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Annotated Jewish New Testament–first impressions

October 24, 2011

jewish-annotated-new-testamentUpdate 10/27/11 See also this post.

Well, I have the (Oxford) Jewish Annotated New Testament in my hot little hands this afternoon.  It is formatted in the style of New Oxford Annotated Bible, 4th edition – the Biblical text (NRSV) is set in a double-column serif font that is not right-justified, the annotations and commentary are set in a single-colum sans-serif font.  I have elsewhere complained about the readability of this format, but for this volume, the paper is thick, substantially improving readability (although it is not as handsome as the New Oxford Annotated Apocrypha, 4th edition – which is laid out in the same style.

Here is a table indicating some of the differences physically and in content between the three volumes:

New Oxford Annotated Bible
(4th edition)
Jewish Annotated New Testament New Oxford Annotated Apocrypha (4th edition)
Width of text block 4.3 cm 3.0 cm 2.0 cm
Page count (including front and back matter) 2412 pages + 32 pages color maps 672 pages 412 pages
Width of single sheet of paper 0.035 mm 0.089 mm 0.097 mm
Pages become wavy? No Yes No
Opacity Minimal (extensive bleed-through) Good Excellent
Maps, Charts, Sidebar Essays, and Diagrams 15 in New Testament + color maps 5 73
Essays at the End of Volume 69 pages None 87 pages
Concordance Yes No No
Timeline Yes Yes Yes
Chronological Table of Rulers Yes Yes Yes
Tannaitic Rabbis/Amoraic Rabbis No/No Yes/Yes No/No
Calendar Yes Yes Yes
Weights and Measures Yes Yes No
List of Parallel Texts Yes Yes No
Table of Canons Yes Yes No
Chapter/Verse Differences between Christian & Jewish Bibles No Yes No
List of Translations of Ancient Texts Yes Yes No
Divisions and Tractates of Mishnah, Talmud, and Tosefta No Yes No
Glossary Yes Yes No
Index (study materials) Yes Yes No
Percentage of biblical text page devoted to annotations Roughly 25% Roughly 40% Roughly 25%
Amazon price $23.95 $26.23 $13.59

The list of contributors is star studded (essays are italicized):

  • Alan J. Avery-Peck (Holy Cross C.):  2 Corinthian
  • Herbert Basser (Queens U.):  James
  • Daniel Boyarin (U. California, Berkeley):  Logos, A Jewish Word:  John’s Prologue as Midrash
  • Marc Zvi Brettler (Brandeis U.):  Editor; The New Testament between the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and Rabbinic Literature
  • Jonathan Brumber-Kraus (Wheaton C., Mass.):  3 John
  • Shaye J. D. Cohen (Harvard U.):  Galatians; Judaism and Jewishness; Josephus
  • Michael Cook (Princeton U.):  Philippians
  • Pamela Eisenbaum (Iliff S. Th.):  Hebrews
  • Michael Fagenblat (Monash U.):  The Concept of Neighbor in Jewish and Christian Ethics
  • Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert (Stanford U.):  Judaizers, Jewish Christians, and Others
  • David Frankfurter (Boston U.):  Revelation
  • David M. Freidenreich (Colby C.):  Food and Table Fellowship
  • Julie Galambush (William & Mary C.):  2 John
  • Aaron M. Gale (West Virginia U.):  Matthew
  • Joshua D. Garroway (Hebrew Union C.):  Ioudaios
  • Barbara Geller (Wellesley C.): Philemon
  • Gary Gilbert (Claremont McKenna C.):  Acts
  • Martin Goodman (Oxford U.): Jewish History, 331 BCE – 135 CE
  • Leonard Greenspoon (Creighton U.):  The Septuagint
  • Michael R. Greenwald (St. Lawrence U.):  2 Peter; The Canon of the New Testament
  • Adam Gregerman (Loyola U., Maryland): 2 Thessalonians
  • Maxine Grossman (U. Maryland, College Park): Ephesians; The Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Susannah Heschel (Dartmouth C.):  Jesus in Modern Jewish Thought
  • Martha Himmelfarb (Princeton U.):  Afterlife and Resurrection
  • Tal Ilan (Free U., Berlin):  2 Timonthy
  • Andrew S. Jacobs (Scripps C.):  Jude
  • Jonathan Klawans (Boston U.):  The Law
  • Naomi Koltun-Fromm (Haverford C.):  1 Timothy
  • Jennifer L. Koosed (Albright C.):  Titus
  • Ross S. Kraemer (Brown U.):  Jewish Family Life in the First Century CE
  • Shira Lander (Rice U.):  1 Corinthians
  • Daniel R. Langton (Manchester):  Paul in Jewish Thought
  • Rebecca Lesses (Ithica):  Divine Beings
  • Daniel B. Levenson:  Messianic Movements
  • Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt U.):  Editor; Luke; Bearing False Witness:  Common Errors Made about Early Judaism
  • Lee I. Levine (Hebrew U.):  The Synagogue
  • Martin Lockshin (York U., Toronto):  Jesus in Medieval Jewish Tradition
  • Michele Murray (Bishop’s U.):  1 John
  • Mark D. Nanos (Rockhurst U.):  Romans; Paul and Judaism
  • Adele Reinhartz (U. Ottawa):  John
  • David Fox Sandmel (Catholic Theological Union):  Thessalonians
  • David Satran (Hebrew U.):  Philo of Alexandria
  • Daniel R. Schwartz (Hebrew U.):  Jewish Movements of the New Testament Period
  • Naomi Seidman (Pacific S. Religion):  Translation of the Bible
  • Claudia Setzer (Manhattan C.):  1 Peter, Jewish Responses to Believers in Jesus
  • David Stern (U. Pennsylvania):  Midrash and Parables in the New Testament
  • Geza Vermes (Oxford U.):  Jewish Miracle Workers in the Late Second Temple Period
  • Burton L. Visotzky (Jewish Th. Seminary):  Jesus in Rabbinic Tradition
  • Lawrence M. Wills (Episcopal Divinity S.):  Mark
  • Peter Zaas (Sienna C.):  Colossians

I have only skimmed the volume so far, but my initial impressions are that the volume seems intriguing, is clearly more heavily annotated than the New Oxford Annotated Bible, and seems to have extensive coverage of philosophical and historical matters.  I previously mentioned the volume here, and I hope to post a review in due course.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2011 12:35 am

    The more I learn the more I suspect I’ll soon be dropping a quarter hundred for this book.

    Impressive contributors, intriguing essay titles….

  2. October 25, 2011 1:47 pm

    I’m enjoying reading it today, Chuck. I think you would also.


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