Abstract

Three recently published English translations of the Torah refer to God in unusual ways: They offer the reader the rare experience of encountering the biblical God as a persona who is "beyond" gender. The three renditions, which are of related provenance and presented as "gender accurate" or "gender sensitive," appear in The Torah: A Modern Commentary, revised edition (2005); The Contemporary Torah (2006); and The Torah: A Women's Commentary (2008). Having served as the central member on the translation teams that addressed gender issues, I review considerations for construing God's gender as represented in the Torah. The analysis, based on a reconstruction of ancient plain-sense reading conventions and concepts about deity, explains why a (mostly) gender-neutral translation produces the least distortion of the Torah's God-language. The article then characterizes the three new renditions and their God-language, including the representation of God's name and the rendering of ascriptive imagery.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1565-5288
Print ISSN
0793-8934
Pages
pp. 108-137
Launched on MUSE
2008-06-15
Open Access
No
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