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The Great Poems of the Bible

The Great Poems of the Bible

A Reader's Companion with New Translations

In The Great Poems of the Bible, James Kugel, acclaimed Harvard scholar and former poetry editor of Harpers Magazine, selects eighteen essential poems from the Hebrew Bible and offers his own original and articulate translations of these core pieces of religious literature. His eloquent renditions are paired with deeply informed discussions about the conditions surrounding each poem, including its history and whatÊthe best religious scholarship and literary criticism tell us about how the poem should be understood. Kugel explains traditions, clarifies often-misunderstood language, and offers readers wonderfully insightful explanations that are indispensable to understanding the poems and, ultimately, the fundamental teachings of the Old Testament.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416589020 | 
  • October 2008
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About the Author

James L. Kugel
Photo Credit: Erwin Schenkelbach

James L. Kugel

James L. Kugel is Starr Professor of Hebrew Literature at Harvard University, and a regular visiting Professor of Biblical Studies at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.  He is the author of a number of books of biblical scholarship, including How to Read the Bible (2007), for which he won the National Jewish Book Award for best book,The Great Poems of the Bible (1999), and The Bible As It Was (1997). In 2001, Kugel was awarded the prestigious Grawemeyer Prize in Religion.  He lives in Jerusalem, Israel, and in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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