Essential Figures in the Bible

Essential Figures in the Bible

by Ronald L. Eisenberg
     
 

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For millions of people throughout the world, the Hebrew Bible functions as the foundation of their faith. For millions more, the same book functions as the subject of their studies. For both groups, the characters discussed in the Bible lend key insight to the lessons found there. However, sifting through the hundreds of names mentioned in this key religious text to

Overview

For millions of people throughout the world, the Hebrew Bible functions as the foundation of their faith. For millions more, the same book functions as the subject of their studies. For both groups, the characters discussed in the Bible lend key insight to the lessons found there. However, sifting through the hundreds of names mentioned in this key religious text to find information about one figure can be tedious and time-consuming, and most reference guides either provide only brief, unhelpful entries on every character, including minor figures, or are so extensive that they can be more intimidating than the original text.

Essential Figures in the Bible compiles thorough but manageable entries on the figures most vital to an understanding of the Bible and its teachings. In this valuable reference, Dr. Ronald L. Eisenberg catalogs and explains the importance of more than 250 figures who are most vital to an understanding of the Hebrew Bible and its teachings. For these figures selected from the more than 3,000 names found in the Hebrew Bible, Eisenberg provides summaries of the narratives relevant to each figure discussed along with illustrative quotations from the Bible and supplementary material from rabbinic literature when appropriate.

Both religious studies and rabbinical students and casual readers of the Hebrew Bible will benefit from the comprehensive entries on the most-frequently discussed biblical figures and will gain valuable insights from this reader-friendly text. Complete in a single volume, this guide strikes a satisfying balance between the sparse, uninformative books and comprehensive but overly complex references that are currently the only places for inquisitive Bible readers to turn. For any reader who wishes to gain a better understanding of the Bible, Eisenberg’s text is just as “essential” as the figures listed within.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Although Essential Figures in the Bible and Essential Figures in the Talmud were not published as a set, they complement one another nicely. The first presents information on roughly 250 individuals named in the Bible whom Eisenberg considers most important to understanding the text. Though useful, this tool is highly selective....And it is important to note that Bible here refers to the sacred texts of Judaism, known to Christianity as the Old Testament without the books of the Apocrypha. These A-Z volumes are concise and informative and are recommended for theological and research libraries as well as academic and large public libraries with extensive Judaica collections.
Mordecai Schreiber
Ronald Eisenberg has done it again. Here, as in previous books such as The 613 Mitzvot and Dictionary of Jewish Terms, he continues to help those who seek to understand Judaism gain entry into the rich world of Jewish tradition. From Aaron to Zipporah, this book provides concise yet highly informative descriptions of all the men and women in the Hebrew Bible who are essential to the understanding of the biblical narrative. A physician by profession, Eisenberg reminds me of the famous Jewish physician Maimonides, who helped the Jews of his time understand the complexities of their heritage.
Reference Reviews
[Essential Figures in the Bible] is thorough and gives readable accounts of around 250 of the major figuresThis book will be very useful in any place where religious and Biblical studies take place. . .[T]his volume is one that wins out. Its content will remain timely, and the slim pocket-sized volume will make this a useful one to have around for quick reference, knowing that the research on which it is based is reliable and duly well referenced. It would be a useful addition to the stock of specialist and larger general reference libraries.
Library Journal
Eisenberg (prof, radiology, Harvard Medical Sch.) has assembled more than 250 figures from the Jewish Bible he considers to be essential to developing an understanding of the text. Clearly written entries are arranged alphabetically, ranging in length from as short as a paragraph (Gershom, Shamgar, Nahum, etc.) to a couple of pages (Eve, Rachel, Elijah, etc.). Included within each entry are helpful citations to specific Biblical passages where the figure under consideration is mentioned; and a "See also" reference to other figures located in the volume. Also included: a useful glossary and a "Chronological Listing of Figures According to First Biblical Appearance." VERDICT The good news is this is a well-researched, knowledgably written, and accessible volume with several good features. However, this title is not as comprehensive when compared to a similar text in the field, David Mandel's Who's Who in the Jewish Bible?. While it wasn't meant to be all inclusive, with only 250-plus entries from a field of approximately 3,000 figures, it is difficult to see the value in purchasing this work. Recommended with reservations, for academic, seminary, and large public libraries.—Jacqueline Parascandola, Columbia Univ. Libs.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780765709400
Publisher:
Aronson, Jason Inc.
Publication date:
08/31/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
246
File size:
610 KB

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Meet the Author

Ronald L. Eisenberg is a Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School and on the faculty at Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston. Dr. Eisenberg has been awarded Masters and Doctoral degrees in Jewish Studies from Spertus Institute in Chicago and has published six critically acclaimed books on Jewish topics, including The Jewish World in Stamps (Schreiber, 2003), The JPS Guide to Jewish Traditions (Jewish Publication Society, 2004), The 613 Mitzvot (Schreiber, 2005), Dictionary of Jewish Terms (Schreiber, 2008), and What the Rabbis Said (Praeger, 2010). He has authored more than 20 books in his medical specialty and is also a non-practicing attorney.

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