Outside the Bible, 3-Volume Set: Ancient Jewish Writings Related to Scripture

Jewish Publication Society  2014


Outside the Bible is probably the most am­bitious project undertaken by The Jewish Publication Society in many years. It aims to present an accessible edition of virtually every surviving work written by Jews after the Bible and before the Talmudic period. It is defined as a collection of Jewish writings related to Scripture—a definition that aims to reclaim books from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigra­pha, the Qumran scrolls and the writings of Philo and Josephus as part of Jewish tradition. Although not all of these works are clearly related to the Bible, they are traditionally associated with it and are studied together with it in academic settings. The editors, all highly accomplished scholars and practicing Jews, gathered contributions from a long list of experts including the acknowledged experts in their respective fields alongside younger researchers in an attempt to present the cutting edge of current scholarship to a lay audience. Every composition received its own chapter, with major works like the Septuagint or Jewish Antiquities by Josephus covering several chapters, each devoted to a different section. Each chapter comprises an introduc­tion followed by a text translated into English with interpretive footnotes and references in endnotes. Some of the texts are presented in their full extent while others are excerpts; some of the translations are new while others are adapted from existing translations. The book is massive, with three volumes and more than three thousand pages. An e-book version is also available, but unfortunately the complex layout of the footnotes and endnotes was not reproduced clearly in this version. Rarely does a single title provide access to an entire literature so comprehensively and comprehendably. Index.

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