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The Mishnah: A New Translation Reprint Edition
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Unlike those earlier translations, however, Neusner's approximates in English the particular flavour of the eliptical, laconic style of the original. For the first time, English-speaking readers can gain an insight into how the Mishnah says what it says, without the paraphrases and glosses of Danby and Blackman.
But Neusner's approach to the translation has its price. First, the text does not flow like Danby's translation. Readers are made starkly aware that the Mishnah is a compilation of teachings, not a work of literature. Second, the terse, eliptical style results from the Mishnah's being written originally for readers who understood not only the subject matter but also the set of the minds that considered it and the milieu that cradled it. There is therefore much in the text that is taken for granted, and uninitiated readers can feel at a disadvantage.
To meet the needs of the uninitiated, however, Neusner provides an extensive introduction. This places the Mishnah in context and explains its purpose. It is a mine of information presented with the clarity and simplicity of style which only the greatest scholars command. Indeed, the introduction is valuable for the expert as well as the novice.
In short, this is an important work. Its value lies in two particular areas: the non-paraphrastic style of the translation that imitates as closely as reasonably possible the style of the original, and the extent and quality of the background material provided in the Introduction.
The Mishnah is thus a very important book to Judaism. Harold Bloom (in Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine) thinks of it as a Jewish New Testament. But for all its significance, the Mishnah is far less easy to come by than the New Testament. Other complete Mishnah editions in English translation range from more than $160 for Herbert Danby's one-volume 1933 translation The Mishnah or the out-of-print Blackman Mishnayoth (6 Volume Set) to $400 or more for Mishnayot Kehati: Complete 21-volume Boxed Set (make sure to check for the English translation) to $975 for the top-of-the-line ArtScroll Mishnah Series now at 39 volumes and growing. (Wait for ArtScroll's annual 20-percent-off sale if you want to buy that set.) Neusner's edition performs a great service by making the complete Mishnah more widely accessible to English readers.
One of the tricks to understanding the Mishnah is placing it in the context of Jewish law and literature.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the Most amazing reads that I have seen. By far it is a Necessity to better understand the life of Jews & Christians through the eyes of the Holy ScripturesPublished 13 months ago by Gordon L Lyles
Informative Jewish history. Reminds me that our faith may become works oriented ;)Published 16 months ago by Charles H. Clever
Awesome document that every serious Bible student and Minister needs to have (and read). I wish I had this book ten years ago.Published on October 22, 2012 by Robert Odell
I purchased this edition of the Mishnah after I purchased the first volume of the Schottenstein version of the Talmud. I wanted a copy of the Mishnah not bogged down by the Gemara. Read morePublished on October 22, 2012 by Bryan Kerr
This version of the Mishnah is not complete and leaves out entire tractates.
The numbering does not agree with the Mishnah. Read more
As a non-Jew attempting to better appreciate, study and understand Judiasm, I bought this version of the Mishnah. I had read Neusner's Introduction, and found it very well done. Read morePublished on May 9, 2009 by Edward J. Barton