Welcome to the Five Books recommendations on Judaism and Jewish culture.
From a literary perspective, our book recommendations examine the rich cultural and literary world of Jewish writing. These include the best Jewish fiction, chosen by novelist Allegra Goodman, but also the best contemporary Israeli fiction. Harvard Professor Ruth Wisse discusses the distinctive nature of Jewish humour, picking her favourite works.
A History of the Bible
by John Barton
An Introduction to the New Testament
by Raymond E Brown
Jesus the Jew: a Historian’s Reading of the Gospels
by Geza Vermes
The Misunderstood Jew: the Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus
by Amy-Jill Levine
Seeing the Word: Refocusing New Testament Study
by Markus Bockmuehl
The Bible is not always an easy read—nor is it always obvious how or where to start reading it. Here, Nicholas King, a Jesuit priest and biblical scholar, chooses five books to help you start getting to grips with what is, arguably, the world’s all-time bestselling book.
Ruth Wisse, Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature and Comparative Literature Emerita at Harvard and author of No Joke: Making Jewish Humour, identifies Tevye the Dairyman as the first standup comic and Sigmund Freud as Jewish humour’s greatest analyst.