BECKET -- Becket resident Marc Zvi Brettler, co-editor with A.J. Levine of The Jewish Annotated New Testament (Oxford University Press, 2011), never expected a best-seller -- but the first printing sold out within days of publication.
This is the first edition of the New Testament to appear with marginal commentary and interpretive essays by Jewish scholars. It places the Christian scriptures within their original Jewish context, and it also faces the questions of how the two traditions have interpreted these texts over the centuries -- and the tensions which those differing interpretations have sometimes perpetuated.
That's the beginning of an article I just published in the Berkshire Eagle, after I had that chat with Marc Brettler.
Like "The Jewish Study Bible," this volume contains both annotations of Scripture and a set of essays which put the material in context: essays on early Jewish history, Judaism and Jewishness and the notion of "The Law." Writers explore the Greek term "Ioudaios" -- translated as either "Jew" or "Judean" -- and its implications. They consider the concept of the neighbor in Jewish and Christian ethics. They try to understand of John’s "Logos," the "Word," as a kind of midrash -- a form of storytelling, which explores interpretations of, loopholes in, and questions about scripture.
"Figuring out what Jewish readers, Christian readers, and other readers should understand -- and then finding people to write about those subjects -- That was intellectually very interesting," Brettler said.
I'm looking really forward to hearing the editors of this volume speak on Saturday evening at Hevreh. Meanwhile, my thanks to the editors at the Eagle for inviting me to interview Marc! You can read the whole article here: Jewish scholars give perspective on the New Testament.