Fortress Press

TANAK: A Theological and Critical Introduction to the Jewish Bible


A Theological and Critical Introduction to the Jewish Bible

Marvin A. Sweeney (Author)


Though "biblical theology" has long been considered a strictly Christian enterprise, Marvin A. Sweeney here proposes a Jewish theology of the Hebrew Bible, based on the importance of Tanak as the foundation of Judaism and organized around the major components: Torah, Nevi'im (Prophets), and Kethuvim (Writings). Sweeney finds the structuring themes of Jewish life: the constitution of the nation Israel in relation to God; the disruption of that ideal, documented by the Prophets; and the reconstitution of the nation around the Second Temple in the Writings. Throughout he is attentive to tensions within and among the texts and the dialogical character of Israel's sacred heritage.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9780800637439
  • eBook ISBN 9781451414356
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 464
  • Publication Date December 1, 2011


"Throughout his fruitful scholarly career, Marvin A. Sweeney has repeatedly demonstrated his alert capacity to read biblical texts in knowing and penetrating ways. Now he brings that learning to bear on an extended book–by–book reading of the Jewish Bible that is both critical and theological, making a major contribution to the interpretive task that Jews and Christians share together. Tanak is an important move beyond critical study to Jewish sources and modes of interpretation, showing how the Bible arises from and attends to Jewish faith and identity. It will be of special interest to Christian readers as well, however, who will be led into new perspectives and consequently to important theological insight about their own faith by this magnificent rendering."
—Walter Brueggemann
William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament Emeritus
Columbia Theological Seminary

"This exhaustive survey of the Hebrew Bible is based on the most current scholarship. Drawing on a remarkable breadth of knowledge, Sweeney describes the historical setting of the biblical books from a Jewish theological perspective."
—Frederick E. Greenspahn
Gimelstob Eminent Scholar in Judaic Studies
Florida Atlantic University

"In Tanak one of the most learned biblical scholars of our time offers a highly intelligent, intellectually honest, and readable introduction to the Jewish Bible. Among its many strengths is its capacity to locate that set of books within the world of its composition without losing sight of its foundational role in the Jewish tradition and the deeper theological issues at stake. I highly recommend Tanak to general readers, scholars, students, and clergy alike."
—Jon D. Levenson
Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies
Harvard University