Thursday, July 22, 2010

Book review: Tawil and Schneider, Crown of Aleppo

BOOK REVIEW on the Aleppo Codex:
The Other Bible, the Crown of Aleppo

By Jonathan Kirsch (The Jewish Journal)

When it comes to the treasures of biblical antiquity, the Dead Sea Scrolls seem to get all the attention. But there is another Bible that deserves our attention — the so-called Crown of Aleppo.

To be sure, the Dead Sea Scrolls represent the oldest copies of the biblical text, but the earliest and most authoritative copy of the Hebrew Bible in the form of a bound book rather than a scroll is the Aleppo Codex, an object lovingly known in Jewish tradition as “the Crown.” How it was created, preserved and rediscovered is one of the great adventure stories of biblical scholarship.

The story is told in “Crown of Aleppo: The Mystery of the Oldest Hebrew Bible Codex” by Hayim Tawil and Bernard Schneider (Jewish Publication Society: $45.00), a deft, elegant and utterly fascinating introduction to the object itself and its place in Jewish history.

Another review, plus more on the Aleppo Codex, are noted here.