How to Read the Bible

Master Bible pupil and instructor Marc Brettler argues that today’s modern readers can purely comprehend the traditional Hebrew Scripture via realizing extra in regards to the tradition that produced it. And so Brettler unpacks the literary conventions, ideological assumptions, and ancient stipulations that tell the biblical textual content and demonstrates how smooth severe scholarship and archaeological discoveries make clear this interesting and complicated literature.

Brettler surveys consultant biblical texts from diversified genres to demonstrate how sleek students have taught us to “read” those texts. utilizing the “historical-critical strategy” lengthy renowned in academia, he courses us in interpreting the Bible because it used to be learn within the biblical interval, self sustaining of later spiritual norms and interpretive traditions. realizing the Bible this manner we could us relish it as a fascinating textual content that speaks in a number of voices on profound issues.

This booklet is the 1st “Jewishly delicate” advent to the historical-critical procedure. not like different introductory texts, the Bible that this ebook speaks approximately is the Jewish one—with the three-part TANAKH association, the series of books present in glossy published Hebrew variations, and the bankruptcy and verse enumerations utilized in latest Jewish models of the Bible. In an afterword, the writer discusses how the historical-critical technique may help modern Jews relate to the Bible as a non secular textual content in a extra significant way.


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Creation to Prophecy 137 sixteen. "Let Justice good U p like Water": studying Amos 149 17. "They Shall Beat Their Swords into Plowshares": analyzing (First) Isaiah 161 18. "I Will Make This residence like Shiloh": analyzing Jeremiah 173 19. "I could be for T h e m a Mini-Temple": analyzing Ezekiel 185 20. "Comfort, O h convenience My People": The Exile and past 199 21. "Those That Sleep within the D u s t . . . Will Awake": Zechariah, Apocalyptic Literature, and Daniel 209 22. Prayer of Many Hearts: analyzing Psalms 219 23. "Acquire Wisdom": examining Proverbs and Ecclesiastes 231 24. "Being yet airborne dirt and dust a n d Ashes": analyzing J o b 243 25. "Drink Deep of affection! ": examining tune of Songs 257 26. "Why Are You So sort . . . W h e n i'm a Foreigner? ": interpreting Ruth vs. Esther 267 The production of the Bible 273 Afterword: studying the Bible as a C o m m i t t e d Jew 279 Notes 285 resources stated 339 Index of topics 361 Index of Biblical Passages a n d different References 372 27. Preface S everal years in the past, I m e n t i o n e d to an a c q u a i n t a n c e that i used to be w r i t i n g a b o o ok known as how one can learn the Bible. He acknowledged: "What's so h a r d a b o u t r e a d i n g the H e b r e w Bible? You learn it t o p to b o t t o m , left to correct. " We h a d a g o o d snort after 1 p o i n t e d o u t that (1) H e b r e w is learn f r o m correct to left, a n d (2) m y b o o okay w a s a b o u t r e a d i n g the Bible, n o t analyzing Hebrew. As I t h e n defined, this b o o ok is a b o u t the detailed "rules" for u n d e r s t a n d i n g texts f r o m a distinct tradition. I n d e e d , this b o o ok is the p r o d u c t of m a n y years of t h o u g h t a n d writing. it's a reaction to the disappointment that the majority humans adventure w h o learn the Bible. to take advantage of the w o r d s of a biblical personality, Daniel, the Bible is a "sealed b o o ok " — i t arose in a tradition w h o s e values a n d c o n v e n t i o n s have been f u n d a m e n t a l l y assorted f r o m ours. T h u s , the Bible this present day is both refrained from as too unusual, otherwise m i s r e a d — t a okay e n as though it h a d b e e n w r i t t e n the day gone by or at the present time. In m y t w o a long time of training university s t u d e n t s , a n d specially in ten years of t e a c h i n g a d u l t s an i n t r o d u c t i o n to the Bible t h r o u g h the Boston-area Me'ah application, i've got found that o v e r c o m i n g those hindrances is n o effortless problem. searching for articles to offer to those clever adults w h o lack b a c okay g r o u n d in religious study, m y colleagues a n d i've got felt pissed off. such a lot essays o n the Bible via students are too technical. O t h e r b o o okay s , w r i t t e n for the layperson, are w r o n g or simplistic, or they take a non secular (typically Christian) viewpoint relatively t h a n an historic one. This b o o okay a t t e m p t s to fill the space, to supply a Jewishly delicate i n t r o d u c t i o n to h o w to learn biblical texts of their ancient context. My h o p e is that the Bible m i g h t back b e c o m e an o p e n b o o ok for the J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y a n d different groups.

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