The Murderous History of Bible Translations: Power, Conflict and the Quest for Meaning (Hardcover)

The Murderous History of Bible Translations: Power, Conflict and the Quest for Meaning By Harry Freedman Cover Image
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Harry Freedman, author of The Talmud: A Biography, recounts the fascinating and bloody history of the Bible.

In 1535, William Tyndale, the first man to produce an English version of the Bible in print, was captured and imprisoned in Belgium. A year later he was strangled and then burned at the stake. His co-translator was also burned. In that same year the translator of the first Dutch Bible was arrested and beheaded. These were not the first, nor were they the last instances of extreme violence against Bible translators. The Murderous History of Bible Translations tells the remarkable, and bloody, story of those who dared translate the word of God.

The Bible has been translated far more than any other book. To our minds it is self-evident that believers can read their sacred literature in a language they understand. But the history of Bible translations is far more contentious than reason would suggest. Bible translations underlie an astonishing number of religious conflicts that have plagued the world.

Harry Freedman describes brilliantly the passions and strong emotions that arise when deeply held religious convictions are threatened or undermined. He tells of the struggle for authority and orthodoxy in a world where temporal power was always subjugated to the divine, a world in which the idea of a Bible for all was so important that many were willing to give up their time, security, and even their lives.

About the Author

Harry Freedman is a writer and academic with a PhD in Aramaic. His publications include The Gospels' Veiled Agenda (O-Books). He contributed to the Encyclopedia of Modern Jewish Culture (Routledge) and has written for the Jewish Chronicle, Jewish Quarterly, Judaism Today and the Huffington Post. He lives in London.

Praise For…

“Aramaic and Hebrew scholar Freedman vividly explains how and why scripture has been translated . . . The author is open about his populist aim--to tell 'the story of the translated Bible,' without being a lengthy comprehensive history that would appeal more to scholars--and he succeeds in achieving that goal . . . For those interested in the complex history of Bible translation, this is a must-read.” —Publishers Weekly

“Stimulating and entertaining . . . His style of presentation is never tedious, so that readers will be able to cover extensive ground in what is a remarkable odyssey.” —The Times Literary Supplement

“A fascinating account . . . [Freedman] is adept at untangling the complex history of bible translation . . . A complex and important story told in clear, non-academic language that should appeal to anyone with an interest in history or bible studies.” —Historical Novel Society

“An entertaining, lucid look at the history of Biblical translations . . . This is a serious popular history and--unlike so many of the Biblical translations it discusses--has no particular religious agenda.” —Bookfilter

“Throughout this history, Freedman explores controversies and challenges to authority. Offering a well-researched popular alternative to earlier work on Bible translation . . . Freedman distinguishes himself by demonstrating the concerns 'about authenticity and human emotion' that produced these texts.” —Choice

“A biography of the Talmud--call it a bibliobiography--is welcome. Such a book could explain how the Talmud came to be and who reads it and why. Perhaps most important, it would explain to the uninitiated how to understand the Talmud's complicated logic. Harry Freedman's The Talmud: A Biography addresses almost all of these subjects . . . Mr. Freedman writes with evocative brio.” —The Wall Street Journal on THE TALMUD

“Freedman brings impressive research to the biography of a 2,000-year-old text that still excites scholars, inspires controversy and reflects turbulent events in Jewish history.” —Kirkus on THE TALMUD

Product Details
ISBN: 9781632866011
ISBN-10: 1632866013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Press
Publication Date: November 15th, 2016
Pages: 256
Language: English