Scholar and teacher Marc Brettler argues that contemporary Bible readers can only understand the ancient Hebrew Scripture by knowing more about the culture that produced it. Brettler unpacks the literary conventions, ideological assumptions and historical conditions that inform the biblical text and demonstrates how modern critical scholarship and archaeological discoveries shed light on this fascinating and complex literature. Surveying representative biblical texts from different genres, Brettler illustrates a modern reading of these texts. The emphasis of How to Read the Jewish Bible is on showing contemporary Jews, as well as Christians, how they can relate to the Bible in a more meaningful way.
the jewish bible
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Now more than ever, gentiles are an integral part of the Jewish community. But they are not new to the Jewish story. In fact, righteous gentiles go back to Abraham. The story of the Jewish people can't be told without them.
An astonishing collection of personal essays by leading novelists, poets, and literary critics, this comprehensive introduction to the Old Testament is composed entirely of specially commissioned essays.
In April of 2001, the headline in the Los Angeles Timesread, “Doubting the Story of the Exodus.” It covered a sermon that had been delivered by the rabbi of a prominent local congregation over the holiday of Passover. In it, he said, “The truth is that virtually every modern archeologist who has investigated the story of the exodus, with very few exceptions, agrees that the way the Bible describes the exodus is not the way it happened, if it happened at all.” This seeming challenge to the biblical story captivated the local public. Yet as the rabbi himself acknowledged, his sermon contained nothing new. The theories that he described had been common knowledge among biblical scholars for over thirty years, though few people outside of the profession know their relevance. New understandings concerning the Bible have not filtered down beyond specialists in university settings. There is a need to communicate this research to a wider public of students and educated readers outside of the academy. This volume seeks to meet this need, with accessible and engaging chapters describing how archeology, theology, ancient studies, literary studies, feminist studies, and other disciplines now understand the Bible.
In The Jewish Bible: A Material History, David Stern explores the Jewish Bible as a material object—the Bibles that Jews have actually held in their hands—from its beginnings in the Ancient Near Eastern world through to the Middle Ages to the present moment. Drawing on the most recent scholarship on the history of the book, Stern shows how the Bible has been not only a medium for transmitting its text—the word of God—but a physical object with a meaning of its own. That meaning has changed, as the material shape of the Bible has changed, from scroll to codex, and from manuscript to printed book. By tracing the material form of the Torah, Stern demonstrates how the process of these transformations echo the cultural, political, intellectual, religious, and geographic changes of the Jewish community. With tremendous historical range and breadth, this book offers a fresh approach to understanding the Bible’s place and significance in Jewish culture.
"Though 'biblical theology' has long been considered a strictly Christian enterprise, Marvin A. Sweeney here proposes a Jewish theology of the Hebrew Bible, based on the importance of Tanak as the foundation of Judaism and organized around the major components: Torah, Nevi'im (Prophets), and Kethuvim (Writings). Sweeney finds the structuring themes of Jewish life: the constitution of the nation Israel in relation to God; the disruption of that ideal, documented by the Prophets; and the reconstitution of the nation around the Second Temple in the Writings. Throughout he is attentive to tensions within and among the texts and the dialogical character of Israel's sacred heritage" -- Publisher description.
The debate over form versus function rages intensely in discussions of Hebrew syntax. This volume sets out the parameters of the debate and the historical reasons for how the questions of narrative syntax are being approached by today's scholars. This publication has also been published in hardback, please click here for details.
A guide to locating and learning about 3,000 people in the Bible
"This handbook provides an important resource for the serious study of the Writings of the Hebrew Bible. It addresses historical and literary contexts as well as its roles as scripture and canon in Judaism and Christianity. The volume provides creative presentations of the messages and import of the books and the canonical division as a whole"--