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Commentary. Great translation of Gn + gender-neutral NJPS Ex-Dt. On sale until April 17.

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Posted 16 April 2014 - 09:19 PM

Accordance Passover sale has The Torah: A Modern Commentary

Sale price $44.99 reg. $59.99, that's a discount of 25%.

I have it since before (I bought it with the 20% store-wide 20-year-anniversary sale discount).

Why buy a Torah commentary? Well, many sets are missing several books from Gn-Dt, for example:
The current Old Testament Library (OTL) offer $174.95 (elsewhere)
Hermeneia OT $449.99

The English Genesis translation in this volume, can not be found elsewhere. Reviews of it say that it's really good.
Type of commentary: textual (focusing on the underlying Hebrew text), interpretation (attempting to explain the intent of the Torah, how Jewish tradition saw these meanings, and how relevant they are today), and gleanings from world literature that have a bearing on the text (especially ancient Jewish lore and homily called Midrash, and also some writings from Christian and Moslem sources as well as contemporary observations).
(Includes also HAFTAROT: the synagogue (and subsequently the church) established a tradition which provides that on each Sabbath and festival, a special portion is read from the Bible. At Jewish services, not only is a section from the Torah publicly read, but also an additional selection called kaftarah (meaning “conclusion,” originally signifying dismissal of the congregation; plural, haftarot). Also from the Prophets.)


Has both non-transliterated and transliterated (usually the latter) Hebrew.

Notice that this volume has very many pages, so as printed matter it has thin pages.

The usual appendixes.
Correlation of Variant Verses Numbering in the Torah.
Scripture index.
Topic index.


Honest, up-front, easy to jump into it anywhere if You read a few pages. A lot about how to live, citations of writings, Tanakh references.
Denomination: Reform Judaism.

My rating: 4½ stars. (Not 5 stars because it doesn't make use of the New Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, New Interpreter's Bible and Revised English Bible, instead it does use the older Editions/versions.) Despite that, this commentary volume is thoroughly revised, and the English Gn version is new. (The English Ex-Dt version is also new but can be found elsewhere.)



Passover in the Christian Tradition
Christians have developed Passover into the Easter celebration. Indeed, most Western languages still call this occasion by its Hebrew derivation: Pascua, Paask, Paques, etc. (English is among the few referring to it as “Easter.”)
The Christians’ New Testament sets the end of Jesus’ life into the time of a Passover observance in Jerusalem. He comes to the city to celebrate the festival and his execution is said to have taken place on the holy day itself. His last supper was possibly a Seder observance, which is perpetuated in the appurtenances of the communion ceremony, with its wine and matzah-like wafer.7
This connection suggests itself from passages in Matthew 26:17—30: the meal was held at night and inside the gates of Jerusalem as required for a Passover repast by Jewish tradition; wine was served; the psalms of praise (Hallel) were said; and the event was enlivened by interpretation [39]. There are, however, other aspects that do not fit the Seder: in John 18:26 and 19:14 the judgment took place on the eve of Passover, which would disqualify the earlier meal as a Passover Seder. Also, bitter herbs are not mentioned and neither is the eating of a lamb; the former omission may be without significance, but the latter is more difficult to comprehend, particularly in view of the important symbolic value accorded to the lamb by Christian tradition. For, according to John 1:29, Jesus, by dying on Passover, was the lamb “who takes away the sin of the world.” The Latin Church Fathers identified the “lamb” as the paschal offering, although in Jewish tradition the sacrifice was not connected with sin (which suggests that the reference to the lamb was based on Isaiah 53:7–12, where the suffering servant of the Eternal is described as bearing the guilt of the many) [40].
Scholars are divided over the question whether the record suggests that Jesus saw himself as the Passover lamb, but later Christian interpretation so viewed him; and, even as in Judaism leaven must be removed from the house at this season, so is this the time for a Christian to remove the “old leaven” from one’s life, namely, the habituation to evil: “Have you never heard the saying, A little leaven leavens all the dough’? The old leaven of corruption is working among you. Purge it out and then you will be bread of a new baking… So we who observe the festival must not eat the old leaven, the leaven of corruption and wickedness, but only the unleavened bread which is sincerity and truth” (I Corinthians 5:6–8).
The most obvious continuing link between the Christian Passover-Easter and its Jewish source is its dating. Unlike most Christian festivals it is regulated in part by the revolution of the moon, as are and were all Jewish holy days. The 15th of Nisan, which is the first day of Pesach, coincides with the moon’s fullness; Easter was finally fixed on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. This arrangement offered a compromise between those Christians who wanted to preserve the link with Judaism and those who did not [41].

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