Talk:Tanakh

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Untitled[edit]

"The Tanakh (Hebrew: תַּנַ"ךְ‎, pronounced [taˈnax] or [təˈnax]; also Tenakh or Tenak) is a name used in Judaism for the Tanakh." This is a really bad sentence, but I'm not sure what to put instead, not being knowledgeable about this. However, saying something is the name for itself without explaining what it is... can someone fix this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.196.22.126 (talk) 22:04, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Wrong Reference to 4 Ezra?[edit]

42: The Highest gave understanding unto the five men, and they wrote the wonderful visions of the night that were told, which they knew not: and they sat forty days, and they wrote in the day, and at night they ate bread. 43: As for me. I spake in the day, and I held not my tongue by night. 44: In forty days they wrote two hundred and four books. 45: And it came to pass, when the forty days were filled, that the Highest spake, saying, The first that thou hast written publish openly, that the worthy and unworthy may read it: 46: But keep the seventy last, that thou mayest deliver them only to such as be wise among the people:

-This doesn't mention at all anything about 24 books of the Tanakh. Also, what is Midrash Qoheleth??

DATES: tradition, apocrypha[edit]

I would like to see some information about when these texts were written, and when they were first compiled as a complete work, "the tanakh". And what of texts found later - what is their relationship to the tanakh?

The text comes from Alexandria in Egypt around 300 BC (Septuagint).
It was first translated to Greek who also made a translation to the Hebrew speaking Phoenician living in Israel/Syria at the time.
Ninum 09:32, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Today, the article claims that "much of the contents of the Tanakh were compiled by the Men of the Great Assembly by 450 BCE". However the page for Men of the Great Assembly says that they "lived in a period of about two centuries ending c. 70 CE". If both pages are correct, these Men compiled the Tanakh more than 200 years before they were born. Mebden (talk) 09:07, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Picture?[edit]

A picture of the Aramaic Targum seems inappropriate for an article on the Tanakh. Could someone put a picture of the Hebrew Bible there instead? -- DrJ1m

You are probably rightPubuman 15:08, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Naming?Heading[edit]

I know this seems trivial, but it really should be corrected: Can we somehow get this page (Tanach) and all related pages switched to "Tanakh" as the proper heading? In general, the transliteration system used in the Encyclopedia Judaica should more or less be adopted throughout Wikipedia for articles that use Hebrew terminology. But no encyclopedia would ever spell "Tanach"!

You are quite right, and I moved it to Tanakh (with Tanach remaining as a redirect). I will also (shortly) make the spelling in the article consistent. To explain what we are talking about, the transliteration "ch" these days is used for the Hebrew letter "chet" but "Tanakh" uses the letter "kuf" which is translitered "kh". So Tanakh is more correct than Tanach according to modern practice. --Zero 08:36, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
You mean "kaf" not "kuf" right? I want to add Hebrew spellings where appropriate for a bunch of Jewish/Hebrew terms here. Is there a page that explains how to insert Hebrew characters? jewbacca 22:15, May 22, 2004 (UTC)
Edit the page to see some examples. The numbers between # and ; are unicode codes in decimal. I use this page to get the hex codes and then use the windows' calculator to switch from hex to dec. --Anton Adelson, Western Australia 12:41, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Whoa!!!! Just add Hebrew as you would do in any other application! Works in both Windows and Linux. Wikipedia translates it into the unicode codes making it impossible to read and edit, but at least it's easy to enter. Gadykozma 17:33, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Yes, that's a (final) kaf, not a kuf. kuf never has the "kh" sound. Thnidu (talk) 22:41, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
What is "kh"? It is archaic. It is entirely not intuitive -- so difficult to sense how it is supposed to be pronounced. Encyclopedia Judaica is antiquated. An old source will give old information. Transliteration is supposed to allow people who don't speak a language to "speak" another language. What in the world is "kh"?
Now one can ask, what is "ch"? "Ch" already has a sound, like in "Charlie Chaplin." But this has become the prevailing method of modern transliteration. Shulchan Aruch has two of them. Chanukah -- is it Khanukah? My wife's name happens to be Michal, like the wife of King David. Am I to write it "Mikhal"? That's just not done anymore. It look Russian or Arabic, like "Meek-HAAL." The best part about this online, digital encyclopedia is that it can be up to date. If the number one publisher of Jewish books is Artscroll and they write "Tanach", why does it have to be tanakh. It's similar to the "kuf is a q" debate. When people see a "q" without a "u," they don't bother reading the word, they just skim it with their eyes, much like the long scientific names of animals and plants. Who can say qorban minkha. It's ridiculous. It's so not user-friendly. It's basically asking the reader "Do not read ths word -- it is beyond pronounciation!!!" DRosenbach (Talk | Contribs) 17:56, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Tanakh or TaNaKh[edit]

There is a problem with the use of Tanakh as spelling for the acronym. In Hebrew the spelling is TNK, and the added letters are only there to assist non-Hebrew speaker. To remain an acronym, the spelling needs to be TaNaKh, because the speling of Tanakh is a proper name used in some cultures as boys' name which has a Hebrew meaning "Who humbles thee, who answers thee" --Mrg3105 01:43, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi, I saw that you brought this up elsewhere as well. Though indeed an acronym, "Tanakh" has become commonly used as a simple word, including in prominent Bible translations and in academic writing. I'm not really sure that spelling it TaNaKh with capitals is really more accurate, but it does seem unwieldy and unaesthetic. I tend to think it should be left as it is, but if need be there can be a vote. Dovi 07:06, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
"unwieldy and unaesthetic" [non-aesthetic?] Sorry, is this an attempt at defining and explaining Jewish cultural heritage, or a discussion on interior decoration? Something is either A or B. Because "prominent Bible translators" use this in academic writing only says something about their writing. Nor is this a matter of democracy! One does not determine standards by voting on them. Ultimately they have to make logical sense.--Mrg3105 10:04, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
What is the origin of this audacity which makes you suppose that by logic you can surpass academic precedent? It is foolishness. If you disagree with this fact, then dispute it with the authority; i can assure you their logic is more sound than your own.
Logic is extremely important, but who decides what is logical? Plus, a good encyclopedia article needs not only accuracy, but also good writing and good taste. It is your opinion that an acronym cannot, through common usage, become a plain word. It is my opinion that it can, and that in this case it has, based upon a plethora of books and articles using it this way (as was already pointed out to you by someone at Talk:Bible). Hence, the issue of "democracy": If most others agree with you on this point of style, then quite obviously this and other articles will be changed to TaNaKh. Otherwise not.Dovi 12:55, 1 January 2007 (UTC)


Because both TaNaKh and Tanakh are both transliterations of an acronym, תנ"ך, neither one is perfect. However, to show that it is an acronym, not just a word, it should be written as TaNaKh.
Goalie1998 19:51, 1 January 2007 (UTC)


See already extensive discussion at Talk:Bible. Let's see where it goes over there. Dovi 05:41, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Let's make it "Tanach," because that's the easiest way to read it and write it, and that's how most people do write it. That's how Artscroll writes it. Similar to radar, sonar and laser, Tanach has become a word. It may be an acronym in Hebrew, but, just like kosher, rabbi and yeshiva, it's become an English term that doesn't have to follow the rules of Hebrew grammar or vocabulary. What's "kosher" -- it should be "kasher" -- not a cholem above the first letter. That doesn't make any sense in Hebrew, unless it's the hispa'el of the hoof'al (excuse the dramatization). But it's OK, because no one says it's a Hebrew word, it's English. That's why they can use it in movies and commercials and speeches even if it doesn't really fit. Let's get this antiquated research stuff out of our heads and be "normal." DRosenbach (Talk | Contribs) 18:08, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Google currently finds "Tanakh" 1,050,000; "Tanach" 356,000. So the first is currently still the most common spelling. Jheald (talk) 20:28, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
That is entirely irrelevant. "Koran" yields 14,900,000 while "Qur'an" yields 6,800,000, yet the former redirects to the latter. The majority of Jews who have a deep understanding and profound appreciation for the Tanach would transliterate it as such, not with the awkward kh that secular biblical scholars choose to use. DRosenbach (Talk | Contribs) 17:11, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

This is probably not necessary, but "schooled!". Brownsc (talk) 23:54, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject[edit]

Based on a suggestion in Wikipedia:Pages needing attention, I have started the skeleton of a WikiProject to try to cut down on the overlap between the various presentations of the canon. I think that a lot of people working here will want input on this. Feel free! Mpolo 13:34, Sep 14, 2004 (UTC)

Chapters[edit]

Calling the chapter divisions "technical" is POV. The edition I had been unfortunate enough to spend 10 years with had the division to chapters and verses in a much more prominent print than the classic Jewish devision. So is any other edition of the Bible I've seen in Hebrew. Gadykozma 18:17, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I have to agree with Dovi. I do not understand what the POV violation here is. Dovi is just stating facts about how the Tanakh is divided in different editions. How this pushing one group's POV in a way that violates our NPOV policy? RK 20:36, Sep 19, 2004 (UTC)
Koren edition, 3 Breuer editions, Dotan edition - other additions are hardly used anymore in Israel and in Jewish circles. May I guess you used either BHS or Letteris?
It is not POV, because the claim is that in the Jewish tradition they are viewed as nothing more than technical divisions, while the ancient divisions (the parashiyot) are the only divisions of import within the Jewish tradition. Indeed, popular historiography among traditional Jews has it that the chapters and verse numbers were only used as a result of Christian pressure, during forced medieval debates between clerics when proof-texts had to be cited. I don't know whether this is entirely accurate historically (i.e. I tend to think that some Jews also viewed the chapters as useful technical references), but it is quite clear that, yes, in the Jewish tradition these are nothing more than borrowed technical references, not divisions of historical or traditional import. Thus the recent group effort among most Jewish publishers to relegate them to the margins. This didn't happen by accident. I doubt any serious Jewish scholar would say otherwise. Dovi 18:58, Sep 14, 2004 (UTC)
I can hardly be expected to remember which edition of the Bible I used in school. That was 15 years ago. However, let me assure you that: A) It had the chapters and verses prominantly and the Jewish divisions almost invisible. B) We learned the Bible by these divisions C) Every reference I came across here in Wikipedia is using these divisions. D) Your text PROVES your POV: the POV of a Hebrew scholar, where as there are other POVs, including other Hebrew POVs. Gadykozma 19:17, 14 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I hope we can resolve this between ourselves without votes, etc. The personal level is the best way to go. (A-B) If you want to debate the Hebrew editions you've seen and used, versus the printing trends among Jews over the past 50 years, we can do that. In fact, it may even be an informative addition to the article. The history of Tanakh printing is fascinating. But sorry, it does not prove your point. Will add at least a summary of the material when I get the chance, perhaps over the next couple of weeks.
(C) That Wikipedia uses these divisions proves nothing. That they are commonly used as technical references to cite verses is agreed to by all. That the plural "Books of Samuel" has no source, basis, or religious importance in the Jewish/rabbinic tradition is agreed to by all as well. Please cite any source to the contrary.
(D) You say my text proves my POV. How? Cite me some POV and I will be happy to correct it. Find me any serious Bible scholar, Jew or non-Jew, who says that these divisions have a basis in the Jewish/masoretic tradition, and we can include his POV. But I don't think you will find any. Sorry, there are no "other" Hebrew POV's. Any "Hebrew" with a decent Jewish education, be he Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, rabbinite, Karaite - you name it - knows that these are simply not Jewish divisions of the Bible. Sorry.
Finally: "...since its original intention was to facilitate interreligious theological discussion." I don't know what you mean by "original intention", but Wow(!): "Interreligious theological discussion" is quite a euphamism for the period of pogroms and forced mass-apostacy that coincided with the inquisition, when these "discussions" took place.

Awaiting your response. Dovi 20:13, Sep 19, 2004 (UTC)

Dovi, what we are having here is obviously a dialogue between the deaf. We are speaking in different terms. You are talking about Masoretic traditions and what is or is not Jewish. I am talking about a very simple fact: open a Bible in Hebrew (if you must have a specific edition, why not use a standard IDF issued Bible?) in a random page and you will immidiately see the chapter and verse numbers. Open it in Samuel, and you will immidiately see whether this is I or II Samuel. Finding out which parashiya you are in is graphically more difficult. That's all. Nothing deep, nothing "essential". All very techincal, as you like to say. I want the article to reflect this fact. Clearly and unequivocaly. I will agree to any formulation of the text that does that. Gadykozma 20:46, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I honestly don't understand the charge being made against Dovi. RK 20:36, Sep 19, 2004 (UTC)
RK, does the text above answer your question? Gadykozma 20:46, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)
All the Jewish, Hebrew versions I have seen have the chapter divisions as well as the parashiot. Interestingly, the chapter and verse divisions actually sometimes differ slightly in Christian Bibles. Jayjg 23:05, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)

RK, part of why this has become so confused is because the original wording no longer appears, so it is hard to figure out what is being discussed. Gadykozma considers a statement to the effect that the chapter numbers and the division of Samuel have no roots in the Jewish tradition (rabbinic and/or masoretic) to be "POV." It is POV according to him to write that the Jewish tradition speaks of the "Book" of Samuel rather than the "Books" of Samuel. It is also POV according to him to say that since the middle ages Jews have used the chapter and verse numbers only in a "technical" sense for citing verses, but that the divisions with religious and historical significance are the masoretic ones. In his last post above he seems to agree with me, however.

Jayjg, you are right obviously. It might even be interesting to list the few occassions where they disagee. (Maybe in Bible#Chapters_and_verses.)

As for the IDF Bible: Gadykozma, the IDF has distributed the Dotan edition for many years (until about a year or two ago). The Dotan edition is one of the majority of popular modern editions that have relegated the chapter and verse divisions to the margins precisely because they have no Jewish religious or historical significance, and are needed only to cite verses. Nearly all modern versions have done this following Koren, the most popular Hebrew Tanakh edition ever (see the introduction to Koren for why they did it). This is precisely what I wrote this in the original version which you deleted; perhaps you just didn't understand what I meant.

To make the issue clear, here is the paragraph that Gadykozma erased:

(Jewish editions of the Tanakh in Hebrew eventually included the division of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles as a technical reference along with the chapter divisions and verse numbers. Most editions published over the past generation have, however, relegated the division of these books to the margins, along with the chapter divisions. The text of Samuel, for instance, continues without any interruption on the page. For more information, see Bible#Chapters_and_verses.)

I have a strong hunch (and I hope I am right) that this whole thing was nothing more than a needless misunderstanding. Dovi 07:22, Sep 20, 2004 (UTC)

So, where does this text (leaving aside my style concerns: do not put whole paragraph in parenthesis, do not link to sections without a |) say that the chapter and verse divisions are more prominent than the parashiyot divisions? Gadykozma 10:48, 20 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Sorry to re-open up a discussion from 8 years ago, but I wanted to point out that your underlying assumption of this whole discussion is not all that accurate. The Lubavitcher Rebbe actually attributes much religious meaning to the chapter and verse numbering in the Chumash (see Likutei Sichot Vol. 16, Parshat Yitro, Sicha 4, note 40)! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 79.183.210.247 (talk) 22:55, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Chapters, verses, and prominence in Hebrew editions[edit]

It all depends on what exactly you mean by “prominent.” There are three different features to consider in these editions:

Title pages for book divisions[edit]

In most of the new editions, before each book of the Tanakh begins there is a title page that is blank on both sides except for the name of the book in large bold print. When it comes to Samuel, there is only one such title page at the beginning with the single word “Shemuel” in large print (no plural, no I or II). This first occured in Koren (1965), which was the most popular Jewish edition of the full Tanakh ever published. Koren was followed by the second and third Breuer editions, Dotan, and most recently by the beautiful new “simanim” edition (published by Feldheim and Makhon Simanim, 2004). In the first Breuer edition there are no blank title pages, only a large-font title at the top of the page where each new book begins; “Shemuel” is the simple title, only once at the beginning of the book. In all of these editions, Samuel II continues with no break at all on the very same page (or even on the very same line) where Samuel I ends. There is no new title page. The same is true for Kings, Chronicles, and Ezra (the mesorah considers Ezra-Nehemia to be one book as well).

In is therefore clear that when it comes to the specific feature of title pages, the masoretic divisions are the only prominent feature in the newer editions, while the division of Samuel and similar books into two parts is completely ignored.

Contrast this to older editions like Letteris, or non-Jewish editions such as BHS. The Letteris edition, which has been reprinted countless times by various Jewish and non-Jewish publishers and Bible societies (it is in the public domain), begins with a prominent “LIBER I. SAMUELIS” at the top of the page in large letters, and later on “LIBER II. SAMUELIS” (but in the middle of the page). Here the division of Samuel is clearly prominent; contrasting Letteris to the newer editions is a striking example of how the new trend differs from the older editions (Letteris is typical of the latter). But even in Letteris, only at the beginning of Samuel I and Kings I does a book start at the top of a new page.

When it comes to BHS, we are confronted by an interesting phenomenon: Here we have an edition which, on a scholarly level, strives to be an accurate representation of the Mesorah (based on the Leningrad codex), but on a practical level is completely confortable with non-masoretic divisions. The compromise: The book is entitled “Samuel I II” in large type at the beginning (unlike the Jewish editions, which omit the “I II”), but Samuel II begins with no break on the page (just like in the Jewish editions).

To conclude: When it comes to the feature of titles and title pages, in most Jewish editions over the past forty years (since Koren) no prominence at all is given to the division of Samuel and like books. This is a definite historical trend.

Chapter divisions within the main text[edit]

In older editions such as Letteris, the beginning of each chapter within the biblical books was marked by a major break in the text on the page, and by the insertion of a chapter number in Roman numerals: CAP. VIII., CAP. XIX., etc. (This, by the way, is the origin of the Yiddish expression “Kapitel” for biblical chapters.) In Letteris the width of the break with the title is about the space of two lines, at it occurs even when there is no masoretic break at all. (The masoretic parashiyot are also represented in Letteris by spaces within lines and new line beginnings.) Thus, a chapter always begins at the beginning of a new line after a major break in the text on the page, so that the chapter breaks are much more prominent than the masoretic divisions.

However, in all of the new editions mentioned previously (including BHS), there is no such break in the text at the beginning of a chapter. A line of continuous text may have the beginning of a new chapter right in the middle, but the main text simply continues with no indication of this. There is no space, no new line beginning, and certainly no blank line to indicate the new chapter.

To conclude: When it comes to the feature of chapter divisions within the main text, most Jewish editions over the past forty years (since Koren) give no prominence at all to the chapter breaks. This is also a definite historical trend.

Chapter and verse numbers[edit]

If chapter and verse numbers have no basis in the masoretic Jewish tradition, and yet they have become indispensible on a practical level for finding the location of verses, then how are they to be represented on the printed page inside an edition that strives to represent the mesorah? And if the chapter count follows the division of books like Samuel, a partition which is also not traditional, then how can it be indicated so that verses can be found, but without actually dividing the books? These two questions created a practical problem that has faced the publishers of all modern editions of the Hebrew Bible, ever since Koren (in the Jewish world) and BHS (in the Christian world).

The Koren publishers strove for maximal masoretic “purity” with only minimal concessions to practical verse citations. Their compromise was to surround the Hebrew text with marginal notations on both sides. The more prominent wider outer margin was devoted to details of the Jewish textual tradition, such as keri/ketiv and the division of the sedarim. The less prominent narrow inner margin was devoted to chapter and verse numbers. Even such trivialities as book titles at the top of each page, and page numbers at the bottom, were also pushed to the outer margins (i.e. to the far outer corners not directly above or below the text) in an effort to show that they were “outside” of the flow of the masoretic text. This was done because even traditional Jewish titles – including such titles as for the books of the twelve minor prophets – do not match the masoretic count of 24 books. (For the minor prophets, each book in Koren follows the previous one after a short masoretic break of a few lines, but with no separate title page.) Thus even book titles were reduced, quite clearly, to technical measures in the Koren edition. These “corner” titles include the indication of Samuel A or B, Ezra or Nehemia, etc., so that the chapter divisions in the inner margin will be intelligible. (I.e. is “chapter 6” the sixth chapter of Samuel I or Samuel II; of Ezra or Nehemia?) But like the chapter and verse numbers, these corner titles are removed from the “official” text in a way that is made clear by the layout of the page.

So is the division of Samuel “prominent” in Koren? It may be argued that it is, since it is indicated at the top corner of every page. Alternatively, it may be argued that because it has been pushed as far away as possible from the main text, and it does not interfere with the text at all (no title page or any other break), therefore it is not prominent. Consider Samuel, for instance, which in the Koren edition has but a “closed” parashah division at the exact point where Samuel I ends and Samuel II begins. Samuel II thus begins in the very same line of text where Samuel I ends! Although Koren was forced to indicate Samuel A or B in the top margin because of the chapter count in the inner margin, it was still clearly making every effort possible to completely eliminate the significance of that partition, and to prevent it from interrupting the flow of the text. Koren presents Samuel as a single book.

In Koren, the masoretic parashiyot are indicated by spaces within lines, or by the beginning of a new line (a “paragraph”). When reading, their prominence catches the eye quickly and much more easily than do the chapter and verse numbers. This was the stated intention of the publishers.

Other modern Jewish editions followed in Koren’s footsteps by relegating chapter and verse numbers to the margins, but were sometimes slightly less radical in their solutions. The first Breuer edition (published by Mossad Harav Kook) relegates them to the right margin of the page, kept slightly wider than Koren’s inner margin, so that they still don’t interfere with the text at all, but are a bit easier to glance at than in Koren. The same is true of Breuer second edition (published by Horev), and of Dotan, both of which put them in the outer margin, which makes them slightly more visible and a bit easier to glance at than in Koren. In all of these editions, the marginal chapter and verse numbers still catch the eye far less when reading than do the traditional parashah divisions, which are immediately striking. Again, that was the intention of the publishers, who followed in the footsteps of Koren. Unlike Koren, however, they allowed the book titles at the top margin of the page to appear over the text in the middle (Breuer first edition) or towards the corner (Breuer second edition and Dotan).

The strikingly beautiful new “simanim” edition (Feldheim) returned to the original Koren method by putting “Jewish” data in the outer margin, while relegating chapter and verse numbers to a narrow inner margin. Here too “Samuel A” can be found at the outer top corner as in Koren, but unlike Koren this edition allows the corner titles to “intrude” a little bit by appearing over the text itself.

In BHS the chapter and verse numbers appear twice: In the margins, and also interpolated within the text itself at the beginning of each and every verse and chapter. Line breaks, however, occur only according to the mesorah.

In the old Letteris edition verse numbers are not in the text but in the outer margins (a mixture of Arabic numerals and Hebrew letters for every fifth verse). But the chapters start, as explained earlier, with a major break in the text itself. It is precisely this phenomenon that many of the newer editions have rebelled against.

The only important modern Jewish edition of the Tanakh that still features chapter divisions prominently within the text, of which I am aware, is the Hebrew-English JPS edition. Nevertheless, the major trend described above exists and is important, even if it doesn’t include every edition.

To conclude: When it comes to the feature of chapter and verse numbers, in most Jewish editions over the past forty years (since Koren) no prominence at all is given to the chapter and verse numbers, which are relegated to the margins and lack the visual impact of the parashah divisions. The marginal numbers are included only as a practical tool to allow for the citation of verses.

In order to make the marginal numbers meaningful, however, these editions were forced to indicate the division of books like Samuel with an A or B in the title at the top margin of the page. Other than that indication, usually pushed to the corner, the division of these books is ignored entirely in the title pages and within the main text; the flow of the text is presented with no interuption whatsoever. This is, once again, a definite historical trend, though in this case there is some room for debate about “prominence,” depending on how much significance is granted to the book titles in the upper outside corners.

Overall Conclusion[edit]

The above material, in my opinion, may be reworked as part of an article dealing with modern published editions of the Hebrew Bible. (What should the title be?) It is far too long to be included in the “Tanakh” article. I suggest the following four paragraphs as a to-the-point summary for the Tanakh article, if it can be agreed upon. I consider G’s insistence on stating “prominence” to be contrary to the facts, as presented above. But perhaps we can now agree on the following:

The chapter and verse numbers have no significance in the Jewish tradition. Nevertheless, they are included in all modern editions of the Tanakh so that verses may be located and cited. The division of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles into parts I and II is also indicated on each page of those books in order to prevent confusion about whether a chapter number is from part I or II, since the chapter numbering for these books follows their partition in the Christian textual tradition.
The adoption of the Christian chapter divisions by Jews began in the late middle ages in Spain, partially in the context of forced clerical debates which took place against a background of harsh persecution and of the Spanish Inquisition. Because they proved useful – and eventually indispensible – for citations, they continued to be included in most Hebrew editions of the biblical books. For more information on the origin of these divisions, see chapters and verses.
The chapter and verse numbers were often indicated very prominently in older editions, to the extent that they overshadowed the traditional Jewish masoretic divisions. However, in many Jewish editions of the Tanakh published over the past forty years, there has been a major historical trend towards minimizing the impact and prominence of the chapter and verse numbers on the printed page. Most editions accomplish this by removing them from the text itself and relegating them to the margins of the page. The main text in these editions is unbroken and uninterrupted at the beginning of chapters (which are noted in the margin). The lack of chapter breaks within the text in these editions also serves to reinforce the visual impact created by the spaces and “paragraph” breaks on the page, which indicate the traditional Jewish parashah divisions.
These modern Jewish editions present Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles (as well as Ezra) as single books in their title pages, and make no indication inside the main text of their division into two parts (though it is noted in the upper and side margins). The text of Samuel II, for instance, follows Samuel I on the very same page with no special break at all in the flow of the text, and may even continue on the very same line of text.

This is much better than previous attempts. My only remark now is that in the edition I hold, the title page does show both Samuel I and II. And BTW, are you sure about the "late middle ages" fact? I seem to recall theological discussions going throughout the middle ages. But then I am very likely to be wrong. Gadykozma 18:23, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Cool! So now check which edition it is!
Late middle ages: Earliest Hebrew manuscript with chapter numbers - 14th century, first printed edition - early sixteenth century. (The "Jewish middle ages" may be said to end, for our purposes here, with the generation that was expelled from Spain in 1492.) I have never seen a reference to chapters in the writings of late medieval rabbis, not even for centuries after the middle ages. Chapter and verse numbers for citations seem not do have been added in rabbinic works until around the eighteenth century. Dovi 04:13, Sep 22, 2004 (UTC)
As you said, the IDF supplied bible is Dotan. Gadykozma 10:49, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Is that the one you are holding? Also see the new sentence I just added above; I think you will be pleased. Dovi 04:52, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)
You did understand that I am holding a recent edition, didn't you? By my calculations, it was probably issued around 3 years ago. Gadykozma 10:36, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Please just finally say exactly which one it is! The curiosity is already driving me nuts. Also exactly which one you used 15 years ago, if you still have it on your bookshelf somewhere. (If the current one you are holding is the IDF Dotan, the title page for Samuel simply says "Sefer Shmuel.") Dovi 14:47, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

Only Love is Real ...True POV. Truth Forgiveness Love. InEffable Love. Hashem is LOVE. The rest is commentary. B'Shalom! Am Yisrael Chai! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.53.139.115 (talk) 00:54, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Hebrew only or Hebrew-English?[edit]

Are we talking about Hebrew only versions of the Tanakh, or Hebrew-English ones as well? Jayjg 17:20, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I was talking about Hebrew only. Gadykozma 18:24, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Why? Jayjg 19:31, 21 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I was also talking mostly (but not exclusively) about Hebrew-only texts. The reason was because the trend to minimize chapters took place mostly in the Hebrew-only editions (starting with Koren). As for Hebrew-English editions: JPS, as I pointed out above, it not part of this trend at all, as it notes the chapter divisions very prominently inside the main text. But the Artscroll Hebrew-English "Tanach" follows the "minimizing" trend completely, as does the new Hebrew-English version recently published by Horev. Dovi 04:13, Sep 22, 2004 (UTC)

Hebrew naming conventions[edit]

Urgent: see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Hebrew) to add your opinions about this important matter. Thank you. IZAK 17:56, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

rm TanakhML link?[edit]

It is very misleading, because it really is the Old Testament, not the Tanakh. If no one apposes I will be removing it within 24hrs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.233.48.200 (talkcontribs)

On what basis do you say it is Old Testament, not Tanakh? Although the site is built by academics and not rabbinic scholars, and then possibly by a non-Jew:
  1. the canon used is the tanakh canon
  2. the text used is based on one of the most common masoretic codices
  3. it explores and works with the Hebrew language
  4. it focusses on the Hebrew diacritics, masoretic vowels and cantillation marks
  5. it includes the masoretic qere/ketiv variations that are most certainly tanakh
  6. although it includes a KJV translation, this seems to be only for those who need the assistance of an English translation. You would be better off petitioning the site owner to use the JPS if you have a problem with that, rather than declaring it the Old Testament.
jnothman talk 23:12, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

In what way is it the "Old Testament", Christian-specific designation? A preferred name is the "Hebrew Bible", even if it's an English translation.

I would like to point out again here that there is no 'canon' defined by Jewish authorities (outside of academics who may be Jewish by birth). This is a Christian definition that has been applied to Jewish texts to impose conformity with the Christian corpus which is completely artificial.--Mrg3105 10:09, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Oral torah & Christianity[edit]

A previous version asserted that Christianity does not accept oral Torah. There was no reference given for this, and I can't find any mention of, much less broad agreement with, this statement in a quick survey of Christian literature. A reference should be cited for this statement if it is to be replaced. --Mpa 17:51, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

It is obvious that Chrisitianity does not accept the Oral Torah, because to do so would require it to also accept the Torah, which it does not.--Mrg3105 10:06, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

If the Christians did accept the Oral Torah they wouldn't be Christians because the Talmud says that, "If man says he is God, he is a liar"--Java7837 (talk) 01:09, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm curious as to why there has to be a Christian section here. There are other areas in Wikipedia for comparative Christian literature. Unless a good reason exists, I would propose a delete.--Mrg3105 (talk) 09:19, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Its not obvious at all. You can't make such a sweeping statement. Its very plausible that Christianity accepts some elements of oral Torah; they don't have to accept all of it, and they don't have to conclude that doing so forces them also to accept the Torah. For example, they could believe the Torah and Oral Torah contradict one another, and then choose to follow the latter instead of the former.

Many Christian women wax their underarm hair, many Christian men now wash daily, but that doesn't make mean they believe the entire Qur'an. Clinkophonist (talk) 20:46, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

How can Christianity accept something they can't read?--mrg3105 (comms) ♠♣ 05:29, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Maybe this will help - the article Christianity and Judaism in Understanding of the Bible section states that "...Christians reject the Jewish Oral Torah (Matt 15:6), which was still in oral, and therefore unwritten, form in the time of Jesus." PluniAlmoni (talk) 10:52, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Merge of Development of the Jewish Bible canon into Tanakh[edit]

Proposing a merger of these articles. Development of the Jewish Bible canon appears to be an orphaned copy from the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia with limited updates. Suggest combining articles to facilitate development. Best, --Shirahadasha 04:50, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Shirahadasha, the article you pointed to is pointing to Tanakh because by and large it deals with subjects outside of Tanakh, including the Mishna, and the rules that spell out why all those other pieces of literature are excluded from Tanakh, therefore halting its 'development'. It may be that the article is better dealt with by splitting it into sections and and merging sections into relevant articles such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_apocrypha --Mrg3105 (talk) 01:27, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Oppose, for the following reasons:
Shira, I'd ask you to withdraw your proposal. But if further discussion is necessary, can I suggest the most appropriate venue for it would appear to be Talk:Development of the Jewish Bible canon, rather than here. Jheald 09:32, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
Oppose per User:Jheald. This is a clear case in which the history behind the final result is an encyclopedic topic in its own right and where the discussion of the history would be a distraction from the topic itself. --Richard 17:54, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Comment I understand the article contains more contemporary information. My principle concern is to event religious and academic viewpoints from being segregated into separate, parallel sets of articles. See WP:POVFORK. Perhaps this can be avoided without a merger. Best, --Shirahadasha (talk) 00:44, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Jheald --Java7837 (talk) 01:11, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose on the grounds that there is no development (suggestive of ongoing development) in the Tanakh. There is development in the Oral Torah, but Tanakh has distinct and known start and end dates, with fairly well known times of addition to it of the various components/books. The history of Tanakh is what is discussed in this article.--Mrg3105 (talk) 01:20, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose as it would create confusion. The notion of "Tanakh" is far more uniquely Judaic. There is more than enough room for each article to expand without impinging on the contents and direction of the other. Nothing that a "See also" in each article couldn't deal with. IZAK (talk) 12:27, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose, for the reasons expressed by the editors immediately above, and also that both articles are currently a reasonable size, but merging them would make the other article unnecessarily large. Clinkophonist (talk) 20:06, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

edition(s) based on Leningrad Codex[edit]

Under Editions, the bullet point for the Leningrad Codex says that it "served as the basis for two important Jewish editions of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh)", but then lists only one. Thnidu (talk) 22:39, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

"minor prophets" or "Twelve"?[edit]

The term "minor prophets" for the twelve short prophetic books is misleading. The word "minor" suggests relative unimportance, but here it "refers to the length of the books, not their importance" (quoted from Minor prophet). I have modified the last sentence under "Nevi'im" in the introduction to reflect preferred Jewish usage while retaining the common English term as a synonym. Thnidu (talk) 23:00, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the fact that minor could be misleading, but so can public school, which refers to schools which are NOT run by the state. Wikipedia operates a policy of using the ordinary english usage - which here, as you state yourself, is minor prophets, not twelve; in what way can you justify replacing the ordinary english usage title of a book used in Christian denominations - the largest religion among English speakers - with the usage which is Jewish - one of the smallest religions among English speakers? Clinkophonist (talk) 20:10, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

It should be noted that the terms "Tanakh" and "Nevi'im" themselves are Hebrew terms current largely among Jews, not generally used among English-speaking Christians. We've gone back and forth between completely separate Jewish "Tanakh" and Christian "Old Testament" articles and efforts to have a combined "Hebrew Bible" article; having Tanakh as the combined article is fairly recent. The existing content was added at different times under different general auspices and is therefore something of a mish-mash, with some content under one article perhaps more relevant to what another currently covers. The fact that these subtle differences in names reflect different theological interpretations is one reason to maintain separate perspectives. Best, --Shirahadasha (talk) 20:48, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Clinkophonist slips too easily from "ordinary English usage" to "Christian" usage. The Tanakh is a sacred book of the Jews. A meaningful encyclopedia entry will explain this Jewish book to a general audience. yes, that audience will enclude Christians, but they are reading this to learn about a Jewish book. So let them learn about the phrase "the Twelve" which refers to an important subsection of the Tanakh. It doesn't matter whaterh there are many more Christians than Jews - surely there are some Christians today who are open-minded enough to learn about the ways of life of peoples they have not wiped out or assimilated. Slrubenstein | Talk 00:03, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Agreeing with Slrubenstein, and answering Clinkophonist's question directly: This article is titled "Tanakh". It is specifically about the Hebrew Bible, the holy scripture of Judaism. That justifies the use of Jewish terminology here, just as Muslim terminology would be appropriate in an article about the Qur'ān, and Christian terminology in an article about the New Testament. Thnidu (talk) 23:19, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

"Christians translate almah"[edit]

'Christians translate the word almah (עלמה)as "virgin," while the translation in the Tanakh is young maiden.[10] This Christian view is based on a different understanding of the Septuagint translation, Greek: παρθενος which according to New Testament Scholars[11], can mean "a marriageable maiden" or "virgin."' This is wrong. "Christians" translate almah as young maiden because that is a reasonable translation of the Hebrew word. See the tradition off the New Standard Revised Version. They interpret it as indicating virgin because the earliest Christians, who were Jewish converts, used the Septuagint translation of the Tanakh, which translated almah into Greek as parthenos, which means virgin. This translation was done by Jewish scholars before the birth of Jesus. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Richardson mcphillips (talkcontribs) 15:35, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

"Hebrew Bible"[edit]

Ouch. I'm getting very tired of seeing the Torah and the Tanakh referred to as the "Hebrew Bible". This is apparently the (lazy) habit of what are referred to on Wikipedia as "biblical scholars"—a term which, I assume, applies only to scholars of the Bible, and not to theologians in general. Can't we find a better term? "The Jewish Holy Scriptures" seems more accurate and less offensive.

Referring to the Tanakh as the "the Hebrew Bible" is inaccurate, as it can mean either The Bible of the Hebrews, or merely The Bible written in Hebrew, neither of which are true. It is also just as offensive to Jews as referring to the Torah as "the first five books of the Bible". In truth, while the Christians may have adopted the Torah and the Tanakh to create the first five books of their holy scriptures—The Bible—Jews still regard the Torah and the Tanakh as their own, if not the only, Holy Scriptures.

To Jews, the Bible can be viewed as a plagiarized version of the Tanakh, with recent additions written to glorify a false prophet, the content of which has been used for centuries as a justification for their persecution. So you can see the sensitivity.

The Christian term "Old Testament" is apparently viewed negatively, though I'm not really sure why. The Torah is much older than the Bible, and, as we know from our experiences as consumers, "new" doesn't always mean "better".

Referring to the Tanakh as the Hebrew Bible is exactly like referring to The Bible as "the Christian Koran". Just because Islam is more recent and more popular than Christianity, does not negate the right of Christians to protect their own intellectual property. In fact, it is precisely why they need to protect it.

Any thoughts?

--miltonBradley 11:41, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Just to clarify, is it correct that the usual term used by English-speaking Jews for their scripture is simply "the bible"? Cesiumfrog (talk) 15:56, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Milton, unfortunately published scholars are what determine WP usage see WP:RS, WP:Content forking and WP:EN. In ictu oculi (talk) 04:00, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

oldest printed Tanakh[edit]

According to Soncino, Lombardy, the first complete Jewish Bible in the world was printed in 1488. That article does not explain whether it was the first complete Hebrew Bible in the world or the first printed version, and this article does not mention that edition at all! --Espoo (talk) 13:00, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

History and Codification is a duplicate[edit]

History and Codification is a duplicate there must be some way to fix this, as there is no need for the duplication of information in stub form in the history section. --Inayity (talk) 19:46, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

join the see also into one line, as opposed to two lines[edit]

I dont know how to do a see also and include multi things. It is very messy having See also a musical band and then cities in Iran. One line See also for cities in Iran, for musical band . Clean--Inayity (talk) 20:19, 18 December 2013 (UTC)

I simplified two hatnotes (concerning the band Tanakh and the Iranian towns called Tanak) into a single hatnote. Is that what you wanted? — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 03:08, 19 December 2013 (UTC)