The Good Question Podcast

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What did the book of Psalms originally mean, what has it come to mean over time in Jewish, Christian, and secular understandings, and how does one even go about answering these questions?

This is just a snippet of what Marc Brettler discusses in today’s episode.

Tune in to discover:

  • Who wrote the book of Psalms in the Bible? It depends on who you ask…
  • The three main periods of biblical Hebrew language
  • Reasons for and against the idea that the Hebrew language went extinct around the time of Jesus
  • Implications from the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and how this has informed the way Brettler studies the Hebrew Bible
  • What parallelism is, where it’s found in the Hebrew Bible, and why it makes biblical poetry difficult for people to interpret

Marc Brettler is a member of the American Academy for Jewish Research and the Council of the Society of Biblical Literature. He’s also a distinguished professor of Jewish and religious studies at Duke University.

Brettler’s main area of specialization is the Hebrew Bible (a term often used interchangeably with the Jewish Bible and Old Testament). He has a general interest in biblical scholarship, including the various methods of interpretation that have been used over the last few centuries.

He walks us through his work, sharing surprising insights into biblical scholarship and interpretations, the intricacies of biblical poetry and language, historical perceptions of reading aloud versus silently, how the book of Psalms relates to other parts of the Bible, and so much more.

To learn more, visit, find Brettler’s book titled How to Read the Jewish Bible, or just read the Bible!

Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: