Roots and Branches Press is a new independent venture formed with the aim of bringing a greater Judaic understanding of the Scriptures to a wider audience. We aim to encourage a more Hebraic and historical approach to biblical study at both the personal devotional level and in institutions of religious and theological education. Along with various book titles in progress The Hebraic Journal is part of our response to this task. In keeping pace with modern technology we also plan to have an extensive web site and an annual electronic indexed edition of each Journal available on CD Rom.
The Journal aims to be international in nature and to embrace both Jewish and Christian scholarship. The last century has seen tremendous steps forward in biblical understanding after two centuries of biblical criticism, which had yielded uncertain results and left belief in the Bible in ruins. Not all of their findings have been overturned and not all was bad, but they didnít have the benefit of recent archaeological finds, linguistic discoveries, the huge manuscript impact of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the impetus to study over the last 50 years of a restored state of Israel.
Especially in the last few decades we have seen a coming together of Jewish, Christian, and secular scholars, to debate the historical Jewish Jesus and to look again at the synoptic gospels. Though still a surprise to some Christians, a more Jewish Jesus has been all but accepted. The synoptic problem remains, but an increasing number of scholars have been willing to question the order, dating, and original language, of the gospels to such an extent that we may yet see them restored as eyewitness accounts written within the first generation of the early Judaeo-Christian community. It is the aim of Roots and Branches Press to make available to church, synagogue, and academia, the results of this increased knowledge and understanding by means of publications, seminars, courses, Hebrew teaching, the web, and study-tours to Israel.
We believe that both the church and higher education need to apply a more Hebraic interpretation to the exegesis of scripture for a fuller understanding of the message and impact of the New Testament. In the process of exploring the Hebraic culture and context of the Scriptures we will seek to address the wilful neglect of the Tanakh, or Old Testament Scriptures, and embrace the learning of scholars from the fields of theology (Jewish and Christian), archaeology, literature, history, and, language study. As well as mining the treasures of the past we will bring readers up to date with book releases, software reviews, and Hebraic sites on the Internet, to make the latest resources for study available to all.
Planned articles over forthcoming issues will cover a wide range of topics and readers can submit or suggest articles for inclusion or commissioning.