Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Jewish Study Bible

For those interested in biblical studies, let me offer up a challenge. As this new year begins, do an audit of the quality books and study resources in your library related to what Christians call the Old Testament. You may conclude that it's time to add some new volumes to this portion of your library.

Let me suggest a great starting point: The Jewish Study Bible featuring the Jewish Publication Society's TANAKH translation. The editors and contributors of this study bible are all outstanding biblical scholars and Judaic specialists. Christians long use to reading only Christian interpreters of Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings will be richly rewarded in spending time with these Jewish biblical experts.

Besides extensive study notes, this volume also includes a collection of essays that fall into three major categories: 1) Jewish Interpretation of the Bible; 2) The Bible in Jewish Life and Thought; 3) and perhaps most importantly, Backgrounds for Reading the Bible, including the helpful essay "The Modern Study of the Bible."

The editors offer up as their first goal for the publication of this Study Bible as "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." But let me be clear, this is not meant for only a scholarly audience. This Study Bible is for anyone wishing to learn more about this collection of ancient and sacred texts. (Check it out.)

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