"Judges" or "Chieftans"?

This morning as I was reading in the Book of Judges in the New Jewish Publication Society (=NJPS) version of the Tanakh, I came across the word traditionally translated as “judges.”  The NJPS renders the word as “chieftans.” I have also seen it rendered as “leaders/rulers.”  I think the NJPS  and those that render it “leaders” are closer to the actual meaning of the word; however, the book is still titled “Judges” on each account.  My question is: Do you think the findings in the field of Biblical Studies could ever be strong enough for Bible versions to render the name of the book differently?

I personally don’t think so.  The title Judges is so traditionally ingrained, even though it is a bit of a misnomer, at least in the modern sense of the term “judge.”  So, no I don’t think I’ll ever hear a lector say “A Reading from the Book of Chieftans/Leaders.”

Related Posts:

Psalm 1.1 – Translation Comparison

Isaiah 41 – An Interesting Translation Issue

An Ancient of Days or The Ancient of Days: Does it Really Matter?

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