If you’ve been watching the Pre-Pub page closely, you might have noticed a major addition this past week—John Lightfoot’s Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica.
This commentary uses rabbinical literature to comment on the text of the New Testament, and to help modern readers understand the textual background from within the framework of Jewish literature. Lightfoot makes full use of Hebrew and Aramaic literature to provide thorough commentary on the New Testament. He uses Jewish sources to illuminate not only textual matters, but also the social and cultural context of the people, places, and events in the New Testament. This important work is meticulously written and has served as a model for synthesizing the New Testament with Jewish literature in the four centuries since its first publication. It covers the Gospels, Acts, portions of Romans, and 1 Corinthians.
First written in Latin, A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica was first published between 1658 and 1674, and reprinted as a whole in 1675, 1686, and 1699. The first English translation was published anonymously in 1684. It was reprinted in 13 volumes between 1822 and 1825 by John Rogers Pitman—an edition popular in the middle part of the nineteenth century. By the 1850s, however, the Pitman edition was becoming “scarce and expensive,” and work on a new edition was begun. The resulting work was published in 1859 by Oxford University. It remains the standard translation of Lightfoot’s work to this day, and has been reprinted numerous times—most recently by Baker in 1979 and Hendrickson in 2004. This is also the edition which underlies the electronic edition we’re planning to begin working on in the near future.
If you’re interested in Jewish studies and Talmudic literature, or you simply want to add a fascinating commentary to your library, you need to act now. This commentary has generated enormous interest this past week, and the Pre-Pub price is going up soon. Place your pre-order today to show your support for the project!