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The Jewish Annotated New Testament

Amy-Jill Levine

Although major New Testament figures–Jesus and Paul, Peter and James, Jesus’ mother Mary and Mary Magdalene–were Jews, living in a culture steeped in Jewish history, beliefs, and practices, there has never been an edition of the New Testament that addresses its Jewish background and the culture from which it grew–until now. In The Jewish Annotated New Testament, eminent experts under the general editorship of Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Z. Brettler put these writings back into the context of their original authors and audiences. And they explain how these writings have affected the relations of Jews and Christians over the past two thousand years.

An international team of scholars introduces and annotates the Gospels, Acts, Letters, and Revelation from Jewish perspectives, in the New Revised Standard Version translation. They show how Jewish practices and writings, particularly the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, influenced the New Testament writers. From this perspective, readers gain new insight into the New Testament’s meaning and significance. In addition, thirty essays on historical and religious topics–Divine Beings, Jesus in Jewish thought, Parables and Midrash, Mysticism, Jewish Family Life, Messianic Movements, Dead Sea Scrolls, questions of the New Testament and anti-Judaism, and others–bring the Jewish context of the New Testament to the fore, enabling all readers to see these writings both in their original contexts and in the history of interpretation. For readers unfamiliar with Christian language and customs, there are explanations of such matters as the Eucharist, the significance of baptism, and “original sin.”

For non-Jewish readers interested in the Jewish roots of Christianity and for Jewish readers who want a New Testament that neither proselytizes for Christianity nor denigrates Judaism, The Jewish Annotated New Testament is an essential volume that places these writings in a context that will enlighten students, professionals, and general readers.

Jewish annotate new testament

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 700 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195297709
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195297706

Editorial Reviews

Review

” An historic volume of extraordinary scholarship that can transform Christian-Jewish relations. . . . A must-read for both clergy and laity. . . . A significant achievement.”
–Rabbi A. James Rudin, Senior Interreligious Advisor, The American Jewish Committee”
This exciting collection by leading Jewish scholars not only annotates the New Testament but also brings out its themes, context, and interpretation over the centuries. Essential for libraries of scholars in Christian-Jewish studies, academic institutions offering degrees in theology, and dialogue groups at all levels.”–Dr. Eugene J. Fisher, Distinguished Professor of Catholic-Jewish Studies, Saint Leo University; Former Associate Director, Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops” One volume must find its way to seminarians, preachers, and other students of Scripture: The Jewish Annotated New Testament. With insightful essays and page-by-page notes and sidebars on each book, this volume fills a huge gap in the world of biblical interpretation, providing an accessible guide to how this most Jewish document from antiquity is understood by Jewish scholars today.”–The Rev. William Brosend, School of Theology, Sewanee, TN and Executive Director, Episcopal Preaching Foundation
“It is an admirable piece of scholarship. It provides a wealth of highly relevant context, enriching the cultural and literary as well as the theological and historical terms in which these writings of first-century Jews should be approached. The contributors are tactful and sophisticated in their treatment of antiquity and respectful of its mysteries. Much contemporary writing on Scripture is faddish or tendentious. This book is a disciplined work of clarification and illumination” — Marilynne Robinson, Wall Street Journal
“To see the fruits of the ongoing interchange between Jewish and Christian biblical scholars, one need look no further than this volume…this volume shows how the deepening knowledge of late antique Judaism enriches one’s view of the New Testament.”–CHOICE
“A vivid and thick description of issues, practices, ideas, and events of the Second Temple period, with the Gospels in particular looking more and more like extensions of Jewish life and textuality. The result is a bridge of connection between the cultures, almost to the point of losing sight of the chasms of (mis)understanding that have divided them for centuries.” —Common Knowledge
“This unique groundbreaking reference book fills a needed void…A must purchase for any school, synagogue, or university library.”–Association fo Jewish Libraries
“This new commentary on the New Testament certainly adds an important voice to modern NT commentary and is essential reading not only for biblical scholars but seminarians and preachers.”–Catholic Books Review
“A monument to past achievements in New Testament scholarship and a beacon for future study…The Annotated Jewish New Testament should be either a primary text or required accompanying work in every seminary and upper-division course in New Testament and should leave its mark on all preaching.”–America

About the Author

Amy-Jill Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies, and Professor of Jewish Studies at the Divinity School, College of Arts and Science, Graduate Department of Religion, and Program in Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.Marc Z. Brettler is Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies at Brandeis University.

Review & Commentary