Page 28 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 39

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
University); and Deuteronomy — Moshe Weinfleld (Hebrew
University). Jewish scholars are also active in p repa ring prophe tic
and historical books for this series, as well as apocryphal books.
(Lists are available on the jackets o f the volumes. See the jacke t o f
Hosea
for a recent listing o f contributors).
The penchant for To rah study is no coincidence. It correlates
with an observation by Richard Hecht (U. o f CA., Santa Barbara),
tha t Jewish scholars are prom inen t in ritual studies, especially
du ring the past decade; and ritual and cult center, a fte r all,
a round the law codes o f the Torah . (Richard D. Hecht, “Research
Needs in the Study o f the Hebrew Bible and in the Study o f
Judaism ,”
Bulletin,
T h e Council on the Study o f Religion, Vol. 11,
no. 5, December, 1980, 137 f.).
A second example o f interconfessional cooperation is the
In ­
terpreter's Dictionary of the Bible,
a four-volume encyclopedia, pub ­
lished by Abingdon Press in 1962, and upda ted and augm en ted
by a
Supplementary Volume,
published in 1976. In the 1962 edition,
only approximately 31 Jewish scholars participated, out o f a list o f
many hundreds. O f the 31,1 counted only 12 scholars who could
be classified as specialists in Bible, even by the loosest o f defin i­
tions. O f the 31, only 5 were Israeli scholars. T he rest were
scholars in allied fields, relevant to biblical studies — Rabbinic
literature, Jewish philosophy, etc.
In the 1976
Supplementary Volume
exactly 20% (54 out o f 270) o f
the contributors are Jewish scholars, by my count; and o f them , 16
are Israeli scholars. O f the 16, there are 4 scholars who have
settled in Israel, coming from North America. Although a sizable
number of the 54 Jewish contributors are in allied fields, the re is a
slight increase in the number o f American Jewish con tribu tors
who could legitimately be classified as specialists in biblical
studies. I count about 18, depend ing on one’s definition o f a
biblical scholar. This points up the fact tha t Juda ic scholars in
North America are still more concentrated in o ther fields than
Bible. We could say there was a shortage, both in terms o f aca­
demic positions to be filled, and as regards the fu r th e r ing o f
biblical research in North America.
In assessing the past decade, it might be well to emphasize
collective projects, u n d e r Jewish auspices, because these indicate
to what extent the Jewish laity and the scholarly community are
committed to the goal o f preserving ou r own heritage, in all its