The font

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The script is the German translation of the Tanach , the Hebrew Bible, by the Jewish philosophers Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig . It was created from 1926 to 1938, until 1929 jointly by Buber and Rosenzweig, after his death that year it was continued and completed by Buber alone. From 1954 to 1962, Buber revised the text again.

Originally, Buber and Rosenzweig only planned a revision of the Luther text . But this turned out to be impractical.

The translation was made at the suggestion of the publisher Lambert Schneider , but there was no institutional client such as a synagogue congregation or a church. The translators were thus free to implement their own understanding of translation . They mutually corrected their work, had them read to them by third parties, and compared their versions with common German, English, French and Italian translations.

Rosenzweig, who “wanted to create a structure as equivalent as possible to the form of the original”, expressed his view of translation as follows:

“The task of the translator is completely misunderstood when it is seen in the Germanization of the foreign. [...] I will not hear the person, their tone, their opinion, their heartbeat. But is that possible? Isn't the task of reproducing the foreign tone in its foreignness, that is, not to Germanize the foreign, but to change the German, demanded something impossible from the language? "

“What has arisen in speaking, however, can only ever and ever be re-lived in speaking, yes, only through [... speaking] can be received in a pure and true manner. […] Even the Hebrew term for 'read' means 'to call out'. [...] our Germanization of the script also wants to be 'proclaimed'. Then only the inaccuracy of its effect will not degenerate into strangeness. "

The script is largely a concordant translation and uses a poetic language. It aims to reproduce the linguistic character of the original text, e.g. B. "Irrsal und Verrsal" for " tohu wabohu ". It is supposed to "convey what is written there" and tries to reproduce the structure of the breath and meaning units of the original.

Reading sample (Bereschit (= Genesis)) 1,1f:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
But the earth was madness and confusion. Darkness over the face of the primal vortex. The shower of God swinging over the face of the water. "


  • The font. Translated from Hebrew by Martin Buber together with Franz Rosenzweig, 4 volumes (paperback), 2688 pages, German Bible Society, 1st edition (1992), ISBN 978-3438014917
  • The font. Translated into German by Martin Buber together with Franz Rosenzweig - with pictures by Marc Chagall (hardcover), 1176 pages, GVH Wissenschaft & Gemeindepraxis, 1st edition (October 2007), ISBN 978-3579064482


  • Bible translation today. Historical developments and current requirements ; Stuttgart Symposium 2000, German Bible Society

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