1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Getting started with Jewish literature

Discussion in 'Religious Books and Scriptures' started by Riders, Apr 16, 2021.

  1. Riders

    Riders Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    7,241
    Ratings:
    +1,971
    Religion:
    Unitarian Universalism,Pagan,Zen
    I'd like to gets started with the old testament this year to study the Jewish God. Are there other books good books to get to know the Jewish God?
     
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  2. Rival

    Rival Iiu em hotep.
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    20,193
    Ratings:
    +29,022
    Religion:
    Kemetic Pagan
    There's no end to Jewish books.

    I'd say invest in a good translation. That is, one by Jews and not Christians.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Winner Winner x 3
  3. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    33,564
    Ratings:
    +11,788
    Religion:
    Inner Child Healing
    Maybe @Rival may correct me. Here's some info:

    The Nature of G-d

    It's actually a good refreshing read
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    58,961
    Ratings:
    +27,568
    Religion:
    Love
    Related but perhaps not quite what you want, I really liked "Jewish Tales of Mystic Joy" by Yitzhak Buxbaum.

    It's not a book, but this web site has a list of books Jewish Texts Archives | My Jewish Learning
     
  5. Riders

    Riders Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Messages:
    7,241
    Ratings:
    +1,971
    Religion:
    Unitarian Universalism,Pagan,Zen
    Thank you both I will check it out.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    33,564
    Ratings:
    +11,788
    Religion:
    Inner Child Healing
  7. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2019
    Messages:
    6,328
    Ratings:
    +6,537
    Religion:
    Orthodox Judaism
    I second @Rival's suggestion of getting a good Jewish translation, such as Artscroll, perhaps.

    There are a number of good sites for basic info on Judaism, such as:
    https://www.chabad.org/
    My Jewish Learning - Judaism & Jewish Life
    Jewish Virtual Library

    These sites and others offer excellent Jewish perspectives on God and Jewish theology.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  8. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    40,413
    Ratings:
    +14,540
    Religion:
    Judaism
    Please, not Artscrolls!
     
  9. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2019
    Messages:
    6,328
    Ratings:
    +6,537
    Religion:
    Orthodox Judaism
    I'll admit I'm not too knowledgeable about the various English translations. I've heard - and seen myself - that JPS is lacking. What have you got against Artscroll?
     
  10. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    40,413
    Ratings:
    +14,540
    Religion:
    Judaism
    I find it to have an unpleasant bias (so, for example, there rendering of Deut. 26.5 and Lev. 19:33-37).
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. Rival

    Rival Iiu em hotep.
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    20,193
    Ratings:
    +29,022
    Religion:
    Kemetic Pagan
    I also found it skewed a very particular way and I am constantly checking it against other translations.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2019
    Messages:
    6,328
    Ratings:
    +6,537
    Religion:
    Orthodox Judaism
    Which do you guys prefer?
     
  13. Rival

    Rival Iiu em hotep.
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    20,193
    Ratings:
    +29,022
    Religion:
    Kemetic Pagan
    I found Koren Sacks marginally better and enjoyed that it leaves names and places untranslated. It also uses the you/thee distinction, which makes it easier for language buffs like me to figure when Moshe, for example, is speaking to one person or many. They don't seem to have such a biased translation philosophy, but I'm sure a Jewish person would be able to evaluate that much better than me.

    I tend to cross-check all of my commentaries for translation but more often for commentaries. So for me that's Rashi, Nachmanides, Sforno, Hertz, Soncino Chumash (which includes Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Rashbam, Kimchi, Gersonides, Ramban, Sforno) and the Or HaChaim. I'm much more dependant on actual explanations of verses than translations, which I've come to look beyond in a way.

    But usually if something's really bothering me I take it to you :sweatsmile: or RF Jews generally, or Rabbi Google.
     
    #13 Rival, Apr 18, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. Rival

    Rival Iiu em hotep.
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    20,193
    Ratings:
    +29,022
    Religion:
    Kemetic Pagan
    @Harel13

    In the Vayikra passage Jayhawker mentions, AS translates 'proselyte', where Koren has 'stranger'. To me that reflects a certain bias, where the Koren matches other translations.

    In the Devarim passage, AS has 'An Aramean tried to destroy my forefather' where Koren has, 'An Aramean nomad was my father'.

    AS just seems to 'retcon' certain hard passages with theological bias or basically inserted commentary, as @rosends said before.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  15. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Messages:
    6,466
    Ratings:
    +4,268
    Religion:
    Jewish
    I think that AS starts with certain assumptions and beliefs and incorporates certain baseline positions. Onkelos translates it as AS reports and they were long before AS or Koren. Rashi wrotes, "He mentions the loving kindness of the Omnipresent saying, ארמי אבד אבי, a Syrian destroyed my father, which means: “Laban wished to exterminate the whole nation”" The Ibn Ezra disagrees, writing "The meaning of our phrase thus is, a perishing Aramean was my father." I would be surprised if the Koren doesn't do the same in certain places, but without the text handy, I can't tell.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. Rival

    Rival Iiu em hotep.
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    20,193
    Ratings:
    +29,022
    Religion:
    Kemetic Pagan
    I think it does, but I can't pull passages from memory. I'll keep it in mind the next time I'm going through it because it interests me. That's why I said 'marginally' in my comment, because as with all translations it tends to do this.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    40,413
    Ratings:
    +14,540
    Religion:
    Judaism
    I have a mild preference for Robert Alter, but I also like Everette Fox and Richard Elliot Friedman. I’ve found the commentary in Plaut to be exceptional.

    One of my issues with Artscroll and Chabad is their persistent (though, perhaps, understandable) dismissal of relevant scholarship.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  18. Rival

    Rival Iiu em hotep.
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    20,193
    Ratings:
    +29,022
    Religion:
    Kemetic Pagan
    I want to buy his, but £££!
     
  19. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    40,413
    Ratings:
    +14,540
    Religion:
    Judaism
    Yes, but it strikes me as a corrosive bias.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  20. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2004
    Messages:
    40,413
    Ratings:
    +14,540
    Religion:
    Judaism
    Sometimes you get what you pay for. The 5-volume JPS Commentary is useful as well.
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...