The Mishnah: A New Translation

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Yale University Press, 1991 - Religion - 1162 pages
2 Reviews
The eminent Judaica scholar Jacob Neusner provides here the first form-analytical translation of the Mishnah. This path-breaking edition provides as close to a literal translation as possible, following the syntax of Mishnaic Hebrew in its highly formalized and syntactically patterned language. Demonstrating that the Mishnah is a work of careful and formal poetry and prose, Neusner not only analyzes the repeated construction but also divides the thoughts on the printed page so that the patterned language and the poetry comprised in those patterns emerge visually.

"With meticulous methodology and with rare stylistic beauty of expression, Neusner. . . has produced an incomparable translation of the Mishnah, both new and innovative, which reflects the genius of the original Hebrew idiom. Neusner penetrates the Tannaitic mind, capturing its spirit, its subtle nuances, and its poetic cadences. . . A most impressive volume which transcends all previous versions of the Mishnah."--Choice

"The overall effect is a linguistic purity and simplicity which strives to capture not only the substance, but the spirit and style of the Mishnah's universe. . . . An artful and impressive addition. . . . It deserves not only admiration but serious attention as well."--Charles Raffel, Judaica Book News

"The work is significant because for the first time it makes available to student and scholar alike a rendition of the Mishnah which attempts to convey not only the substance of that document, but the highly patterned and formalized language which Neusner believes is the key to comprehending its contents."--Daniel H. Gordis, Hebrew Studies

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User Review  - Paul Russell -

This is a classic work of the Jewish tradition now easily available in English. I suggest this to students and interested laity. Read full review

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About the author (1991)

Jacob Neusner was born in Hartford, Connecticut on July 28, 1932. He received a bachelor's degree in history from Harvard University in 1953. He studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, where he was ordained a Conservative rabbi and received a master's degree in Hebrew letters in 1960. He also received a doctorate in religion from Columbia University. He taught at Dartmouth College, Brown University, and the University of South Florida before joining the religion department at Bard College in 1994. He retired from there in 2014. He was a religious historian and one of the world's foremost scholars of Jewish rabbinical texts. He published more than 900 books during his lifetime including A Life of Yohanan ben Zakkai; The Way of Torah: An Introduction to Judaism; Judaism: The Evidence of the Mishnah; Strangers at Home: The 'Holocaust,' Zionism, and American Judaism; Translating the Classics of Judaism: In Theory and in Practice; Why There Never Was a 'Talmud of Caesarea': Saul Lieberman's Mistakes; and Judaism: An Introduction. He wrote The Bible and Us: A Priest and a Rabbi Read Scripture Together with Andrew M. Greeley and A Rabbi Talks with Jesus with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI. He also edited and translated, with others, nearly the entirety of the Jewish rabbinical texts. He died on October 8, 2016 at the age of 84.

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