Modern critical Bible scholarship is a creation of Christian Europe; its Jewish embodiment is derivative. However, it appears that Jews who wished to be regarded as critical scholars did not take over all the elements of this scholarship as it developed in Europe, but singled out one for emulation, as essential. Consideration of this transmutation will help us clarify for ourselves the course we have taken till now.
There are two approaches to biblical research in Europe and America, both equally scholarly and respected in the academic community; neither negates nor excludes the other. A given scholar may by temperament be more inclined toward one of the two, but he or she is not barred from adopting the other on occasion. There seems to be a consensus that both are needed, and it is due to their concomitance that Bible scholarship has played a role in shaping European culture.
These two approaches coexist in the joint Bible project of the British churches known as The New English Bible, whose publication was completed in 1970. One is reflected in the translation of the "Old Testament" (i.e., our Hebrew Bible or Tanakh) and in its introduction, the other in the translation of the New Testament and its introduction.1 We shall examine each introduction -- its main topics and the spirit that animates it -- then compare each with a sample of actual translation.____________________