This is a question that readers frequently ask, wondering whether they are getting an adequate immersion in the culture, rhythms, and vocabulary of those who wrote long ago.
Bob MacDonald, author of the monumental work Seeing the Psalter (Energion Publications, 2013), has continued his work studying the rhythm, music, and structure of the Hebrew scriptures He developed this close translation initially to show in English the intricate patterns of repeated words in Hebrew poetry.
Having discovered the inferences concerning the music at a conference on the Psalms in 2010, the author decided that the whole corpus of the Hebrew canonical text should be approached to allow English speaking readers some understanding of the music. The translation retains the order of Hebrew words wherever reasonable, so that changes in reciting note and ornaments can be in English on the same syllable that corresponds to the Hebrew.
Readers at all levels of biblical knowledge can benefit from the material here. While the translation is accessible to anyone who reads English, references to the Hebrew text are available for the serious student of the language.
A Biblical Hebrew to English Concordance is volume 6 in the series and the first to be released.
Books in the series:
- The Torah, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (released)
- The Former Prophets, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings (released)
- The Major Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel (released)
- The Twelve, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi (released)
- The Books of Truth, Psalms, Proverbs, Job, (released)
- The Five Scrolls, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Qohelet, Esther (released)
- The Remaining Writings, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, Chronicles (released)
- A Biblical Hebrew to English Concordance (this volume)
- A is for Abandon, An English to Biblical Hebrew Alphabet Book (June 21, 2019)
You can find further resources on the music of the Bible at Remembering and Reflecting.