The ever-widening gap that separates ancient texts from modern readers presents a perennial challenge, which by its very nature necessitates a continual return to the sources and their conceptual worlds. To that end, this volume contains chapters on ancient Hebrew linguistics and Bible translation that contribute to modern readers’ understanding of ancient texts. The chapters treat different topics, but share an interest in theoretical and practical tools that may make the ancient texts’ language and conceptual worlds more accessible to modern readers. They use these theoretical and practical tools, as well as comparable data from other ancient texts or cultures, to elucidate aspects of ancient Hebrew literature. In this way, they do not only make contributions to modern readers’ understanding of ancient texts, but also present novel interpretations and identify some new lines of inquiry in the fields of ancient Hebrew linguistics and Bible translation. Each chapter presents the results of original research and all of them were subjected to extensive peer-review. The volume’s target audience includes specialists in ancient Hebrew, linguists, and Bible translators, but other scholars who endeavour to help modern readers better understand the ancient texts may also benefit from the discussions, analyses, and conclusions in the chapters.
We wish to thank all the authors for their contributions to this volume. Many other colleagues have supported this project in different ways, but we would like to make special mention of Prof. Dr Izak Cornelius, Prof. Dr Pierre van Hecke, Dr Steve Runge, and Dr Josh Westbury.
A special word of thanks goes to Prof. Dr Klaas Smelik for accepting the volume as part of the Studia Semitica Neerlandica series. We are especially grateful to Elisa Perotti and the team at Brill for their help during the publication process.
It is a great pleasure to dedicate this volume to Prof. Dr Christo H.J. van der Merwe, who, through his teaching, mentorship, writings, and work in translation, has demonstrated that sound scholarship, grounded in good theoretical insights, is indispensable for the interpretation and translation of the ancient texts in the Hebrew Bible for the benefit of modern readers.
Gideon R. Kotzé
Christian S. Locatell
John A. Messarra