Jacob Neusner (1932-2016), Jewish-American scholar
Jacob Neusner (1932-2016) was a Jewish-American scholar of Early Jewish Studies, a prolific author and a pioneer in the application of the “form criticism” approach to Rabbinic texts.
Born in Hartford, CT in 1932, Neusner studied at Harvard University (AB 1960), and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (MA 1960). He earned hi PhD in 1961 at Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary.
He taught at Columbia University, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Brandeis University, Dartmouth College, Brown University, the University of South Florida, and since 1994, Bard College (Annandale-on-Huston, NY), USA.
A prolific author, respected scholar and professor, and ordained rabbi, Neusner has written or edited hundreds of books on Judaism and is widely celebrated as one of the most published authors in history. "He was a pioneer in the application of the “form criticism” approach to Rabbinic texts. Much of his work consisted of de-constructing the prevailing approach viewing Rabbinic Judaism as a single religious movement within which the various Rabbinic texts were produced. In contrast, Neusner viewed each rabbinic document as an individual piece of evidence that can only shed light on the more localized forms of Judaism of each specific document’s place of origin and the specific Judaism of the author. His work “Judaism: The Evidence of the Mishnah” (Chicago, 1981; translated into Hebrew and Italian) is the classic statement of his work and the first of many comparable volumes on the other documents of the rabbinic canon." (The Jewish Press.com).
Editor of the Encyclopedia of Judaism (Brill, 1999. I-III) and its Supplements; Chair of the Editorial Board of The Review of Rabbinic Judaism; Editor-in-Chief of The Brill Reference Library of Judaism. Editor of Studies in Judaism (University Press of America). Neusner was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He was the only scholar to have served on both the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts.
- Development of a Legend: Studies on the Traditions Concerning Yohanan ben Zakkai (1970 Neusner), book
- Invitation to the Talmud, 1st ed. (1973 Neusner), book
- Judaism in the Beginning of Christianity (1984 Neusner), book
- Le judaïsm à l'aube du christianisme (1986 Neusner), book (French ed.)
- De joodse wieg van het christendom (1987 Neusner), book (Dutch ed.)
- Jødedommen i den første kristne tid (1987 Neusner), book (Norwegian ed.)
- Judentum in fruehchristlicher Zeit (1988 Neusner), book (German ed.)
- Il giudaismo nei primi secoli del cristianesimo (1989 Neusner), book (Italian ed.)
- イエス時代のユダヤ敎 = Judaism in the Beginning of Christianity (1992 Neusner / Nagakubo), book (Japanese ed.)
- From Scripture to 70: The Pre-Rabbinic Beginnings of the Halakhah (1998 Neusner), book
- The Four Stages of Rabbinic Judaism (2000 Neusner), book
- Judaisms and their Messiahs (1987 Neusner), edited volume
- History of the Jews in the First Century of the Common Era (1990 Neusner), edited volume
- Dictionary of Judaism in the Biblical Period (1996 Neusner/Green), edited volume
- In Quest of the Historical Pharisees (2007 Neusner/Chilton), edited volume
Select Bibliography (articles)
- Neusner, Jacob / Alan Avery-Peck / In: The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism (2010 Collins / Harlow), edited volume, 995-996