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The Tanakh
Tanakh
(/tɑːˈnɑːx/;[1] תַּנַ"ךְ, pronounced [taˈnaχ] or [təˈnax]; also Tenakh, Tenak, Tanach), also called the Mikra or Hebrew Bible, is the canonical collection of Jewish texts, which is also a textual source for the Christian
Christian
Old Testament. These texts are composed mainly in Biblical Hebrew, with some passages in Biblical Aramaic (in the books of Daniel, Ezra and a few others). The traditional Hebrew text is known as the Masoretic Text. The Tanakh
Tanakh
consists of twenty-four books. Tanakh
Tanakh
is an acronym of the first Hebrew letter of each of the Masoretic
Masoretic
Text's three traditional subdivisions: Torah
Torah
("Teaching", also known as the Five Books of Moses), Nevi'im
Nevi'im
("Prophets") and Ketuvim
Ketuvim
("Writings")—hence TaNaKh. The name Mikra (מקרא), meaning "that which is read", is another Hebrew word for the Tanakh. The books of the Tanakh
Tanakh
were passed on by each generation and, according to rabbinic tradition were accompanied by an oral tradition, called the Oral Torah.

Contents

1 Terminology 2 Development and codification 3 Language and pronunciation 4 Books of the Tanakh

4.1 Torah 4.2 Nevi'im 4.3 Ketuvim

4.3.1 Poetic books 4.3.2 Five scrolls (Hamesh Megillot) 4.3.3 Other books 4.3.4 Order

5 Translations 6 Jewish commentaries 7 See also 8 References 9 External links

Terminology[edit] The three-part division reflected in the acronym "Tanakh" is well attested in the literature of the Rabbinic period.[2] During that period, however, "Tanakh" was not used. Instead, the proper title was Mikra (or Miqra, מקרא, meaning "reading" or "that which is read") because the biblical texts were read publicly. Mikra continues to be used in Hebrew to this day, alongside Tanakh, to refer to the Hebrew scriptures. In modern spoken Hebrew, they are interchangeable.[3] Development and codification[edit] Main article: Development of the Hebrew Bible
Bible
canon There is no scholarly consensus as to when the Hebrew Bible
Bible
canon was fixed: some scholars argue that it was fixed by the Hasmonean dynasty,[4] while others argue it was not fixed until the second century CE or even later.[5] According to the Talmud, much of the Tanakh
Tanakh
was compiled by the men of the Great Assembly (Anshei K'nesset HaGedolah), a task completed in 450 BCE, and it has remained unchanged ever since.[6] The twenty-four book canon is mentioned in the Midrash
Midrash
Koheleth 12:12: Whoever brings together in his house more than twenty four books brings confusion.[7] Language and pronunciation[edit] The original writing system of the Hebrew text was an abjad: consonants written with some applied vowel letters ("matres lectionis"). During the early Middle Ages
Middle Ages
scholars known as the Masoretes created a single formalized system of vocalization. This was chiefly done by Aaron
Aaron
ben Moses
Moses
ben Asher, in the Tiberias
Tiberias
school, based on the oral tradition for reading the Tanakh, hence the name Tiberian vocalization. It also included some innovations of Ben Naftali and the Babylonian exiles.[8] Despite the comparatively late process of codification, some traditional sources and some Orthodox Jews
Jews
hold the pronunciation and cantillation to derive from the revelation at Sinai, since it is impossible to read the original text without pronunciations and cantillation pauses.[9] The combination of a text (מקרא mikra), pronunciation (ניקוד niqqud) and cantillation (טעמים te`amim) enable the reader to understand both the simple meaning and the nuances in sentence flow of the text. Books of the Tanakh[edit]

Complete set of scrolls, constituting the entire Tanakh.

The Tanakh
Tanakh
consists of twenty-four books: it counts as one book each Samuel, Kings, Chronicles and Ezra–Nehemiah
Ezra–Nehemiah
and counts the Twelve Minor Prophets (תרי עשר) as a single book. In Hebrew, the books are often referred to by their prominent first word(s). Torah[edit] Main article: Torah The Torah
Torah
(תּוֹרָה, literally "teaching"), also known as the Pentateuch, or as the "Five Books of Moses". Printed versions (rather than scrolls) of the Torah
Torah
are often called Chamisha Chumshei Torah (חמישה חומשי תורה "five fifth-sections of the Torah") and informally a Chumash.

Bereshit (בְּרֵאשִׁית, literally "In the beginning")—Genesis Shemot (שִׁמוֹת, literally "Names")—Exodus Vayikra (וַיִּקְרָא, literally "And He called")—Leviticus Bemidbar (בְּמִדְבַּר, literally "In the desert [of]")—Numbers Devarim (דְּבָרִים, literally "Things" or "Words")—Deuteronomy

Nevi'im[edit]

Books of Nevi'im

 

Former Prophets

Joshua Judges Samuel Kings

Latter Prophets (major)

Isaiah Jeremiah Ezekiel

Latter Prophets (Twelve minor)

Hosea Joel Amos Obadiah Jonah Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah Haggai Zechariah Malachi

Hebrew Bible

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Main article: Nevi'im Nevi'im
Nevi'im
(נְבִיאִים Nəḇî'îm, "Prophets") is the second main division of the Tanakh, between the Torah
Torah
and Ketuvim. It contains two sub-groups, the Former Prophets (נביאים ראשונים Nevi'im
Nevi'im
Rishonim, the narrative books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings) and the Latter Prophets (נביאים אחרונים Nevi'im
Nevi'im
Aharonim, the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel and the Twelve Minor Prophets). This division includes the books which cover the time from the entrance of the Israelites
Israelites
into the Land of Israel
Israel
until the Babylonian captivity
Babylonian captivity
of Judah (the "period of prophecy"). Their distribution is not chronological, but substantive.

(יְהוֹשֻעַ / Yĕhôshúa‘)—Joshua (שֹׁפְטִים / Shophtim)—Judges (שְׁמוּאֵל / Shmû’ēl)—Samuel (מְלָכִים / M'lakhim)—Kings (יְשַׁעְיָהוּ / Yĕsha‘ăyāhû)—Isaiah (יִרְמְיָהוּ / Yirmyāhû)—Jeremiah (יְחֶזְקֵאל / Yĕkhezqiēl)—Ezekiel

The Twelve Minor Prophets
Twelve Minor Prophets
(תרי עשר, Trei Asar, "The Twelve") are considered one book.

(הוֹשֵׁעַ / Hôshēa‘)—Hosea (יוֹאֵל / Yô’ēl)—Joel (עָמוֹס / ‘Āmôs)—Amos (עֹבַדְיָה / ‘Ōvadhyāh)—Obadiah (יוֹנָה / Yônāh)—Jonah (מִיכָה / Mîkhāh)—Micah (נַחוּם / Nakḥûm)—Nahum (חֲבַקּוּק /Khăvhakûk)—Habakkuk (צְפַנְיָה / Tsĕphanyāh)—Zephaniah (חַגַּי / Khaggai)—Haggai (זְכַרְיָה / Zkharyāh)—Zechariah (מַלְאָכִי / Mal’ākhî)—Malachi

Ketuvim[edit] Main article: Ketuvim

Books of the Ketuvim

 

Three poetic books

Psalms Proverbs Job

Five Megillot
Five Megillot
(Scrolls)

Song of Songs Ruth Lamentations Ecclesiastes Esther

Other books

Daniel

Ezra–Nehemiah (Ezra Nehemiah)

Chronicles

Hebrew Bible

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Ketuvim
Ketuvim
(כְּתוּבִים, "Writings") consists of eleven books, described below. Poetic books[edit] In masoretic manuscripts (and some printed editions), Psalms, Proverbs and Job are presented in a special two-column form emphasizing the parallel stichs in the verses, which are a function of their poetry. Collectively, these three books are known as Sifrei Emet (an acronym of the titles in Hebrew, איוב, משלי, תהלים yields Emet אמ"ת, which is also the Hebrew for "truth"). These three books are also the only ones in Tanakh
Tanakh
with a special system of cantillation notes that are designed to emphasize parallel stichs within verses. However, the beginning and end of the book of Job are in the normal prose system. Five scrolls (Hamesh Megillot)[edit] The five relatively short books of the Song of Songs, the Book
Book
of Ruth, the Book
Book
of Lamentations, Ecclesiastes
Ecclesiastes
and the Book
Book
of Esther are collectively known as the Hamesh Megillot (Five Megillot). These are the latest books collected and designated as "authoritative" in the Jewish canon, with the latest parts having dates ranging into the 2nd century BCE. These scrolls are traditionally read over the course of the year in many Jewish communities. The list below presents them in the order they are read in the synagogue on holidays, beginning with the Song of Solomon
Solomon
at Passover. Other books[edit] Besides the three poetic books and the five scrolls, the remaining books in Ketuvim
Ketuvim
are Daniel, Ezra–Nehemiah
Ezra–Nehemiah
and Chronicles. Although there is no formal grouping for these books in the Jewish tradition, they nevertheless share a number of distinguishing characteristics.

Their narratives all openly describe relatively late events (i.e. the Babylonian captivity
Babylonian captivity
and the subsequent restoration of Zion). The Talmudic tradition ascribes late authorship to all of them. Two of them (Daniel and Ezra) are the only books in Tanakh
Tanakh
with significant portions in Aramaic.

Order[edit] The following list presents the books of Ketuvim
Ketuvim
in the order they appear in most printed editions. It also divides them into three subgroups based on the distinctiveness of Sifrei Emet and Hamesh Megillot. The three poetic books (Sifrei Emet)

Tehillim (Psalms) תְהִלִּים Mishlei ( Book
Book
of Proverbs) מִשְׁלֵי Iyyôbh ( Book
Book
of Job) אִיּוֹב

The Five Megillot
Five Megillot
(Hamesh Megillot). These books are read aloud in the synagogue on particular occasions, the occasion listed below in parenthesis.

Shīr Hashīrīm (Song of Songs) or (Song of Solomon) שִׁיר הַשִׁירִים (Passover) Rūth ( Book
Book
of Ruth) רוּת (Shavuot) Eikhah (Lamentations) אֵיכָה (Tisha B'Av) [Also called Kinnot in Hebrew.] Qōheleth (Ecclesiastes) קֹהֶלֶת (Sukkot) Estēr ( Book
Book
of Esther) אֶסְתֵר (Purim)

Other books

Dānî'ēl ( Book
Book
of Daniel) דָּנִיֵּאל ‘Ezrā ( Book
Book
of Ezra— Book
Book
of Nehemiah) עֶזְרָא Divrei ha-Yamim (Chronicles) דִּבְרֵי הַיָּמִים

The Jewish textual tradition never finalized the order of the books in Ketuvim. The Babylonian Talmud
Talmud
( Bava Batra 14b — 15a) gives their order as Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Daniel, Scroll of Esther, Ezra, Chronicles.[citation needed] In Tiberian Masoretic
Masoretic
codices, including the Aleppo Codex
Aleppo Codex
and the Leningrad Codex, and often in old Spanish manuscripts as well, the order is Chronicles, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Esther, Daniel, Ezra.[citation needed] Translations[edit] Further information: Jewish English Bible
Bible
translations, Septuagint, Targum, Old Testament, and Bible
Bible
translations

The Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic
Masoretic
Text: A New Translation with the aid of Previous Versions & with the Constant Consultation of Jewish Authorities was published in 1917 by the Jewish Publication Society. It was replaced by their Tanakh
Tanakh
in 1985 Tanakh, Jewish Publication Society, 1985, ISBN 0-8276-0252-9 Tanach: The Stone Edition, Hebrew with English translation, Mesorah Publications, 1996, ISBN 0-89906-269-5, named after benefactor Irving I. Stone. Tanakh
Tanakh
Ram, an ongoing translation to Modern Hebrew (2010–) by Avraham Ahuvya (RAM Publishing House Ltd. and Miskal Ltd.)

Jewish commentaries[edit]

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Main article: Jewish commentaries on the Bible There are two major approaches towards study of, and commentary on, the Tanakh. In the Jewish community, the classical approach is religious study of the Bible, where it is assumed that the Bible
Bible
is divinely inspired. Another approach is to study the Bible
Bible
as a human creation. In this approach, Biblical studies
Biblical studies
can be considered as a sub-field of religious studies. The later practice, when applied to the Torah, is considered heresy by the Orthodox Jewish community. As such, much modern day Bible
Bible
commentary written by non-Orthodox authors is considered forbidden by rabbis teaching in Orthodox yeshivas. Some classical rabbinic commentators, such as Abraham
Abraham
Ibn Ezra, Gersonides, and Maimonides, used many elements of contemporary biblical criticism, including their knowledge of history, science, and philology. Their use of historical and scientific analysis of the Bible
Bible
was considered acceptable by historic Judaism
Judaism
due to the author's faith commitment to the idea that God revealed the Torah
Torah
to Moses
Moses
on Mount Sinai. The Modern Orthodox Jewish community allows for a wider array of biblical criticism to be used for biblical books outside of the Torah, and a few Orthodox commentaries now incorporate many of the techniques previously found in the academic world, e.g. the Da'at Miqra
Da'at Miqra
series. Non-Orthodox Jews, including those affiliated with Conservative Judaism
Judaism
and Reform Judaism, accept both traditional and secular approaches to Bible
Bible
studies. "Jewish commentaries on the Bible", discusses Jewish Tanakh
Tanakh
commentaries from the Targums
Targums
to classical rabbinic literature, the midrash literature, the classical medieval commentators, and modern day commentaries. See also[edit]

Judaism
Judaism
portal

613 mitzvot, formal list of Jewish 613 commandments 929: Tanakh
Tanakh
B'yachad Bemidbar (parsha) Dead Sea Scrolls#Biblical books found Jewish English Bible
Bible
translations JPS Tanakh Mikraot Gedolot Non-canonical books referenced in the Bible Rashi

References[edit]

^ "Tanach". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. ^ "Mikra'ot Gedolot".  ^ BIBLICAL STUDIES Mikra: Text, Translation, Reading and Interpretation. Norton Irish Theological Quarterly.2007; 72: 305-306 ^ Davies, Philip R. (2001). "The Jewish Scriptural Canon in Cultural Perspective". In McDonald, Lee Martin; Sanders, James A. The Canon Debate. Baker Academic. p. PT66. ISBN 978-1-4412-4163-4.  "With many other scholars, I conclude that the fixing of a canonical list was almost certainly the achievement of the Hasmonean dynasty." ^ McDonald & Sanders, The Canon Debate, 2002, page 5, cited are Neusner's Judaism
Judaism
and Christianity in the Age of Constantine, pages 128–145, and Midrash
Midrash
in Context: Exegesis in Formative Judaism, pages 1–22. ^ ( Bava Batra 14b-15a, Rashi
Rashi
to Megillah 3a, 14a) ^ Midrash
Midrash
Qoheleth 12:12 ^ Kelley, Page H., The Masorah of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, Eerdmans, 1998, ISBN 0-8028-4363-8, p. 20 ^ John Gill (1767). A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language: Letters, Vowel-points, and Accents. G. Keith. pp. 136–137.  also pages 250–255

External links[edit]

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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tanakh.

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: Tanakh

Hebrew Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: Tanakh
Tanakh
(Hebrew source)

Mechon Mamre—The Hebrew text of the Tanakh
Tanakh
based on the Aleppo codex and other Tiberian manuscripts close to it, edited according to the system of Rabbi
Rabbi
Mordechai Breuer. Hebrew text comes in four convenient versions (including one with cantillation marks) and may be downloaded. The JPS 1917 English translation is included as well as parallel translations (Hebrew–English, Hebrew–French, Hebrew–Portuguese and a Hebrew–Spanish Bible, see: A Jewish Hebrew–English/French/Portuguese/Spanish Bible
Bible
According to the Masoretic Text
Masoretic Text
and the JPS 1917 Edition) 929
929
Chapters Links to Tanakh
Tanakh
manuscripts, ancient and modern translations, dictionaries, related literature (e.g., Dead Sea Scrolls, Ancient Near East, Christian, Rabbinic), and study tools such as maps, photos, and archaeological websites. Judaica Press Translation of Tanakh
Tanakh
with Rashi's commentary Free online translation of Tanakh
Tanakh
and Rashi's entire commentary Hebrew–English Tanakh: the Jewish Bible—Online edition of the oldest known complete Masoretic
Masoretic
text of the Hebrew Bible
Bible
(including contillation marks) placed next to classic Jewish translation; can be used on most Internet-connected computers and mobile devices. Mikraot Gedolot
Mikraot Gedolot
(Rabbinic Bible) at Wikisource
Wikisource
in English (sample) and Hebrew (sample) Tanach on Demand – Custom PDF
PDF
versions of any section of the Bible in Hebrew. A Guide to Reading Nevi'im
Nevi'im
and Ketuvim
Ketuvim
– Detailed Hebrew outlines of the biblical books based on the natural flow of the text (rather than the chapter divisions). The outlines include a daily study-cycle, and the explanatory material is in English, by Seth (Avi) Kadish. Unicode/XML Westminster Leningrad Codex
Leningrad Codex
– A free transcription of the electronic source maintained by the Westminster Hebrew Institute. (Leningrad Codex) Tanakh
Tanakh
Hebrew Bible
Bible
Project—An online project that aims to present critical text of the Hebrew Bible
Bible
with important ancient versions (Samaritan Pentateuch, Masoretic
Masoretic
Text, Targum
Targum
Onkelos, Samaritan Targum, Septuagint, Peshitta, Aquila of Sinope, Symmachus, Theodotion, Vetus Latina, and Vulgate) in parallel with new English translation for each version, plus a comprehensive critical apparatus and a textual commentary for every verse. Serve-A-Verse—Free online Hebrew Bible
Bible
Explorer with audio, translation and transliteration of all 39 books of the Hebrew Bible.

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