The Believer and the Modern Study of the Bible

The Believer and the Modern Study of the Bible


Edited by Tova Ganzel, Yehudah Brandes, and Chayuta Deutsch

ISBN: 9781618119513 (hardcover)
Pages: approx. 660 pp.
Publication Date: January 2019


The essays in this volume address the conundrum of how Jewish believers in the divine character of the Sinaitic revelation confront the essential questions raised by academic biblical studies.  

The first part is an anthology of rabbinic sources, from the medieval period to the present, treating questions that reflect a critical awareness of the Bible. The second part is a series of twenty-one essays by contemporary rabbis and scholars on how they combine their religious beliefs with their critical approach to the Bible.

Tova Ganzel is the Director of the Midrasha at Bar-Ilan University and one the first trained women’s halakhic advisors (Yoatzot Halacha). She received her PhD from Bar-Ilan’s Department of Bible Studies, and is a renowned figure in the world of women’s Jewish learning. She is the recipient of numerous prestigious academic awards and grants, and is a published author.

Table of Contents

Preface to the English Translation

Annotated Anthology—“Wisdom and Knowledge Will be Given to You”
Yoshi Fargeon

General Overview

A Personal Perspective on Biblical History, the Authorship of the Torah, and Belief in its Divine Origin
Shawn Zelig Aster

The Sages as Bible Critics
Yehuda Brandes

The Tanakh as History
Marc Zvi Brettler

Kabbalah as a Shield against the “Scourge” of Biblical Criticism: A Comparative Analysis of the Torah Commentaries of Elia Benamozegh and Mordecai Breuer
Adiel Cohen

Orthodoxy and the Challenge of Biblical Criticism: Some Reflections on the Importance of Asking the Right Question
Tamar Ross

Ask the Rabbi: “Biblical Criticism is Destroying my Religious Faith!”
Yuval Cherlow

The Theophany at Sinai and the Passages of Revelation

“I Shall Fear God Alone and Not Show Favor in Torah”: A Conceptual Foundation for Wrestling with Biblical Scholarship
David Bigman

Revelation and Religious Authority in the Sinai Traditions
Benjamin Sommer

The Torah Speaks to People
Chezi Cohen

The Revelation Narratives: Analyses and Theological Reflections on Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Classical Midrash
Avraham Shammah

The Ethical Challenge

The Binding of Isaac and Historical Contextuality
Chayuta Deutsch

Manasseh, King of Judah, in Early rabbinic Literature: An Erudite, Unfettered, and Creative Biblical Critic
Hananel Mack

Justification, Denial, and “Terraforming”: Three Theological-Exegetical Models
Amit Kula

The Bible in Historical Context

The Names of God and the Dating of the Biblical Corpus
Yoel Elitzur

Discrepancies between Laws in the Torah
Joshua Berman

Between the Prophet and his Prophecy: Ezekiel’s Visionary Temple in its Historical Context
Tova Ganzel

The Torah of Moses and the Laws of the Nations: A Study in the Teachings of Rabbi Tzadok Ha-Kohen of Lublin
Avia Hacohen

Illuminating Inscriptions
Yaakov Medan

Archaeology and the Bible
Haggai Misgav

The Book of Daniel and the Twenty-First-Century Religious Bible Student
Rivka Raviv