The Documents

Religious Revolutions

Hebrew Bible (Biblia Hebraica)

11th century manuscript of the Hebrew Bible with Aramaic Targum

11th century manuscript of the Hebrew Bible with Aramaic Targum

Short Description

Marking a radical departure from the religious norms of the Ancient Near East and Greco- Roman Antiquity, the Hebrew Bible has not only shaped Jewish life and thought for more than two millennia, but it also preserves traditions of major historical significance to Christianity and Islam. The edition displayed here represents its very first printing in America.

Remnant Trust Description

In addition to preserving some of the most ancient documents featured in this exhibition, in its present form the Hebrew Bible has stood at the center of Jewish life and thought for well over two millennia. In its clear assertion of ethical monotheism—the belief in one God and the life-orientational entailments which follow from that assertion—the Jewish Scriptures marked a radical departure from the religious norms of both the Ancient Near East and Greco-Roman Antiquity. In this, it served as a direct precursor to both Christianity and Islam. Comprised of a total of 24 (or 39) books, this sacred text is commonly referred to as the Tanakh, a Hebrew acronym referring to its three major divisions: the Law, or Torah, the Prophets, or Nevi’im, and the Writings, or Kethuvim. The edition displayed here is a reimpression of the text prepared by the Dutch Hebraist Everard van der Hooght (d. 1716) based on the traditional masoritic, or ‘received’ text. This version, first issued in Amsterdam and Utrecht in 1705, enjoyed wide circulation throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, with this particular copy, issued in two volumes by the well-known publisher Thomas Dobson in Philadelphia in 1814, representing its very first printing in America.