The Jewish Study Bible: Featuring the Jewish Publication Society TANAKH
Berlin (Adele), Brettler (Marc Zvi) & Fishbane (Michael)
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Cover Blurb

  1. Now, readers of the Bible who are interested in Jewish traditions have a one-volume resource specifically tailored for their needs. The Jewish Study Bible’s content reflects both contemporary biblical scholarship and the richness of Jewish tradition. Its wealth of supplementary materials address biblical interpretation within the Bible itself and during the rabbinic period, through medieval, mystical, early modern, and current approaches. No knowledge of Hebrew is required to make use of this unique volume. Anyone wishing to acquire a fuller understanding of the Bible will benefit from reading the Jewish Study Bible.
  2. Key features:
    • Section and book introductions that deliver insights into the background, structure, and meaning of the text
    • Running commentary beside the biblical text that provides in-depth theological interpretation of it, from the Jewish perspective
    • Informative essays that address a wide variety of topics relating to Judaism’s use and interpretation of the Bible through the ages
    • Full colour Oxford Bible Maps
    • Verse and chapter differences
    • Table of Scriptural readings
    • Glossary of technical terms
  1. Oxford University Press breaks exciting new ground in the field of study Bibles with the Jewish Study Bible. This innovative volume will, for the first time, offer readers of the Hebrew Bible a resource that is specifically tailored to meet their needs.
  2. The JSB presents the center of gravity of the Scriptures where Jews experience it – in Torah. It offers readers the fruits of various schools of Jewish traditions of biblical exegesis (rabbinic, medieval, mystical, etc.) and provides them with a wealth of ancillary materials that aid in bringing the ancient text to life. The nearly forty contributors to the work represent the cream of Jewish biblical scholarship from the world over.
  3. The JSB uses The Jewish Publication Society TANAKH Translation, whose name is an acronym formed from the Hebrew initials of the three sections into which the Hebrew Bible is traditionally divided (Torah, Instruction; Nevi'im, Prophets; and Kethubim, Writings). A committee of esteemed biblical scholars and rabbis from the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism movements produced this modern translation, which dates from 1985. Unlike other English translations based upon such ancient versions as the Septuagint and Vulgate, which emend the Hebrew text, TANAKH is faithful to the original text.
  4. Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Jews, professors, students, rabbis: indeed, anyone interested in acquiring a fuller understanding of the riches of the Hebrew Bible will profit from reading the Jewish Study Bible.

  1. Maps and Diagrams – viii
  2. Introduction: What Is The Jewish Study Bible? (Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler) – ix
  3. Preface to the 1985 JPS Edition –xiii
  4. Alphabetical Listing of the Books of the Bible –xvii
  5. Hebrew Transliteration – xviii
  6. Guide to Abbreviations and Terms
    • Abbreviations Used for the Books of the Bible –xix
    • Abbreviations and Terms Used in the Footnotes to the Translation –xix
    • Abbreviations Used in the Annotations, Introductions, and Essays –xx
  7. TORAH: Introduction (Marc Zvi Brettler) – 1
    • Genesis: Introduction and Annotations (Jon D. Levenson) – 8
    • Exodus: Introduction and Annotations (Jeffrey H. Tigay) – 102
    • Leviticus: Introduction and Annotations (Baruch J. Schwartz) – 203
    • Numbers: Introduction and Annotations (Nili S. Fox) – 281
    • Deuteronomy: Introduction and Annotations (Bernard M. Levinson) – 356
  8. NEVI'IM: Introduction (Marc Zvi Brettler) – 451
    • Joshua: Introduction and Annotations (Carol Meyers) – 462
    • Judges: Introduction and Annotations (Yairah Amit) – 508
    • First Samuel: Introduction and Annotations (Shimon Bar-Efrat) – 558
    • Second Samuel: Introduction and Annotations (Shimon Bar-Efrat) – 619
    • First Kings: Introduction and Annotations (Ziony Zevit) – 668
    • Second Kings: Introduction and Annotations (Ziony Zevit) – 726
    • Isaiah: Introduction and Annotations (Benjamin D. Sommer) – 780
    • Jeremiah: Introduction and Annotations (Marvin A. Sweeney) – 917
    • Ezekiel: Introduction and Annotations (Marvin A. Sweeney) – 1042
    • The Twelve Minor Prophets: Introductions and Annotations (Ehud Ben Zvi) – 1139
      ... Hosea – 1143
      ... Joel – 1166
      ... Amos – 1176
      ... Obadiah – 1193
      ... Jonah – 1198
      ... Micah – 1205
      ... Nahum – 1218
      ... Habakkuk – 1226
      ... Zephaniah – 1234
      ... Haggai – 1243
      ... Zechariah – 1249
      ... Malachi – 1268
  9. KETHUVIM: Introduction (Marc Zvi Brettler) – 1275
    • Psalms: Introduction and Annotations (Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler) – 1280
    • Proverbs: Introduction and Annotations (Michael V. Fox) – 1447
    • Job: Introduction and Annotations (Mayer Gruber) – 1499
    • The Scrolls: Introduction (Marc Zvi Brettler) – 1563
    • The Song of Songs: Introduction and Annotations (Elsie Stern) – 1564
    • Ruth: Introduction and Annotations (Adele Reinhartz) – 1578
    • Lamentations: Introduction and Annotations (Daniel Grossberg) – 1587
    • Ecclesiastes: Introduction and Annotations (Peter Machinist) – 1603
    • Esther: Introduction and Annotations (Adele Berlin) – 1623
    • Daniel: Introduction and Annotations (Lawrence M. Wills) – 1640
    • Ezra: Introduction and Annotations (Hindy Najman) – 1666
    • Nehemiah: Introduction and Annotations (Hindy Najman) – 1688
    • First Chronicles: Introduction and Annotations (David Rothstein) – 1712
    • Second Chronicles: Introduction and Annotations (David Rothstein) – 1765
  10. ESSAYS: Introduction (Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler) – 1827
    • Jewish Interpretation of the Bible
      ... Inner-biblical Interpretation (Benjamin D. Sommer) – 1829
      ... Early Nonrabbinic Interpretation (Hindy Najman) – 1835
      ... Classical Rabbinic Interpretation (Yaakov Elman) – 1844
      ... Midrash and Jewish Interpretation (David Stern) – 1863
      ... Medieval Jewish Interpretation (Barry D. Walfish) – 1876
      ... Post-medieval Jewish Interpretation (Edward Breuer) – 1900
      ... Modern Jewish Interpretation (S. David Sperling) – 1908
    • The Bible in Jewish Life and Thought
      ... The Bible in the Dead Sea Scrolls (Esther Eshel) – 1920
      ... The Bible in the Synagogue (Avigdor Shinan) – 1929
      ... The Bible in the Liturgy (Stefan C. Reif 1937
      ... The Bible in the Jewish Philosophical Tradition (Hava Tirosh-Samuelson) – 1948
      … The Bible in the Jewish Mystical Tradition
      … … Background (the Editors) – 1976
      ... … The Glorious Name and the Incarnate Torah (Elliot R. Wolfson) – 1979
      ... The Bible in Israeli Life (Uriel Simon) – 1990
      ... Jewish Women's Scholarly Writings on the Bible (Adele Reinhartz) – 2000
      ... Jewish Translations of the Bible (Leonard J. Greenspoon) – 2005
    • Backgrounds for Reading the Bible
      ... The Religion of the Bible (Stephen A. Geller) – 2021
      ... Concepts of Purity in the Bible (Jonathan Klawans) – 2041
      ... Historical and Geographical Background to the Bible (Adapted by Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler) – 2048
      ... Languages of the Bible (Steven E. Fassberg) – 2062
      ... Textual Criticism of the Bible (Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler) – 2067
      ... The Canonization of the Bible (Marc Zvi Brettler) – 2072
      ... The Development of the Masoretic Bible (Jordan S. Penkower) – 2077
      ... The Modern Study of the Bible Adapted (Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler) – 2084
      ... Reading Biblical Poetry (Adele Berlin) – 2097
  11. Tables and Charts
    • Weights and Measures – 2105
    • Timeline – 2106
    • Chronological Table of Rulers – 2110
    • Calendar – 2114
    • Table of Biblical Readings – 2115
    • Chapter and Verse Differences – 2118
  12. Translations of Primary Sources – 2120
  13. Glossary – 2122
  14. Index – 2143
  15. Maps and Diagrams
    • The table of nations – 27
    • The geography of the ancestral narratives – 32
    • Probable exodus route according to the Bible – 130
    • The structure of the Tabernacle – 164
    • The conquest of Canaan – 469
    • The Levitical cities – 498, 1728
    • Important cities mentioned in the book of Judges – 516
    • Sites mentioned in connection with the Benjaminite War – 555
    • The activity of Samuel – 564
    • Wanderings of the Ark of the Covenant – 569
    • The kingdom of Saul – 576
    • David's early career and his flight from Saul – 591
    • The kingdom of David – 628, 1735
    • Solomon's twelve administrative districts – 680
    • The Temple and palace of Solomon – 684
    • The divided monarchy – 701, 1784
    • Places associated with the Elijah narratives – 712
    • Places associated with the Elisha narratives – 729
    • Assyria and Israel and Judah – 756, 1810
    • Places associated with Sennacherib's invasion of Judah – 762, 853, 1816
    • Babylonia and Judah ca. 600 BCE – 776, 1006, 1824
    • Places mentioned in the oracles against the nations – 811, 1016, 1088, 1178, 1239
    • Tribal territories in the restored Israel – 1134
    • The Temple of Solomon – 1769
    • The kingdom of Solomon – 1776
    • Colour Maps follow the last page of the Index

"Berlin (Adele), Brettler (Marc Zvi) & Fishbane (Michael) - The Jewish Study Bible: Featuring the Jewish Publication Society TANAKH"

Source: Berlin (Adele), Brettler (Marc Zvi) & Fishbane (Michael) - The Jewish Study Bible: Featuring the Jewish Publication Society TANAKH

Introduction: What Is "The Jewish Study Bible"? (Full Text, truncated)
  1. More than twenty-five centuries have passed since an anonymous Jewish poet wrote an elaborate and lengthy prayer that included this exclamation:
      O how I love your teaching!
      It is my study all day long (Ps. 119.97)
    These two themes — the love for Torah (teaching) and dedication to the study of it — have characterized Jewish reading and interpretation of the Bible ever since. The love is the impetus for the study; the study is the expression of the love. Indeed the intensity with which Jews have examined this text through the centuries testifies both to their love of it — a love combined with awe and deep reverence — and to their intellectual curiosity about it. That tradition of impassioned intellectual engagement continues to the present day.
  2. The tradition of biblical interpretation has been a constant conversation, at times an argument, among its participants; at no period has the text been interpreted in a monolithic fashion. If anything marks Jewish biblical interpretation it is the diversity of approaches employed and the multiplicity of meanings produced. This is expressed in the famous rabbinic saying: "There are seventy faces to the Torah" (Num. Rab. 13.15 and parallels), meaning that biblical texts are open to seventy different interpretations, with seventy symbolizing a large and complete number. Thus, there is no official Jewish interpretation of the Bible. In keeping with this attitude, the interpreters who contributed to this volume have followed a variety of methods of interpretation, and the editors have not attempted to harmonize the contributions, so an array of perspectives is manifest. In addition, we do not claim any privileged status for this volume; we can only hope that it will find its place among the myriad Jewish interpretations that have preceded and will follow. We hope that Jewish readers will use this book as a resource to better understand the multiple interpretive streams that have informed, and continue to inform, their tradition. We also hope that The Jewish Study Bible will serve as a compelling introduction for students of the Bible from other backgrounds and traditions, who are curious about contemporary academic Jewish biblical interpretation.
  3. Jews have been engaged in reading and interpreting the Bible, or Tanakh, since its inception. Even before the biblical canon was complete, some of its early writings were becoming authoritative, and were cited, alluded to, and reworked in later writings, which themselves would become part of the Bible. Jewish biblical interpretation continued in various forms in early translations into Greek and Aramaic, in the Dead Sea Scrolls, in rabbinic literature, and in medieval and modern commentaries; it continues in the present. We therefore have kept in mind two overarching goals in the commissioning and editing of the study materials in this volume.
    • The first goal is to convey the best of modern academic scholarship on the Bible, that is, scholarship that reflects the way the Bible is approached in the university. This desire comes from a strong conviction that this approach does not undermine Judaism, as leading figures of previous generations had argued, but can add significant depth to Jewish belief and values.
    • The second goal is to reflect, in as broad a fashion as possible, the range of Jewish engagement with the Bible over the past two and a half millennia. The breadth of this engagement, as well as its depth, should not be underestimated. In fact, as a group, the contributors reflect divergent Jewish commitments and beliefs, which infuse their commentaries. They employ state-of-the-art scholarship and a wide range of modern approaches; at the same time, they are sensitive to Jewish readings of the Bible, to classical Jewish interpretation, and to the place of the Bible in Jewish life. In this respect they are actually quite "traditional," in that Jewish interpreters have a long history of drawing on ideas and methods from the non-Jewish world in which they lived and incorporating them into Jewish writings.
  4. Although there is no single notion of Jewish biblical interpretation, our contributors share some commonalities:
    • They view the Tanakh as complete in itself, not as a part of a larger Bible or a prelude to the New Testament. For all of them, the Tanakh is "the Bible," and for this reason The Jewish Study Bible uses the terms "Tanakh" and "the Bible" interchangeably.
    • We avoid the term "Hebrew Bible," a redundancy in the Jewish view. Jews have no Bible but the "Hebrew Bible." (Some Christians use "Hebrew Bible," a sensitive substitute for "Old Testament," to distinguish it from the Greek Bible, or New Testament.)
    • They take seriously the traditional Hebrew (Masoretic) text of the Bible.
    • They take cognizance of and draw upon traditional Jewish interpretation, thereby placing themselves in the larger context of Jewish exegesis.
    • They point out where biblical passages have influenced Jewish practice.
    • They call attention to biblical passages that are especially meaningful in the life of the Jewish community.
  5. Just as there is no one Jewish interpretation, there is no authorized Jewish translation of the Bible into English. In fact, translation has always been less important in Jewish communal life than in Christian communities, because public liturgical readings from the Bible have always been in Hebrew, a language understood until recent centuries by many within the community. For Jews, the official Bible is the Hebrew Masoretic Text; it has never been replaced by an official translation (like the Vulgate, for instance, which is the official Bible of the Roman Catholic Church). Nevertheless, because many Jews since postbiblical times did not understand biblical Hebrew, translations into vernacular languages were made. For contemporary English-speaking Jews, the best and most widely read Jewish translation is the most recent one commissioned and published by the Jewish Publication Society, begun in 1955 and completed in 1982, with revisions to the earlier books incorporated in the 1985 edition, and with a revised and corrected second edition in 1999. That second edition of the translation (NJPS Tanakh) serves as the basis for this volume.
  6. There is no single way to read through the Bible — this is reflected in the variety of orders found for the biblical books in manuscripts and rabbinic texts. In fact, some may prefer first to read background material about the Bible, and only then to read the text. For this reason, we have taken an expansive approach in offering numerous essays that explore many aspects of the Bible and its interpretation. Some of these are of the type found in other study Bibles, exploring issues such as canon, the history of the biblical period, and modern methods of studying the Bible. Others reflect the specific interests of The Jewish Study Bible, including essays on the history of the Jewish interpretation of the Bible, Jewish Bible translation, midrash, and the Bible in the Jewish philosophical, mystical, and liturgical traditions. Each essay is self-standing, and there is often overlap between them. As a whole, however, they convey the important place of the Bible within Judaism, and many of the varieties of uses that this text has found throughout the ages. We hope that, along with the annotations, these essays will introduce a wide audience to the world of Jewish tradition as it relates to the Bible. (A brief introduction to the essays, pp. 1827-28, sets out their arrangement and aims in greater detail.)
  7. For each book of the Bible, our contributors have provided an introduction that sets it in its context — its original setting, so far as that can be determined; the wider corpus of which it is a part; its genre; and its place within Judaism — and provides an overview of the issues involved in reading it. Like many traditional rabbinic texts, the main text, here the NJPS translation, is surrounded by commentary, or more precisely annotations, often quite extensive, that comment on specific points in the text but also bring the reader back to the larger issues raised in the introduction and elsewhere. These annotations frequently refer to other portions of the biblical text, and further insight can be gained by checking these references and reading those texts and their associated annotations.
  8. Besides the essays described above, the volume has further information.
    • A timeline lists rulers in the land of Israel and the surrounding empires during the biblical period.
    • A chart of weights and measures gives modern approximations to the quantities specified at various points in the text (these are usually explained in the annotations as well).
    • A table of chapter/verse numbering differences between the Hebrew text and standard, non-Jewish English translations, will be of help to those who come to this volume from a different translation tradition.
    • A list of biblical readings provides the citations of texts for use in the synagogue.
    • A glossary, explaining technical terms in biblical studies, various literary terms, and numerous words specific to the Jewish interpretive tradition, provides further information for the technical vocabulary that was sometimes unavoidable.
    • An index to the entirety of the study materials — book introductions, annotations, and essays — keyed by page number, facilitates pursuing particular topics through the full range of the study materials.
    • Finally, a set of full-colour maps and a map index present geographical background for the events detailed in the text, the annotations, and the historical essays.
  9. Acknowledgments
    … [… snip …] …

Introduction to the Essays (Full Text)
  1. The twenty-four essays in this section set the annotations to the biblical books in a broader context, enhancing our goal of representing Jewish academic scholarship on the Bible. They offer a wealth of supplementary material, not easily accessible elsewhere, and they represent the best of current scholarship. Inevitably, there is some overlap from essay to essay, but we view this as a positive feature. As in the case of the annotations, we have given our authors free rein to shape their material, and their essays manifest, as do the annotations, the variety of approaches that is typical of Jewish biblical interpretation.
  2. The first set of essays, "Jewish Interpretation of the Bible," surveys, in chronological order, Jewish biblical interpretation in various periods, from earliest times to the present. These essays explain and model what is quintessentially Jewish about Jewish interpretation. They convey a flavour of each age, its distinctive modes of interpretation. Taken as a whole, they form a study in the continuities and discontinuities that mark the history of Jewish biblical interpretation.
  3. The second set of essays, "The Bible in Jewish Life and Thought," gives some intimation of the importance of the Bible for Judaism and the Jewish community, an importance that cannot be overstated. The Bible is the key text of Jewish life. The essays in this section are largely arranged chronologically, from antiquity to the present. They describe the place of the Bible in different communities and intellectual contexts, from the Jewish community that composed and preserved the Dead Sea Scrolls through the modern State of Israel, and contemporary Jewish philosophical and mystical traditions as well as in the scholarly writings of contemporary Jewish women. No description of the Bible in Jewish life would be complete without a discussion of the role of the Bible in the synagogue and in the liturgy, or the making of Jewish translations of the Bible from antiquity to modern times.
  4. The third set of essays, "Backgrounds for Reading the Bible," provides contemporary scholarly background material for understanding the Bible. Unlike the previous two sections, the emphasis here is not specifically Jewish. The topics addressed reflect the editors sensibilities of what an informed reader might want to know about important biblical concepts and about how contemporary scholars study the Bible. About half of this material has been reworked by the editors from essays previously published in The New Oxford Annotated Bible. Newly commissioned essays are
    • "The Religion of the Bible,"
    • "Concepts of Purity in the Bible,"
    • "Languages of the Bible,"
    • "The Development of the Masoretic Bible,” and
    • "Reading Biblical Poetry."
  5. In the final section of this volume, following "Tables and Charts," the "Translations of Primary Sources" and the "Glossary" are of particular importance. The Translations offer an introductory English bibliography of many primary sources mentioned in the annotations and the essays, including ancient Near Eastern, early postbiblical, classical rabbinic, medieval, philosophical, and mystical works. The Glossary explains both Hebrew and Jewish terms, as well as technical terms used in modern biblical scholarship. The material in all five sections following the annotated biblical books — the essays, charts, and other supplementary materials — is intended to inform the reader, concisely but without sacrificing high academic quality, about the Bible and its world, from both Jewish and academic perspectives.
    … [Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler]

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
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  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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