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The Jews and the Bible

The Jews and the Bible

Hardback Stanford Studies in Jewish History and C

By (author) Jean-Christophe Attias

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  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 248 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 229mm x 20mm | 476g
  • Publication date: 26 November 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Palo Alto
  • ISBN 10: 080478907X
  • ISBN 13: 9780804789073

Product description

Despite its deceptively simple title, this book ponders the thorny issue of the place of the Bible in Jewish religion and culture. By thoroughly examining the complex link that the Jews have formed with the Bible, Jewish scholar Jean-Christopher Attias raises the uncomfortable question of whether it is still relevant for them. Jews and the Bible reveals how the Jews define themselves in various times and places with the Bible, without the Bible, and against the Bible. Is it divine revelation or national myth? Literature or legislative code? One book or a disparate library? Text or object? For the Jews, over the past two thousand years or more, the Bible has been all that and much more. In fact, Attias argues that the Bible is nothing in and of itself. Like the Koran, the Bible has never been anything other than what its readers make of it. But what they've made of it tells a fascinating story and raises provocative philosophical and ethical questions. The Bible is indeed an elusive book, and so Attias explores the fundamental discrepancy between what we think the Bible tells us about Judaism and what Judaism actually tells us about the Bible. With passion and intellect, Attias informs and enlightens the reader, never shying away from the difficult questions, ultimately asking: In our post-genocide and post-Zionist culture, can the Bible be saved?

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Author information

Jean-Christophe Attias is Professor of Medieval Jewish Thought at the Ecole pratique des hautes etudes, Sorbonne, Paris. His previous publications in English (co-written with Esther Benbassa) are: "Israel, the Impossible Land" (Stanford University Press, 2003); "The Jews and Their Future: A Conversation on Jewish Identities" (Zed Books, 2004); and "The Jew and the Other" (Cornell University Press, 2004).

Review quote

"Professor Attias, a significant French intellectual and scholar of medieval Judaism, has written the first book that explores broadly the place of the Bible in Jewish culture throughout the ages. Engagingly written, this is an important initial foray into this broad and significant topic that raises important questions concerning the place of the Bible within contemporary Jewish culture."--Marc Brettler, Brandeis University