10 Principles for Reading the Bible (a link)… and a note on Everett Fox’s Hebrew Bible translations more generally

Everett Fox has a really, really excellent set of principles for Bible readers. He calls it For First Time Readers of Bible Stories. I would add that I find them generally useful even if you have read the stories in the Hebrew Bible many, many times. Appreciation of these literary qualities of the Hebrew Bible is sorely missing in most Christian readings in my experience. Well, maybe I should add: with the exception of The Bible Project. (You can be the judge as to whether that’s an indictment of my experience or an indictment of Christian readings more generally!) In any case, check them out here, from his page at Clark University.

On a follow-up note, I have found Everett Fox’s translation of the Torah to be the most helpful that I have ever read. I highly recommend it, and that you listen to it read aloud rather than just “reading in your head”. The first time I heard a friend read the first few chapters of Genesis aloud from it was eye opening, to say the least. Or would that be ear opening? It is entitled The Five Books of Moses. It’s available in print and in Logos. Why it is not available as an audio book is beyond my comprehension. Fox has also published a second set of translations of books from the Hebrew Bible entitled The Early Prophets. His notes on the Samson (Shimshon) cycle (from the Book of Judges) are available online and very helpful.

Footnote: For those who have done one of the Hardcore Bible Studies in past years at Long Beach Friends Church, I would definitely have included these principles had I been aware of them at the time. I will include them going forward.

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