On January 29 and 30, 2020, Professor Robert Alter delivered two lectures at the Brigham Young University Maxwell Institute. In his first lecture, he discusses his translation of the Bible and in the second he discusses his writing of The Art of Biblical Narrative (1981).
“Robert Alter published The Art of Biblical Narrative in 1981—a seismic moment in the history of interpreting the Hebrew Bible. Literary analysis of scripture in the academy took off like never before. Alter’s work showed that biblical authors were not mere primitive scribblers; they were “among the pioneers of prose fiction in the Western tradition” in matters of narrative, character, organization, and so much more. Using the tools of literary criticism, Alter has helped countless readers find countless treasures in these ancient texts.
For nearly a quarter of a century, Alter worked on his own translation of the Hebrew Bible, which was published last year in three volumes of over 3,000 pages. In this special guest lecture, Alter discusses the challenges of translating scripture today.
In a lecture the following day, January 30, Alter discusses how he came to write ‘The Art of Biblical Narrative a book that inspired scholars to appreciate the craft and composition of one of the world’s most widely-read texts.”