"Starred review. Brettler begins with the complicated web of doctrine, history, and myth that is the Hebrew Bible and untangles it until a clear and beautifully drawn picture emerges. An outstanding introduction,"---Publishers Weekly. Relies on the historical method to open up each major section of Scripture. 384 pages, softcover. Oxford University.
In his new book, master Bible scholar and teacher Marc Brettler argues that today's contemporary readers can only understand the ancient Hebrew Scripture by knowing more about the culture that produced it. And so Brettler unpacks the literary conventions, ideological assumptions, and historical conditions that inform the biblical text and demonstrates how modern critical scholarship and archaeological discoveries shed light on this fascinating and complex literature.
Brettler surveys representative biblical texts from different genres to illustrate how modern can read these texts. He guides us in reading the Bible as it was read in the biblical period, independent of later religious norms and interpretive traditions. Understanding the Bible this way lets us appreciate it as an interesting text that speaks in multiple voices on profound issues.
Although the emphasis of How to Read the Jewish Bible is on showing contemporary Jews, as well as Christians, how they can relate to the Bible in a more meaningful way, readers at any level of religious faith can benefit greatly from this comprehensive but remarkably clear guide to interpreting the Jewish Bible.
Marc Brettler is Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Literature and chair of the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University. His main areas of research are religious metaphors and the Bible, biblical historical texts, and women and the Bible. He is the author of several books and co-editor of The Jewish Study Bible.