Notes by Autumn Light

On Hebrew, English, translation, editing, and more—by Jonathan Orr-Stav

What is lost in the translation of the Bible from Hebrew to English?

Leave a comment

The old adage is that reading something in translation is like kissing a beautiful woman through a veil.

In the case of the Hebrew Bible, this is actually not true: reading it in translation is like kissing a drawing of a beautiful woman recreated by a police sketch artist based on someone’s description…

This is why, on the rare occasion when I sit in a church during a service and the priest / pastor / minister talks about a passage in the Bible (especially the Hebrew Bible), I feel that everyone is so far removed from the original text that I get unbearably frustrated and have to leave…

For the rest of my answer, I refer the Hon. Member to my reply to the question, What are the advantages of reading the Bible in Hebrew instead of a translation?

(Originally written in reply to a question at


Author: יונתן אור-סתיו | Jonathan Orr-Stav

Hebrew-English translator, editor, author. מתרגם עברית–אנגלית, עורך באנגלית, וסופר.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s