The Making of the Modern Jewish Bible: How Scholars in Germany, Israel, and America Transformed an Ancient Text

The Making of the Modern Jewish Bible: How Scholars in Germany, Israel, and America Transformed an Ancient Text

by Alan T. Levenson


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Tracing its history from Moses Mendelssohn to today, Alan Levenson explores the factors that shaped what is the modern Jewish Bible and its centrality in Jewish life today. The Making of the Modern Jewish Bible explains how Jewish translators, commentators, and scholars made the Bible a keystone of Jewish life in Germany, Israel and America. Levenson argues that German Jews created a religious Bible, Israeli Jews a national Bible, and American Jews an ethnic one. In each site, scholars wrestled with the demands of the non-Jewish environment and their own indigenous traditions, trying to balance fidelity and independence from the commentaries of the rabbinic and medieval world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442205178
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 09/16/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Alan T. Levenson is the Schusterman/Josey Professor of Jewish Intellectual and Religious History at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of several books, including Modern Jewish Thinkers: An Introduction, The Story of Joseph: A Journey of Jewish Interpretation, and Between Philosemitism and Antisemitism. Defenses of Jews & Judaism in Germany, 1871-1932.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Spinoza As Jewish Bible Critic

Part I. The Emergence of Modern Jewish Bible Studies in Germany
Introduction: Starting with Germany
Chapter 2: Mendelssohn's Bible: The Ideal of Jewish Self-Sufficiency
Chapter 3: Samson Raphael Hirsch: The Chimera of Self-Explanatory Scripture
Chapter 4: Benno Jacob and the Call for a "Jewish" Bible Scholarship
Chapter 5: The Martin Buber-Franz Rosenzweig Bible: Culture or Religion?

Part II. Zionism and the Creation of a National Bible
Introduction: The Bible in Modern Israel
Chapter 6: Early Zionism and the Bible: Ahad Haam and His Opponents
Chapter 7: The Bible As National Linchpin: David Ben Gurion and His Opponents
Chapter 8: Nehama Leibowitz's Bible: Returning Tradition to the Text

Part III. The Flowering of Jewish Bible Studies in North America
Introduction: America and the Jewish Bible
Chapter 9: Finding A Jewish Voice: Nahum Sarna & Robert Alter
Chapter 10: Seeking An American Jewish Bible

Conclusion: Is There A "Jewish School" of Modern Bible Study?
Selective Bibliography
About the Author

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