Everett Fox draws the reader into the ancient world of the Hebrew Bible in his acclaimed translation of Genesis through Deuteronomy, THE FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES (Schocken,1995). Fox presents the Biblical text in English dress, but with a Hebraic voice, and the result looks and sounds very different from conventional English translations of the Bible.

The reader discovers a text that challenges him or her to reconsider meanings, and to become an active listener rather than a passive receiver. In Fox's translation, Eve does not give Adam an apple, nor is she called "Eve"; her name is Havva, as pronounced in the Hebrew, and she gives her husband from the fruit of the tree. Moses does not speak of himself as "a stranger in a strange land" (as beautiful as that sounds); he is a "sojourner in a foreign land," the term sojourner more accurately reflecting the sound and meaning of the original Hebrew verb.

The guiding principle behind Fox's translation is that the Hebrew Bible, like much of ancient literature, was meant to be read aloud. Many passages and sections are understandable in depth only when they are analyzed as they are heard. Thus, by preserving such devices as repetition, allusion, alliteration and wordplay, by mimicking the rhythm and the sound structure of the original text, Fox's translation echoes the Hebrew, conveying ideas and meanings in a manner that vocabulary alone cannot do. His translation is accompanied by extensive commentary and illuminating notes.


THE FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES: THE SCHOCKEN BIBLE, VOL. I, is available in a standard, hardcover edition, as well as in a deluxe edition, with gilded edges and a ribbon marker, suitable for gift giving and for family use.


Everett Fox holds the Allen M. Glick Chair in Judaic and Biblical Studies at Clark University in Worcester Massachusetts. He is the author of many studies on the Biblical narrative and its translation; he is co-editor, with Lawrence Rosenwald, of Scripture and Translation, a collection of essays by Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with his wife and three children.






Subscribe to the JHOM mailing list for updates.

Contact us

Tell a friend