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Andre Chouraqui, 89; translated the Bible, Koran into French

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Andre Chouraqui, 89, a writer best known for his French-language translation of the Bible and his work in government in Israel, died Monday at home in Jerusalem, said Claude Amsallem, his son-in-law. He had had a stroke, kidney failure and other ailments, Amsallem said.

A poet, Chouraqui was best known for translating religious texts, including “La Bible hebraique et le Nouveau Testament” (The Hebrew Bible and New Testament), published in 26 volumes between 1974 and 1977. He also translated the Koran into French.

Born in Algeria in 1917, Chouraqui studied law in Paris. During World War II, he joined the French Resistance and hid out in the Haute-Loire region of central France.

After moving to Israel in the 1950s, he became an advisor on immigration matters to Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, from 1959 to 1963. He also served as deputy mayor of Jerusalem.

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His 1970 essay “Letter to an Arab Friend” is considered a classic evocation of Arab-Jewish dialogue.


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