Hebrew Studies 53 (2012

)

375

Reviews

practices that gave rise to them have significant consequences. The longstanding (although disintegrating) dichotomy between oral and written tradition collapses. Also, the practice of reading extraordinary significance into every minor variation in the textual traditions appears mistaken. Scholars usually look at certain variants assuming that they are deliberate and conscious written modifications, but Carr cites many examples that do not suggest a conscious process but rather memory error. This work is a highly significant contribution to the field that may impact how we think about textual transmission and therefore almost everything else. Carr fruitfully involves textual criticism and documented cases of textual transmission to support his arguments. Consequently, his book reads very differently from past attempts to chart the development of the Hebrew Bible. His empirical support and methodological modesty are refreshing. David A. Bosworth The Catholic University of America Washington, DC 20064 bosworth@cua.edu GENDER ISSUES IN ANCIENT AND REFORMATION TRANSLATIONS OF GENESIS 1–4. By Helen Kraus. Oxford Theological Monographs. Pp. xiii + 242. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Cloth, $125.00. In this diachronic study, Kraus traces the history of translations of Genesis 1–4 by choosing five authoritative translations from the Hellenistic period to the Reformation. Selected are the Septuagint, the Vulgate, Luther’s German Bible (1534), the English Authorized Version (1611), and the Dutch State Translation (1619). Kraus contends that these translations of Genesis 1–4 display a tendency to reframe the relationship between man and woman from one of desire to one of hierarchy. She concludes, with lucidity characteristic of her study, “that both Hebrew text and its translations are largely accountable for the development of comparatively ‘innocent’ androcentricity into justification for the subjugation of women” (p. 193). Kraus commences her study with an exegesis of the Hebrew text as the Vorlage of all later translations of Genesis 1–4. Successfully conveyed in her interpretation is the ongoing nature of creation throughout the first four chapters of Genesis. Rather than analyze the text using source theory, Kraus concentrates on the semantic domains of words in the Hebrew text. In some cases, she includes comparative cultural practices that illustrate the force she wishes to attribute to a word. Thus, for example, she develops the image of

Hebrew Studies 53 (2012)

376

Reviews

God as potter and man as the “clay figurine Pinocchio-like coming to life” in 2:7 first by noting that the verb ‫ נפח‬is associated with furnaces and heat (p. 21). Then, she finds resonance between the creation of woman in 1:26–27 and in 2:18–25 and the clay effigies found at Sha’ar Hagolan, a Neolithic village on the Yarmuk River. While interpreting Genesis 1–4 in the Septuagint, Kraus identifies an emphasis on the human rather than on the anthropomorphic activity of God. The deity breathes into not the nostrils but the face of his creation. More active participation in creation is suggested by the rendering of the Hebrew “deep sleep” as ἔκστασις, which could refer either to Ptolemaic Alexandrian surgical practice or to the magical activity of God. Kraus notes that the insertion of the emphatic οἱ δύο in 2:25 underscores the nakedness of both man and woman at this point in the narrative, an inclusive state of naturalness found not even in the all-male gymnasium. Yet, this nakedness seems to have very little to do with the gymnasium and its accompanying intellectual apparatus when the Hebrew pun ‫“( ערום‬naked” in 2:25 and “clever” in 3:31) is lost like the other Hebrew puns and leaves no doubt that the creatures have found themselves exposed. Jerome, by contrast, attempts to preserve the Hebrew play upon words, a decision especially important in his construction of the relationship between man and woman. Jerome chooses to preserve the etymology in Latin with the terms vir and virago. In so doing, Jerome not only dismisses mulier, but he also rejects virgo, which denotes a girl of marriageable age and probable virginal status. Kraus suggests that Jerome’s translation may have been influenced by the use of virgo for pagan priestesses and by the associations of virago with a woman with the physically strong and warlike qualities of a man. Despite the heroic qualities with which Jerome endows women at creation, his translation of the fall situates woman under the control of the pater familias. Felicitously then, in 4:1, when the man knows his wife (uxor), she simply gives birth to a human (homo), not a man (vir) and certainly no Adam. There is a clear separation between God’s act of creation and the human process of procreation. In treating the translations from the Reformation, Kraus continues the concentration on women and marital status that she began in her discussion of the historical background of Jerome’s activity as a translator. Luther emphasizes gender by having God create menlin and frewlin (literally “little man” and “little woman”). In his commentary, Luther sees this as diverging from a “Jewish tale” of which Plato presented his own version in the Symposium. On the one hand, this gendered emphasis reduces androcentrism and misogyny in that it constructs man as the sinful, desirous one and woman as the antidote to man’s sickness. On the other hand, Luther nevertheless displays a thoroughly early Lutheran Reformation mindset in

Hebrew Studies 53 (2012)

377

Reviews

seeing man not as ruling over the woman but being her Lord. Kraus perceives the loss of the monastic option as a restriction of women’s life choices and the interpretative work of Luther as one of fully enmeshing his German Bible in the lived experience of the people of the vernacular. This Reformation-era concern of how to define the vernacular Bible— whether a Bible is written in a language of a people or translated into the lived experience of a people—becomes particularly interesting in Kraus’ discussion of the Authorized Version with illuminating evidence from Tyndale’s translation and Rashi’s commentary. Regarding the question of what gender the couple would become if they were to eat of the tree and become the singular God, Rashi opines that the serpent’s argument implies that eating of the tree would cause both man and woman to become God. In 3:6, Tyndale, whose work Kraus deems a Bible for the common people, is closer to Rashi’s answer in viewing the tree as being good “to eate of.” The Authorized Version, a Hebrew Bible in English, more literally indicates that the tree is good “for foode.” As Kraus turns to the Dutch State Translation, the Statenbijbel, we see the humanist underpinnings of the enterprise of biblical interpretation advance. The primary impetus for the Statenbijbel was the Dutch desire to create distance from the Catholic Church and its “Spanish yoke” by abandoning the 1477 Delft Bible. While the translation shows great fidelity to the Hebrew and Authorized versions, the translation makes a curious shift from presenting woman as wijf (wife, Gen 2:24, 25; 3:8, 17, 20, 21) to presenting her as huisvrouwe (housewife, Gen 4:1, 17, 25). This monograph provides incisive analysis on the gender constructions of literary texts and social settings of a canonical set of translations of Genesis 1–4. The appendix with a synoptic comparison of Hebrew and Translated Texts is also very helpful. Janelle Peters Emory University Atlanta, GA 30322 janelle@uchicago.edu UNTAMABLE TEXTS: LITERARY STUDIES AND NARRATIVE THEORY IN THE BOOKS OF SAMUEL. By Greger Andersson. LHBOTS 514. Pp. xii + 279. New York: T & T Clark, 2009. Cloth, $130.00. Greger Andersson proposes to undertake “a critical examination of socalled literary or narrative readings of the historical books in the Old Testament, mainly the books of Samuel” (p. 1). His thesis is initially formu-