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'With emotional and psychological insight, Barton unlocks this sleeping giant of our culture. In the process, he has produced a masterpiece.' Sunday Times The Bible is the central book of Western culture. For the two faiths which hold it sacred, it is the bedrock of their religion, a singular authority on what to believe and how to live. For non-believers too, it has a commanding status: it is one of the great works of world literature, woven to an unparalleled degree into our language and thought. This book tells the story of the Bible, explaining how it came to be constructed and how it has been understood, from its remote beginnings down to the present. John Barton describes how the narratives, laws, proverbs, prophecies, poems and letters which comprise the Bible were written and when, what we know - and what we cannot know - about their authors and what they might have meant, as well as how these extraordinarily disparate writings relate to each other. His incisive readings shed new light on even the most familiar passages, exposing not only the sources and traditions behind them, but also the busy hands of the scribes and editors who assembled and reshaped them. Untangling the process by which some texts which were regarded as holy, became canonical and were included, and others didn't, Barton demonstrates that the Bible is not the fixed text it is often perceived to be, but the result of a long and intriguing evolution. Tracing its dissemination, translation and interpretation in Judaism and Christianity from Antiquity to the rise of modern biblical scholarship, Barton elucidates how meaning has both been drawn from the Bible and imposed upon it. Part of the book's originality is to illuminate the gap between religion and scripture, the ways in which neither maps exactly onto the other, and how religious thinkers from Augustine to Luther and Spinoza have reckoned with this. Barton shows that if we are to regard the Bible as 'authoritative', it cannot be as believers have so often done in the past.
An award-winning biblical translator reflects on the art of capturing the literary power of the Bible in English In this brief book, award-winning biblical translator and acclaimed literary critic Robert Alter offers a personal and passionate account of what he learned about the art of Bible translation over the two decades he spent completing his own English version of the Hebrew Bible. Alter (TM)s literary training gave him the advantage of seeing that a translation of the Bible can convey the text (TM)s meaning only by trying to capture the powerful and subtle literary style of the biblical Hebrew, something the modern English versions don (TM)t do justice to. The Bible (TM)s style, Alter writes, oeis not some sort of aesthetic embellishment of the ~message (TM) of Scripture but the vital medium through which the biblical vision of God, human nature, history, politics, society, and moral value is conveyed. And, as the translators of the King James Version knew, the authority of the Bible is inseparable from its literary authority. For these reasons, the Bible can be brought to life in English only by re-creating its literary virtuosity, and Alter discusses the principal aspects of style in the Hebrew Bible that any translator should try to reproduce: word choice, syntax, word play and sound play, rhythm, and dialogue. In the process, he provides an illuminating and accessible introduction to biblical style that also offers insights about the art of translation far beyond the Bible.
The Temple Scroll is the longest manuscript found in the Qumran Caves and perhaps the most important halakhic composition known from the Second Temple Period. The scroll presents itself as a rewritten Torah, which begins with the renewal of the Sinaitic covenant and then turns to the building of the Temple. This volume of the Dead Sea Scrolls series brings together for the first time all of the manuscript witnesses to the Temple Scroll.
The Princeton Dead Sea Scrolls Project provides a major landmark in general access to these documents. It is the first serious attempt to provide accurate transcriptions and translations with critical commentary to all the nonbiblical scrolls found at Qumran. These are important reference books for specialized studies in biblical fields.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER "Dennis Prager has put together one of the most stunning commentaries in modern times on the most profound document in human history. It's a must-read that every person, religious and non-religious, should buy and peruse every night before bed. It'll make you think harder, pray more ardently, and understand your civilization better." - Ben Shapiro, host of "The Ben Shapiro Show" "Dennis Prager's commentary on Exodus will rank among the greatest modern Torah commentaries. That is how important I think it is. And I am clearly not alone... It might well be on its way to becoming the most widely read Torah commentary of our time-and by non-Jews as well as by Jews." - Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, bestselling author of Jewish Literacy Why do so many people think the Bible, the most influential book in world history, is outdated? Why do our friends and neighbors - and sometimes we ourselves - dismiss the Bible as irrelevant, irrational, immoral, or all of these things? This explanation of the Book of Exodus, the second book of the Bible, will demonstrate that the Bible is not only powerfully relevant to today's issues, but completely consistent with rational thought. Do you think the Bible permitted the trans-Atlantic slave trade? You won't after reading this book. Do you struggle to love your parents? If you do, you need this book. Do you doubt the existence of God because belief in God is "irrational?" This book will give you reason after reason to rethink your doubts. The title of this commentary is, "The Rational Bible" because its approach is entirely reason-based. The reader is never asked to accept anything on faith alone. As Prager says, "If something I write does not make rational sense, I have not done my job." The Rational Bible is the fruit of Dennis Prager's forty years of teaching the Bible to people of every faith, and no faith. On virtually every page, you will discover how the text relates to the contemporary world and to your life. His goal: to change your mind - and then change your life.
Take a fresh look at India's great epic with The Illustrated Mahabharata and rediscover the lost kingdoms, dynasties, and characters of the Mahabharata. Follow the tale as it unfolds through 18 parvas with stunning photographs, paintings, sculptures, and historical artefacts. Discover the principal characters of the Mahabharata and their family trees, and understand key moments from the birth of Pandavas and Kauravas to the death of the elders. Know the Mahabharata with this beautiful retelling of India's greatest epic.
You are invited to spend a year with the inspirational words, ideas, and counsel of the great twentieth-century thinker Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, through his meditations on the fifty-four weekly Torah portions and eleven Jewish holidays. A pioneer of ideas and action-teaching that "Judaism is a civilization" encompassing Jewish culture, art, and peoplehood; demonstrating how synagogues can be full centers for Jewish living (building one of the first "shuls with a pool"); and creating the first-ever bat mitzvah ceremony (for his daughter Judith)-Kaplan transformed the landscape of American Jewry. Yet much of Kaplan's rich treasury of ethical and spiritual thought is largely unknown. Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben, who studied closely with Kaplan, offers unique insight into Kaplan's teachings about ethical relationships and spiritual fulfillment, including how to embrace godliness in everyday experience, our mandate to become agents of justice in the world, and the human ability to evolve personally and collectively. Quoting from the week's Torah portion, Reuben presents Torah commentary, a related quotation from Kaplan, a reflective commentary integrating Kaplan's understanding of the Torah text, and an intimate story about his family or community's struggles and triumphs-guiding twenty-first-century spiritual seekers of all backgrounds on how to live reflectively and purposefully every day.
A Year with the Sages uniquely relates the Sages' understanding of each Torah portion to everyday life. The importance of these teachings cannot be overstated. The Sages, who lived during the period from the fifth century BCE to the fifth century CE, considered themselves to have inherited the oral teachings God transmitted to Moses, along with the mandate to interpret them to each subsequent generation. Just as the Torah and the entire Hebrew Bible are the foundations of Judaism, the Sages' teachings form the structures of Jewish belief and practice built on that foundation. Many of these teachings revolve around core concepts such as God's justice, God's love, Torah, Israel, humility, honesty, loving-kindness, reverence, prayer, and repentance. You are invited to spend a year with the inspiring ideas of the Sages through their reflections on the fifty-four weekly Torah portions and the eleven Jewish holidays. Quoting from the week's Torah portion, Rabbi Reuven Hammer presents a Torah commentary, selections from the Sages that chronicle their process of interpreting the text, a commentary that elucidates these concepts and their consequences, and a personal reflection that illumines the Sages' enduring wisdom for our era.
Considered in Islam to be the infallible word of God, The Qur'an was revealed to the prophet Muhammad by the archangel Gabriel in a series of divine revelations over many years after his first vision in the cave. In 114 chapters, or surahs, it provides the rules of conduct that remain fundamental to Muslims today - most importantly the key Islamic values of prayer, fasting, pilgrimage and absolute faith in God, with profound spiritual guidance on matters of kinship, marriage and family, crime and punishment, rituals, food, warfare and charity. Through its pages, a fascinating picture emerges of life in seventh-century Arabia, and from it we can learn much about how people felt about their relationship with God and their belief in the afterlife, as well as attitudes to loyalty, friendship, race, forgiveness and the natural world. It also tells of events and people familiar to Christian and Jewish readers, fellow 'People of the Book' whose stories are recorded in the Gospels and Torah. Here we find Adam, Moses, Abraham, Jesus and John the Baptist, among others, who are regarded, like Muhammad, to be prophets of the Muslim faith.
The nature and reliability of the ancient sources are among the most important issues in the scholarship on the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is noteworthy, therefore, that scholars have grown increasingly skeptical about the value of these materials for reconstructing the life of the Teacher of Righteousness. Travis B. Williams' study is designed to address this new perspective and its implications for historical inquiry. He offers an important corrective to popular conceptions of history and memory by introducing memory theory as a means of informing historical investigation. Charting a new methodological course in Dead Sea Scrolls research, Williams reveals that properly representing the past requires an explanation of how the mnemonic evidence found in the relevant sources could have developed from a historical progression that began with the Teacher. His book represents the first attempt in Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship to integrate history and memory in a comprehensive way.
The first in the Magerman Educational Siddur Series, The Koren Children's Siddur created for the early elementary grades, combines stimulating and beautiful illustrations with thought-provoking educational components on each page to provide teachers and parents with an educational resource as much as a conventional siddur. The siddur, for kindergarten, first and second grades, is also accompanied by a comprehensive Teacher and Parents Guide to maximize the educational potential of this beginner's siddur.
Does Islam call for the oppression of women? The subjugation of women in many Muslim countries is often used as evidence of this, while many Muslims read the Qur'an in ways that seem to justify sexual oppression and inequality. In this paradigm-shifting book, Asma Barlas argues that, far from supporting male privilege, the Qur'an actually affirms the complete equality of the sexes. Offering a historical analysis of religious authority and knowledge, Barlas shows how, for centuries, Muslims have read patriarchy into the Qur'an to justify existing religious and social structures. In this seminal volume, she takes readers into the heart of Islamic teachings on women, gender and patriarchy, offering an egalitarian reading of Islam's most sacred scripture. This revised edition includes two new chapters, a new preface, and updates throughout.
Making the rich narrative world of Talmud tales fully accessible to modern readers, renowned Talmud scholar Jeffrey L. Rubenstein turns his spotlight on both famous and little-known stories, analyzing the tales in their original contexts, exploring their cultural meanings and literary artistry, and illuminating their relevance. Delving into both rabbinic life (the academy, master-disciple relationships) and Jewish life under Roman and Persian rule (persecution, taxation, marketplaces), Rubenstein explains how storytellers used irony, wordplay, figurative language, and other art forms to communicate their intended messages. Each close reading demonstrates the story's continuing relevance through the generations into modernity. For example, the story "Showdown in Court," a confrontation between King Yannai and the Rabbinic judges, provides insights into controversial struggles in U.S. history to balance governmental power; the story of Honi's seventy-year sleep becomes a window into the indignities of aging. Through the prism of Talmud tales, Rubenstein also offers timeless insights into suffering, beauty, disgust, heroism, humor, love, sex, truth, and falsehood. By connecting twenty-first-century readers to past generations, The Land of Truth helps to bridge the divide between modern Jews and the traditional narrative worlds of their ancestors.
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