Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Marc Brettler was on NPR yesterday promoting his new book, How to Read the Bible. You can listen to the interview here, but my main reason for linking to the page is to direct you to the excerpt from the book's introduction. (You'll have to scroll down a bit.)

How to Read the Bible is a thoughtful, easy-to-read book designed to present the historical-critical method to Jewish laypeople. It is not only for Jews or laypeople, however. I am currently in the middle of the book, and I'm finding it very engaging. It has also helped me come up with ideas for effective ways to present biblical criticism to my (mostly Christian) students.


Mar Gavriel said...
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Mar Gavriel said...


A friend of mine, who has just started teaching at Penn State, mentioned to me a few months ago that there were a number of good college-geared introductions to the Bible, but no good college introductions to rabbinic literature. (His background is in Rabbinics, but he is being made to teach both Intro to Bible and Intro to Rabbinic Literature. IIRC, he may be the first person ever to teach Rabbinic Lit at Penn State.) Strack-Stemberger is CLEARLY inadequate for the task.

I said to him: "So, you'll have to write one."

So, let's wait and see!

elf said...


e-kvetcher said...

Has anyone here ever read Reading the Old Testament by Bandstra.

It is not written from a Jewish perspective, and I can't quite tell if he is secular or religious, but I found some of his analysis interesting.

Of course I once quoted from it on Gil Student's blog and someone told be to "shop my apikorsus elsewhere!".

elf's DH said...

Well, you certainly found the right place :-)

elf said...

I have not read Brandstra's book, but I'm sure that I will get around to it at some point. Right now I'm just a lowly teaching fellow, so I don't have to worry about choosing textbooks for courses.

The textbook used in the course in which I've been assisting is a brand new book by Michael D. Coogan called The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures. I generally like it; its contents are a good combination of content, analysis, methodology, and history of criticism made very accessible.

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