The Bible’s Cut­ting Room Floor

  • Review
By – May 22, 2014

Even a sur­face read­ing of Tanach and Tal­mud tells the read­er that there are oth­er lit­er­ary works to which the writ­ers had access, which are not present in our Bible. Some of these works have been pre­served in full; oth­ers in trans­la­tion only; oth­ers only par­tial­ly pre­served. Yet each has had a pro­found influ­ence on the Hebrew Bible, on our under­stand­ing of ancient Israelite his­to­ry, and even on the Judaism we prac­tice. Dr. Hoff­man orga­nizes a range of these out­side” works, show­ing how each can deep­en our under­stand­ing of the books that made the cut” and appear in the Jew­ish Bible. In this vol­ume, he is par­tic­u­lar­ly adept as a sto­ry­teller, com­mu­ni­cat­ing dra­mas such as the life of Jose­phus and the dis­cov­ery and pub­li­ca­tion of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Bible’s Cut­ting Room Floor is a handy guide to much of the lit­er­a­ture that helps frame and con­tex­tu­al­ize our Tanach. Appendix.

Relat­ed content:


Read Rab­bi Lawrence A. Hoff­man’s inter­view with Joel Hoff­man here.

Rab­bi Arnold D. Sam­lan is a Jew­ish edu­ca­tor and rab­bi liv­ing in Mia­mi, Flori­da. He serves as exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Orloff Cen­tral Agency for Jew­ish Edu­ca­tion of Broward County.

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