Genesis Ii Robert talks to Robert Alter about his new translation of the book of Genesis. In the original Hebrew, Alter says, there are portions of poetry that use language that's archaic and unusual. Alter tried to maintain the specialness of these passages in the English by using a "majestic" sort of language. He also retains familiar phrases from the King James translation...for example, "Am I my brother's keeper?"... when those familiar phrases ring true to his ear.