Item description for Esther (OTL] (Old Testament Library) by Jon Douglas Levenson...
Overview The book of Esther has been preserved in ancient texts that diverge greatly from each other; as a result, Jews and Protestants usually read a version which is shorter than that of most Catholic or Orthodox Bibles. Jon Levenson capably guides readers through both versions, demonstrating their coherence and their differences. The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.
The book of Esther has been preserved in ancient texts that diverge greatly from each other; as a result, Jews and Protestants usually read a version which is shorter than that of most Catholic or Orthodox Bibles. Jon Levenson capably guides readers through both versions, demonstrating their coherence and their differences.
The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.
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Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.38" Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date Feb 3, 2004
Publisher Westminster John Knox Press
Series Old Testament Library
ISBN 0664228879 ISBN13 9780664228873
Availability 77 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 04:10.
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More About Jon Douglas Levenson
Jon D. Levenson is the Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies at Harvard University. His many books include Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel: The Ultimate Victory of the God of Life, which won the National Jewish Book Award, and Creation and the Persistence of Evil (Princeton).
Jon Douglas Levenson currently resides in the state of Massachusetts.
Jon Douglas Levenson has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Esther (OTL] (Old Testament Library)?
The Bible As Literature Sep 9, 2001
Levenson's book consists of two parts -- an introductory essay of 35 pages, followed by a line-by-line commentary on the text of Esther. The introductory essay provides a good overview of the book of Esther -- a summary of the plot, an analysis of the book's structure and themes, and a discussion of the historicity and origins of the various versions of text itself. Esther is famous as the only book in the Bible that does not mention God (at least in the canonical Hebrew version); I found Levenson's discussion of the politics and theology of this "godless" Esther particularly interesting. He does a very good job (in both the introduction and the line-by-line commentary) of alerting the reader to differences between the Masoretic and Septuagint versions of the text.
The line-by-line commentary was disappointing. It did not add much to the introduction (although it did elucidate some of the themes in more detail). Levenson has studied the recent scholarly commentary on Esther, and a great deal of his commentary seemed to be citations of (or, in some cases, reaction to) other people's thoughts. Most of the discussion focuses on Esther as a literary work. I would have liked to have learned more about how the book was treated by the rabbis and by early Christian commentators. Overall, however, Levenson has provided a decent introduction to the book of Esther and the major concerns of modern literary scholarship concerning it.
An outstanding academic commentary and translation of Esther Jul 1, 1998
Professor Jon D. Levenson of Harvard University has written a short and extremely elegant academic commentary on the often misunderstood biblical Book of Esther. Levenson provides his own translation (lucid, vivid, and utilizing new linguistic research) along with a commentary which includes the pearls of ancient, medieval, and modern wisdom about Esther. Levenson's own insights are fresh and creative, and attempt to steer the open-minded reader towards a truer and broader picture of the religious and political outlook of this exciting tale. In his new commentary, Levenson does two things which I found particularly helpful. First, he begins by explaining how Jews, Catholics, and Protestants use different versions of the Book of Esther. Instead of ignoring any version, Levenson's commentary uses a clever compromise in which all the editions are given their due treatment. If you have been exposed to only one of these versions before, you owe it to yourself to read this commentary of Esther. Secondly, Levenson approaches Esther with both the textual sensitivity of a literary critic and the profound learning of a meticulous Bible scholar. Unlike many commentaries, Levenson is aware of nuances of character and theme at the same time as he is treating the linguistic and historical aspects of the book. The writing is crystal-clear and unpretentious. Highly endorsed!