- Hardcover: 1604 pages
- Publisher: Union for Reform Judaism; Revised edition (February 28, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807408832
- ISBN-13: 978-0807408834
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.8 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 84 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#940,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #829 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > Sacred Writings > Hebrew Bible (Old Testament)
- #1262 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Bible Study & Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Old Testament
- #1769 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Bible Study & Reference > Commentaries > Old Testament
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The Torah: A Modern Commentary, Revised Edition Hardcover – February 28, 2005
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Paper a tad thin so it is not the version that one reads at the synagogue. Otherwise, fantastic.
There are also corrections to the Hebrew text, and clearer typesetting. This edition uses a modified kamatz for the kamatz katon to distinguish it from the kamatz gadol, thus helping readers pronounce things more easily if they are not used to the Sephardic pronunciations. (Their kamatz katon looks a bit like the Frank Zappa logo, which consists of his mustache and imperial beard.)
The translation is revised without being revisionist. Certain words that have been translated a certain way for the past 500 years are now replaced with more accurate translations that make more sense to a modern reader. For example, in modern English, clean and unclean have a different connotation from pure and impure, thus creating a misleading understanding with the less accurate translations.
The translation is more gender accurate than gender neutral. References to God are rendered in gender-neutral terms, which is consistent with the Jewish belief that God has no gender, as opposed to a "literal" translation of the grammatically masculine wording of a language that does not use a neuter form. However, other phrases such as "when you take a census of the Israelite people ..." which been replaced with "when you take a census of the Israelite men ..." are less gender neutral but more accurate. In other words, changes to more gender neutral language are done because English does not use a gender for anything but animals and people (and the occasional oddity such as ships if you want to be picky) while languages such as Hebrew have no neuter case. Therefore, it makes more sense to respect the context, just as you would not refer to a table as him or her simply because it's a literal translation of another language.
Other reviews of this book written prior to 2005 are for the previous edition, so be careful to determine if any specific point of an old review is still relevant.