I am a Reform Jew and I occasionally find myself in debates online with Evangelical Christians about the nature of the Bible, and what is actually being said. Your site has become a very valuable resource for me, and I am interested in studying the Bible more closely. Since there are so many badly, or intentionally mistranslated versions of the Bible out there, I was wondering if you could tell me what you feel the most accurate English translation of the original Hebrew is?
The Hebrew and English language belong to two different language families, and as a result it is never an easy task to accurately render the Jewish Scriptures into the English language. Moreover, because of the different structure of the two languages, a literal word-for-word English translation of Tanach would produce a Bible that would be difficult to understand. A good translation must be accurate and readable – that is, it must reliably replicate the meaning of the text without sacrificing its readability.
The best translation of the Jewish Scriptures is the Judaica Press Tanach series. Rabbi Avraham J. Rosenberg has provided in his lucid translation a remarkably accurate rendition of the Jewish Scriptures. It comes in about 30 volumes and it not only contains a translation of the Mesoretic text, but of the great Jewish commentators as well. It will cost you a few hundred shekalim for the whole set, but it is a life-long investment and well worth the price.
Rabbi Tovia Singer