Not a Hebrew scholar here but a Rabbi and I read our versions of Genesis 18:12 and I noticed a difference in wording. When Sarah laughed, his version rendered roughly “shall I have smooth skin” and the ESV reads “shall I have pleasure” as follows:
So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, "After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?"
Specifically, where do Jewish scholars derive this reading? IS THERE A DIFFERENCE IN THE ACTUAL HEBREW LETTERS AMONG MANUSCRIPTS? if so, which manuscripts say smooth flesh and why the variance and which is more reliable and why? Where do Christian scholars derive their reading?
I have been through this exercise a few times with Jewish friends—including in their translation of Psalm 22 re: crucifixion- again very different. I forget what the issue was in that case was but I recall the Christian scholars relied on fewer but higher quality manuscripts and there appeared to be much better reasoning for the Christian scholar translation from what I could gather as a non-scholar. The Hebrew scholars were relying on later and numerically more manuscripts. So, in addition to the specific question on Genesis 18:12, some commentary on why differences between Hebrew scholar translations and Christian scholars translations exist in various cases. Is there a way to advance this Christian-Jewish dialogue in a way that helps promote some understanding of why there are frequent differences in our translations—possibly a few facts that may explain the variances such as that Hebrew scholars use the Masoretic text (later) and Christian scholars use the Dead Sea scrolls? Are Hebrew scholars generally closed to re-evaluation of traditional readings based on comparing manuscripts? It would be difficult or impossible for a gentile to convince a Rabbi (who likely considers himself a better Hebrew scholar than every gentile on the planet) to adopt a different translation ever. But some general principles if available may help the dialogue. Thank you very much.