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The Jewish Study Bible: featuring The Jewish Publication Society TANAKH Translation [Hardcover]

Adele Berlin , Marc Zvi Brettler , Senior Consulting Editor: Michael Fishbane
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
RRP: £29.99
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Book Description

22 Jan 2004
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.
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.
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.
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.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 2222 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA (22 Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195297512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195297515
  • Product Dimensions: 25.3 x 17.5 x 4.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 406,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


deserves a place on the shelves of every serious student of the Bible, Jewish or not. (John Barton, Times Literary Supplement)

On every count (John Barton, Times Literary Supplement)

About the Author

Adele Berlin is Robert H. Smith Professor of Hebrew Bible Emerita at the University of Maryland.

Marc Zvi Brettler is Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
By Mishlei
Prior to buying the Jewish Study Bible I had previously experienced the Hebrew Bible through the prism of traditional Orthodox Jewish scholarship and commentary at an advanced level. This edition expanded my intellectual and religious horizons significantly, explaining the different and complex academic perception of the Bible from familiar territory.

Each book and section of the Hebrew Bible is accorded a substantial introduction explaining the genesis of the text from both a traditional and academic perspective.

The main text of this edition is devoted to the fantastic modern JPS translation, surrounded by an in depth academic commentary with explanation, maps and diagrams plus many cross-references to other relevant passages. The academic commentary is specifically targeted to explain the various traditional Jewish understandings of the text as well. The commentary is lucid, readable and extremely helpful while also ensuring brevity. Where reference is being made to complex academic theories on the nature of the text, the reader is referred to the back of the book...

The REAL SELLING POINT of this edition, is the voluminous collection of 24 essays written by top academic scholars at the back of the book. It is these essays which explain in real depth the current, extremely complex, academic views on the composition of the Hebrew Bible, current scholarship on the nature of ancient Israelite religion and many more contemporary topics such as the "The Bible in Israeli Life and Society". Earlier traditional Jewish approaches to the Bible are discussed in depth, including "Classical Rabbinic Interpretation" and more.

I have two minor complaints about this volume.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought the paperback edition but immediately swapped it for the hardback, which does not cost much more. The paperback edition tries to house the same 2,000+ pages, of dense india paper, in a flimsy paper cover, and the physics just doesn't work. Unless you're absolutely certain that you're always going to use it on a flat surface, don't bother with the paperback. It is uncomfortable and difficult to hold open, being very 'floppy' - and a heavy floppy book you don't want. The paper cover itself is thin and will crease very quickly. Fine, perhaps, if you just intend using this for a short intense period, but for a keeper, pay the extra and get the much better behaved hardback, which makes the most of this superb piece of production.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I have gone through three different editions of the JPS translation of the Hebrew Bible. My first copy, the standard edition, was just too big and unwieldy, plus I wanted the original Hebrew text. I then got a copy of the Student edition with parallel text, but the format is so small that I, who have always had great eyesight, found it almost impossible to read the Hebrew text (especially the vowel markings). Finally I buckled and got myself a copy of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (for the original text), and also this.

It's not just a good, plain, clear translation. It's also a fascinating encyclopedia of early Judaism. The commentaries are a miracle of compressing thousands of years of commentary into a very small space. The introductory essays to each book are also great, and there are over two hundred pages of supplementary essays at the end of the book, covering everything from the history of Biblical interpretation to "The Bible in Israeli life".

This is quite simply one of the greatest works of popular scholarship that the OUP has produced. I am an atheist who is interested in the Bible partly because of its intrinsic power and beauty as a piece of writing but also because of its enormous influence on the world we live in. This edition ought to be on the shelves of any literate person. Now, if they could just do the same for the Christian Bible...
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the beginning... 6 Jan 2006
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
The Tanakh, an edition of the Holy Scriptures of Judaism, put out by the Jewish Publication Society (JPS), now has a study-bible edition, which is incredibly helpful for scripture study.
The word Tanakh consists of the first letters of the words denoting the three sections of the text: the Torah (the Law), consisting of the first five books; the Nevi'im (the Prophets), which includes major and minor prophets, as well as some of the history books; and the Kethuvim (the Writings), which consists of poetry, wisdom literature, stories and eschatological literature, and some further history books.
The Tanakh is not simply a new translation of the Christian Old Testament. Indeed, most Christian readers would be surprised at the differences inherent in the Tanakh. For one thing, the ordering of the books in the Tanakh is different from the order in the Christian Old Testament. The intent behind the differing order demonstrates one of the key differences in focus of Judaism and Christianity. The ordering of the Old Testament, with the minor prophets, and their call to repentance and future deliverance of the people of Israel by God, is anticipatory of the Messianic age, and hence provide a 'run-up' to the New Testament. Obviously, Judaism does not have the same focus toward Jesus. Thus, the conclusion of the Tanakh leads to the return from exile, the restoration of the people of Israel to the land of promise, and the return of the worship of God to the appointed place, the Temple.
Also, the chapter/verse division is somewhat different. This can be seen in side-by-side comparison with other English Bible translations, but also becomes apparent in comparison with other Jewish editions.
The editors state that English translations usually list thirty-nine books of the Bible.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 28 days ago by Silver Surfer in Bracknell
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. The notes on the text written by rabbis ...
Excellent. The notes on the text written by rabbis and scholars has given me a difference perspective. Highly recommend.
Published 1 month ago by Faithybabes
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to follow
Published 1 month ago by Jackie Warden
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive.
I took the advice of a fellow reviewer who advised spending more and buying the hardback version rather than the paperback and I am glad I did. This book has over 2000 pages! Read more
Published 8 months ago by Appleblossom
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful
This translation gives useful insight when studying a passage of scripture. It somehow gives a slightly different slant to familiar themes.
Published 9 months ago by Jo Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Comprehensive Publication
This is an excellent way of finding the Jewish roots to the Christian faith. A smooth translation and insights into Hebraic thought so often missing in publications with a western... Read more
Published 9 months ago by M. E. Eavery
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jewish Study Bible
A very good book. As a Christian I was a little sceptical of what I was about to read, but the content and background information has proved to be extrememly valuable in... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Sue
4.0 out of 5 stars biased commentaries
From this bible Jesus Christ is vindicated as Son of God and our Lord and King of Kings, annointed/promised messiah,prophet
Published 11 months ago by Bwatha Lumbe
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resources
Brilliant. I use if for my biblical interpretation studies. Good notes on each page and essays at end of book,
Published 12 months ago by MRS J GOSLING
5.0 out of 5 stars Immense scholarship.
Having purchased this Jewish Study Bible during my introduction to Judaism I am very pleased with the scholarship and immensity of scripture and additional information within. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Hillel ben Avraham
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