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Marc Brettler and Amy-Jill Levine speak up about the New Testament

November 29, 2011

Specifically, they are referring to that new and “unusual study Jewish study Bible.”  But respectively to BrandeisNOW and the New York Times, they have spoken more generally.

“I wanted more Jews to read the New Testament and understand the majority religion in America,” Brettler said. “It also is important for Jews to know their history, and the New Testament is important to that, since the first Christians were Jews.”

“The more I study New Testament,” Dr. Levine said, “the better Jew I become.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2011 4:23 pm

    I’ve spent quite a bit of time with the volume, and my take on it is that ultimately, it is a study Bible for those who are beginning reading the New Testament. Thus, it can hardly be compared to Levine’s 14 volume feminist Companion to New Testament and Early Christian Writings (which contain articles that are often deep, difficult, or cutting-edge) or to Herbert Basser’s Commentary to Matthew 1-14 which explores deep connections between Matthew and Rabbinic sources.

    Levine’s series explores the New Testament in depth from a particular point of view, and Basser’s work is a deep work of scholarship that shows links between Rabbinic thought and the Synoptic Gospels (in particular, Matthew). In contrast, much of the Jewish Annotated New Testament reads similar to a work such as the Harpercollins Study Bible in that it is a view of the New Testament from an outside (secular, scholarly) perspective rather than from an inside (faith-based) perspective.

    This is not to say the Jewish Annotated New Testament is not useful or that several of the commentaries are not particularly insightful. But rather, I was hoping for something a little more from this volume — but either because of the intended audience or the size limitations, this volume did not achieve it.

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