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In Memory of Prof. Nahum M. Sarna (1923-2005)

24th June 2005

It was with some sadness that I read the news of Nahum Sarna’s death today (23 June 2005) on the Biblical Studies email list. Professor Sarna was former Chair in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Dora Golding Professor of Biblical Studies at Brandeis University. He was the author of many excellent scholarly and more popular volumes on the Psalms, Genesis, and Exodus, as well as editor and contributor of the JSP Bible Commentary. In his lifetime he made an amazing contribution to biblical studies and his insightful analysis and commentary will be missed, though will live on in his publications and the many individuals who had the privilege of studying with him.

I personally really appreciated his work on the book of Psalms and Genesis.

Here is a brief bibliography of his more significant books:

  • Sarna, Nahum M. Studies in Biblical Interpretation. JPS Scholars of Distinction Series.
    Jewish Publication Society, 2000. [An excellent collection of nearly thirty essays by Prof. Sarna on Torah, the Psalms, Prophets and Writings, and Biblical History.]

  • Sarna, Nahum M. On the Book of Psalms: Exploring the Prayers of Ancient Israel.
    New Edition. Schocken, 1995. [A sensitive and rigorous exploration of the Psalter.]

  • Sarna, Nahum M. Exodus: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation.
    JPS Torah Commentary. Jewish Publication Society, 1991. [An awesome commentary on the book of Exodus]

  • Sarna, Nahum M. Genesis: The Traditional Hebrew Text with the New JPS Translation.
    JPS Torah Commentary. Jewish Publication Society, 1989. [An awesome commentary on the book of Genesis]

  • Sarna, Nahum M. Understanding Genesis.
    New Edition. Schocken, 1970. [A great little volume on the book of Genesis.]

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