The Jewish Annotated New Testament: New Revised Standard Version Bible Translation

Article excerpt

The Jewish Annotated New Testament: New Revised Standard Version Bible Translation. Edited by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Pp. 637. $35.00.

This volume begins with a preface by the editors and a list of abbreviations. The main body is introductions and explanatory notes on the twenty-seven books of the Christian Scriptures, with special comments in "grey boxes." Then come thirty essays, roughly three double-columned pages each, and then tables, glossary, and index. The purpose of the introductions, notes, and essays is to (1) "highlight aspects of first-and-second-century Judaism that enrich the understanding of Christian Scriptures customs, literature, and interpretation," (2) "highlight connections between later Jewish (especially rabbinic) literature," and (3) "address problems that Jewish readers ... may find in reading the Christian Scriptures, especially passages that have been used to perpetuate anti-Judaism" (p. xi). The introductions vary from one to five pages long. The annotations, on average, are a generous third of a page, with some pages having half a page of annotations. Written by fitly-one Jewish authors, their intended readership is Christians, who will benefit from seeing the relationship between these texts and Jewish texts, and Jews who want to understand the texts of their religious neighbors and who are likely to trust that these Jewish authors have no interest in converting them. It is especially valuable to all involved in preparing people to preach in Christian churches and to students as well. It can be a major resource for all religious studies and theology programs with a significant biblical studies component and an ideal text for courses on the relationship between Judaism and Christianity.

All the authors treat the texts with respect but give clear indications of particular passages that have been used to support anti-Judaism. The authors for each section were well selected. All the introductions show a high level of familiarity with discussion of these texts by Christian scholars. …

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