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The Jewish Annotated New Testament 1st Edition

174 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195297706
ISBN-10: 0195297709
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Editorial Reviews


"The Jewish Annotated New Testament makes a wonderful contribution to Jewish appreciation of the New Testament, on the one hand, and Christian appreciation of the Jewish dimension of New Testament literature, Jesus, and his disciples, on the other...We owe [the editors and their many contributors our thanks for putting together such a useful and positive contribution to New Testament interpretation and to much better, more accurate, and fairer Jewish and Christian understanding. I recommend this book enthusiastically and without reservation."--Craig A. Evans, Journal of the Jesus Movement in its Jewish Setting

" An historic volume of extraordinary scholarship that can transform Christian-Jewish relations. . . . A must-read for both clergy and laity. . . . A significant achievement."
--Rabbi A. James Rudin, Senior Interreligious Advisor, The American Jewish Committee

" This exciting collection by leading Jewish scholars not only annotates the New Testament but also brings out its themes, context, and interpretation over the centuries. Essential for libraries of scholars in Christian-Jewish studies, academic institutions offering degrees in theology, and dialogue groups at all levels."--Dr. Eugene J. Fisher, Distinguished Professor of Catholic-Jewish Studies, Saint Leo University; Former Associate Director, Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

" One volume must find its way to seminarians, preachers, and other students of Scripture: The Jewish Annotated New Testament. With insightful essays and page-by-page notes and sidebars on each book, this volume fills a huge gap in the world of biblical interpretation, providing an accessible guide to how this most Jewish document from antiquity is understood by Jewish scholars today."--The Rev. William Brosend, School of Theology, Sewanee, TN and Executive Director, Episcopal Preaching Foundation

"It is an admirable piece of scholarship. It provides a wealth of highly relevant context, enriching the cultural and literary as well as the theological and historical terms in which these writings of first-century Jews should be approached. The contributors are tactful and sophisticated in their treatment of antiquity and respectful of its mysteries. Much contemporary writing on Scripture is faddish or tendentious. This book is a disciplined work of clarification and illumination" -- Marilynne Robinson, Wall Street Journal

"To see the fruits of the ongoing interchange between Jewish and Christian biblical scholars, one need look no further than this volume...this volume shows how the deepening knowledge of late antique Judaism enriches one's view of the New Testament."--CHOICE

"A vivid and thick description of issues, practices, ideas, and events of the Second Temple period, with the Gospels in particular looking more and more like extensions of Jewish life and textuality. The result is a bridge of connection between the cultures, almost to the point of losing sight of the chasms of (mis)understanding that have divided them for centuries." --Common Knowledge

"This unique groundbreaking reference book fills a needed void...A must purchase for any school, synagogue, or university library."--Association fo Jewish Libraries

"This new commentary on the New Testament certainly adds an important voice to modern NT commentary and is essential reading not only for biblical scholars but seminarians and preachers."--Catholic Books Review

"A monument to past achievements in New Testament scholarship and a beacon for future study...The Annotated Jewish New Testament should be either a primary text or required accompanying work in every seminary and upper-division course in New Testament and should leave its mark on all preaching."--America

About the Author

Amy-Jill Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies, and Professor of Jewish Studies at the Divinity School, College of Arts and Science, Graduate Department of Religion, and Program in Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.

Marc Z. Brettler is Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies at Brandeis University.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 700 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195297709
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195297706
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.3 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

89 of 92 people found the following review helpful By R. Williams on January 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an evangelical, born-again Christian with several close, Jewish friends, (many of whom are orthodox,) I knew immediately which scriptures to scrutinize the moment my copy arrived. Frankly, I was astounded. The perspective is obviously, unapologetically Jewish. Make no mistake, this commentary was NOT written by scholars who believe Jesus was the Messiah. But if your mind is big enough to set that aside, these scholars will enrich you with information, details and an historical perspective worth 50 times the cover price of the book. Balanced, fair, and containing no vitriol at all, this volume can be held up as an example of the brilliance that is possible when fair-minded men and women seek to understand the beliefs of a group other than their own. I highly recommend it. I would happily have paid the cover price merely to have read the preface to the Gospel of John. Well done! Again I say, Well done!
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212 of 227 people found the following review helpful By Tiger CK on December 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The editors of this volume, both distinguished New Testament scholars, had two key reasons for creating this "Jewish Annotated New Testament." First they wanted Christian readers to learn more about the Judaic origins of Christianity and the context surrounding the life of Jesus. Second, they wanted to introduce Jewish readers to what is unquestionably one of the canonical texts in Western Civilization, whether they believe in it or not. On the whole, this volume does a fairly good job of serving these purposes.

It includes a preface by the two authors and a highly annotated version of The New Testament. Many of the glosses found in the text are geared at linking the ideas and events of the gospels to their background in the history of Judaism. Each of the books of The New Testament is accompanied by a brief introductory essay. There are also a number of shorter essays positioned within each book to help to explain specific passages at greater length. Finally the end of the book contains a number of essays by leading experts on the bible and Jewish history on a broad range of relevant topics including Jesus in modern Jewish thought and Jewish family life during the time of Jesus.

The volume is very informative and does offer explanations for some passages in the New Testament that will be useful for Jews and Christians alike. Although the book is informative, however, it is not as interesting as it should be in some places. In choosing the essays to be included at the end of the volume, the editors seem to have sacrificed depth for breadth. These very short essays read more or less like encyclopedia articles and are not especially thought provoking.
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86 of 91 people found the following review helpful By David Zaslow on December 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Those of us who are involved in interfaith dialogue will recognize that this book will be a classic reference work for anyone seriously interested in Judaism in the first century. The editors have done an extraordinary service to both New Testament scholarship, and to correcting the misunderstood relationship Jesus had with his own Judaism. To say "Jesus was Jewish" is one thing, but this important book squarely places him at the epicenter of his people, in one of the most tumultuous periods in Jewish history - only a few decades before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. As a congregational rabbi myself who does a lot of interfaith work this book stands out as a reference work I will be proud to recommend to my rabbinic colleagues, to pastors, and to congregants in both churches and synagogues who want a fresh perspective on the Christian Scriptures through the annotations of Jewish scholars. Readers might also be interested in Dr. Levine's other important study of Jesus: The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus
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94 of 101 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This review addresses the text, but it will make a point of describing how well the volume succeeds as a Kindle book. It gets five stars, in spite of blemishes, because the scholarship is first-rate and the perks one gets from the Kindle platform add enough value that you really get your money's worth. In a way, the only sign that the point of view is "Jewish" is that there is no bias to any Christian theology, such as Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopal, or Pentecostal.

The intention for publishing The Jewish Annotated New Testament, according to its editors, Amy-Jill Levine and Mark Zvi Brettler is to recognize the growing understanding between Jewish and Christian traditions, and to help further that understanding. It may be worth noting that both editors are at the top of their fields. Amy-Jill Levine, a Jewish New Testament scholar, is literally a household name among the faculty and students at my seminary. Mark Zvi Brettler is an Old Testament specialist.
The Translation is the NRSV, the most popular Protestant "Scholarly" translation. Therefore, the best yardstick for evaluating it would be the Harper/Collins Annotated (NRSV) Bible. There is only one other major contemporary study Bible on Kindle, and the problems it has are a lesson that the Bible is a difficult book for a generic e-reader to handle. However, I have found reasons to prefer this over dedicated biblical software such as Bibleworks.

The "active" Table of Contents is good by Kindle standards, easy to reach, and gives you access to each book, essay, and appendix. This is much better than the ESV, but it stops too soon, in that once you come to the beginning of the book, it is tedious to scroll down to reach, for example Romans 8:8. With the ESV, you could enter a book and verse number, and go to that verse.
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