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The Blackwell Reader in Judaism (Blackwell Readers)


The Blackwell Reader in Judaism (Blackwell Readers) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Blackwell Reader in Judaism introduces Judaism in its own words, affording readers a direct encounter with this ancient and enduring faith.

The volume includes passages from Scripture, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Rabbinic writings, medieval and modern Jewish philosophy and theology, and statements of modern movements in Judaism, all with editorial comment and guidance. The selection covers the historical development of Judaism and its doctrines, as well as representing contemporary debates.

The readings have been selected according to three guiding principles:

  • To stimulate thought and reflection and so to help readers or students draw inferences about a particular theme or problem.

  • To illustrate the essays in the accompanying Blackwell Companion to Judaism so that the expositions there are substantiated in real Judaic texts.

  • To exemplify an important trait in Judaism.

The 27 topics treated in the associated Companion expound the topics of Judaism, and the corresponding selections in this Reader illustrate important points with primary sources, in English, to complement the exposition. In this way, the editors talk about Judaism and let Judaism speak for itself. They present introductions for any reader interested in the subject, and do not take partisan or sectarian positions.


The Blackwell Reader in Judaism introduces Judaism in its own words, affording readers a direct encounter with this ancient and enduring faith.

About the Author

Jacob Neusner is Research Professor of Religion and Theology at Bard College. He has nine honorary degrees, fourteen academic medals and has published more than 800 books.

Alan J. Avery-Peck is Kraft-Hiatt Professor in Judaic Studies at The College of the Holy Cross. His has published widely and is editor of the journal The Annual of Rabbinic Judaism: Ancient, Medieval and Modern.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors.



Part I: The History of Judaism:.

1. Defining Judaism: Jacob Neusner.

"Judaism: The Religion, Philosophy, and Way of Life of the Jews": Louis Jacobs.

"Old Habits Die Hard: Judaism in the Encyclopaedia of Religion": William Scott Green.

2. The Religious World of Ancient Israel to 586: Marvin A. Sweeney.

Genesis 15:1-21.

Exodus 13:1-16.

Exodus 15:1-21.

Exodus 20:1-14.

Deuteronomy 15:1-18.

Deuteronomy 16:1-17.

2 Samuel 6:1-19.

2 Samuel 7:1-16.

Isaiah 11:1-16.

Jeremiah 7:1-20.

Psalm 19.

Psalm 132.

3. Judaism and the Hebrew Scriptures: Philip R. Davies.

The Habakkuk Pesher from Qumran (1QpHab), cols. 7-9.

Josephus, Antiquities I:13 (222-236).

Philo, On the Migration of Abraham 1-5 (1-25).

Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Genesis 4.

4. Second Temple Judaism: Frederick J. Murphy.

Ezra and Nehemiah.

Haggai and Zechariah.


1 Maccabees.

2 Maccabees.

The Psalms of Solomon.


4 Ezra.

5. The Formation of Rabbinic Judaism, 70-640 C.E:Günter Stemberger.

B. Git. 56a-b: Yohanan ben Zakkai's Escape from Jerusalem.

M. Abot 1:1-18: The Chain of Tradition.

Y. Peah 2:6, 17a: Written and Oral Torah.

Y. Sanhedrin 1:2, 19a: The Ordination of Rabbis.

Y. Yebamot 12:6, 13a: Rabbis in the Service of the Community.

Leviticus Rabbah 13:5: The Four Kingdoms.

B. Baba Qamma 83b-84b: Biblical Foundation of the Mishnah.

6. The Canon of Rabbinic Judaism: The Mishnah and the Midrash: Jacob Neusner.

The Mishnah.

Martin Jaffee, How the Mishnah Makes a Theological Statement: Mishnah Ma'aserot Chapter One.

The Midrash: Genesis Rabbah: The Rules of History Set Forth by Revelation.

7. Judaism and Christianity in the Formative

Product Details

Neusner, Jacob
Avery-Peck, Alan J.
Neusner, Jacob
Avery-Peck, Alan
Neusner, Jacob
Avery-Peck, Alan
John Wiley & Sons
Judaism - General
Rabbinical literature
Wiley Blackwell Readings in Religion
Publication Date:
February 2001
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
254.7 x 181 x 39.4 mm 34 oz
Age Level:
Bruce Chilton.<p>Matthew 12.<p>Thomas (sayings 79-

Related Subjects

Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Judaism » General

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