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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

Miqra'ot Gedolot

The production of Bibles with the biblical text surrounded by a number of commentaries and translations began in the late Middle Ages, as scribes copied for themselves or patrons commissioned such works for their own use. With the introduction and spread of the printing press, commentaries were first produced individually, or accompanying the biblical text. The first Rabbinic Bible was published by Daniel Bomberg in 1516 in Venice and included the commentaries of Rashi, Ibn Ezra, and Ramban. Other editions soon followed (Venice, 1524–25, 1544). The second Rabbinic Bible (1524–1525), edited by Jacob ben Ḥayyim ben Isaac Ibn Adonijah (ca.1470–ca.1538), an apprentice of Bomberg's who converted to Christianity late in life, is especially important, because of the editor's attention to the accuracy of the text, seeking out manuscripts to help in this task, and his attempt to produce an edition faithful to the Masoretic tradition. (See “The Development of the Masoretic Bible,” pp. 2077–84 .) He also succeeded in printing more commentaries than had his predecessors. His edition set the standard for generations to come and served as the basis for many subsequent editions. Another important edition was Kehilat Mosheh (The Congregation of Moses; Amsterdam, 1724– 1727), edited by Moses Frankfurter, which had sixteen commentaries never before included, such as those of Ralbag. In the 19th century in Eastern Europe, the production of such editions of the Bible became extremely popular and publishers in Warsaw, Vilna, and Cracow vied for customers’ attention, competing for the distinction of having the greatest number of commentaries in their editions. It was early in the 19th century that the title Miqra'ot Gedolot (Great Scriptures) for such editions was first introduced. Besides the classical triumvirate of Rashi, Ibn Ezra, and Naḥmanides, the Keli yakar (Precious Vessel) by Ephraim of Luntshitz and Or ha‐Ḥayim (Light of Life) by Ḥayyim Ibn 'Attar seem to have been immensely popular and gained a wide readership. For Prophets and Writings, the Metzudot of the Altschulers were constant companions of Rashi. Depending on the book, they were usually joined by Ibn Ezra, Radak, Ralbag, and Sforno. There can be no doubt that these editions had a tremendous influence on which commentaries were read and which were neglected. Inclusion in an editionof Miqra'ot Gedolot would ensure a wide audience. The juxtaposition of commentaries from different locations and periods also influenced how the Bible was studied (see p. 1875). Such editions facilitate a dialogue across generations and cultures mediated by the reader, who thus becomes another link in the ongoing tradition of biblical study and interpretation.

[BARRY D. WALFISH]

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