Page 32 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 39

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
umbrella publishing organization, bringing together several con­
stituent scholarly societies, such as the Society o f Biblical L itera­
ture and the American Academy o f Religion, in an effo rt to
centralize publication efforts. Several university m onog raph
series have also jo ined forces with
Scholars Press,
to produce no ­
thing short o f a revolution in publishing, mainly in the fields o f
Bible and religion. In addition to reissuing classics in these fields,
and sponsoring volumes on central themes o f interest,
Scholars
Press
has helped many young scholars publish dissertations and
first works, quickly and affordably.
Ktav Publishing House, New York, has sponsored the
Library of
Biblical Studies
, und e r the overall editorship o f H arry M. Orlinsky.
This interconfessional project has reissued many old classics in
the field, each with a
Prolegomenon
by a present-day specialist. It
has produced numerous collections o f biblical studies by well
known scholars, as well as some original contributions. Mention
should also be made o f the sing le-handed e ffo rts o f Jacob
Neusner (Brown U.) in the publication field. His ventures in
conjunction with E.J. Brill, Leiden, and now in the
Brown Judaica
Series,
although geared primarily to post-biblical periods, have
always found room for importan t studies on the Bible.
Notwithstanding all o f this activity du ring the 1970’s, it must be
conceded that relatively few original books and monographs ap ­
peared du ring this period in the field o f Bible, proper. T h e re are,
o f course, many facets to biblical studies, a point repeatedly em ­
phasized in this article. It was decided, however, to presen t a list o f
original books and monographs tha t deal directly with the in­
terpretation o f the text o f the Bible, and the history o f biblical
institutions and culture. Notwithstanding its many exclusions,
this narrow definition has the redeem ing justification o f focusing
on the needs o f the larger field o f biblical studies. This definition
excludes the creativity o f the 1970’s in Masoretic studies, text
criticism, manuscript traditions; the study o f the ancient versions
(Septuagint,
Targumim,
etc.); as well as
Parshanuth
— the critical
study o f later commentaries. It also excludes studies in the Semitic
languages, not directly linked to the text o f the Hebrew Bible, and
archeology,
perse.
Jewish scholars from North America have been
active in all o f these areas, in varying degrees.