The Bible's Cutting Room Floor

The Holy Scriptures Missing From Your Bible

Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

Thomas Dunne Books

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The Bible you usually read is not the complete story. Some holy writings were left out for political or theological reasons, others simply because of the physical restrictions of ancient bookmaking technology. At times, the compilers of the Bible skipped information that they assumed everyone knew. Some passages were even omitted by accident.

In The Bible’s Cutting Room Floor, acclaimed author and translator Dr. Joel M. Hoffman gives us the stories and other texts that didn’t make it into the Bible even though they offer penetrating insight into the Bible and its teachings.

The Book of Genesis tells us about Adam and Eve’s time in the Garden of Eden, but not their saga after they get kicked out or the lessons they have for us about good and evil. The Bible introduces us to Abraham, but it doesn’t include the troubling story of his early life, which explains how he came to reject idolatry to become the father of monotheism. And while there are only 150 Psalms in today’s Bible, there used to be many more.

Dr. Hoffman deftly brings these and other ancient scriptural texts to life, exploring how they offer new answers to some of the most fundamental and universal questions people ask about their lives. An impressive blend of history, linguistics, and religious scholarship, The Bible’s Cutting Room Floor reveals what’s missing from your Bible, who left it out, and why it is so important.

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Book Excerpts

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1

JERUSALEM: AN ETERNAL CITY IN CONFLICT

 

Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all: the conscientious historian will correct these defects.

—MARK TWAIN, ON HERODOTUS, THE FIRST HISTORIAN

Let others praise ancient times; I’m glad I was born in these.

—OVID, FIRST CENTURY A.D.

By local reckoning, the year was that of Roman consuls Antonius and Cicero, during the 179th olympiad cycle. Only later would we date the events to 63 years before the birth of Christ, or to the 3,697th year of Creation.

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Reviews

Praise for The Bible's Cutting Room Floor

Praise for The Bible's Cutting Room Floor

"A wonderful book to confirm the beliefs of the faithful, to strengthen those whose faith begs for more information and to enlighten those who reject the stories of the Bible as mere fiction." —Kirkus Reviews

Praise for And God Said

"A lively tour of the difficulties besetting the Bible’s translators, their successes and (more frequent) failures." ---Jewish Ideas Daily

"Deeply welcome as a valuable tool for teaching . . . well-worth acquiring." ---Jewish Book World

"[Hoffman] unites biblical scholarship and translation theory, embracing modern science and modern linguistics, to help us understand what the prophets and our forebears were doing and how they wrote. He retrieves what the Bible really was and what it can be for us now." ---The Very Reverend James A. Kowalski, The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine

"A wise and important book, and a lot of fun to read." ---Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

"Hoffman is wise and gentle as he exhibits the issue of distortion by way of translation. Short of all readers learning Hebrew, Hoffman’s work is the best gift for a careful reader of a text that defies easy contemporary rendering." ---Walter Brueggemann, author of The Prophetic Imagination

Praise for In the Beginning

"Hoffman has a flair for explaining how languages work." ---The Times Literary Supplement (London)

"Written in an energetic style with a commitment to exploring the evolution of Hebrew from ancient times to the present in ways that a broad audience can comprehend." ---Religious Studies Review

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About the Author

Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

JOEL M. HOFFMAN, Ph.D., is the author of In the Beginning and And God Said. He is the chief translator for the series My People’s Prayer Book (winner of the National Jewish Book Award) and for My People’s Passover Haggadah. He is an occasional contributor to The Jerusalem Post and The Huffington Post and has held faculty appointments at Brandeis University and at Hebrew Union College--Jewish Institute of Religion. He lives in New York.

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Bible's Cutting Room Floor
The Holy Scriptures Missing From Your Bible
Dr. Joel M. Hoffman

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
9/2/2014
Hardcover
ISBN: 9781250047960
ISBN10: 125004796X
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 304 pages, Includes one black-and-white photograph and two maps
$25.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
9/2/2014
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466848269
ISBN10: 146684826X
272 pages
$12.99
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