Leviticus - A new translation with commentary

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StephenGoranson
Posts: 1105
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:10 am

Leviticus - A new translation with commentary

Post by StephenGoranson »

Leviticus: A new translation with commentary
by William Whitt
Publication date: 25 October 2022
The Cutting Horse Press
Print edition: ISBN 978-1-733-4415-8-2
Digital edition: ISBN 978-1-733-4415-9-9

This translation of Leviticus completes my translation of the books of
the Torah and follows a similar approach to my other translations. My
priority was always to express the ideas in the text in the most
natural way in English, and at the same time to capture the energy and
rhythm of the original Hebrew.

One unique aspect of all my translations is that they jettison the
traditional chapter divisions and instead organize the material
according to the Masoretic parashot. Organizing the text in this way,
I believe, gets us closer to the ancient writers, and yields numerous
insights into their composition approach.

The commentary accompanying the translation focuses on issues of
translation, language, and composition history. After the commentary I
provide an essay that summarizes my (necessarily speculative) views on
the composition history of Leviticus. In that essay, I assign each of
the parashot to one of the five major compositional stages that I
identify, which span a period of some 700 years, from the dawn of the
first millennium BCE to the late fourth century BCE.

In my treatment of the composition history, I make a number of unusual
proposals. Specifically, I argue (1) that the core of Leviticus
consists of eleven ancient cult “rule books” from the northern kingdom
of Israel and the province of Samaria, (2) that these ancient rule
books were brought together with little change into a stand-alone
document (a “proto-Leviticus”) by priests in Yahweh's cult at Mount
Gerizim in the fifth century BCE, and (3) that this proto-Leviticus
was included with the books of the Torah and supplemented and revised
in the subsequent one-and-a-half centuries through the collaborative
efforts of Yahweh's priesthoods in Mount Gerizim and Jerusalem,
resulting in the version of Leviticus that we have today.

The print edition of the book is priced at $5.95 and can be found at
https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www ... pblbjgDCYw$

Links to my other translations (all of which are open access) can be
found at my author page at the Internet Archive
(https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://arc ... pblR8ERhUL$ ), and my author page at
academia.edu (https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://duk ... pblSbmZ32Q$ ).

For those who prefer physical copies to digital, very reasonably
priced print editions of all my books are available on my author page
at Amazon.com: https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://www ... pblcnWjpQT$ . The
print editions are published in a 10x7 format (instead of the 9x7
format used for the eBooks), so their pagination is different, but the
content is identical to that of the digital versions.
perseusomega9
Posts: 1007
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:19 am

Re: Leviticus - A new translation with commentary

Post by perseusomega9 »

StephenGoranson wrote: Sun Oct 30, 2022 2:10 pm
In my treatment of the composition history, I make a number of unusual
proposals. Specifically, I argue (1) that the core of Leviticus
consists of eleven ancient cult “rule books” from the northern kingdom
of Israel and the province of Samaria, (2) that these ancient rule
books were brought together with little change into a stand-alone
document (a “proto-Leviticus”) by priests in Yahweh's cult at Mount
Gerizim in the fifth century BCE, and (3) that this proto-Leviticus
was included with the books of the Torah and supplemented and revised
in the subsequent one-and-a-half centuries through the collaborative
efforts of Yahweh's priesthoods in Mount Gerizim and Jerusalem,
resulting in the version of Leviticus that we have today.

While it's hard to garner enthusiasm for reading Leviticus, the above seem interesting.
StephenGoranson
Posts: 1105
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 2:10 am

Re: Leviticus - A new translation with commentary

Post by StephenGoranson »

Also, Leviticus is not one of my favorite books.
But it's worth noting that all of William Whitt's Torah translations and commentaries are free.

For example, from academia.edu:

Genesis: A new translation with commentary
Highland Park, IL: The Middle Coast Press, 2019
This translation of the book of Genesis builds on my approach taken in my translation of Samuel published in 2018. The translation is unique in jettisoning the traditional chapter divisions and instead organizing the material according to the Masoretic parashot. Organizing the text in this way gets us closer to the ancient writers, and yields numerous insights into their composition approach. Two other characteristics that set this translation apart are my (fairly aggressive) adoption of functional (or dynamic) equivalence as a translation style, and my selection of Phoenician and Syrian ivories and Mesopotamian cylinder seals to illustrate the text.

The commentary includes an essay on the composition history of Genesis that views the entire book as the product of the Jerusalem priesthood, which I believe worked on the book nearly continuously from the mid- to late sixth century BCE down to early or mid-fourth century BCE. Finally, I also offer up a number of novel readings of historically prominent passages, including Gen 3.16, 4.7, and 15.6.

A pdf of the book with high-resolution images (the file size is 240MB) is available for free download at the Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/genesisonline

A print edition of this book with high quality illustrations is available at: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1733441530
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