Jeremiah (Anchor Bible Series, Vol. 21)

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9780385008235: Jeremiah (Anchor Bible Series, Vol. 21)

Jeremiah (Volume 21 in the acclaimed Anchor Bible), like most of the prophetic books, is an anthology containing a wide variety of literary forms.  This remarkable diversity gives the work a special appeal for students of literature, who find here striking parallels to later writings; for example, in the "confessions" one hears a voice not unlike John Donne's in the Holy Sonnets, and in the war poetry, one is reminded of pieces written two and a half millennia after Jeremiah, the war poems of Stephen Crane.

The life of Jeremiah (c. 627-580 B.C.) spanned a particularly crucial period in the history of Judah, the Southern Kingdom.  Except for a brief period of independence (under Josiah) she was under successive vassalages to Assyria, Egypt, and Babylonia.  In his introduction, John Bright elucidates the historical background of the events described in Jeremiah and clarifies the importance of Jeremiah's role to the history of Israel.

The Book of Jeremiah poses extraordinary difficulties for the translator.  In addition to coping with the usual--and formidable--problem of converting the classical Hebrew into modern English, the author had also to capture the different stylistic techniques used in the original.  This John Bright has succeeded admirably in doing, and the result is a translation notable not only for its accuracy of phrase, but also for its fidelity to style.  This volume thereby accomplishes one of the major aims of The Anchor Bible:  to rediscover the original, to know its importance, and to feel its impact as immediately as those who first read, or heard, its story.

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