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Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures - The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text Hardcover – November 1, 1985
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The word Tanakh consists of the first letters of the words denoting the three sections of the text: the Torah (the Law), consisting of the first five books; the Nevi'im (the Prophets), which includes major and minor prophets, as well as some of the history books; and the Kethuvim (the Writings), which consists of poetry, wisdom literature, stories and eschatological literature, and some further history books.
The first thing that strikes the reader more familiar with a Bible a la King James Version, is the the ordering of the books.
The intent behind the differing order demonstrates one of the key differences in focus of Judaism and Christianity. The ordering of the Old Testament, with the minor prophets, and their call to repentance and future deliverance of the people of Israel by God, is anticipatory of the Messianic age, and hence provide a `run-up' to the New Testament. Obviously, Judaism does not have the same focus toward Jesus. Thus, the conclusion of the Tanakh leads to the return from exile, the restoration of the people of Israel to the land of promise, and the return of the worship of God to the appointed place, the Temple.
The Tanakh was originally translated and published in three sections, corresponding to the three divisions of the text. Begun in 1955, The Torah was completed in 1962; then there was a wait until The Nevi'im was released in 1978, and The Kethuvim in 1982. This edition of the Tanakh is the compilation of these efforts by JPS, with revisions, especially of the 1962 Torah translation.Read more ›
I must say I really enjoy the translation. It is the first time since the translation of the LXX that a large group of Jewish scholars have come together to translate the Jewish sacred texts. It was nice to read a Bible that was free of Christian influence, even though I am a Christian in faith. The translation is based on the traditional Masoretic text, but it uses the LXX and the Dead Sea scrolls when the Masoretic text is obscure. There are also scriptural readings for various feasts and holy days.
Overall, I find the translation readable and scholarly. As a Christian, I always have more "Christianized" versions around too, such as the RSV, REB, and NRSV, but it is important to have other scholarly translational perspectives as well. I do wish there would have been maps and some commentary included in the hardcover...perhaps in a future edition.
As a side note, the paperback version has a few typos in the text that the hardback lacks.
As a Muslim reader of the Jewish Scriptures I feel enriched in a unique way. The Muslim Holy Book, the Qur'an, refers extensively and repeatedly to the Covenant God made with the Children of Israel. And even though I had read and heard about this for as long as I can remember, I think I have gained a much deeper insight and understanding than ever before, a perspective I am not sure I could have availed of elsewhere. Oh yes, I had read (actually *tried* to read) other translations of the Old Testament prior to reading Tanakh. This lucid translation helped me achieve what six years of Jesuit schooling and a decade old interest in comparative religion could not!
It may be difficult to believe, but reading Tanakh will actually help me understand some fine points in the Qur'an even better. I would recommend it to all Muslims, particularly those living in the West, and perhaps to all people, as an essential part of one's education in life.
Thanks to grandma for letting me borrow her copy, and thanks to our friends at Temple Beth Shalom for the bautiful gift. Just a note to Al Herary - Al, I am buying my own copy! :-)
It is not enough to scan these books. Someone needs to edit them, too.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A gift for my sibling. Advised me that it was received and, as was found to be in the hands of a group of Jewish history and Judaism students who discovered the Tanakh to be a... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
It was smaller than I expected and, to be honest, I was thinking that I would be getting a version that had extensive notes. That was an oversight on my part.Published 10 days ago by Latasha Crowder
The only complaint I have about this product is that the pages are pretty thin so when I highlight certain text, it bleeds through to the other side of the page. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Crystal Cory
The Tanakh is all that I had hoped for. I am currently using it for all of my Old Testament reading.Published 1 month ago by Nancy S. Hudson