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Publisher's Summary

A landmark event: the complete Hebrew Bible in the award-winning translation that delivers the stunning literary power of the original.

A masterpiece of deep learning and fine sensibility, Robert Alter's translation of the Hebrew Bible, now complete, reanimates one of the formative works of our culture. Capturing its brilliantly compact poetry and finely wrought, purposeful prose, Alter renews the Old Testament as a source of literary power and spiritual inspiration. From the family frictions of Genesis and King David's flawed humanity to the serene wisdom of Psalms and Job's incendiary questioning of God's ways, these magnificent works of world literature resonate with a startling immediacy. Featuring Alter's generous commentary, which quietly alerts listeners to the literary and historical dimensions of the text, this is the definitive edition of the Hebrew Bible

©2019 Robert Alter (P)2019 Recorded Books

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What listeners say about The Hebrew Bible

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Masterful Translation

Very exciting to have an audiobook version of this excellent work. Robert Alter brings a literary sensitivity to the text so that it is not only a translation but a literary accomplishment in its own right.

There is a table of contents included now (in case there wasn't one before). So if a table of contents is important to you don't worry, it has one. Chapter by chapter.

24 people found this helpful

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Commentary Missing

As a huge biblical history buff I was extremely excited to have an audio version of this translation. I was even more excited to learn Edoardo Ballerini would be narrating.

However the line by line/verse by verse commentary written in the physical book is not present in the audiobook. It’s a shame because I was really hoping to have the commentary as stated.

17 people found this helpful

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A SUPERB READING OF THE ANCIENT BOOKS

A wonderful combination of the latest translations and a sonorous reading. i own the print version so I was delighted to just sit and listen to these pillars of our literature and religious tradition. I would have bought only the Ketuvim if it was offered on Audible,,. but I really enjoyed the Nevi'im as well, which Alter presents clearly and Ballerini reads as if it is all a song of praise. Torah is excellent, but I haven't heard it all yet, as I'm familiar with it from the print version. Enjoy!

12 people found this helpful

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Where is the promised commentary?!

I own the printed version of this book and I really enjoy it.
I was really looking forward to listening to it too.

The book description plainly says “ Featuring Alter's generous commentary, which quietly alerts listeners to the literary and historical dimensions of the text”. But it’s a flat out lie. The commentary is completely missing. The publisher needs to update their description immediately and stop selling this book under false pretenses.
What’s here is good, and worth a listen. But it’s just not all that’s advertised. I feel cheated.

10 people found this helpful

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A bible without access to a table of contents with

A bible without a table of contents is really problematic since a bible is not used as a straight read through. It took me 5 minutes to find the Minor Prophets and Hosea, and jumping back and forth for weekly portions or simply different readings will be very difficult.
I regret purchasing it and I'll probably just use it for a single read through.
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Performance: Great enunciation. I believe the names should be pronounced as the Hebrew has them so that for those of us who understand Hebrew, puns come through.

26 people found this helpful

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The publisher messes up the chapter numbering

Up through the Book of Joshua in part 4 the table of contents is well laid out. We can easily tell where each book begins. We know where the introductions and commentary are. Then, part 5 begins with chapter 221, repeats the last several chapters of Deuteronomy, repeats Joshua, then continues on with Judges. I checked part 14. It begins with chapter 895 and ends with chapter 1069. We have to guess where each book begins. The excellent table of contents work in the first four parts is completely forgotten in the last ten. How does kind of garbage get pushed out to us? Garbage!

Eduardo Ballerini is incredible as the narrator. He brings to life Prof. Alter’s translation of the Hebrew Bible into literary English. The quality of the translation and narration are so good that I don’t want to exchange this book in spite of the almost unacceptabe quality of the table of contents.

5 people found this helpful

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Too bad... it has such a terribly poor table of contents!

Robert Alter’s translation of the Hebrew Bible (“tanach”) is creative and engaging... and I deeply appreciate his work. Unfortunately, the table of contents is a mess... to find an individual book or chapter one often has to download multiple “Parts” until one can finally locate what one is looking for! It’s like a grim game of Audible “blind man’s bluff”! An excellent book that is, sadly, poorly served by its publication.

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great content, but poor chapter division.

the book is a marvelous literary work, no question. there are a few issues with the translation because Robert alter is not a philologist. on these problems you can read the review of professor Ed Greenstein criticizing the translation in someplace, especially the translation of Job.

however, the book is missing the commentary part, and worse still, the publisher changed the chapter division. so it no longer says Genesis 1, 2 ,3 etc.. but the entire Hebrew bible is divided into chapters numbered from 1 to 1069!!! how can anyone find a particular chapter this way?

3 people found this helpful

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LOVE!!!!!

I love everything about this version of the Old Testament. The commentaries at the beginning and then before each book are incredibly insightful for a more beautiful picture of the way the OT was written.

Edoardo Ballerini, to me, is the perfect narrator for this. His voice is totally pleasant - almost soothing.

This is my favorite version of Old Testament so far.

3 people found this helpful

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Great

My only contentions are that I wish Prof. Alter did his own name transliteration and that the chapters aren't better organized. There are too many books and chapters to navigate this work with just chapter numbers. The bible is a collection of books not one big book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher Mckay
  • 12-14-19

Great with some issues

Expertly read and written, although hard to navigate using Audible and the footnotes/verse by verse commentary has not been included.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Norman
  • 11-02-20

Excellent - only one gripe

This is an excellent translation of the old Testament, awesome accomplishment for one man. The reading is likewise excellent, balanced style. Lively but not over the top. And no distracting music in the background like some of the others. Also a congenial Irish accent.
My only single gripe with the translation is the decision to render YHWH as LORD rather than using the name that God gave himself. Disappointing sop to ‘tradition’. If you’re going to do a literal translation why compromise on this key issue?
I’d love another edition avoiding this key compromise that changes the meaning so much.
Other than that, excellent.

5 people found this helpful