New Resources: HaMafteach / Matthean and Lukan Special Material

1. Daniel Retter, a lawyer, and not a scholar is responsible for one the most important Talmudic resources to be published in decade, HaMafteach (purchase here). As described by the publisher:

ברוך שהחיינו וקיימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה

It’s called the “Sea of Talmud” for good reason: So many volumes, so many topics, so many Sages’ sayings, exchanges and expressions. But here is a tool which allows you to navigate the entire length and breadth of the Talmud and locate specific source material with ease.

The HaMafteach is a groundbreaking literary achievement: It is a comprehensive alphabetical Index – cataloging topics, terms, concepts, Sages’ sayings, parables, anecdotes – all in one convenient, easy-to-use volume. Pick a term, look it up, and discover a user-friendly listing of where the subject is discussed throughout the Babylonian Talmud.

HaMafteach means “the key” and that’s precisely what this is. Simply turn “the key” and it immediately directs you to any, or many, of the Talmud’s treasured pages. Just like that.

The HaMafteach features: Approximately 6,600 major subject Entries; 27,000 minor Sub-Entries; and 42,000 Talmudic reference sources.The HaMafteach is ideal for students who wish to locate a particular topic; rabbis and teachers who wish to learn or discuss a subject from various sources or prepare for a class; or for a speaker or author looking to gather source or reference material.

For your convenience, there are four independent editions of the HaMafteach: Hebrew only edition, arranged by subject (Aleph-Tav); English only edition, arranged by subject (A-Z); Hebrew only, arranged by masechta; and English only, arranged by tractate. The two latter editions will be released shortly.

2. Brice Jones, PhD Candidate at McGill, has provided us an important resource in Synoptic studies, Matthean and Lukan Special Material: A Brief Introduction with Texts in Greek and English. As described by Wipf and Stock:

For the first time, the Gospel material unique to both Matthew and Luke is brought together into one volume—in both Greek and English. For more than a century, New Testament scholars have asserted that Matthew and Luke drew on sources in addition to Q and Mark during the composition of their Gospels. For convenience, the non-paralleled material in Matthew has traditionally been labeled “M,” and the non-paralleled material in Luke has traditionally been labeled “L.” We learn only from Matthew, for example, particular stories like Joseph and Mary’s escape to Egypt and the Great Commission; from Luke stories like the Prodigal Son and Jesus’ appearance on the Emmaus road. Studying the material unique to each Gospel in isolation from their narrative contexts will allow students and scholars alike to engage these stories on their own. In this book, the individual special pericopae from Matthew and Luke are collected and arranged in Greek and English in the order in which they appear in the Greek New Testament. An introductory essay is provided to introduce readers to the Synoptic Problem, the notions of M and L and where they come from, what the parameters are for selection, and the critical debate, so that readers know how the selections were made and what is being asserted by their inclusion. This book will be a wonderful teaching tool for seminary and university professors, and will facilitate student engagement with distinctive Matthean and Lukan stories. It will also be a valuable resource for New Testament scholars doing research on this special material, since having it all in one place will no longer require them to search for the distinctive passages among the larger Gospel narratives.

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