A dazzling reconsideration of the language and translation of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, from the acclaimed scholar and translator of classical literature (“The best translation of The Aeneid, certainly the best of our time”—Ursula Le Guin; “The first translation since Dryden that can be read as a great English poem in itself”—Garry Wills, The New York Review of Books), and author of Paul Among the People (“Astonishing . . . superb”—starred Booklist). The King James Bible is considered the definitive and most accurate English translation of the Bible. But while its comparatively easy to read language allowed it to become accessible to millions of people who were barred by a lack of knowledge of the more esoteric Greek, Latin, and Hebrew versions, much gets lost in translation—particularly in tone and lyricism. Even the most commonly accepted Ancient Greek and Latin translations fail to maintain all of the intricacies of the original Hebrew text. In The Face of Water, Sarah Ruden brilliantly, elegantly celebrates and translates the Bible’s original languages and looks at how passages have been misunderstood over the centuries, at how the most commonly accepted English translations have been lacking in the intent of the original text. Ruden reveals both the poetry and lyricism—earthy, mysterious, infused with wit—that has made the Bible the compelling piece of literature it has been for more than a millennium. Cross-referencing the popular King James interpretation of the Bible with Ruden’s own direct translation of the ancient Hebrew, the author demonstrates with deftness and agility, the musicality of some of the most popular passages—the Lord’s Prayer, Ezekiel’s Dry Bones, and more.From the Hardcover edition.