The English Bible, King James Version: The Old Testament (Vol. 1) (Norton Critical Editions)

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9780393927450: The English Bible, King James Version: The Old Testament (Vol. 1) (Norton Critical Editions)

A stunning work of scholarship, the Norton Critical Edition of The English Bible, King James Version, is the most accessible edition available.

In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, these long-awaited volumes bring together succinct introductions to each biblical book, detailed explanatory annotations, and a wealth of contextual and critical materials. Archaic words are explained, textual problems are lucidly discussed, and stylistic features of the original texts are highlighted.

Judicious and economical, the introductions and annotations to the Old Testament give readers without Hebrew an entry into complexities of biblical literature, reconstructing its original contexts, tracing its evolution, and pointing out productive strategies of reading. Incorporating the insights of modern biblical scholarship as well as centuries of precritical interpretation, they offer essential guidance to a labyrinthine world, while respecting the text’s integrity.

The historical and critical appendix comprises three distinct collections. A section on ancient Near Eastern backgrounds presents the myths, hymns, prayers, and legal codes that informed the creation of the Hebrew Bible. A historical anthology of biblical interpretation gathers―for the first time in one volume―generous selections from the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions, along with classics of secular commentary. It includes reflections on the Bible by philosophers from Hobbes to Ricoeur; a compendium of modern biblical scholarship, focusing on topics such as the oral and the written, the composition of the Pentateuch, and the historical movement from covenant to canon; and a provocative sampling of comparative and literary approaches. The crucial presence of the Old Testament within English literature is represented by paraphrases and parables in verse and prose, and a recapitulatory conclusion brings the diverse perspectives of this millennial survey to bear on two of the Bible’s most famous passages: the expulsion from the garden of Eden and the binding of Isaac. A final section devoted to the question of translation includes significant English versions from Wycliffe to the present.

Time lines, chronologies, diagrams, and maps are included.

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About the Author:

Herbert Marks is Professor of Comparative Literature at Indiana University, where he also directs the Institute for Biblical and Literary Studies and edits the monograph series Indiana Studies in Biblical Literature. He is the editor of the Norton Critical Edition of The English Bible, King James Version: The Old Testament.

Review:

“This magnificent (and affordable!) volume, as any Norton edition, is primarily intended for use in university classrooms. Nevertheless, since it offers such rich contextual and interpretive resources for understanding the historic KJV, the books of the Hebrew Bible, and how that corpus has been literarily shaped over centuries, it will surely be a valuable resource at many levels of study.”
- Review of Biblical Literature

“The Norton Critical Edition of The English Bible, King James Version, appearing on the four hundredth anniversary of the great translation, is a real gift to the English-reading world, making this classical version freshly accessible. The introductions to the different biblical books are apt and often illuminating; the generous annotation clarifies archaic terms, corrects translation errors, and provides insight into the texts; and the appended critical and historical materials give readers a wealth of relevant contexts for both Old and New Testament.”
- Robert Alter

“Herbert Marks demonstrates in this work that he is now the foremost literary exegete of the King James Bible and of the Hebrew Bible that it translates.”
- Harold Bloom

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