Study a Jewish Perspective on Exodus with a Free Commentary

Exodus 14:4

There’s still time to get January’s free book. Download your copy of The JPS Torah Commentary: Exodus before February 1 to get it for free.

Written by Jewish people, for Jewish people

The Jewish Publication Society of America is the oldest publisher of Jewish titles in the English language. Their mission is to enhance Jewish culture by promoting the dissemination of religious and secular works of exceptional quality to anyone interested in understanding Jewish life.

Exodus 12:51

Nahum M. Sarna, the author of this particular volume, has written more than 100 scholarly articles, including pieces for Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Encyclopaedia Hebraica, the Encyclopaedia Biblica Hebraica, the Encyclopaedia of Religion, and the Oxford Companion to the Bible. One of his major focuses as a scholar has been making the Bible and biblical scholarship accessible to the broad Jewish community.

Why Christians should understand the Jewish perspective

Context is one of the most important parts of Bible study. In order to determine what Scripture is saying to us today, we need to understand what it was saying to the people it was originally written to. Learning how Jewish people have historically understood Exodus and how they interpret it today can help inform our understanding of this ancient text.

Exodus 27:21

For example, in The JPS Torah Commentary: Exodus, Sarna states that he considers Exodus a work of historiosophy (a document of faith) rather than a work of historiography (an official history). Understanding why and how he comes to that conclusion can lend Christians valuable insight, even if we completely disagree in other areas of interpretation.

Exodus 19:18

Obviously, there are numerous Christian scholars who have written excellent works on Exodus, and you should read those, too. Tremper Longman III has a great course on Exodus as well as a book, How to Read Exodus. But having a diversity of perspectives can help you identify common threads and draw out major differences—which can be especially valuable when comparing Jewish and Christian perspectives on Scripture.

Exodus 13:14

I lead a Bible study with high school students. Every so often, the question comes up, “Why don’t Jewish people believe in ____?” or “Why do Jewish people believe ____?” While we can always draw significant pieces of the Jewish perspective from Scripture, and many Christian scholars help us fill in the blanks, the best way to learn what someone thinks is always to hear it straight from them.

Exodus 39:42

The New Testament is full of Old Testament references. Jesus, Paul, and the disciples constantly point to the Hebrew Bible and reveal how it is fulfilled in Jesus and Christianity. Their interpretations almost always result in either awe and agreement, or disgust and disagreement. That disagreement is rooted in how the Word of God is to be understood and applied. Learning more about the heart of that disagreement can help us affirm and clarify why we believe in Jesus in spite of that disagreement (1 Peter 3:15).

Study Exodus with a Jewish scholar

Drawing upon classical and modern sources, Sarna’s exegesis and historical and philological interpretations are scholarly yet accessible to nonspecialist readers. Included are an introduction, six discussions on problematic subjects, a glossary, and notes. This beautifully formatted book will greatly help elucidate the text of a seminal book of the Hebrew Bible.
JPS Torah Commentary Exodus

Download it now.

Get more Jewish commentaries

For $1.99, you can also get The JPS Bible Commentary: Jonah by Uriel Simon. Simon provides a critical line-by-line commentary of the biblical text. He includes an extensive scholarly introduction, generous bibliographic and critical notes, and other explanatory material. His work refers to traditional rabbinic commentaries, as well as the Mishna, Midrash and Talmud. His commentary also makes use of literary analysis, comparative Semitics, and evidence from modern archaeological discoveries.

The JPS Bible Commentary: Jonah

You can also enter to win the JPS Tanakh Commentary Collection—a $399.95 value (scroll to the bottom of the page).
JPS Tanakh Commentary Collection

Get your free book and start learning more about the Jewish perspective on Exodus.

Comments

  1. says

    My wife and I are involved with Jewish Ministry (Metro Jewish Resources) and have started a Jewish Fellow (Beit Ha Ahava) at our local Church. These material would be greatly beneficial in teaching our group.

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