drawn from all eligible entries on Tuesday, May 18.

May 3, 2010 Posted by | announcements, Off Topic | , | 1 Comment

Q&A: How Mistranslation Created Divorce in the Bible

From the About page comes this response to something I wrote in And God Said:

On p. 155 of And God Said you claim that “there is no divorce in the Bible.”

Yes.

Two great questions follow. I’ll take them in reverse order:

The Case of Two Husbands

Also, you speculate that perhaps the Bible would call both an ex-wife and a current wife, “his wife” but this is not true, in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 we see “former wife.”

I presume you mean “former husband,” and here we find a true translation gaff.

The KJV, ESV, NAB, NLT, and others translate “former husband” for ba’al rishon. But “former” in English usually implies “no longer,” whereas the Hebrew rishon just means “first.” For example, when Esau is born before Jacob, he is called the rishon. Genesis 26:1 mentions a famine, and then clarifies, “not the first [rishon] famine,” but rather a new famine. This doesn’t mean or imply that the first famine is no longer or famine. Similarly, ba’ala harishon doesn’t “her husband who is no longer her husband,” but rather, “her first husband.”

(There’s a related use of “former” in English that’s the opposite of “latter” and that just means “first.” For example: “Consider two people, the former a senator and the latter a judge….”)

By comparision, we might look at “ex-wife” in English. A man in his third marriage can have two ex-wives. Even if we call them “the former ex-wife” and “the latter ex-wife,” both remain his ex-wives, and the clearer way to refer to them in English is “his first ex-wife” and “his second ex-wife.”

The NIV gets rishon right with “first,” but then errs and translates shilach as “divorced” instead of the more accurate “sent away.”

The NJB’s combination of “first husband” and “repudiated her” isn’t bad, except for the fact that the Hebrew shilach is a common verb while the English “repudiate” is not.

The NRSV’s translation is pretty accurate here: “…her first husband, who sent her away…”

So here we see Hebrew that just talks about two husbands, while the English, with the word “former,” wrongly suggests that one of them is no longer a husband.

The alleged divorce only takes place in translation.
Continue reading

April 9, 2010 Posted by | Bible versions, Q&A, translation practice, translation theory | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Book Giveaway: Win A Copy of And God Said

Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin’s Press is giving away a free, autographed hard-cover copy of my latest book, And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible’s Original Meaning.

From blog.AndGodSaid.com:

WIN A FREE BOOK

Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin’s Press is giving away a free, autographed hard-cover copy of And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible’s Original Meaning.more

Leave a comment there to enter, include a link to that page to enter again, and add blog.AndGodSaid.com to your blogroll to enter two more times.



(I’ve technically entered by leaving this post — but I’ll remove my name from the drawing.)

February 22, 2010 Posted by | announcements, Off Topic | , | 2 Comments

And God Said Goes On Sale Today

 

I’m thrilled to announce that my latest book, And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible’s Original Meaning, goes on sale today.

I want to keep “God Didn’t Say That” as commercial-free as possible, so I’ve set up a separate blog for the book here, though the book is about Bible translation, so I’m sure there will be considerable overlap.

More information about the book is available here, and you can even find the book on Facebook. (“Won’t you be my friend?” pleads the book.)

It took me four months and fifteen years to write. I hope you enjoy it.

 

“Hoffman’s work is the best gift for a careful reader of [the Bible].” -Dr. Walter Brueggemann

“Retrieves what the Bible really was.” -The Very Reverend Dr. James A. Kowalski


“A wise and important book.” -Rabbi Harold Kushner

February 2, 2010 Posted by | announcements | , , , , | 5 Comments