Benjamin D. Sommer, PhD, is professor of Bible and ancient Semitic languagesat The Jewish Theological Seminary. Previously, he served as directorof the Crown Family Center for Jewish Studies at Northwestern Universityand as a visiting faculty member at Hebrew University and the Shalom HartmanInstitute. He is currently working on the Jewish Publication Societycommentary on the book of Psalms. His first book, A Prophet Reads Scripture: Allusion in Isaiah 40 66, was awarded the Salo Wittmayer Baron Prizeby the American Academy for Jewish Research. His second book, The Bodiesof God and the World of Ancient Israel, received the Jeremy Schnitzer Prizefrom the Association of Jewish Studies.
As well as superb translations of all non-biblical texts sufficiently well preserved to be rendered into English, there are also a number of previously unpublished texts, and a new preface.
Since its first publication in 1962, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English has established itself as the standard English translation of the non-Biblical Qumran Scrolls and as giving an astonishing insight to the organization, customs, history and beliefs of the community responsible for them. This seventh edition will contain new material, together with extensive new introductory material and notes.
In seventeen cohesive and rigorously researched essays, this volume traces the way some of the most important Jewish thinkers throughout history have addressed these questions from the rabbinic era through the medieval Islamic world to modern Jewish scholarship. They address why different Jewish thinkers, writers, and communities have turned to the Bible—and what they expect to get from it. Ultimately, argues editor Benjamin D. Sommer, in understanding the ways Jews construct scripture, we begin to understand the ways Jews construct themselves.