The Making of the Modern Jewish Bible explains how Jewish translators, commentators, and scholars made the Bible a keystone of Jewish life in Germany, Israel and America. In each site, a particular need-religion, nationalism, ethnicity-drove the enterprise of Bible study as scholars wrestled with the demands of the non-Jewish environment and their own indigenous traditions. Contrary to popular conceptions, the author argues that the modern period has been the golden age of Jewish Bible study.
Alan T. Levenson is the Schusterman/Josey Professor of Jewish Intellectual and Religious History at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of several books, including Modern Jewish Thinkers: An Introduction, The Story of Joseph: A Journey of Jewish Interpretation, and Between Philosemitism and Antisemitism. Defenses of Jews & Judaism in Germany, 1871-1932.
Introduction Chapter 1: Spinoza As Jewish Bible Critic Part I. The Emergence of Modern Jewish Bible Studies in Germany Introduction: Starting with Germany Chapter 2: Mendelssohn's Bible: The Ideal of Jewish Self-Sufficiency Chapter 3: Samson Raphael Hirsch: The Chimera of Self-Explanatory Scripture Chapter 4: Benno Jacob and the Call for a "Jewish" Bible Scholarship Chapter 5: The Martin Buber-Franz Rosenzweig Bible: Culture or Religion? Part II. Zionism and the Creation of a National Bible Introduction: The Bible in Modern Israel Chapter 6: Early Zionism and the Bible: Ahad Haam and His Opponents Chapter 7: The Bible As National Linchpin: David Ben Gurion and His Opponents Chapter 8: Nehama Leibowitz's Bible: Returning Tradition to the Text Part III. The Flowering of Jewish Bible Studies in North America Introduction: America and the Jewish Bible Chapter 9: Finding A Jewish Voice: Nahum Sarna & Robert Alter Chapter 10: Seeking An American Jewish Bible Conclusion: Is There A "Jewish School" of Modern Bible Study? Notes Selective Bibliography Index About the Author