Jew­ish Text

The Jew­ish Anno­tat­ed New Tes­ta­ment: New Revised Stan­dard Version

Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Bret­tler, eds.
  • Review
By – October 3, 2012

The New Tes­ta­ment is not usu­al­ly found on Jew­ish book­shelves. As a state­ment of reli­gious belief that may be under­stand­able. How­ev­er for those inter­est­ed in the his­tor­i­cal under­pin­nings and events sur­round­ing the part­ing of the ways,” these doc­u­ments are quite sig­nif­i­cant. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, for too long the New Tes­ta­ment has been a doc­tri­nal text and source of litur­gy for the Church. Now for the first time, in a work that far exceeds The Inter­preters’ Bible we are pre­sent­ed with an anno­tat­ed text writ­ten by a group of world class Jew­ish aca­d­e­mics who spe­cial­ize in this peri­od of Jew­ish his­to­ry. It is, if you will, a Rashi-like com­men­tary, line by line to the text. Shorn of reli­gious over­tones, the com­men­tary sets the milieu and his­tor­i­cal back­ground, and gives the read­er an under­stand­ing of what is tak­ing place. Where there are con­tra­dic­tions they are point­ed out, where prob­lem­at­ic texts occur they are indi­cat­ed, and there are no apologetics. 

Almost as impor­tant as the line by line com­men­tary by these eru­dite and promi­nent schol­ars are the maps, charts, side­bar essays, dia­grams, tables, glos­sary, and index. In addi­tion, there are thir­ty bril­liant essays; top­ics include Jew­ish Fam­i­ly Life in the First Cen­tu­ry CE, Divine Beings, After­life and Res­ur­rec­tion, Paul and Judaism, Mes­sian­ic Move­ments, Jew­ish Mir­a­cle Work­ers in the Late Sec­ond Tem­ple Peri­od, and Jesus in Rab­binic Tra­di­tion. Fifty schol­ars con­tributed to this vol­ume so that the New Tes­ta­ment can be read and under­stood from a Jew­ish perspective.

Wal­lace Greene, Ph.D., has held sev­er­al uni­ver­si­ty appoint­ments, and cur­rent­ly writes and lec­tures on Jew­ish and his­tor­i­cal subjects.

Discussion Questions