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Starred Review. How does a person read the Bible, which is a product of another time and culture, and have it make sense? Brettler, who chairs the department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis, 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. His mode of interpretation is the "historical-critical" method—reading the text in its historical setting, employing critical methodology to explicate and, when possible, harmonize "the multiple ancient perceptions of God, preserved in our composite Bible." After explaining his approach, Brettler takes readers through the historical periods of the Bible, placing the stories in their proper context. He explains, for example, the importance of the Jewish exile in Babylon to the people's view of the prophetic calling. He also discusses the poetic books, their formation and content, and the messages of the prophets. The result is an eye-opening journey through a familiar text, a fresh look at an old story. Written for the beginning reader as well as the scholar, this is an outstanding introduction to the Hebrew Bible and the history of Israel, and should be widely read. (Dec.)
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I'm enjoying this book. It offers a fresh perspective on the Bible (OT) that is proving profitable. This year I've read probably six or seven books on the theme of "how to read... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Norm Macdonald
In reading this book; you will be challenged to face new ideas and concepts and realities.
It will leave you with a whole new and revitalized passion for the bible; and... Read more
Top notch scholarship. Highly readable. Respectful of Jewish belief. A bit too historical critical but not to much. Highly recommend.Published 20 months ago by peter kucer
I really like the author and have read other text authored by him. There is a level of clarity that I find to be enjoyable. Read morePublished 21 months ago by RHL
Prof Marc Brettler is a superb scholar and this book is a masterpiece of Biblical interpretion. The only drawback, and it's a serious drawback, is that the Kindle edition does not... Read morePublished on April 23, 2013 by Gordon Papert
The Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, forms the greater part of what even many nonbelievers wouldn't hesitate to call the most influential book in the history of Western civilisation. Read morePublished on March 1, 2012 by Cal Engime
This is an informal companion to the Bible written by a thoughtful expert looking to demonstrate the benefits of the historico-critical method. Read morePublished on August 21, 2010 by Ryan Mease