How to Read the Bible

Front Cover
Jewish Publication Society, Jan 1, 2010 - Religion - 400 pages
3 Reviews
Master Bible scholar and teacher Marc Brettler argues that today's contemporary readers can only understand the ancient Hebrew Scripture by knowing more about the culture that produced it. And so 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. Brettler surveys representative biblical texts from different genres to illustrate how modern scholars have taught us to "read" these texts. Using the "historical-critical method" long popular in academia, he guides us in reading the Bible as it was read in the biblical period, independent of later religious norms and interpretive traditions. Understanding the Bible this way lets us appreciate it as an interesting text that speaks in multiple voices on profound issues. This book is the first "Jewishly sensitive" introduction to the historical-critical method. Unlike other introductory texts, the Bible that this book speaks about is the Jewish one -- with the three-part TaNaKH arrangement, the sequence of books found in modern printed Hebrew editions, and the chapter and verse enumerations used in most modern Jewish versions of the Bible. In an afterword, the author discusses how the historical-critical method can help contemporary Jews relate to the Bible as a religious text in a more meaningful way.
  

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How to read the Bible

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Does one need a book to learn how to read a sacred text? Yes, argues Jewish scholar Brettler (The Jewish Study Bible ), who claims that there is more to reading the Hebrew Bible than meets the eye ... Read full review

Review: How to Read the Bible

User Review  - Ilya - Goodreads

Yet another introduction to the Hebrew Bible. I liked one of the hypotheses given in this book. It is well known that some books of the Bible quote from other books of the Bible, for instance, Daniel ... Read full review

Contents

1 Reading as a Jew and as a Scholar
1
2 What Is the Bible Anyway?
7
3 The Art of Reading the Bibl
13
4 A Brief History of Israel
19
The Sources of Genesis
29
Genesis 13 as Myth
37
7 The Ancestors as Heroes
49
Codes and Collections
61
Reading Jeremiah
173
Reading Ezekiel
185
The Exile and Beyond
199
Zechariah Apocalyptic Literature and Daniel
209
Reading Psalms
219
Reading Proverbs and Ecclesiastes
231
Reading Job
243
Reading Song of Songs
257

The Cult in Ancient Israel
73
Deuteronomy
85
Reading Joshua
95
Royal Ideology in Samuel and Judges
107
Reading Kings
117
Reading Chronicles
129
15 Introduction to Prophecy
137
Reading Amos
149
Reading First Isaiah
161
Reading Ruth vs Esther
267
27 The Creation of the Bible
273
Reading the Bible as a Committed Jew
279
Notes
285
Sources Cited
339
Index of Subjects
361
Index of Biblical Passages and Other References
372
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Marc Zvi Brettler received his MA and PhD in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, where he is Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Literature and Chair of the department from which he received his degrees. He is the author of How to Read the Bible (JPS) and co-editor of The Jewish Study Bible (Oxford University Press).

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