The Hebrew Bible: New Insights and Scholarship

By Frederick E. Greenspahn | Go to book overview
Save to active project


Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom
Some Reflections on Reading and
Studying the Hebrew Bible

Peter Machinist

The Hebrew Bible is a complex book. Its complexity is manifest in a number of ways, three of which in particular emerge from the discussions in this volume. In the first place, the Hebrew Bible is not a single book, but a collection of many: twenty-four, thirty-six, or thirty-nine, depending on the way one counts. These books, moreover, are of different lengths, genres, and content, and in two primary languages, Hebrew and Aramaic, with echoes of a number of others. This plurality is captured in the very label “Bible,” derived as it is from the ancient Greek term for the collection, ta biblia, which means “the scrolls” and eventually was understood as “the books.”

Second, the Hebrew Bible deals with or provokes reflection on a wide range of matters. Those described in the present volume include: the aesthetics of biblical narrative, as exemplified by the story of the encounter between the nascent Israelites and the people of Shechem in Genesis 34; gender, especially the place of women in and through the Hebrew Bible as read in a feminist way; how the Hebrew Bible came to be the Hebrew Bible, namely, the process of canonization and the emergence of sacred authority for a written text; ancient Israelite history and the role of the Hebrew Bible as a, or even the, principal source for that history; the material culture of ancient Israel and how this may be studied through the Bible and archaeological data; a Jewish theological approach to the Hebrew Bible; the nature of biblical law and its setting in the framework of law in the ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean world; the meaning of


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Hebrew Bible: New Insights and Scholarship


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 232

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?