Book Reviews

How the Bible Changed the Course of Ethical Thought

The books of the Hebrew Bible were written thousands of years ago in a very different world from ours. Already in the Middle Ages, respected Jewish thinkers like Moses Maimonides and Abraham ibn Ezra realized that the more we know about the ancient Near East in biblical times, the better we understand the nuances of […]

For All the Wrong Reasons, New Activists Must Push for Justice

In Justice for All: How the Jewish Bible Revolutionized Ethics (Jewish Publication Society, Mar. 2017), Jeremiah Unterman shows that, in its moral understandings, the Old Testament reflected a radical advance over writings of other ancient Near Eastern civilizations. In an endorsement, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin notes that Unterman “never loses sight of the fact that the […]

From Abraham to Jonah, new books offer fresh Bible insights

On Joseph: Portraits through the Ages “Alan Levenson’s book, Joseph: Portraits through the Ages is an excellent companion to the Joseph story, substituting admirably for the college class you likely never had…Levenson’s interpretation draws from traditional and modern Jewish commentary, from literature…and, unusually for a Jewish book, occasionally from Christian sources. Levenson also explains passages […]