Update: Jan. 2010
I wrote to Prof. Alter to inquire about any other biblical translations because, quite frankly, his translation (and, Prof. Everett Fox' translation) are some of the most exciting and intriguing books to be published in any genre. Here is Prof. Alter's response:
Dear Mr. Lawrence,
Many thanks for your enthusiastic response. The next installment of my Bible translations, the Wisdom Books (Job, Qohelet, Proverbs) will be published in October .
***** ***** *****
The Five Books Of Moses, a scholarly translation of The Torah by Dr. Robert Alter is nothing short of magnificent. I've been wanting a book such as this for quite some time and to be quite frank, I was greatly disappointed with the recently released Oxford Jewish Bible.
The Five Books of Moses, is just that a translation of the first five books of our Bible, but it also has substantial and thorough annotations which entices the reader to reconsider age-old beliefs about the text and how one perceives the patriarchs, matriarchs and the Torah in general.
In addition to the text, Dr. Alter offers alternative translations based on the oldest historical usage of individual words. In some cases, he also he focuses on the history of the letters and how that might affect translation.
I must also point out that Dr. Alter doesn't side step the influence of rituals and tradition (i.e. the verbal recitation) on the stories. This book reveals much and re-visits long, forgotten lessons. Mazel Tov, Professor.