BAR 38:03, May/Jun 2012
Objectionable Bible Translation
The Bible has been translated into more than 2,000 modern languages. Only one has been a matter of controversy in Israel—a recent translation into modern Hebrew.
According to an article in Hadassah magazine, the new translation has been called scandalous, pernicious and even fraudulent. Some fear that if this “translation” is used in schools, the children will grow estranged from Biblical language.
The translation’s defenders claim that Israelis speak Israeli rather than Hebrew. Gil’ad Zuckermann, a professor of linguistics, maintains that modern Israeli Hebrew is a hybrid of Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, Polish, Romanian and other languages.
In a Jerusalem Post article Zuckermann asks: “How many Israelis know that an egla meshulleshet [Genesis 15:9] is not a triangular cow but ‘a heifer of three years old’? If they studied [the new translation] the RAM Bible, they would know because it is translated as such: egla bat shalosh.”