Judaism’s Religious Texts

Judaism’s Religious Texts

Judaism is the oldest of the Abrahamic religions, and its primary sacred text is the Tanach, or the Jewish Bible, which is composed of the Pentateuch (Torah), the Prophets (Nevi’im) and the Writings (Ketuvim). Tanach is an acronym for these three books. 

Torah Reading

Torah Reading Torah reading (קריאת התורה, K’riat haTorah, “Reading [of] the Torah“; Kriyas haToire) is a Jewish religious tradition that involves the public reading of a set of passages from a Torah scroll. The term often refers to the entire ceremony of removing the scroll (or scrolls) from the Torah ark,...

Jewish English Bible Translations

Jewish English Bible Translations Jewish English Bible translations are English translations of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) according to the Masoretic Text,  in the traditional division and order of Torah, Nevi’im, and Ketuvim. Most Jewish translations appear in bilingual editions (Hebrew–English). Jewish translations often reflect traditional Jewish exegesis of the Bible; all such translations eschew the Christological interpretations...

Jewish Commentaries on The Bible

Jewish Commentaries on The Bible Jewish commentaries on the Bible are biblical commentaries of the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh) from a Jewish perspective. Translations into Aramaic and English, and some universally accepted Jewish commentaries with notes on their method of approach and modern translations into English with notes are listed. Earliest printing The complete Tanakh...

Targum

Targum The targumim (singular targum, תרגום; interpretation, translation, version) were originally spoken translations of the Jewish scriptures (also called the Tanakh) that a meturgeman (professional interpreter) would give in the common language of the listeners when that was not Hebrew. This had become necessary near the end of the 1st century BCE, as the common...

Hebrew Bible

The Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible, also called the Tanakh (Tenakh, Tenak, Tanach) or Mikra, is the canonical collection of Hebrew scripture, which is also the textual source for the Christian Old Testament. These texts are composed mainly in Biblical Hebrew, with some passages in Biblical Aramaic (in the books of Daniel, Ezra...

Oral Torah

Oral Torah According to Rabbinic Judaism, the Oral Torah or Oral Law (תורה שבעל פה, Torah she-be-`al peh, lit. “Torah that is on the mouth”) represents those laws, statutes, and legal interpretations that were not recorded in the Five Books of Moses, the “Written Torah” (תורה שבכתב, Torah she-bi-khtav, lit. “Torah that is in writing”), but...

Psalms

Psalms The Book of Psalms (תְּהִלִּים‬, Tehillim, “praises”), commonly referred to simply as Psalms or “the Psalms”, is the first book of the Ketuvim (“Writings”), the third section of the Hebrew Bible, and thus a book of the Christian Old Testament.[1] The title is derived from the Greek translation, ψαλμοί, psalmoi, meaning “instrumental music” and, by extension, “the words accompanying...

Torah Bible Studying Learning Reading Books Book

Development of The Hebrew Bible Canon

Development of The Hebrew Bible Canon Rabbinic Judaism recognizes the 24 books of the Masoretic Text, commonly called the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible, as authoritative.[1] Modern scholarship suggests that the most recently written are the books of Jonah, Lamentations, and Daniel, all of which may have been composed as late as the second century BCE....

Primary Texts Of Kabbalah

Primary Texts Of Kabbalah The primary texts of Kabbalah were allegedly once part of an ongoing oral tradition. The written texts are obscure and difficult for readers who are unfamiliar with Jewish spirituality which assumes extensive knowledge of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), Midrash (Jewish hermeneutic tradition) and Halakha (practical Jewish law). The Torah For kabbalists, ten utterances in Genesis with which...

Jewish Apocrypha

What Is Jewish Apocrypha? Jewish apocrypha includes texts written in the Jewish religious tradition either in the Intertestamental period or in the early Christian era, but outside the Christian tradition. It does not include books in the canonical Hebrew Bible, nor those accepted into the canon of some or all...

Zohar

What is Zohar? The Zohar (זֹהַר, “Splendor” or “Radiance”) is the foundational work in the literature of Jewish mystical thought known as Kabbalah.[1] It is a group of books including commentary on the mystical aspects of the Torah (the five books of Moses) and scriptural interpretations as well as material on mysticism, mythical cosmogony, and mystical psychology. The...

Weekly Torah Portion

Weekly Torah Portion It is a custom among religious Jewish communities for a weekly Torah portion, popularly referred to as a parashah, to be read during Jewish prayer services. The parashah (Hebrew: פָּרָשַׁת הַשָּׁבוּעַ Parashat ha-Shavua), popularly just parashah (or parshah /pɑːrʃə/ or parsha) and also known as a Sidra (or Sedra /sɛdrə/) is a section of the Torah (Five Books...

Book of Jubilees

Book of Jubilees The Book of Jubilees, sometimes called Lesser Genesis (Leptogenesis), is an ancient Jewish religious work of 50 chapters, considered canonical by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as well as Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jews), where it is known as the Book of Division (Ge’ez: መጽሃፈ ኩፋሌ Mets’hafe Kufale). Jubilees is considered one of the pseudepigrapha by Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Churches.[1] It is also not considered canonical...

Sirach

What Is Sirach? The Book of the All-Virtuous Wisdom of Yeshua ben Sira,[1] commonly called the Wisdom of Sirach or simply Sirach, and also known as the Book of Ecclesiasticus (abbreviated Ecclus.)[2] or Ben Sira,[3] is a work of ethical teachings, from approximately 200 to 175 BCE, written by the Jewish scribe Ben Sira of Jerusalem, on the inspiration of his...

Neviim

What Is Neviim? Neviim (נְבִיאִים Nəḇî’îm, “Prophets”) is the second main division of the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh), between the Torah (instruction) and Ketuvim (writings). The Nevi’im are divided into two groups. The Former Prophets (נביאים ראשונים Nevi’im Rishonim) consists of the narrative books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings; while the Latter Prophets (נביאים אחרונים Nevi’im...

Aggadah

Aggadah Aggadah (אַגָּדְתָא “tales, lore”) refers to non-legalistic exegetical texts in the classical rabbinic literature of Judaism, particularly as recorded in the Talmud and Midrash. In general, Aggadah is a compendium of rabbinic texts that incorporates folklore, historical anecdotes, moral exhortations, and practical advice in various spheres, from business to...

Jesus in The Talmud

Jesus in The Talmud There are several passages in the Talmud which are believed by some scholars to be references to Jesus. The name used in the Talmud is “Yeshu“, the Aramaic vocalization (though not spelling) of the Hebrew name Yeshua.[1][2] The identification of Yeshu as Jesus is problematic. For example, the Talmud mentions Yeshu ben Pandera/ben...

Hannah's prayer

Prayer In The Hebrew Bible

Prayer In The Hebrew Bible Prayer in the Hebrew Bible is an evolving means of interacting with God, most frequently through a spontaneous, individual, unorganized form of petitioning and/or thanking. Standardized prayer such as is done today is non-existent, though beginning in Deuteronomy, the Bible lays the groundwork for organized prayer, including basic liturgical...

Moral Virtues Recommended In The Torah

Moral Virtues Recommended In The Torah Jewish ethics is the moral philosophy of the Jewish religion or the Jewish people. As a type of normative ethics, Jewish ethics may involve issues in Jewish law as well as non-legal issues, and may involve the convergence of Judaism and the Western philosophical tradition of ethics. While there seems to be no other work of...

Scroll Up