I am aware of three (!) English translations of the Mishnah, there is the Philip Blackman translation, the Danby translation and the Jacob Neusner translation.

How do these three translations differ?

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    There is also an ArtScroll translation of the Mishna. Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 1:34
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    .....and Kehati
    – b a
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 3:59
  • @ba Kehati wrote a [superb] commentary on the Mishna; I wasn't aware that he translated it as well.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 4:52
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    @DoubleAA From his Wikipedia page: "This work was translated into English and published in 1994 as The Mishnah." He apparently didn't write it, but it's still known as the Kehati (as far as I've seen).
    – b a
    Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 5:47
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    @msh210 yes, all 6 sidrei mishnah - whatever doesn't have a Bavli, they translate just the mishnah. They also include (nontranslated) dafs of Yerushalmi for at least some tractates that lack a Bavli (and maybe those that have a Bavli, but I'm not sure). Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 18:42

1 Answer 1


This seems more like an opinion piece than an actual question-and-answer thing, but for what it's worth I think that Danby's translation greatly overshadows Neusner's, but have not seen Blackman's (nor any other).

Danby translates the whole Mishna himself, is slavishly faithful to the Hebrew, and although he sometimes notes alternative interpretations in his footnotes, tends to rule like Rav Ovadiah of Bertinoro. Neusner, on the other hand, translated only part of the Mishna, the rest being done by his students. As a result, I find the overall composition sloppy and inconsistent, his preference for transliterating certain words (like ma'aseh) irritates me, and it's never succeeded (for me) in actually clarifying the text.

Fortunately, since I can read Kehati in Hebrew, I haven't needed to rely on an English translation, but one area in which I find it very useful - and would recommend Danby even for people who are confident with Hebrew - is when it comes to names of plants, or types of equipment, etc. Most of the time, Kehati is helpful in explaining what they look like or what they do, and while a good dictionary can be handy as well, seeing Danby's English translation and then looking it up on Google has helped immensely with clarifying for me exactly what some of these things are.

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    I've edited the question to make it less subjective. This may affect your answer. Commented Aug 1, 2012 at 13:04
  • Neusner also editorialises his translations to fit his thesis (cf Gra"sh on Neusner Yerushalmi). Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 15:58
  • @NoachMiFrankfurt Leiberman’s review A Tragedy or a Comedy?
    – Oliver
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 18:50

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