The Hebrew Bible

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Overview

In April of 2001, the headline in the Los Angeles Times read, “Doubting the Story of the Exodus.” It covered a sermon that had been delivered by the rabbi of a prominent local congregation over the holiday of Passover. In it, he said, “The truth is that virtually every modern archeologist who has investigated the story of the exodus, with very few exceptions, agrees that the way the Bible describes the exodus is not the way it happened, if it happened at all.” This seeming challenge to the biblical story captivated the local public. Yet as the rabbi himself acknowledged, his sermon contained nothing new. The theories that he described had been common knowledge among biblical scholars for over thirty years, though few people outside of the profession know their relevance.

New understandings concerning the Bible have not filtered down beyond specialists in university settings. There is a need to communicate this research to a wider public of students and educated readers outside of the academy. This volume seeks to meet this need, with accessible and engaging chapters describing how archeology, theology, ancient studies, literary studies, feminist studies, and other disciplines now understand the Bible.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This superb collection written by scholars for non-specialists should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand the most important issues in the contemporary study of the Bible.”
-S. David Sperling,author of The Original Torah

“An excellent supplementary textbook for survey courses on the Hebrew Bible or on biblical scholarship.”
-John J. Collins,Yale University

“This collection admirably bridges the gap between biblical scholarship and lay readership, allowing laypeople to engage in the 'conversations' that have been ongoing for decades in academic circles and to 'reach their own conclusions.”
-Choice

,

“The goal of the present book is to try to introduce lay Jewish audiences to some of the results of modern biblical research.”
-Journal of Jewish Studies

,

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Frederick E. Greenspahn is Gimelstob Eminent Scholar in Judaic Studies, Florida Atlantic University. He is the editor of The Hebrew Bible: New Insights and Scholarship, Essential Papers on Israel and the Ancient Near East, as well as author/editor of numerous other titles including When Brothers Dwell Together: The Preeminence of Younger Siblings in the Hebrew Bible and An Introduction to Aramaic.

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Table of Contents


Abbreviations     ix
Preface     xi
The Bible and History
Israel Without the Bible   Gary A. Rendsburg     3
Bible, Archaeology, and the Social Sciences: The Next Generation   Elizabeth Bloch-Smith     24
New Approaches to the Bible
Literary Approaches to Biblical Literature: General Observations and a Case Study of Genesis 34   Adele Berlin     45
Feminist Approaches to the Hebrew Bible   Esther Fuchs     76
Ancient Practice
The Laws of Biblical Israel   Raymond Westbrook     99
The Study of Ritual in the Hebrew Bible   David P. Wright     120
Judaism and the Bible
By the Letter?/Word for Word? Scripture in the Jewish Tradition   Leonard Greenspoon     141
From Judaism to Biblical Religion and Back Again   Ziony Zevit     164
Jewish Biblical Theology   Marvin A. Sweeney     191
Epilogue: Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom: Some Reflections on Reading and Studying the Hebrew Bible   Peter Machinist     209
About the Contributors     219
Index     221
Index of Biblical Passages     227
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