Page 19 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 7 (1948-1949)

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tained in
Revelation and response in the Old Testament
by Cuthbert
A. Simpson (N. Y., Columbia University Press, ’47). It repre-
sents an attempt to translate into terms of rational probability
what really happened when the Hebrews emerged as a commu-
nity out of the fires and thunders of Mount Sinai.
Old Testament
a general introduction to and a commentary on the
books of the Old Testament, edited by Herbert Christian Alleman
and Elmer E. Flack (Philadelphia, Muhlenberg, ’48) is in reality
a series of articles on the background material introducing de-
scriptions of the books by the historical method.
A popularization of a well-known commentary on the Penta-
teuch by the great leader of the Neo-Orthodoxy in German Jewry
is offered in the first volume of an
Introduction to Rabbi Samson
Raphael HirscKs commentary on the Torah
by Joseph Breuer
(N. Y., Feldheim, ’48). It covers the record from Creation to the
death of Abraham.
Great passages from the Torah
, their meaning
for our day by Rabbi Morris Adler (N. Y., National Academy
for Adult Jewish Studies, ’47) represents an admirable effort to
show the rich implications for Jewish life in our day found in perti-
nent texts of the Bible. In
The golden years
by Brooke Peters
[Mrs. John A.] Church (N. Y., Rinehart, ’47) the Old Testament
story is retold to show the literary method of Hebrew narrative
writing. A historical interpretation of that story is offered by
Isaac George Matthews in his
The religious pilgrimage of Israel
(N. Y., Harper, ’47). Actually it is a cultural history of the de-
velopment of the Hebrew religion, the customs and the wander-
ings of the Hebrew people. A searching and scholarly account of
the thought of the Near East, background of our own culture, is
given in
The intellectual adventure of ancient man
by H. Frankfort
and others (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, ’47). The
longest section in it, by Prof. William A. Irwin, is devoted to “the
supremacy of Israel’s thinking in the ancient East.” “In her
achievements,” concludes Dr. Irwin, “she [Israel] stood head and
shoulders above the best of her oriental contemporaries at their
highest outreach.” Indeed, “one may well question whether any
other nation has so profoundly influenced the course of human
life or has contributed comparable impulse to the thought and
action of our day.”
A readable presentation of the ideals and truths of the Hebrew
prophets is offered in
The witness of the prophets
by Gordon Pratt
Baker (Nashville, Abingdon-Cokesbury, ’48) showing how they
are related to modern life. A like approach to the writings of one
prophet is contained in
Jeremiahfor today
by Harry F. Baughman
(Philadelphia, Muhlenberg, ’47). His prophecies and lamentations
are depicted as having a special meaning in this day and age.