SUGGESTION: Traditions of the Bible: A Guide to the Bible as it was at the Start of the Common Era

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Feb 5 2020 1:48 AM
Traditions of the Bible: A Guide to the Bible as it was at the Start of the Common Era by James L. Kugel

This volume does a very good job of drawing the parallels between the stories of the Hebrew Bible, the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha, Philo, Dead Sea Scrolls ... i.e. this is an essential volume for Logos.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 5 2020 11:16 AM

Very nice addition to Logos, and maybe cheaper too!  The Amazon Look-Inside is amazing.

I was unimpressed (joking) until I saw he covered Phinehas. Now, would that be Samaritan? Ha.

The author sure would be nice in Logos (jewish perspective). Granted, not monolithic, but death was interesting. Also his debate with the reluctant jewish student.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 5 2020 5:51 PM

There's a "joke" that Kugel is the professor you picked if you wanted to lose your religion. He tends to be of the opinion that scholarship has debunked the Bible as "believable". But, he insists, good Jews should remain good Jews and practice Judaism because "tradition".

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 5 2020 6:17 PM

David Paul:

There's a "joke" that Kugel is the professor you picked if you wanted to lose your religion. He tends to be of the opinion that scholarship has debunked the Bible as "believable". But, he insists, good Jews should remain good Jews and practice Judaism because "tradition".

I assume there's more to the anonymous 'there's a joke' ... this isn't your usual careful style 

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 5 2020 6:20 PM

David Paul:
There's a "joke" that Kugel is the professor you picked if you wanted to lose your religion

My faith is sufficiently strong and well-reasoned that I do not care about the personal stance of any author. I care about the quality of their work.  Do you have any alternative resources with as broad a range of parallel passages/stories?

PS. I have added a request for Howard Schwartz, the only potential competition that came to my mind.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 5 2020 7:14 PM

David Paul via Denise:
There's a "joke" that Kugel is the professor you picked if you wanted to lose your religion

I think he is referring to articles such as this https://momentmag.com/james-kugel-professor-disbelief/ think Mt 7:24-27 or Lk 6:46-49 for the Christian take.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Feb 5 2020 7:34 PM

Yes

Thanks, MJ!

Thanks to FL for including Carta and a Hebrew audio bible in Logos 9!

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Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 6 2020 8:33 AM

I've been requesting Kugel books for a while.

https://community.logos.com/forums/t/87900.aspx 

Six years on, and none of these are in Logos in spite of interest and demand.

¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 7 2020 1:46 AM

MJ. Smith:

David Paul:
There's a "joke" that Kugel is the professor you picked if you wanted to lose your religion

My faith is sufficiently strong and well-reasoned that I do not care about the personal stance of any author. I care about the quality of their work.  Do you have any alternative resources with as broad a range of parallel passages/stories?

PS. I have added a request for Howard Schwartz, the only potential competition that came to my mind.

Firstly, yes...MJ is correct; that Moment article, plus I have seen lectures he's given in Israel (he teaches @ BIU) where he basically says (in sum) "I'm a scholar but I still practice Judaism because I think the tradition is important." To be clear, I didn't say what I said about Kugel to be dismissive of him. I said it because it describes (from a variety of perspectives) what his positional influence is perceived to be. I just figured people might want to know. I have advocated for his books in Logos for years and own some dead tree copies.

I have said on a few occasions in the forum that about 99% of what I have in my moderately large Logos library is stuff with which I broadly disagree. I read extensively, but I rarely read anything that promulgates my understanding of the Bible. Unlike politically-minded folks, I don't seek to confirm my presently held beliefs in what I read. If anything, my primary purpose when reading is to find any reason to reject what I have determined to be a proper perspective.

Regarding Howard Schwartz, I have no interest in his oeuvre, but have no problem with his stuff being added to Logos.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 7 2020 2:34 AM

The portion of Kugel that piques my curiosity differs - I have no trouble with the academic study of scripture dead on a page not matching the living hearing of the scripture - it certainly is a dichotomy in Christianity. However, the border at which writings become scripture with orthodox interpretations and approach fascinates me. So in the article what caught my attention was:

In them he argues that much of what is considered the Bible today is based on interpretations developed between 200 BCE and 100 CE. These interpretations came primarily from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha—or as Kugel calls them in Hebrew, sefarim achi kitzonim, the Outside Books—texts preserved by the Christian tradition and not considered part of the Jewish canon, such as the Book of Jubilees, the Book of Judith and the Book of Enoch.

“Even more importantly, Kugel demonstrates that those early interpreters are the real authors of the Bible as it came to function in Judaism and Christianity,” says Benjamin Sommer, a Hebrew Bible professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Which naturally makes me want a list of supporting materials from Denise.

David Paul:
Regarding Howard Schwartz, I have no interest in his oeuvre,

I would have been a bit surprised if you did, but I assume you have no better alternative?

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 7 2020 3:10 AM

I'm not exactly sure (even though I reread the thread) what you are looking for in terms of "a better alternative"...that is, alternative to what? Or put otherwise, what are you seeking, exactly?

I can say that as far as my estimate of my own awareness goes, I'm not much of an expert on non-canonical (i.e. beyond the 66) books. [I realize you accept the Apocryphal books as canon.] I've read quite a few, but haven't gotten to some I really should. Its more a function of not finding/making time as opposed to not having interest. I find that prophetically, the 66 have extraordinary "beauty" (i.e. internal consistency). There are snippets of the extra-66 books that occasionally seem to mesh, but there are usually also bits that are "troublesome" and questionable, so my willingness to accept any of them as whole cloth is restrained. The exceptions to that general view are 1&2 Maccabees. They provide details that tend to mesh pretty well with the prophetic paradigm of the 66.

Since my hermeneutic is prophecy driven, I take a far less "historical" view of the Bible than most folks. I think nearly all talk about "what shaped the thoughts of the Hebrews/Israelites/Jews in determining what ended up in the Bible" is essentially absurd. I am convinced the Bible says what it says because YHWH wanted it to say what it says. That, and that alone, can account for the prophetic synchrony that exists throughout the Book. I'm not suggesting that YHWH can't use history, because He obviously does, but I pretty much reject talk about "progressive awareness" in the sense that as Hebrews "developed", their religion "developed" as well. That scenario could never account for prophecy as it exists. That is essentially a view of Bible by happenstance.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 7 2020 1:30 PM

I simply meant an alternative to Kugel that covered the same ground, since you felt it was necessary to warn against Kugel.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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