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Old 03-14-2014, 08:42 PM
 
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I am not Jewish. I do not speak Hebrew. I cannot read or write Hebrew at all. But I feel that this book, despite written for everyone, has a distinctly Christian bias. It occasionally pops in a few comments about how so-and-so from the "Old Testament" is related to so-and-so from the "New Testament". Heck, I don't even know if the Fall is a Christian belief or a Jewish belief. The book is not clear about that, and merely states that's what Genesis means. And I'm like, "OK... so there is the Fall... and we are separated from God. Right." OK, maybe there is the Jewish-Christian relationship, and it is commonly acknowledged that Jesus was Jewish. Still, this makes me somewhat skeptical, which leads me to ask this question on this subforum: Does anybody know a Jewish interpretation to the Bible? When I say "Bible", I mean the scriptures that Jews would deem acceptable. The book's written by an all-Christian crowd of professors, historians, pastors, and priests, published through a well-known secular publisher. I wonder if there's a Jewish equivalent.
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:03 AM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
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Look for the Babylonian Talmud in English.
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruzhany View Post
Look for the Babylonian Talmud in English.
How is that different from the Midrashim?
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:09 PM
 
Location: US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruzhany View Post
Look for the Babylonian Talmud in English.
How different is that from the Jerusalem Talmud?...
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Old 03-15-2014, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Lake Worth, FL
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They are totally different in that they were written by different people (Jewish population in Babylon vs Jewish population in Palestine).

Jews in Babylon were more organized and developed than their counterparts in Palestine.
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
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Talmud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jerusalem Talmud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tikva View Post

Jews in Babylon were more organized and developed than their counterparts in Palestine.
And a few hundred years apart.
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Old 03-16-2014, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Long Island
1,713 posts, read 1,385,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDweller View Post
I am not Jewish. I do not speak Hebrew. I cannot read or write Hebrew at all. But I feel that this book, despite written for everyone, has a distinctly Christian bias. It occasionally pops in a few comments about how so-and-so from the "Old Testament" is related to so-and-so from the "New Testament". Heck, I don't even know if the Fall is a Christian belief or a Jewish belief. The book is not clear about that, and merely states that's what Genesis means. And I'm like, "OK... so there is the Fall... and we are separated from God. Right." OK, maybe there is the Jewish-Christian relationship, and it is commonly acknowledged that Jesus was Jewish. Still, this makes me somewhat skeptical, which leads me to ask this question on this subforum: Does anybody know a Jewish interpretation to the Bible? When I say "Bible", I mean the scriptures that Jews would deem acceptable. The book's written by an all-Christian crowd of professors, historians, pastors, and priests, published through a well-known secular publisher. I wonder if there's a Jewish equivalent.
The fact that it calls it the "Old Testament" tells you right of the bat that it has a Christian bias.
Our canon is the Tanakh, and the Books of Moses is the Torah; it describes God's covenant with the Jewish people and is everlasting. It is never "old" and has never been replaced.

As for good translations of our Bible, we've discussed it recently here and here.
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Old 10-31-2014, 11:17 AM
 
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The history of Judaism is nothing BUT interpretation over several thousand years. Judaism has never emphasized "dogma" or "doctrine".

In the Torah, God is portrayed at Mt. Sinai as commanding the Jews, recently brought out from slavery in Egypt, to be (HEBREW: "Am Kadosh V'-Goy Kadosh")--- "a holy people and a holy nation". This dramatic episode represents the creation of a CIVILIZATION.

The CORE of the Torah is its "Mitzvot", which could be translated as "Commands to Action" (DO this; DO NOT DO that).
Formal ritual and formal religion are an important part of Judaism as delineated in the Torah, but only a PART. The major emphasis in the Torah is on ACTION WITH JUSTICE, across every sphere of life, far beyond prescriptions of formal occasions of religious observance.

Yes, Judaism commands belief in God. But this is a very small part of Judaism. The major emphasis in Judaism is on raising standards of BEHAVIOR. By far the emphasis in Judaism is on improving THIS world, here and now, in THIS life. There is NO MENTION in the Torah of an "afterlife". In Judaism, mere "belief" without right action is meaningless. On the contrary, "belief" in Judaism MEANS obeying God's commandments to choose RIGHT ACTION; otherwise, "belief" would exist in a vacuum without any meaning.

The ocean of Rabbinic interpretation over millenia subsequent to the Torah since 200 BCE (Mishnah, Gemara [Talmud], and innumerable Rabbinic commentaries) can be usefully analogized with the structure and development of the United States Supreme Court.

The Torah is the Constitution of Judaism. The subsequent vast body of Rabbinic interpretation is similar to the accumulated body of legal precedent of the U.S. Supreme Court. In both cases, the body of legal precedent (case law) allows the current Justices or Rabbis to interpret Constitutional provisions in a CURRENT context. Since any society is always changing in unprecedented ways, this flexible arrangement allows both the Constitution and the Torah to set PRINCIPLES, while leaving flexibility of interpretation to meet the context of changing circumstances.

This fundamental guiding principle is the origin of the homely (and deceptively simple) Yiddish saying, "Two Jews, three opinions." Judaism WANTS us to ask constructive questions. THAT is the core of "Torah study", which is for every Jew, NOT just for Rabbis.

The notion of "original sin" simply does not exist in Judaism. The Rabbis in the Talmud say that each person is born with a
"Yetzer Tov V'-Yetzer Ra" (usually translated as "an inclination for good and an inclination for evil"). In modern terms, we would say that each person has FREE WILL to CHOOSE to act for good or for evil. There is no such thing in Judaism as INHERENT evil, which is the meaning of "original sin."

Since the Hebrew word "Yetzer" in various grammatical permutations means "make", "fashion" or "create", and also "artist", I think it makes sense to say that the Talmudic concept quoted above could be translated to mean that each person is born with a "creative potential for good and a creative potential for evil". No human being is INHERENTLY evil. We are FREE to MAKE CHOICES.

Last edited by DonCarlodiCalatrava; 10-31-2014 at 11:24 AM.. Reason: clarification
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
939 posts, read 1,260,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonCarlodiCalatrava View Post
The ocean of Rabbinic interpretation over millenia subsequent to the Torah since 200 BCE (Mishnah, Gemara [Talmud], and innumerable Rabbinic commentaries) can be usefully analogized with the structure and development of the United States Supreme Court.

The Torah is the Constitution of Judaism. The subsequent vast body of Rabbinic interpretation is similar to the accumulated body of legal precedent of the U.S. Supreme Court. In both cases, the body of legal precedent (case law) allows the current Justices or Rabbis to interpret Constitutional provisions in a CURRENT context. Since any society is always changing in unprecedented ways, this flexible arrangement allows both the Constitution and the Torah to set PRINCIPLES, while leaving flexibility of interpretation to meet the context of changing circumstances.
Very good analogy, but the analogy only works in Conservative Judaism. In Orthodox Judaism, it fails because there is no Sanhedrin. The analogy would work if the U.S. Supreme Court was not allowed to overturn previous decisions, and if it was impossible to amend the U.S. Constitution. In Orthodox Judaism, you can only add more laws and prohibitions, not subtract them.
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