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Hebrew Bible
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{{redirects here|Tanakh|Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition|Oxford Hebrew Bible|the musical collective|Tanakh (band)|places in Iran|Tanak, Iran (disambiguation){{!}}Tanak, Iran}}







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{{Tanakh OT}}The Hebrew Bible, also called the Tanakh ({{IPAc-en|t|ɑː|ˈ|n|ɑː|x}};"Tanach". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. {{Hebrew|תַּנַ"ךְ|rtl=yes}}, {{IPA-he|taˈnaχ|pron}} or {{IPA-he|təˈnax|}}; also Tenakh, Tenak, Tanach) or Mikra, is the canonical collection of Jewish texts, which is also the textual source for the Christian Old Testament. These texts are composed mainly in Biblical Hebrew, with some passages in Biblical Aramaic (in the books of Daniel, Ezra and a few others). The form of this text that is authoritative for Rabbinic Judaism is known as the Masoretic Text (MT), and is divided into 24 books, while the Protestant Bible translations divide roughly the same material into 39 books.Modern scholars seeking to understand the history of the Hebrew Bible use a range of sources, in addition to the Masoretic Text.WEB,weblink Scholars seek Hebrew Bible’s original text – but was there one?, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 25 September 2015, These sources include early Greek (Septuagint) and Syriac (Peshitta) translations, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Dead Sea Scrolls and quotations from rabbinic manuscripts. Many of these sources may be older than the Masoretic text and often differ from it.WEB,weblink Controversy lurks as scholars try to work out Bible's original text, The Times of Israel, 25 September 2015, These differences have given rise to the theory that yet another text, an Urtext of the Hebrew Bible, once existed and is the source of the versions extant today.Isaac Leo Seeligmann, Robert Hanhart, Hermann Spieckermann: The Septuagint Version of Isaiah and Cognate Studies, Tübingen 2004, pages 33-34. However, such an Urtext has never been found, and which of the three commonly known versions (Septuagint, Masoretic Text, Samaritan Pentateuch) is closest to the Urtext is not fully determined.BOOK, Shanks, Herschel, Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls, August 4, 1992, Random House, 978-0679414483, 336, 1st,

Terminology

{{Judaism |texts |width=22.0em}}Tanakh is an acronym of the first Hebrew letter of each of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: Torah ("Teaching", also known as the Five Books of Moses), Nevi'im ("Prophets") and Ketuvim ("Writings")—hence TaNaKh. The books of the Tanakh were passed on by each generation and, according to rabbinic tradition, were accompanied by an oral tradition, called the Oral Torah.The three-part division reflected in the acronym "Tanakh" is well attested in the literature of the Rabbinic period.WEB,weblink Mikra'ot Gedolot, During that period, however, "Tanakh" was not used. Instead, the proper title was Mikra (or Miqra, מקרא, meaning "reading" or "that which is read") because the biblical texts were read publicly. Mikra continues to be used in Hebrew to this day, alongside Tanakh, to refer to the Hebrew scriptures. In modern spoken Hebrew, they are interchangeable.BIBLICAL STUDIES Mikra: Text, Translation, Reading and Interpretation. Norton Irish Theological Quarterly.2007; 72: 305-306

Hebrew Bible

{{Bible-related |CB}}{{see also|Biblia Hebraica (disambiguation)}}Many biblical studies scholars advocate use of the term "Hebrew Bible" (or "Hebrew Scriptures") as a substitute for less neutral terms with Jewish or Christian connotations (e.g. Tanakh or Old Testament).NEWS,weblink The New Old Testament, William, Safire, The New York Times, 1997-05-25, {{inconsistent citations, }}.WEB,weblink From Hebrew Bible to Christian Bible: Jews, Christians and the Word of God, Mark, Hamilton, 2007-11-19, Modern scholars often use the term 'Hebrew Bible' to avoid the confessional terms Old Testament and Tanakh., The Society of Biblical Literature's Handbook of Style, which is the standard for major academic journals like the Harvard Theological Review and conservative Protestant journals like the Bibliotheca Sacra and the Westminster Theological Journal, suggests that authors "be aware of the connotations of alternative expressions such as... Hebrew Bible [and] Old Testament" without prescribing the use of either.BOOK, The SBL Handbook of Style, Hendrickson, Peabody, MA, 1999, Patrick H, Alexander, 1-56563-487-X, 17 (section 4.3),weblinkweblink" title="wayback.archive-it.org/all/20080414113530weblink">weblink yes, 2008-04-14, PDF, etal, See Society of Biblical Literature: Questions Regarding Digital Editions… Alister McGrath points out that while the term emphasizes that it is largely written in Hebrew and "is sacred to the Hebrew people", it "fails to do justice to the way in which Christianity sees an essential continuity between the Old and New Testaments", arguing that there is "no generally accepted alternative to the traditional term "Old Testament." However, he accepts that there is no reason why non-Christians should feel obliged to refer to these books as the Old Testament, "apart from custom of use."McGrath, Alister, Christian Theology, Oxford: Blackwell, 2011, p. 120, 123. {{ISBN|9781444335149}}.In terms of theology, Christianity has recognized the close relationship between the Old and New Testaments from its very beginnings, although there have sometimes been movements like Marcionism (viewed as heretical by the early church), that have struggled with it.{{citation | contribution = Marcion | title = Encyclopædia Britannica | year = 1911 | postscript = {{inconsistent citations}}}}.For the recorded teachings of Jesus on the subject see Antithesis of the Law#Antitheses, for the modern debate, see Christian views on the old covenant Modern Christian formulations of this tension include Supersessionism, Covenant Theology, New Covenant Theology, Dispensationalism and Dual-covenant theology. All of these formulations, except some forms of Dual-covenant theology, are objectionable to mainstream Judaism and to many Jewish scholars and writers, for whom there is one eternal covenant between God and the Israelites, and who therefore reject the term "Old Testament" as a form of antinomianism.In terms of canon, Christian usage of "Old Testament" does not refer to a universally agreed upon set of books but, rather, varies depending on denomination. Lutheranism and Protestant denominations that follow the Westminster Confession of Faith accept the entire Jewish canon as the Old Testament without additions, although in translation they sometimes give preference to the Septuagint (LXX) rather than the Masoretic Text; for example, see (Isaiah 7:14).In terms of language, "Hebrew" refers to the original language of the books, but it may also be taken as referring to the Jews of the Second Temple era and Jewish diaspora, and their descendants, who preserved the transmission of the Masoretic Text up to the present day. The Hebrew Bible includes small portions in Aramaic (mostly in the books of Daniel and Ezra), written and printed in Aramaic square-script, which was adopted as the Hebrew alphabet after the Babylonian exile.

Development and codification

File:Texts of the OT.svg|thumb|right|350px|The inter-relationship between various significant ancient manuscripts of the Old Testament (some identified by their siglum). Mt being the Masoretic text. The lowermost text "(lost)" would be the Urtext.]]There is no scholarly consensus as to when the Hebrew Bible canon was fixed: some scholars argue that it was fixed by the Hasmonean dynasty,BOOK, Davies, Philip R., McDonald, Lee Martin, Sanders, James A., The Jewish Scriptural Canon in Cultural Perspective, The Canon Debate, Baker Academic, 2001, 978-1-4412-4163-4,weblink PT66, "With many other scholars, I conclude that the fixing of a canonical list was almost certainly the achievement of the Hasmonean dynasty." while others argue it was not fixed until the second century CE or even later.McDonald & Sanders, The Canon Debate, 2002, page 5, cited are Neusner's Judaism and Christianity in the Age of Constantine, pages 128–145, and Midrash in Context: Exegesis in Formative Judaism, pages 1–22.According to the Talmud, much of the Tanakh was compiled by the men of the Great Assembly (Anshei K'nesset HaGedolah), a task completed in 450 BCE, and it has remained unchanged ever since.(Bava Batra 14b-15a, Rashi to Megillah 3a, 14a)The twenty-four book canon is mentioned in the Midrash Koheleth 12:12: Whoever brings together in his house more than twenty four books brings confusion.Midrash Qoheleth 12:12

Language and pronunciation

The original writing system of the Hebrew text was an abjad: consonants written with some applied vowel letters ("matres lectionis"). During the early Middle Ages scholars known as the Masoretes created a single formalized system of vocalization. This was chiefly done by Aaron ben Moses ben Asher, in the Tiberias school, based on the oral tradition for reading the Tanakh, hence the name Tiberian vocalization. It also included some innovations of Ben Naftali and the Babylonian exiles.Kelley, Page H., The Masorah of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, Eerdmans, 1998, {{ISBN|0-8028-4363-8}}, p. 20 Despite the comparatively late process of codification, some traditional sources and some Orthodox Jews hold the pronunciation and cantillation to derive from the revelation at Sinai, since it is impossible to read the original text without pronunciations and cantillation pauses.BOOK,weblink A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language: Letters, Vowel-points, and Accents, John Gill, John Gill (theologian), G. Keith, 1767, 136–137, also pages 250–255 The combination of a text ( mikra), pronunciation ( niqqud) and cantillation ( te`amim) enable the reader to understand both the simple meaning and the nuances in sentence flow of the text.

Books of the Tanakh

The Tanakh consists of twenty-four books: it counts as one book each Samuel, Kings, Chronicles and Ezra–Nehemiah and counts the Twelve Minor Prophets () as a single book. In Hebrew, the books are often referred to by their prominent first word(s).

Torah

The Torah (תּוֹרָה, literally "teaching"), also known as the Pentateuch, or as the "Five Books of Moses". Printed versions (rather than scrolls) of the Torah are often called "Chamisha Chumshei Torah"" ( "Five fifth-sections of the Torah") and informally a "Chumash".
  • Bereshit (בְּרֵאשִׁית, literally "In the beginning") — Genesis
  • Shemot (שִׁמוֹת, literally "The names [of]") — Exodus
  • Vayikra (וַיִּקְרָא, literally "And He called") — Leviticus
  • Bemidbar (בְּמִדְבַּר, literally "In the desert [of]") — Numbers
  • Devarim (דְּבָרִים, literally "Things" or "Words") — Deuteronomy

Nevi'im

Nevi'im ( , "Prophets") is the second main division of the Tanakh, between the Torah and Ketuvim. It contains three sub-groups. This division includes the books which cover the time from the entrance of the Israelites into the Land of Israel until the Babylonian captivity of Judah (the "period of prophecy").Their distribution is not chronological, but substantive.The Former Prophets ( )
  • YÄ•hôshúa‘ (יְהוֹשֻעַ) — Joshua
  • Shophtim (שֹׁפְטִים) — Judges
  • Shmû’ēl (שְׁמוּאֵל) — Samuel
  • M'lakhim (מְלָכִים) — Kings
The Latter Prophets ( )
  • YÄ•sha‘ăyāhû (יְשַׁעְיָהוּ) — Isaiah
  • Yirmyāhû (יִרְמְיָהוּ) — Jeremiah
  • YÄ•khezqiÄ“l (יְחֶזְקֵאל) — Ezekiel
The Twelve Minor Prophets (, Trei Asar, "The Twelve"), which are considered one book
  • HôshÄ“a‘ (הוֹשֵׁעַ) — Hosea
  • Yô’ēl (יוֹאֵל) — Joel
  • ‘Āmôs (עָמוֹס) — Amos
  • ‘Ōvadhyāh (עֹבַדְיָה) — Obadiah
  • Yônāh (יוֹנָה) — Jonah
  • Mîkhāh (מִיכָה) — Micah
  • Nakḥûm (נַחוּם) — Nahum
  • Khăvhakûk (חֲבַקּוּק) — Habakkuk
  • TsÄ•phanyāh (צְפַנְיָה) — Zephaniah
  • Khaggai (×—Ö·×’Ö·Ö¼×™) — Haggai
  • Zkharyāh (זְכַרְיָה) — Zechariah
  • Mal’ākhî (מַלְאָכִי) — Malachi

Ketuvim

Ketuvim (, "Writings") consists of eleven books, described below. They are also divided into three subgroups based on the distinctiveness of Sifrei Emet and Hamesh Megillot.The three poetic books (Sifrei Emet)
  • Tehillim (תְהִלִּים) — Psalms
  • Mishlei (מִשְׁלֵי) — Proverbs
  • Iyyôbh (אִיּוֹב) — Job
The Five Megillot (Hamesh Megillot). These books are read aloud in the synagogue on particular occasions, the occasion listed below in parenthesis.
  • ShÄ«r HashÄ«rÄ«m (שִׁיר הַשִׁירִים, literally "Song of Solomon") — Song of Songs (on Passover)
  • RÅ«th (רוּת) — Ruth (on Shavuot)
  • Eikhah (אֵיכָה) — Lamentations (on Tisha B'AvAlso called Kinnot in Hebrew.)
  • Qōheleth (קֹהֶלֶת) — Ecclesiastes (on Sukkot)
  • EstÄ“r (אֶסְתֵר) — Esther (on Purim)
Other books
  • Dānî'Ä“l (דָּנִיֵּאל) — Daniel
  • ‘Ezrā (עֶזְרָא) — Ezra and Nehemiah
  • Divrei ha-Yamim (דִּבְרֵי הַיָּמִים) — Chronicles
The Jewish textual tradition never finalized the order of the books in Ketuvim. The Babylonian Talmud (Bava Batra 14b — 15a) gives their order as Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Daniel, Scroll of Esther, Ezra, Chronicles.{{citation needed|date=January 2012}}In Tiberian Masoretic codices, including the Aleppo Codex and the Leningrad Codex, and often in old Spanish manuscripts as well, the order is Chronicles, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Esther, Daniel, Ezra.{{citation needed|date=January 2012}}

Poetic books

In Masoretic manuscripts (and some printed editions), Psalms, Proverbs and Job are presented in a special two-column form emphasizing the parallel (wikt:stich#English|stichs) in the verses, which are a function of their poetry. Collectively, these three books are known as Sifrei Emet (an acronym of the titles in Hebrew, איוב, משלי, תהלים yields Emet אמ"ת, which is also the Hebrew for "truth").These three books are also the only ones in Tanakh with a special system of cantillation notes that are designed to emphasize parallel stichs within verses. However, the beginning and end of the book of Job are in the normal prose system.

Five scrolls (Hamesh Megillot)

The five relatively short books of the Song of Songs, the Book of Ruth, the Book of Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and the Book of Esther are collectively known as the Hamesh Megillot (Five Megillot). These are the latest books collected and designated as "authoritative" in the Jewish canon, with the latest parts having dates ranging into the 2nd century BCE. These scrolls are traditionally read over the course of the year in many Jewish communities. The list below presents them in the order they are read in the synagogue on holidays, beginning with the Song of Solomon at Passover.

Other books

Besides the three poetic books and the five scrolls, the remaining books in Ketuvim are Daniel, Ezra–Nehemiah and Chronicles. Although there is no formal grouping for these books in the Jewish tradition, they nevertheless share a number of distinguishing characteristics.
  • Their narratives all openly describe relatively late events (i.e. the Babylonian captivity and the subsequent restoration of Zion).
  • The Talmudic tradition ascribes late authorship to all of them.
  • Two of them (Daniel and Ezra) are the only books in Tanakh with significant portions in Aramaic.

Translations

{{Further|Jewish English Bible translations|Septuagint|Targum|Old Testament|Bible translations}}
  • (Jewish Publication Society of America Version|The Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text: A New Translation with the aid of Previous Versions & with the Constant Consultation of Jewish Authorities) was published in 1917 by the Jewish Publication Society. It was replaced by their Tanakh in 1985
  • Tanakh, Jewish Publication Society, 1985, {{ISBN|0-8276-0252-9}}
  • Tanach: The Stone Edition, Hebrew with English translation, Mesorah Publications, 1996, {{ISBN|0-89906-269-5}}, named after benefactor Irving I. Stone.
  • Tanakh Ram, an ongoing translation to Modern Hebrew (2010–) by Avraham Ahuvya (RAM Publishing House Ltd. and Miskal Ltd.)

Jewish commentaries

{{unreferenced section|date=April 2014}}There are two major approaches towards study of, and commentary on, the Tanakh. In the Jewish community, the classical approach is religious study of the Bible, where it is assumed that the Bible is divinely inspired. Another approach is to study the Bible as a human creation. In this approach, Biblical studies can be considered as a sub-field of religious studies. The later practice, when applied to the Torah, is considered heresy by the Orthodox Jewish community. As such, much modern day Bible commentary written by non-Orthodox authors is considered forbidden by rabbis teaching in Orthodox yeshivas. Some classical rabbinic commentators, such as Abraham Ibn Ezra, Gersonides, and Maimonides, used many elements of contemporary biblical criticism, including their knowledge of history, science, and philology. Their use of historical and scientific analysis of the Bible was considered acceptable by historic Judaism due to the author's faith commitment to the idea that God revealed the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai.The Modern Orthodox Jewish community allows for a wider array of biblical criticism to be used for biblical books outside of the Torah, and a few Orthodox commentaries now incorporate many of the techniques previously found in the academic world, e.g. the Da'at Miqra series. Non-Orthodox Jews, including those affiliated with Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism, accept both traditional and secular approaches to Bible studies. "Jewish commentaries on the Bible", discusses Jewish Tanakh commentaries from the Targums to classical rabbinic literature, the midrash literature, the classical medieval commentators, and modern day commentaries.

See also

Further reading

  • BOOK, Walter Brueggemann, Brueggemann, Walter,weblink An introduction to the Old Testament: the canon and Christian imagination, Westminster John Knox Press, 1997, 978-0-664-22412-7,
  • BOOK, Paul, Johnson, Paul Johnson (writer), 1987, A History of the Jews, First, hardback, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 0-297-79091-9,
  • BOOK, James Kugel, Kugel, James L., The Bible as It Was, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, 1997, 0-674-06940-4,
  • Kuntz, John Kenneth. The People of Ancient Israel: an introduction to Old Testament Literature, History, and Thought, Harper and Row, 1974. {{ISBN|0-06-043822-3}}
  • Leiman, Sid. The Canonization of Hebrew Scripture. (Hamden, CT: Archon, 1976).
  • Levenson, Jon. Sinai and Zion: An Entry into the Jewish Bible. (San Francisco: HarperSan Francisco, 1985).
  • WEB, Minkoff, Harvey, Searching for the Better Text,weblink Biblical Archaeology Review (online), 9 June 2011, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120314095848weblink">weblink 14 March 2012,
  • BOOK, Pritchard, James B., James B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East, Volume I, 1973, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 0691035016, An abridgement of Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament
  • Noth, Martin. A History of Pentateuchal Traditions. (1948; trans. by Bernhard Anderson; Atlanta: Scholars, 1981).
  • BOOK, Schniedewind, William M, How the Bible Became a Book,weblink Cambridge, 2004, 9780521536226,
  • Schmid, Konrad. The Old Testament: A Literary History. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012).

References

{{Reflist}}

External links

{{External links|section|date=December 2013}}{{Commons category|Tanakh}}{{Wikisource|Tanakh}}{{wikisourcelang|he|מקרא|Tanakh (Hebrew source)}}
  • A Guide to Reading Nevi'im and Ketuvim – Detailed Hebrew outlines of the biblical books based on the natural flow of the text (rather than the chapter divisions). The outlines include a daily study-cycle, and the explanatory material is in English, by Seth (Avi) Kadish.
  • Unicode/XML Westminster Leningrad Codex – A free transcription of the electronic source maintained by the Westminster Hebrew Institute. (Leningrad Codex)
  • Tanakh Hebrew Bible Project—An online project that aims to present critical text of the Hebrew Bible with important ancient versions (Samaritan Pentateuch, Masoretic Text, Targum Onkelos, Samaritan Targum, Septuagint, Peshitta, Aquila of Sinope, Symmachus, Theodotion, Vetus Latina, and Vulgate) in parallel with new English translation for each version, plus a comprehensive critical apparatus and a textual commentary for every verse.
  • Serve-A-Verse—Free online Hebrew Bible Explorer with audio, translation and transliteration of all 39 books of the Hebrew Bible.
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