Judaism

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Karen Armstrong's Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.

In the late twentieth century, fundamentalism has emerged as one of the most powerful forces at work in the world, contesting the dominance of modern secular values and threatening peace and harmony around the globe. Yet it remains incomprehensible to a large number of people. In The Battle for God, Karen Armstrong brilliantly and sympathetically shows us how and why fundamentalist groups came into existence and what they yearn to accomplish.

We see the West in the sixteenth century beginning to create an entirely new kind of civilization, which brought in its wake change in every aspect of life -- often painful and violent, even if liberating. Armstrong argues that one of the things that changed most was religion. People could no longer think about or experience the divine in the same way; they had to develop new forms of faith to fit their new circumstances.

Armstrong characterizes fundamentalism as one of these new ways of being religious that have emerged in every major faith tradition. Focusing on Protestant fundamentalism in the United States, Jewish fundamentalism in Israel, and Muslim fundamentalism in Egypt and Iran, she examines the ways in which these movements, while not monolithic, have each sprung from a dread of modernity -- often in response to assault (sometimes unwitting, sometimes intentional) by the mainstream society.

Armstrong sees fundamentalist groups as complex, innovative, and modern -- rather than as throwbacks to the past -- but contends that they have failed in religious terms. Maintaining that fundamentalism often exists in symbiotic relationship with an aggressive modernity, each impelling the other on to greater excess, she suggests compassion as a way to defuse what is now an intensifying conflict.
The Book of Jubilees', sometimes called Lesser Genesis (Leptogenesis), is an ancient Jewish religious work, considered one of the pseudepigrapha by Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Churches. However, Jubilees is considered canonical by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as well as Jews in Ethiopia, where it is known as the Book of Division (Ge'ez: Mets'hafe Kufale). It was well known to Early Christians, as evidenced by the writings of Epiphanius, Justin Martyr, Origen, Diodorus of Tarsus, Isidore of Alexandria, Isidore of Seville, Eutychius of Alexandria, John Malalas, George Syncellus, and George Kedrenos. However, it was so thoroughly suppressed in the 4th century that no complete Hebrew, Greek or Latin version has survived. There is conjecture among western biblical scholars that Jubilees may be a rework of material found in the canonical books of Genesis and Exodus. The Book of Jubilees claims to present "the history of the division of the days of the Law, of the events of the years, the year-weeks, and the jubilees of the world" as revealed to Moses (in addition to the Torah or "Instruction") by Angels while he was on Mount Sinai for forty days and forty nights. The chronology given in Jubilees is based on multiples of seven; the jubilees are periods of 49 years, seven 'year-weeks', into which all of time has been divided. According to the author of Jubilees, all proper customs that mankind should follow are determined by God's decree. (courtesy of wikipedia.com)
The Word Biblical Commentary delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars of our day who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. This series emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology. These widely acclaimed commentaries serve as exceptional resources for the professional theologian and instructor, the seminary or university student, the working minister, and everyone concerned with building theological understanding from a solid base of biblical scholarship.

Overview of Commentary Organization

Introduction—covers issues pertaining to the whole book, including context, date, authorship, composition, interpretive issues, purpose, and theology.Each section of the commentary includes:Pericope Bibliography—a helpful resource containing the most important works that pertain to each particular pericope.Translation—the author’s own translation of the biblical text, reflecting the end result of exegesis and attending to Hebrew and Greek idiomatic usage of words, phrases, and tenses, yet in reasonably good English.Notes—the author’s notes to the translation that address any textual variants, grammatical forms, syntactical constructions, basic meanings of words, and problems of translation.Form/Structure/Setting—a discussion of redaction, genre, sources, and tradition as they concern the origin of the pericope, its canonical form, and its relation to the biblical and extra-biblical contexts in order to illuminate the structure and character of the pericope. Rhetorical or compositional features important to understanding the passage are also introduced here.Comment—verse-by-verse interpretation of the text and dialogue with other interpreters, engaging with current opinion and scholarly research.Explanation—brings together all the results of the discussion in previous sections to expose the meaning and intention of the text at several levels: (1) within the context of the book itself; (2) its meaning in the OT or NT; (3) its place in the entire canon; (4) theological relevance to broader OT or NT issues.General Bibliography—occurring at the end of each volume, this extensive bibliographycontains all sources used anywhere in the commentary.
This statement reflects the underlying purpose of The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Begun in the late 1940s by an international team of New Testament scholars, the NICNT series has become recognized by pastors, students, and scholars alike as a critical yet orthodox commentary marked by solid biblical scholarship within the evangelical Protestant tradition.

While based on a thorough study of the Greek text, the commentary introductions and expositions contain a minimum of Greek references. The NICNT authors evaluate significant textual problems and take into account the most important exegetical literature. More technical aspects such as grammatical, textual, and historical problems are dealt with in footnotes, special notes, and appendixes.

Under the general editorship of three outstanding New Testament scholars first Ned Stonehouse (Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia), then F. F. Bruce (University of Manchester, England), and now Gordon D. Fee (Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia) the NICNT series has continued to develop over the years. In order to keep the commentary new and conversant with contemporary scholarship, the NICNT volumes have been and will be revised or replaced as necessary.

The newer NICNT volumes in particular take into account the role of recent rhetorical and sociological inquiry in elucidating the meaning of the text, and they also exhibit concern for the theology and application of the text. As the NICNT series is ever brought up to date, it will continue to find ongoing usefulness as an established guide to the New Testament text.
Judaism isn’t a race or even a particular culture or ethnic group. There are about 13 or 14 million Jews spread around the world, including about 6 million in the United States and about 5 million in Israel – so Judaism clearly isn’t “a nation.” So what does it mean to be Jewish? Here are the basics: Being Jewish (being “a Jew”) means you’re a Member of the Tribe (an M-O-T). The tribe started with a couple named Abraham and Sarah about 4,000 years ago, it grew over time, and it’s still here today. You can become part of the Jewish tribe in two ways: By being born to a Jewish mother or joining through a series of rituals (called converting). Judaism is a set of beliefs, practices, and ethics based on the Torah. You can practice Judaism and not be Jewish, and you can be a Jew and not practice Judaism.

Whether you're interested in the religion or the spirituality, the culture or the ethnic traditions, Judaism For Dummies explores the full spectrum of Judaism, dipping into the mystical, meditative, and spiritual depth of the faith and the practice. In this warm and welcoming book, you'll find coverage of

Orthodox Jews and breakaway denominations Judaism as a daily practice The food and fabric of Judaism Jewish wedding ceremonies Celebrations and holy days 4,000 years of pain, sadness, triumph, and joy Great Jewish thinkers and historical celebrities

Jews have long spread out to the corners of the world, so there are significant Jewish communities on many continents. Judaism For Dummies offers a glimpse into the rituals, ideas, and terms that are woven into the history and everyday lives of Jewish people as near as our own neighborhoods and as far-reaching as across the world.

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