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JPS Tanakh Commentary Collection (JPSTC) (11 vols.)
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Overview

In 1888, the Jewish Publication Society of America was founded in Philadelphia to provide Jewish immigrants’ children with English-language books about their heritage. The oldest publisher of English-language Jewish titles, JPS seeks to enhance Jewish culture by promoting the dissemination of religious and secular works of exceptional quality to all individuals and institutions, in the United States and abroad, interested in past and contemporary Jewish life.

Written by distinguished Hebrew Bible scholars, these JPS commentaries represent a fusion of classical and modern sources. Building on the latest research to enhance your understanding of the biblical text, each volume takes its place as one of today’s most authoritative yet accessible commentaries. The commentaries provide supplementary essays that elaborate on key words and themes, a commentators and sources glossary, and extensive bibliographic notes, charts, and maps. This collection includes the complete Torah commentaries, plus commentaries on Jonah, Ruth, Ecclesiastes, Esther, and Haftarot. It also includes a commentary on the Passover Haggadah.

The JPS Tanakh Commentary Collection offers pastors, students, and laypeople commitment to accessibility without sacrificing serious scholarship. In the Logos edition, each Scripture passage links to your favorite translation, and the series is easy to study side by side with your other commentaries. You can search by topic or Scripture with remarkably fast results.

As with any other commentary that includes running Bible text from an existing translation, these resources contain only the commentary portion of the print editions. This collection does not include the JPS Tanakh or full Hebrew text. The JPS Tanakh is available for purchase separately.

Key Features

  • Guides readers through the Hebrew Bible’s words and ideas
  • Provides supplementary essays on key words and themes
  • Includes extensive charts, maps, and bibliographic notes

Individual Titles

The JPS Torah Commentary: Genesis

  • Author: Nahum M. Sarna
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication Date: 1989
  • Pages: 414

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Balancing reverence for the text with rigorous scholarship, Sarna’s commentary is an illuminating and exhaustive treatment of Genesis. Included with the line-by-line analysis are 30 excursuses and helpful maps. The commentary features expository sections, including “Eden and the Expulsion: The Human Condition,” “The Depravity of Canaan,” “God’s Election of Abraham,” “Isaac, Father of Two Nations,” “Joseph’s Liberation and Rise to Power,” and many others.

Nahum M. Sarna (1923–2005), born in London, received his training in rabbinics at Jews College, London, and his BA and MA from the University College London. After living in Israel for two years, he settled in the United States in 1951, where he received his PhD in biblical studies and Semitic languages from Dropsie College, Philadelphia.

The JPS Torah Commentary: Exodus

  • Author: Nahum M. Sarna
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication Date: 1991
  • Pages: 278

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

From Library Journal: “. . . a masterful commentary by eminent scholar Sarna. Drawing upon classical and modern sources, Sarna’s exegesis and historical and philological interpretations are scholarly yet quite accessible to nonspecialist readers. Included are an introduction, six excurses on problematic subjects, a glossary, and notes. Sarna eschews any attempt to discuss the provenance of the Exodus text, although he does state that he considers Exodus a work of historiosophy (a document of faith) rather than a work of historiography… this beautifully formatted book will greatly help elucidate the text of a seminal book of the Hebrew Bible.”

Nahum M. Sarna (1923–2005), born in London, received his training in rabbinics at Jews College, London, and his BA and MA from the University College London. After living in Israel for two years, he settled in the United States in 1951, where he received his PhD in biblical studies and Semitic languages from Dropsie College, Philadelphia.

The JPS Torah Commentary: Leviticus

  • Author: Baruch A. Levine
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication Date: 1989
  • Pages: 284

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Levine’s scholarly commentary on Leviticus offers a lucid and detailed treatment of the sacred text. The commentary contains many amplifications on the text beyond a line-by-line analysis, including discussion of the Kashrut laws, holiness pursuit, land tenure principles, and more. Also included are a generous introduction, an essay on Leviticus in the ongoing Jewish tradition, 11 excursuses with footnotes, and helpful charts.

Baruch Levine is the emeritus Skirball Professor of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at New York University. He has also served as a guest professor at the Hebrew University and at Ben Gurion University, and as an editor of the Israel Exploration Journal. Levine is a member of the Archaeological Council of the Israel Exploration Society.

The JPS Torah Commentary: Numbers

  • Author: Jacob Milgrom
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication Date: 1989
  • Pages: 520

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Milgrom’s exhaustive commentary on Numbers offers penetrating insights into this sacred book. Throughout, he maintains respect for classical Jewish commentators but does not hesitate to incorporate modern biblical research. The commentary itself is divided into two parts: “The Generations of the Exodus” and “The Generations of the Conquest”; they are both supplemented by additional forays deeper into the text, including sections on the census in the wilderness, purification from contamination by a corpse, the war against Midian, and much more. And all this is over and above the line-by-line analysis, the informative introduction, the footnotes, the charts, the maps, and the 77 excursuses to the commentary.

Jacob Milgrom (1923–2010) was an American Jewish scholar and professor emeritus in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is best known for his research on Leviticus and the Torah’s purity regulations.

The JPS Torah Commentary: Deuteronomy

  • Author: Jeffrey H. Tigay
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication Date: 1996
  • Pages: 548

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In this comprehensive commentary, Tigay handles Deuteronomy’s often complex text with the skill of a master scholar. Within the line-by-line commentary are elaborations on specific textual, historical, and social issues. This is above and beyond the 33 excursuses to the commentary, the extensive footnotes, and the helpful charts and maps.

Jeffrey H. Tigay, a 1995 winner of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, is emeritus A. M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. From 1995 to 1998, he was chair of the university’s Jewish studies program.

The JPS Bible Commentary: Jonah

  • Author: Uriel Simon
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Pages: 52

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Simon provides a critical line-by-line commentary of the biblical text. This commentary includes an extensive scholarly introduction, generous bibliographic and critical notes, and other explanatory material. Simon refers to traditional rabbinic commentaries and the Mishna, Midrash, and Talmud. His commentary also makes use of literary analysis, comparative Semitics, and evidence from modern archaeological discoveries.

Simon’s commentary is a welcome addition to this excellent series.

Interpretation

Uriel Simon, a professor at Bar Ilan University in Israel, has served as a director of the university’s Institute for the History of Jewish Research. He has also taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Yale University, and Harvard University.

The JPS Bible Commentary: Ruth

  • Author: Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Tikvah Frymer-Kensky
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 178

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The moving story of Ruth, with its themes of loyalty, lovingkindness (hesed), and redemption, is one of the great narratives of the Bible. Socially, the Israelites were aware of their responsibility to protect the weak and unprotected among them. Redemption secures the life of the people as a community, not just as individuals. In this story, Boaz fulfills the familial obligation to marry the widow of a deceased relative who never was able to father children, both to continue the family line and protect an otherwise vulnerable woman.

Tamara Cohn Eskenazi is a professor of Bible at the Hebrew Union College at the Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. She is the first woman appointed as a professor to the rabbinical faculty in HUC-JIR’s long history. Prior to her professorship, she had been on the faculty of the University of Denver, directed the Institute of Interfaith Studies, and cofounded the Jewish Women Resource Center in Denver. She has served on the Society of Biblical Literature’s executive committee, and her numerous published articles include In an Age of Prose: A Literary Approach to Ezra-Nehemiah and Second Temple Studies 2: Temple and Community in the Persian Period.

Tikva Frymer-Kensky (1943–2006) was a professor of Hebrew Bible and the history of Judaism at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Her areas of specialization included Assyriology and Sumerology, biblical studies, Jewish studies, and women and religion. She was the author of Reading the Women of the Bible (which received a Koret Jewish Book Award in 2002 and a National Jewish Book Award in 2003), In the Wake of the Goddesses, and Motherprayer.

The JPS Bible Commentary: Ecclesiastes

  • Author: Michael V. Fox
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 128

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Fox’s potent commentary is a terrific introduction to Ecclesiastes for the educated layman or scholar who wishes to better understand this fascinating and sometimes frustrating book. The author succinctly presents the consensus of modern thought on Ecclesiastes: that it is a fairly late production as books of the Bible go and that it is a series of philosophical reflections, not a systematic work of philosophy. It concerns itself with universal philosophical questions rather than events in the history of Israel and in the Hebrews’ covenant with God.

The sum of the matter, when all is said and done, is that the JPS Ecclesiastes/Koheleth is a thorough, sensitive, and engaging study with much to recommend it.

Journal of Hebrew Scriptures

This volume is a profitable resource for both scholars and pastors. Pastors will appreciate its brevity and clarity, and scholars will respect its depth and thoughtfulness.

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

This is an insightful and accessible commentary that reflects many years of deep engagement with the text.

Journal of Hebrew Scriptures

Michael V. Fox received his rabbinical ordination from Hebrew Union College. He received a PhD in Bible, Semitics, and Egyptology from the Hebrew University. He is the Jay C. and Ruth Halls-Bascom Emeritus Professor of Hebrew at the University of Wisconsin.

The JPS Bible Commentary: Esther

  • Author: Adele Berlin
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Pages: 110

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The commentary approaches the Book of Esther from a fresh literary point of view. It includes essays entitled “When and Where Was the Book of Esther Written?,” “Sex and Spies,” “Rabbinic Interpretation,” and many others. This commentary is a recipient of Israel’s Prize of the Minister of Science, Culture, and Sport for classical literature for the year 5762 (2001).

This informative commentary . . . dissects the Book of Esther and, by extension, the Jewish holiday of Purim. Berlin begins with a lengthy introduction, discussing Esther as comedy and as Diaspora literature; the introduction does a fine job of explaining the Persian period and its various art forms.

Publishers Weekly

Adele Berlin is a scholar of biblical and ancient Near Eastern literature. She is the Robert H. Smith Professor of Hebrew Bible at the University of Maryland. Berlin has designed and taught courses on biblical narrative and poetry, ancient Near Eastern culture and literature, and methods of biblical interpretation.

The JPS Bible Commentary: Haftarot

  • Author: Michael Fishbane
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 700

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The haftarot are an ancient part of Hebrew liturgy. These supplemental readings, excerpted from the Prophets (Nevi’im), accompany each weekly Sabbath reading from the Torah, as well as readings for special Sabbaths and festivals.

Noted Bible scholar Michael Fishbane introduces each haftarah with an outline and discussion of how that passage conveys its meaning, and he follows it with observations on how it relates to the Torah portion or special occasion. Individual comments—citing classical rabbinic as well as modern commentators—highlight ambiguities and difficulties in the Hebrew text, which appear in concert with the JPS translation. The haftarot are also put into biblical context by a separate overview of all prophetic books (except Jonah) that are excerpted in the haftarah cycle. This volume was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist.

Without a doubt, the finest commentary on the Haftarot I have studied.

—David L. Lieber (1925–2008), emeritus president, University of Judaism (American Jewish University)

Michael Fishbane, one of today’s foremost Hebrew Bible scholars, is the Nathan Cummings Professor of Jewish Studies and chair of the Committee on Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago.

The JPS Torah Commentary on the Haggadah: Historical Introduction, Translation, and Commentary

  • Author: Joseph Tabory
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 168

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The Passover Haggadah enjoys an unrivaled place in Jewish culture—both religious and secular. And of all the classic Jewish books, the Haggadah is the one most “alive” today. Jews continue to rewrite, revise, and add to its text, recasting it so that it remains relevant to their lives.

In this volume, Joseph Tabory, one of the world’s leading authorities on the history of the Haggadah, traces the development of the Seder and the Haggadah through the ages.

The book features an extended introduction by Tabory, the classic Hebrew Haggadah text side-by-side with its English translation, and Tabory’s clear and insightful critical-historical commentary.

This is a significant and valuable work that, in examining the Haggadah from an historical perspective, offers insight into Jewish history as well.

Chicago Jewish Star

Joseph Tabory is an emeritus professor of Talmud at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. He is also an ordained Orthodox rabbi. Tabory received his PhD from Bar-Ilan University in 1978. He has written many articles, and he is the author of two major volumes in Hebrew, one on the history of Jewish festivals (The Passover Haggadah, upon which the JPS Torah Commentary on the Haggadah is based) and one on the history of the Passover Seder.

Product Details

  • Title: JPS Tanakh Commentary Collection (JPSTC)
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Volumes: 11
  • Pages: 3,380