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Commentary on the Torah

In this groundbreaking and insightful new commentary, one of the world's leading biblical scholars unveils the unity and continuity of the Torah for the modern reader. Richard Elliott Friedman, the bestselling author of Who Wrote the Bible?, integrates the most recent discoveries in biblical archaeology and research with the fruits of years of experience studying and teaching the Bible to illuminate the straightforward meaning of the text — “to shed new light on the Torah and, more important, to open windows through which it sheds its light on us.”

In this groundbreaking and insightful new commentary, one of the world’s leading biblical scholars unveils the unity and continuity of the Torah for the modern reader. Richard Elliott Friedman, the bestselling author of Who Wrote the Bible?, integrates the most recent discoveries in biblical archaeology and research with the fruits of years of experience studying and teaching the Bible to illuminate the straightforward meaning of the text — “to shed new light on the Torah and, more important, to open windows through which it sheds its light on us.”

While other commentaries are generally collections of comments by a number of scholars, this is a unified commentary on the Torah by a single scholar, the most unified by a Jewish scholar in centuries. It includes the original Hebrew text, a new translation, and an authoritative, accessibly written interpretation and analysis of each passage that remains focused on the meaning of the Torah as a whole, showing how its separate books are united into one cohesive, all-encompassing sacred literary masterpiece. This landmark work is destined to take its place as a classic in the libraries of lay readers and scholars alike, as we seek to understand the significance of the scriptural texts for our lives today, and for years to come.

Page Count

704 pages

Year Published

2003

ISBN-13

978-0060507176

Author

Richard Elliott Friedman

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Editorial Review

Commentary on the Torah by Richard Elliot Friedman includes the original Hebrew text of the Torah, a complete new translation of these five books of the Bible, and commentary that aims to show how each passage illuminates the Torah as a whole. Friedman's massive project invites comparison with the legendary commentary written by Rashi, which has served as the standard work of its kind for almost 1,000 years. This new commentary draws on recent archeological discoveries, medieval commentaries, and modern textual scholarship "to shed new light on the Torah, and, more important, to open windows through which it sheds its light on us." The book also continues Friedman's ongoing project of making serious religious scholarship accessible to the general reader (as did his previous works, including Who Wrote the Bible and The Hidden Face of God). To that end, it is organized not only with chapter and verse markings, but also by traditional weekly synagogue readings. This textual organization, combined with Friedman's relentless focus on the text's meaning for faithful lay readers, makes his Commentary an ideal resource for synagogue and church study groups, as well as a necessary reference work for individual students of religion.  (Michael Joseph Gross)