Is the Hebrew Bible a Jewish Book?

What does the underread text of the ancient Hebrews have to do with the Jews of today?

Photo by Josh Evnin/Flickr.

Photo by Josh Evnin/Flickr.

Observation
Feb. 12 2015
About the author

Alan Rubenstein, director of university programs at the Tikvah Fund, teaches a great-books seminar, “Windows on the Good Life,” at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.


Is the Hebrew Bible—the Tanakh—a Jewish book? At first glance, the question is absurd. The Bible is written in the language of the Jews, sections of it are read aloud, year in and year out, in synagogues and prayer groups, its words and thoughts permeate the Jewish liturgy, and its laws and commandments, its festivals and holy days, form the axis of the traditional Jewish way of life. So it has been for millennia.

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More about: Hebrew Bible, Liberal arts, Micah Goodman, Religion & Holidays