July 06, 2005


I found one of my books at the used bookstore. Also picked up new (but cheap economical) copies of the Bible and the Qur'an, as I will need those for one of my classes.

I already have a copy of the Bible, but this one is on normal (not flimsy see-through) paper that I can highlight and mark up 'til my heart's content. Same for the Qur'an. Hopefully that's not desecration. If it is, and someone gets offended, they can suck it I apologize for my cultural ignorance and insensitivity.

I have to look into whether I really need a copy of the Torah. Isn't it the Old Testament? The Five Books of Moses? Although I reckon it's not the King James version...yeah, I probably need that, too.

Posted by Jennifer at July 6, 2005 01:51 PM | TrackBack

From what I can recall of the theology classes I've had, the Torah is made up of sections of the old testament, but I have no idea how similar the wording is. What with the absence of vowels and the reading right to left that goes on in that crazy Hebrew. Or whatever.

Posted by: shank at July 6, 2005 02:01 PM

The Qur'an opens the wrong way, and that's going to be annoying. I can tell. 30 years of opening books one way...can't just switch sides all of a sudden.

Posted by: Jennifer at July 6, 2005 02:03 PM

Technically speaking, the Torah is just the first five books, also referred to as the Pentateuch, but an online dictionary I used to confirm this also used "the entire body of religious law and learning including both sacred literature and oral tradition" as a tertiary definition. I say stick with the first definition.

The Hebrew scriptures (be advised that this is the PC way to refer to the Christian OT now in academic circles) are also referred to as the Tanakh. "Tanakh" is a Hebrew acronym (TNK) for the Torah (the Law), the Nevi'im (the Prophets) and the Ketuvim (the Writings).

The Torah consists of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The books of Nevi'im are Joshua, Judges, I & II Samuel, I & II Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. The Ketuvim are Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, and I & II Chronicles.

All of that means diddly to most non-Jewish folks, except that recently there has developed a school of biblical scholarship called "canonical criticism" that considers, evaluates and interprets these writings in relation to how they are assembled in the canon of scripture. You'll note that the books in the Tanakh are not in the same order as they are in a Christian OT. All that to say, you may want to be sure whether the instructor wants you to have a Tanakh or if a Christian OT will do.

The King James version (KJV) is one of MANY different English translations, and it is deemed to be translated from less authoritative manuscripts, i.e., later than others we have that differ somewhat -- older is deemed better ipso facto. If you want a recommendation, ask.

Also, you can find electronic copies if you want to use those. Again, ask if you're interested in where.

I'm curious in what type of class you're taking. Is it a comparative religions class?

Posted by: Rev. Mike at July 6, 2005 03:13 PM

The class is called "Judaism, Christianity, and Islam"...it's the 001 class for Religious Studies. It would fulfill my "Historical Perspectives" general education requirement, if I needed to fulfill that g.e. requirement. I don't, so it is purely an elective.

Posted by: Jennifer at July 6, 2005 03:29 PM

Cool! What degree program are you in? (Somehow I managed to miss that if you posted it earlier.)

Posted by: Rev. Mike at July 6, 2005 08:01 PM

I think the wording will be different... the small diferences being the things too watch out for...

Posted by: LarryConley at July 7, 2005 05:45 PM

Get yourself a copy of the Jewish Study Bible, (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0195297512/qid=1120856555/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_ur_1/102-3213694-9954527?v=glance&s=books&n=507846). I used it for the Old Testament portion of a Christian bible study last year, and its scholarly notes give a great deal of insight into the original Hebrew. I found it much more helpful than any Christian bible translations to understand the history and text.

Posted by: JohnL at July 8, 2005 04:05 PM