Academic journal article Jewish Bible Quarterly

JPS Guide: The Jewish Bible

Academic journal article Jewish Bible Quarterly

JPS Guide: The Jewish Bible

Article excerpt

JPS Guide: The Jewish Bible, Project Editor Carol Hupping, Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2008, 291 pp. Reviewed by David J. Zucker.

The near 300-page JPS Guide: The Jewish Bible is filled with some excellent introductory articles and overviews, drawn primarily from previous JPS publications and authors, with some specially commissioned for this volume. The first two thirds consist of 16 chapters, which culminate in a chapter dedicated to Summaries of the Books of the Bible. The initial section covers a variety of subjects: What Is the Bible?, How the Bible Became "the Bible," The Matter of Gender in the JPS Torah Translation, Biblical Law, Biblical Poetry, the Prophets, the Wisdom Literature, Commentaries on the Bible, and Midrash. The next 55 pages are reference-based: a glossary, weights and measures, a timeline of biblical events, chronologies of the monarchies and the prophets, and maps, among other subjects. Finally, there are a list of recommended books and relevant websites, and an index.

Taken as a whole, there is a wealth of information here, attractively set out and generally well written. There is something for the person just entering the world of biblical study and for the scholar as well. This work is intended for both a Jewish and a non-Jewish readership. In the main, its tone reflects a modernist approach, recognizing, for example, the well-known major divisions by sources (J, E, D, P, and H; see the section on Methods of Bible Study, especially pp. …

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