New King James Version
The New King James Version is an English translation of the Bible first published in 1982 by Thomas Nelson. The New Testament was published in 1979, the Psalms in 1980, the full Bible in 1982, it took seven years to complete. The anglicized edition was known as the Revised Authorized Version, but the NKJV title is now used universally; the NKJV translation project was conceived by Arthur Farstad. It was inaugurated in 1975 with two meetings of 130 biblical scholars and theologians; the men who were invited prepared the guidelines for the NKJV. The aim of its translators was to update the vocabulary and grammar of the King James Version, while preserving the classic style and literary beauty of the original 1611 KJV; the 130 translators believed in faithfulness to the original Greek and Hebrew texts including the Dead Sea Scrolls. Agreed upon for most New King James Bibles were easier event descriptions, a history of each book, added dictionary and updated concordance. According to its preface, the NKJV uses the 1967/1977 Stuttgart edition of the Biblia Hebraica for the Old Testament, with frequent comparisons made to the Ben Hayyim edition of the Mikraot Gedolot published by Bomberg in 1524–25, used for the King James Version.
Both the Old Testament text of the NKJV and that of the KJV come from the ben Chayyim text. However, the 1967/1977 Stuttgart edition of the Biblia Hebraica used by the NKJV uses an earlier manuscript than that of the KJV; the New King James Version uses the Textus Receptus for the New Testament, just as the original King James Version had used. As explained in the preface, notes in the center column acknowledge variations from Novum Testamentum Graece and the Majority Text; the translators have sought to follow the principles of translation used in the original King James Version, which the NKJV revisers call "complete equivalence" in contrast to "dynamic equivalence" used by many contemporary translations. The task of updating the English of the KJV involved significant changes in word order, grammar and spelling. One of the most significant features of the NKJV was its replacement of early modern second-person pronouns, such as "thou" and "thine"; the Executive Editor of the NKJV, Arthur L. Farstad, addressed textual concerns in a book explaining the NKJV translation philosophy.
While defending the Majority Text, claiming that the Textus Receptus is inferior to the Majority Text, he noted that the NKJV references significant discrepancies among text types in its marginal notes: "None of the three traditions on every page of the New Testament... is labeled'best' or'most reliable.' The reader is permitted to make up his or her own mind about the correct reading." The NKJV translation has become one of the best-selling Bibles. As of July 2012 it is listed as the third best selling Bible after the New International Version and KJV by the CBA. An unabridged audiobook version called "The Word of Promise Audio Bible" has been produced by the publisher, it is narrated by well-known celebrities and dramatized with music and sound effects. Gideons International, an organization that places Bibles in hotels and hospitals, at one stage used the NKJV translation along with the KJV, offering the KJV as the default translation and offering the NKJV when an organization asked for a Bible in newer English to be used.
As of 2013, the Gideons have chosen to start using the English Standard Version instead of the NKJV. 21st Century King James Version Thomas Nelson, Inc. Publisher's website
The Bible is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans by Christians, Jews and Rastafarians. What is regarded as canonical text differs depending on traditions and groups; the Hebrew Bible overlaps with the Christian Old Testament. The Christian New Testament is a collection of writings by early Christians, believed to be Jewish disciples of Christ, written in first-century Koine Greek. Among Christian denominations there is some disagreement about what should be included in the canon about the Apocrypha, a list of works that are regarded with varying levels of respect. Attitudes towards the Bible differ among Christian groups. Roman Catholics, high church Anglicans and Eastern Orthodox Christians stress the harmony and importance of the Bible and sacred tradition, while Protestant churches, including Evangelical Anglicans, focus on the idea of sola scriptura, or scripture alone.
This concept arose during the Protestant Reformation, many denominations today support the use of the Bible as the only infallible source of Christian teaching. The Bible has been a massive influence on literature and history in the Western World, where the Gutenberg Bible was the first book printed using movable type. According to the March 2007 edition of Time, the Bible "has done more to shape literature, history and culture than any book written, its influence on world history is unparalleled, shows no signs of abating." With estimated total sales of over 5 billion copies, it is considered to be the most influential and best-selling book of all time. As of the 2000s, it sells 100 million copies annually; the English word Bible is from the Latin biblia, from the same word in Medieval Latin and Late Latin and from Koinē Greek: τὰ βιβλία, translit. Ta biblia "the books". Medieval Latin biblia is short for biblia sacra "holy book", while biblia in Greek and Late Latin is neuter plural, it came to be regarded as a feminine singular noun in medieval Latin, so the word was loaned as a singular into the vernaculars of Western Europe.
Latin biblia sacra "holy books" translates Greek τὰ βιβλία τὰ ἅγια tà biblía tà ágia, "the holy books". The word βιβλίον itself had the literal meaning of "paper" or "scroll" and came to be used as the ordinary word for "book", it is the diminutive of βύβλος byblos, "Egyptian papyrus" so called from the name of the Phoenician sea port Byblos from whence Egyptian papyrus was exported to Greece. The Greek ta biblia was "an expression. Christian use of the term can be traced to c. 223 CE. The biblical scholar F. F. Bruce notes that Chrysostom appears to be the first writer to use the Greek phrase ta biblia to describe both the Old and New Testaments together. By the 2nd century BCE, Jewish groups began calling the books of the Bible the "scriptures" and they referred to them as "holy", or in Hebrew כִּתְבֵי הַקֹּדֶשׁ, Christians now call the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible "The Holy Bible" or "the Holy Scriptures"; the Bible was divided into chapters in the 13th century by Stephen Langton and it was divided into verses in the 16th century by French printer Robert Estienne and is now cited by book and verse.
The division of the Hebrew Bible into verses is based on the sof passuk cantillation mark used by the 10th-century Masoretes to record the verse divisions used in earlier oral traditions. The oldest extant copy of a complete Bible is an early 4th-century parchment book preserved in the Vatican Library, it is known as the Codex Vaticanus; the oldest copy of the Tanakh in Hebrew and Aramaic dates from the 10th century CE. The oldest copy of a complete Latin Bible is the Codex Amiatinus. Professor John K. Riches, Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow, says that "the biblical texts themselves are the result of a creative dialogue between ancient traditions and different communities through the ages", "the biblical texts were produced over a period in which the living conditions of the writers – political, cultural and ecological – varied enormously". Timothy H. Lim, a professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism at the University of Edinburgh, says that the Old Testament is "a collection of authoritative texts of divine origin that went through a human process of writing and editing."
He states that it is not a magical book, nor was it written by God and passed to mankind. Parallel to the solidification of the Hebrew canon, only the Torah first and the Tanakh began to be translated into Greek and expanded, now referred to as the Septuagint or the Greek Old Testament. In Christian Bibles, the New Testament Gospels were derived from oral traditions in the second half of the first century CE. Riches says that: Scholars have attempted to reconstruct something of the history of the oral traditions behind the Gospels, but the results have not been too encouraging; the period of transmission is short: less than 40 years passed between the death of Jesus and the writing of Mark's Gospel. This means that there was little time for oral trad
Book of Deuteronomy
The Book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Christian Old Testament and of the Jewish Torah, where it is called "Devarim". Chapters 1–30 of the book consist of three sermons or speeches delivered to the Israelites by Moses on the plains of Moab, shortly before they enter the Promised Land; the first sermon recounts the forty years of wilderness wanderings which had led to that moment, ends with an exhortation to observe the law referred to as the Law of Moses. The final four chapters contain the Song of Moses, the Blessing of Moses, narratives recounting the passing of the mantle of leadership from Moses to Joshua and the death of Moses on Mount Nebo. Presented as the words of Moses delivered before the conquest of Canaan, a broad consensus of modern scholars see its origin in traditions from Israel brought south to the Kingdom of Judah in the wake of the Assyrian conquest of Aram and adapted to a program of nationalist reform in the time of Josiah, with the final form of the modern book emerging in the milieu of the return from the Babylonian captivity during the late 6th century BC.
Many scholars see the book as reflecting the economic needs and social status of the Levite caste, who are believed to have provided its authors. One of its most significant verses is Deuteronomy 6:4, the Shema Yisrael, which has become the definitive statement of Jewish identity: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one." Verses 6:4–5 were quoted by Jesus in Mark 12:28–34 as part of the Great Commandment. Patrick D. Miller in his commentary on Deuteronomy suggests that different views of the structure of the book will lead to different views on what it is about; the structure is described as a series of three speeches or sermons followed by a number of short appendices – Miller refers to this as the "literary" structure. Chapters 1–4: The journey through the wilderness from Horeb to Kadesh and to Moab is recalled. Chapters 4–11: After a second introduction at 4:44–49 the events at Mount Horeb are recalled, with the giving of the Ten Commandments. Heads of families are urged to instruct those under their care in the law, warnings are made against serving gods other than Yahweh, the land promised to Israel is praised, the people are urged to obedience.
Chapters 12–26, the Deuteronomic code: Laws governing Israel's worship, the appointment and regulation of community and religious leaders, social regulation, confession of identity and loyalty. Chapters 27–28: Blessings and curses for those who keep and break the law. Chapters 29–30: Concluding discourse on the covenant in the land of Moab, including all the laws in the Deuteronomic code after those given at Horeb. Chapters 31–34: Joshua is installed as Moses's successor, Moses delivers the law to the Levites, ascends Mount Nebo or Pisgah, where he dies and is buried by God; the narrative of these events is interrupted by two poems, the Song of Moses and the Blessing of Moses. The final verses, Deuteronomy 34:10–12, "never again did there arise in Israel a prophet like Moses," make a claim for the authoritative Deuteronomistic view of theology and its insistence that the worship of the Hebrew God as the sole deity of Israel was the only permissible religion, having been sealed by the greatest of prophets.
Deuteronomy 12–26, the Deuteronomic Code, is the oldest part of the book and the core around which the rest developed. It is a series of mitzvot to the Israelites regarding how they ought to conduct themselves in Canaan, the land promised by Yahweh, God of Israel; the following list organizes most of the laws into thematic groups: All sacrifices are to be brought and vows are to be made at a central sanctuary. The worship of Canaanite gods is forbidden; the order is given to destroy their places of worship and to commit genocide against Canaanites and others with "detestable" religious beliefs. Native mourning practices such as deliberate disfigurement are forbidden; the procedure for tithing produce or donating its equivalent is given. A catalogue of which animals are permitted and which forbidden for consumption is given; the consumption of animals which are found dead and have not been slaughtered is prohibited. Sacrificed animals must be without blemish. First-born male livestock must be sacrificed.
The Pilgrimage Festivals of Passover and Sukkot are instituted. The worship at Asherah groves and setting up of ritual pillars are forbidden. Prohibition of mixing kinds (22
Moses was a prophet according to the teachings of the Abrahamic religions. Scholarly consensus sees Moses as a legendary figure. According to the Hebrew Bible, he was adopted by an Egyptian princess, in life became the leader of the Israelites and lawgiver, to whom the authorship of the Torah, or acquisition of the Torah from Heaven is traditionally attributed. Called Moshe Rabbenu in Hebrew, he is the most important prophet in Judaism, he is an important prophet in Christianity, the Bahá'í Faith, a number of other Abrahamic religions. According to the Book of Exodus, Moses was born in a time when his people, the Israelites, an enslaved minority, were increasing in numbers and the Egyptian Pharaoh was worried that they might ally themselves with Egypt's enemies. Moses' Hebrew mother, secretly hid him when the Pharaoh ordered all newborn Hebrew boys to be killed in order to reduce the population of the Israelites. Through the Pharaoh's daughter, the child was adopted as a foundling from the Nile river and grew up with the Egyptian royal family.
After killing an Egyptian slavemaster, Moses fled across the Red Sea to Midian, where he encountered The Angel of the Lord, speaking to him from within a burning bush on Mount Horeb. God sent Moses back to Egypt to demand the release of the Israelites from slavery. Moses said that he could not speak eloquently, so God allowed Aaron, his brother, to become his spokesperson. After the Ten Plagues, Moses led the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, after which they based themselves at Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments. After 40 years of wandering in the desert, Moses died within sight of the Promised Land on Mount Nebo. Jerome gives 1592 BCE, James Ussher 1571 BCE as Moses' birth year. In the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses was called "the man of God". Several etymologies have been proposed. An Egyptian root msy, "child of", has been considered as a possible etymology, arguably an abbreviation of a theophoric name, as for example in Egyptian names like Thutmoses and Ramesses, with the god's name omitted.
Abraham Yahuda, based on the spelling given in the Tanakh, argues that it combines "water" or "seed" and "pond, expanse of water", thus yielding the sense of "child of the Nile". The Biblical account of Moses' birth provides him with a folk etymology to explain the ostensible meaning of his name, he is said to have received it from the Pharaoh's daughter: "he became her son. She named him Moses, saying,'I drew him out of the water.'" This explanation links it to a verb mashah, meaning "to draw out", which makes the Pharaoh's daughter's declaration a play on words. The princess made a grammatical mistake, prophetic of his future role in legend, as someone who will "draw the people of Israel out of Egypt through the waters of the Red Sea."The Hebrew etymology in the Biblical story may reflect an attempt to cancel out traces of Moses' Egyptian origins. The Egyptian character of his name was recognized as such by ancient Jewish writers like Philo of Alexandria and Josephus. Philo linked Mōēsēs to the Egyptian word for water, while Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews, claimed that the second element, -esês, meant'those who are saved'.
The problem of how an Egyptian princess, known to Josephus as Thermutis and in Jewish tradition as Bithiah, could have known Hebrew puzzled medieval Jewish commentators like Abraham ibn Ezra and Hezekiah ben Manoah. Hezekiah suggested she either took a tip from Jochebed; the Israelites had settled in the Land of Goshen in the time of Joseph and Jacob, but a new pharaoh arose who oppressed the children of Israel. At this time Moses was born to his father Amram, son of Kehath the Levite, who entered Egypt with Jacob's household. Moses had one older sister and one older brother, Aaron; the Pharaoh had commanded that all male Hebrew children born would be drowned in the river Nile, but Moses' mother placed him in an ark and concealed the ark in the bulrushes by the riverbank, where the baby was discovered and adopted by Pharaoh's daughter, raised as an Egyptian. One day after Moses had reached adulthood he killed an Egyptian, beating a Hebrew. Moses, in order to escape the Pharaoh's death penalty, fled to Midian.
There, on Mount Horeb, God appeared to Moses as a burning bush, revealed to Moses his name YHWH and commanded him to return to Egypt and bring his chosen people out of bondage and into the Promised Land. During the journey, God tried to kill Moses because he had not circumcised his son, but Zipporah saved his life. Moses returned to carry out God's command, but God caused the Pharaoh to refuse, only after God had subjected Egypt to ten plagues did the Pharaoh relent. Moses led the Israelites to the border of Egypt, but there God hardened the Pharaoh's heart once more, so that he could destroy the Pharaoh and his army at the Red Sea Crossing as a sign of his power to Israel and the nations. After defeating the Amalekites in Rephidim, Moses led the Israelites to biblical Mount Sinai, where he was given the Ten Commandments from God, written on stone tablets. However, since Moses remained a long time on the mountain, some of the people feared that he might be dead, so they made a statue of a golden calf and worshiped it, thus disobeying and angering God and Moses.
Moses, out of anger, bro
Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World
The Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World is a large-format English language atlas of ancient Europe and North Africa, edited by Richard J. A. Talbert; the time period depicted is from archaic Greek civilization through Late Antiquity. The atlas was published by Princeton University Press in 2000; the book was the winner of the 2000 Association of American Publishers Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Multivolume Reference Work in the Humanities. The main volume contains 102 color topographic maps, covering territory from the British Isles and the Azores and eastward to Afghanistan and western China; the size of the volume is 33 x 48 cm. A 45-page gazetteer is included in the atlas volume; the atlas is accompanied by a map-by-map directory on CD-ROM, in PDF format, including a search index. The map-by-map directory is available in print as a two-volume, 1,500 page edition. According to the editor, the purpose of each map is to offer an up-to-date presentation of the important physical and covered features of the area, using all available literal and archaeological data.
Most of the maps are of the scale 1:1,000,000 or 1:500,000. However, the environs of the three greater centers are presented in 1:150,000; some remote regions, where Greeks and Romans explored and traded rather than settled, are of the scale 1:5,000,000. Due to the nature of the base maps used for the background and time–cost restrictions, elevation lines were left in feet except for the 1:150,000 maps where they are in meters; the projection of the maps is Lambert Conformal Conic. Again due to time and cost restrictions, geo-referencing of the maps was left as a future separate project. Effort was spent to show the physical landscape in its ancient rather than modern aspect; as expected, this task met insurmountable difficulties, due to the lack of data. In those cases, at least an effort was made to eliminate known modern features and to restore the affected landscapes; the atlas' production began in 1988 at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, involved a team of 221 classicists and 22 map makers.
The effort was funded by $4.5 million—"an unusually large sum for a project in the humanities"—in federal and private donations. The largest individual contributor was Robert B. Strassler's family philanthropy The Barrington Foundation which supported the project with over $1 million and for which, in accordance with the donor's wishes, the atlas is named; the atlas provides an up-to-date reference for ancient geography, superseding William Smith's An Atlas of Ancient Geography and Classical, the last completed attempt to comprehensively map the Greco-Roman world and reflect the state of scholarship. An ongoing wiki-like on-line large scale collaboration for maintaining and diversifying the Barrington Atlas data-set is carried on by the Pleiades Project; the time period covered is from 1000 BC up to c. AD 640, categorized as following: Archaic period (pre-550 BC] Classical period Hellenistic period / Middle to Late Republican period at Rome Early Roman Empire Late Antiquity All eras are covered in every map.
The Latin titles given to the regional categories and to the individual maps are no more than generalized identifications. E.g. Internum Mare is the region around Mediterranean Sea. Inside maps, ancient names are underlined with specific colors, when they are applicable only to a specific era. Where modern names are used, they are printed in different font. For the physical features, standard Latin descriptive terms are used. Explanations for these terms are given in the Map Key; when there is doubt whether the name applies to a feature or area, it is followed by a question mark. When only the approximate location is known, the name is italicized. Contributors, Cartographers Preface, Guidelines for Reference MapQuest Production Data, Map Bases Six small-scale overview maps at 1:5,000,000: Map Key, Internum Mare Hibernia-Scandinavia Asia Occidentalis Arabia-Azania India Asia Orientalis Then 93 maps are divided into six regional categories: Part 1: Europa Septentrionalis Part 2: Hispania-Libya Part 3: Italia Part 4: Graecia-Asia Minor Part 5: Syria-Meroe Part 6: Pontus Euxinus-Persicus Sinus-Bactria Then the provinces of the Roman Empire are presented in three 1:10,000,000 maps: Provinces at the death of Trajan Dioceses and provinces according to the Verona List Dioceses and provinces according to Synecdemus of Hierocles Gazetteer The two volumes contain: Guidelines Abbreviations A separate directory for each map whose main components are: an introductory text a listing of names and features a bibliographyThe CD-ROM contains the gazetteer in PDF format and an installer of the version 4 of Adobe Acrobat Reader with Search for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. However, on Windows systems with the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed, installation of the version 4 might lead to incompatibility problems.
The supplied PDF index file BATLINDX. PDX is readable for Acrobat Reader versions up to and including version 9. For version X and
The Dead Sea is a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley, its main tributary is the Jordan River, its surface and shores are 430.5 metres below Earth's lowest elevation on land. It is 304 m deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. With a salinity of 342 g/kg, or 34.2%, it is one of the world's saltiest bodies of water – 9.6 times as salty as the ocean – and has a density of 1.24 kg/litre, which makes swimming similar to floating. This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which plants and animals cannot flourish, hence its name; the Dead Sea's main, northern basin is 50 kilometres long and 15 kilometres wide at its widest point. The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean Basin for thousands of years, it was one of the world's first health resorts, it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from asphalt for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilisers. The Dead Sea is receding at an alarming rate.
The recession of the Dead Sea has begun causing problems, multiple canals and pipelines proposals exist to reduce its recession. One of these proposals is the Red Sea–Dead Sea Water Conveyance project, carried out by Jordan, which will provide water to neighbouring countries, while the brine will be carried to the Dead Sea to help stabilise its water level; the first phase of the project is scheduled to begin in 2018 and be completed in 2021. In Hebrew, the Dead Sea is Yām ha-Melaḥ, meaning "sea of salt"; the Bible uses this term alongside two others: the Sea of the Arabah, the Eastern Sea. The designation "Dead Sea" never appears in the Bible. In prose sometimes the term Yām ha-Māvet is due to the scarcity of aquatic life there. In Arabic the Dead Sea is called al-Bahr al-Mayyit, or less baḥrᵘ lūṭᵃ. Another historic name in Arabic was the "Sea of Zoʼar", after a nearby town in biblical times; the Greeks called it Lake Asphaltites. The Dead Sea is an endorheic lake located in the Jordan Rift Valley, a geographic feature formed by the Dead Sea Transform.
This left lateral-moving transform fault lies along the tectonic plate boundary between the African Plate and the Arabian Plate. It runs between the East Anatolian Fault zone in Turkey and the northern end of the Red Sea Rift offshore of the southern tip of Sinai, it is here that the Upper Jordan River/Sea of Galilee/Lower Jordan River water system comes to an end. The Jordan River is the only major water source flowing into the Dead Sea, although there are small perennial springs under and around the Dead Sea, forming pools and quicksand pits along the edges. There are no outlet; the Mujib River, biblical Arnon, is one of the larger water sources of the Dead Sea other than the Jordan. The Wadi Mujib valley, 420 m below the sea level in the southern part of the Jordan valley, is a biosphere reserve, with an area of 212 km2. Other more substantial sources are Wadi Darajeh /Nahal Dragot, Nahal Arugot. Wadi Hasa is another wadi flowing into the Dead Sea. Rainfall is scarcely 100 mm per year in the northern part of the Dead Sea and 50 mm in the southern part.
The Dead Sea zone's aridity is due to the rainshadow effect of the Judaean Mountains. The highlands east of the Dead Sea receive more rainfall than the Dead Sea itself. To the west of the Dead Sea, the Judaean mountains rise less steeply and are much lower than the mountains to the east. Along the southwestern side of the lake is a 210 m tall halite formation called "Mount Sodom". There are two contending hypotheses about the origin of the low elevation of the Dead Sea; the older hypothesis is that the Dead Sea lies in a true rift zone, an extension of the Red Sea Rift, or of the Great Rift Valley of eastern Africa. A more recent hypothesis is that the Dead Sea basin is a consequence of a "step-over" discontinuity along the Dead Sea Transform, creating an extension of the crust with consequent subsidence. Around 3.7 million years ago, what is now the valley of the Jordan River, Dead Sea, the northern Wadi Arabah was inundated by waters from the Mediterranean Sea. The waters formed in a narrow, crooked bay, called by geologists the Sedom Lagoon, connected to the sea through what is now the Jezreel Valley.
The floods of the valley went depending on long-scale climate change. The Sedom Lagoon deposited beds of salt that became 2.5 km thick. Two million years ago, the land between the Rift Valley and the Mediterranean Sea rose to such an extent that the ocean could no longer flood the area. Thus, the long lagoon became a landlocked lake; the Sedom Lagoon extended at its maximum from the Sea of Galilee in the north to somewhere around 50 km south of the current southern end of the Dead Sea, the subsequent lakes never surpassed this expanse. The Hula Depression was never part of any of these water bodies due to its higher elevation and the high threshold of the Korazim block separating it from the Sea of Galilee basin; the first prehistoric lake to follow the Sedom Lagoon is named Lake Amora, followed by Lake Lisan and by the Dead Sea. The water levels and salinity of these lakes have either risen or fallen as an effect of the tectonic dropping of the valley bo
The Jewish Encyclopedia
The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History, Religion and Customs of the Jewish People from the Earliest Times to the Present Day is an English-language encyclopedia containing over 15,000 articles on the history and state of Judaism up to the early-20th century. The encyclopedia's managing editor was Isidore Singer and the editorial board was chaired by Isaac K. Funk and Frank H. Vizetelly; the work's scholarship is still regarded: the American Jewish Archives deemed it "the most monumental Jewish scientific work of modern times", Rabbi Joshua L. Segal said "for events prior to 1900, it is considered to offer a level of scholarship superior to either of the more recent Jewish encyclopedias written in English."It was published in 12 volumes between 1901 and 1906 by Funk & Wagnalls of New York, reprinted in the 1960s by KTAV Publishing House. It is now in the public domain. Singer conceived of a Jewish encyclopedia in Europe and proposed creating an Allgemeine Encyklopädia für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judenthums in 1891.
He envisioned 12 volumes, published over 10-to-15 years, at a cost of 50 dollars as a set. They would contain unbiased articles on ancient and modern Jewish culture; this proposal received good interest from the Brockhaus publishing company. However, after the House of Rothschild in Paris, consulted by Zadoc Kahn, offered to back the project with only 8 percent of the minimum funds requested by Brockaus, the project was abandoned. Following the Dreyfus affair and associated unpleasantness, Singer emigrated to New York City. Believing that American Jews could do little more than provide funding for his project, Singer was impressed by the level of scholarship in the United States, he wrote a new prospectus, changing the title of his planned encyclopedia to Encyclopedia of the History and Mental Evolution of the Jewish Race. His radical ecumenism and opposition to orthodoxy upset many of his Jewish readers. Funk agreed to publish the encyclopedia on the condition that it remain unbiased on issues which might seem unfavorable for Jews.
Singer accepted and was established in an office at Funk & Wagnalls on 2 May 1898. Publication of the prospectus in 1898 created a severe backlash, including accusations of poor scholarship and of subservience to Christians. Kaufmann Kohler and Gotthard Deutsch, writing in American Hebrew, highlighted Singer's factual errors, accused him of commercialism and irreligiosity. Now considering that the project could not succeed with Singer at the helm, Funk & Wagnalls appointed an editorial board to oversee creation of the encyclopedia. Funk & Wagnalls assembled an editorial board between October 1898 and March 1899. Singer toned down his ideological rhetoric, indicated his desire to collaborate, changed the work's proposed title to The Jewish Encyclopedia. Despite their reservations about Singer, rabbi Gustav Gottheil and Cyrus Adler agreed to join the board, followed by Morris Jastrow, Frederick de Sola Mendes, two published critics of the project: Kauffmann Kohler and Gotthard Deutsch Theologian and Presbyterian minister George Foot Moore was added to the board for balance.
Soon after work started, Moore was replaced by Baptist minister Crawford Toy. Last was added the elderly Marcus Jastrow for his symbolic imprimatur as America's leading Talmudist. In March 1899, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, contemplating a competing project, agreed to discuss collaborating with Funk & Wagnalls—thus securing the position of the Jewish Encyclopedia as the only major project of its kind. Shuly Rubin Schwartz describes the payment scheme arranged at this time as follows: Members of the local executive committee, exclusive of Singer and, of course, would receive one thousand dollars per annum, while the rest of the department editors would receive five hundred. All collaborators, editors included, would be paid five dollars per printed page of about one thousand English words. If the article was written in a foreign language, payment would be only $3.50 per page. Singer's compensation was forty dollars a week, his salary was considered an advance, since Singer alone was to share with the company in the profits.
Other editors participating in all 12 volumes were Gotthard Deutsch, Richard Gottheil, Joseph Jacobs, Kaufmann Kohler, Herman Rosenthal, Crawford Howell Toy. Morris Jastrow, Jr. and Frederick de Sola Mendes assisted with volumes I to II. William Popper served as assistant revision editor and chief of translation for volumes IV through XII; the editors plunged into their enormous task and soon identified and solved some inefficiencies with the project. Article assignments were shuffled around and communication practices were streamlined. Joseph Jacobs was hired as a coordinator, he wrote four hundred articles and procured many of the encyclopedia's illustrations. Herman Rosenthal, an authority on Russia, was added as an editor. Louis Ginzberg joined the project and became head of the rabbinical literature department; the board faced many difficult editorial questions and disagreements. Singer wanted specific entries for every Jewish community in the world, with detailed information about, for example, the name and dates of the first Jewish settler in Prague.
Conflict arose over what types of Bible interpretation should be included