A word on terminology. The words "Hebrew" and "Jew" may seem to be used interchangeably in the following notes, but in fact the people known as the Hebrews do not properly become known as Jews until the dominant tribe known as Judah is reestablished in the land of Judah (later called Judaea by the Romans) after the Babylonian Exile in 539 BCE. The Hebrew language fell out of common use some time after that period, being replaced by Aramaic: but the Biblical texts continued to be studied by pious men in their original language in Judaea. It was Jews living abroad in the Hellenistic world who first translated the text into Greek, incidentally providing access to these writings for the early Christians.
Christians, Muslims, and others have used these texts for many different purposes, but our aim here is to concentrate on their meaning for the people who first created them and whose sacred texts they continue to be: the Jews.
The translation used here is the New Revised Standard Version a translation made primarily for Christians but which tries to give an unbiased presentation of the Hebrew text.
This is an excerpt from Reading
About the World, Volume 1, edited by Paul Brians, Mary Gallwey, Douglas Hughes, Azfar Hussain, Richard Law, Michael Myers
Michael Neville, Roger Schlesinger, Alice Spitzer, and Susan Swan and published by
Harcourt Brace Custom Publishing.
The reader was created for use in the World Civilization course at Washington State
University, but material on this page
may be used for educational purposes by permission of the editor-in-chief:
This is just a sample of Reading About the World, Volume 1. Reading About the World is now out of print. You can search for used copies using the following information:Paul Brians, et al. Reading About the World, Vol. 1, 3rd edition, Harcourt Brace College Publishing: ISBN 0-15-567425-0 or Paul Brians, et al. Reading About the World, Vol. 2, 3rd edition, Harcourt Brace College Publishing: ISBN 0-15-512826-4.
http://www.chambal.com/csin/9780155674257/ (vol. 1)
http://www.chambal.com/csin/9780155128262/ (vol. 2)
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