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A Theological and Critical Introduction to the Jewish Bible

By Marvin A. Sweeney

Publication Year: 2011

Though "biblical theology" has long been considered a strictly Christian enterprise, Marvin A. Sweeney here proposes a Jewish theology of the Hebrew Bible, based on the importance of Tanak as the foundation of Judaism and organized around the major components: Torah, Nevi'im (Prophets), and Kethuvim (Writings). Sweeney finds the structuring themes of Jewish life: the constitution of the nation Israel in relation to God; the disruption of that ideal, documented by the Prophets; and the reconstitution of the nation around the Second Temple in the Writings. Throughout he is attentive to tensions within and among the texts and the dialogical character of Israel's sacred heritage.

Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-x

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pp. xi-xii

This volume is the product of a lifetime of study of the Tanak and Jewish tradition from the time of my childhood education, Bar Mitzvah, and Confirmation in Judaism at Temple B’nai Abraham, Decatur, Illinois (1958–71); my undergraduate education in Religious Studies and Political Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1971–75); ...


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pp. xiii-xiv

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Part I: Introduction

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pp. 1-42

The Tanak, or the Jewish Bible, stands as the quintessential foundation for Jewish life, identity, practice, and thought from antiquity through contemporary times. The five books of the Torah, or the Instruction of G-d to the Jewish people and the world at large, constitute the foundation of the Tanak. ...

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Part II: The Torah

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pp. 43-168

The Torah, also known as the Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses, constitutes the foundational work of both the Tanak in particular and all forms of Judaism in general. Indeed, the Hebrew term tôrâ means “instruction,” insofar as it is a noun derived from the hiphil form of the Hebrew verb root yrh, which means “to guide, instruct,” ...

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Part III A: The Former Prophets

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pp. 169-262

The Former Prophets (Hebrew, nĕbî’îm ri’šônîm), which includes the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings, constitutes the first major portion of the Prophets in the Tanak.1 Altogether, these books differ from the type of classical prophetic book found in the Latter Prophets. ...

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Part III B: The Latter Prophets

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pp. 263-368

The collection of books known as the Latter Prophets (Hebrew, nĕbî’îm ’aḥrônîm) of the Bible includes the prophetic books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve Prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi). Each book presents a combination of oracular and narrative material that ...

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Part IV: The Ketuvim/Writings

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pp. 369-484

The Writings (Hebrew, kĕtûbîm) of the Bible include the books of Psalms, Proverbs, Job, the Five Megillot (Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Qoheleth, Esther), Daniel, Ezra–Nehemiah, and Chronicles.1 Unlike the Torah, Former Prophets, and Latter Prophets, the Writings is a variegated collection of material including hymnic, wisdom, apocalyptic, and historical narrative, ...

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Part V: Conclusion

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pp. 485-490

First, this study contends that biblical theology is a valid means for Jews to employ in an effort to interpret the Tanak. Although biblical theology originated in Christianity and continues to function as a means by which Christians interpret the Old and New Testaments, a Jewish biblical theology provides Judaism with a means to engage the Tanak, ...


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pp. 491-512

Index of Authors Cited in the Text

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pp. 513-520

Index of Subjects

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pp. 521-544

E-ISBN-13: 9781451414356
E-ISBN-10: 1451414358
Print-ISBN-13: 9780800637439
Print-ISBN-10: 0800637437

Page Count: 464
Publication Year: 2011

OCLC Number: 824698902
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Tanak

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Bible. -- Old Testament -- Theology.
  • Bible. -- Old Testament -- Criticism, interpretation, etc.
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