I’m interested in reading through the entire Tanakh, so as to better my understanding of Judaism. I’ve learned that even some people who are a good deal more frum than me haven’t read or studied the whole thing, but I think it would be good to have read it all for perspective and improvement of knowledge.
I’m looking for a good English translation with the following properties:
- Relatively literal text translation with minimal additions in the central text
- Lots of footnotes, annotations, etc about midrash, rabbinic interpretations, etc. Importantly, this should be kept in the comments and footnotes, not in the translation itself per se.
- From an orthodox/halakhic perspective
- Preferably complete, can be in multiple volumes as needed, and multiple different translations for different parts are not my first preference but ultimately are fine – ex, “Rabbi X’s Torah is great, but for the prophets I suggest Rabbi Y” is fine
Two that I know of that I like are the Stone Chumash and the Steinsaltz Torah, at least for the Torah. However, the Stone Chumash is from a very strict orthodox perspective, and I have it on good word, including academic papers about the subject, that they are not above using bizarre/creative translations to make the Jews look better than they should or push a particular biased narrative. I still think the translation is quite good if you know what you’re looking at is the “idealized story of the Israelite people” but I would prefer a different translation for this reason. The Steinsaltz Chumash is also quite good, but it puts commentary directly in the text by having bolded text as actual Torah and commentary as non-bolded, which I don’t like. I’ve also found its footnotes to be a tad sparse, and I’m not sure if his work extends to the other parts of the Tanakh (to be fair, he was probably pretty busy with the Talmud).
With this in mind: Any suggestions?
submitted by /u/Kesseleth