Benner's Translation of the Torah
By Jeff A. Benner
Jeff A. Benner's translation of the Torah, based on his ground-breaking work with The Torah: A Mechanical Translation, brings a fresh and unique look at the Torah. All the names in the translation are transliterated from the Hebrew (Ya'aqov instead of Jacob) and the text is heavily footnoted, bringing insights into the text from the Hebrew language.
The translation in this book is the Revised Mechanical Translation, which is derived from Mr. Benner’s The Torah: A Mechanical Translation (Also available through the bookstore). In the The Torah: A Mechanical Translation (MT) each Hebrew word is translated faithfully according to its original linguistic and cultural perspective. Mr. Benner's vision of this translation included a translation that;
- eliminates personal and religious bias on the part of the translator,
- translates each Hebrew word, prefix and suffix, exactly the same way, every time it occurs in the text,
- can be read and understood by the average person who does not have any prior knowledge of the Hebrew language,
- includes a dictionary of each word used in the translation as well as a concordance, and
- can be used as a tool by those who are learning to read Biblical Hebrew.
Each verse in the translation includes the Revised Mechanical Translation, which rearranges the words so that it will follow English syntax. For instance, Hebrew syntax places the subject of the verb (Elohiym) after the verb (shaped Elohiym). However, in English syntax the subject comes before the verb (Elohiym shaped). In addition, some words will be changed for clarity. For example, in Hebrew, one says “in a mountain,” but we would say “on a mountain” and this translation will reflect such changes. This Revised Mechanical Translation is the translation found in this book.
You will notice, as you read this translation, it does not “flow” as easily as the translations you are used to. The reason for this is that this translation is designed to allow the reader to see the Hebrew behind the English by using the English language. So while this translation may not read easily, you are getting a glimpse of the Hebrew language behind the translation.