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Benjamin Sommer

6 Podcast Episodes

Latest 2 May 2021 | Updated Daily

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Benjamin Sommer – Revelation and the Authority of the Bible


Episode: Benjamin Sommer speaks with Matt Lynch about Torah, Sinai, Jewish perspectives on the authority of the Hebrew Bible, Psalms, lament, and way more. Guest: Benjamin D. Sommer is Professor of […]The post Benjamin Sommer – Revelation and the Authority of the Bible first appeared on OnScript.

9 Dec 2019

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Benjamin Sommer - Embracing Both Biblical Criticism & Divine Command

Valley Beit Midrash

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz, President & Dean of Valley Beit Midrash interviews Professor Benjamin Sommer, Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages at the Jewish Theological Seminary, on the topic of "Embracing Both Biblical Criticism & Divine Command."DONATE: www.bit.ly/1NmpbsPFor podcasts of VBM lectures, GO HERE:www.valleybeitmidrash.org/learining-library www.facebook.com/valleybeitmidrash


1 Nov 2019

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Benjamin Sommer: Parallelism and Preaching

Centre for Catholic Studies Podcast

The following lecture was presented in June 2019 at the New Song Conference: Biblical Hebrew Poetry as Jewish and Christian Scripture for the 21st Century. The conference was organized in partnership by the Centre for Catholic Studies, the Durham University Centre for the Study of Jewish Culture, Society, and Politics and Ushaw College.The lecture was given by Professor Benjamin D. Sommer, Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, and is entitled ‘Parallelism and Preaching: Poetic Form and Religious Function’


23 Jul 2019

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Talking Back to God—Benjamin Sommer

What Now? A JTS Podcast

Sara Beth talks to Dr. Benjamin Sommer, Professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic Languages at JTS. Professor Sommer takes us back to Ancient Israel, and explains how Psalms can validate our anger with God, and even help us find support from our community. He also shares how the reference to his work he’s most proud of is the one that ended up in the footnotes to a book about Bruce Springsteen. Cover art: Aura LewisTheme music: “Jat Poure” by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue).Funding: The Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious & Social Studies at JTS.Contact us at onlinelearning@jtsa.edu, and find other JTS podcasts at www.jtsa.edu/podcasts.


29 May 2019

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Professor Benjamin Sommer: The Co-Evolution of Judaism and Christianity in America

College Commons

How has American Judaism developed in the context of American Protestantism, and what have we learned from one another?Benjamin Sommer is Professor of Bible at the Jewish Theological Seminary. The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz described Sommer as “a traditionalist and yet an iconoclast – he shatters idols and prejudices in order to nurture Jewish tradition and its applicability today” and characterized his thought as “a synthesis of intellectual acuity, clarity, deep knowledge of classical Jewish texts along with contemporary Christian theology and ancient Near Eastern literature.” His book, Revelation and Authority: Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition, received the Goldstein-Goren Prize in Jewish thought for 2014–2016 and was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award. Publishers Weekly selected it as a “recommended book” in religion, describing it as a “groundbreaking work . . . clearly written and broad in application.” His earlier books, The Bodies of God and the World of Ancient Israel and A Prophet Reads Scripture: Allusion in Isaiah 40–66, also received multiple awards. Sommer frequently teaches rabbinic and lay groups in the United States and Israel. He and his wife, Jennifer Dugdale, are members of Congregation Beth Sholom in Teaneck, New Jersey. His children, Avraham, Sarah, and Eliana have attended Solomon Schechter Schools and SAR High School.


8 Apr 2019

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S1 E9 Benjamin Sommer on God’s Bodies

Thinking About Religion

Could a human being literally shake hands with God? If so, then God must have at least one hand – and one would think, not only a hand, but a complete humanoid body. While sophisticates have long scorned the idea that God could in any sense have a body, as Dr. Benjamin Sommer points out in his The Bodies of God and the World of Ancient Israel, the authors of the Jewish Bible (what Christians call the “Old Testament”) all seem to assume that God has a body. After all, God walks in a garden (Genesis 3:8) and is literally seen by Moses and the elders of Israel (Exodus 24:9-11)..But in this book Dr. Sommer argues that some ancient Jews, like other Near Eastern peoples, believed that their god (the LORD) had multiple bodies and also multiple personae. Others, though, disagreed; thus Dr. Summer says we can discern an ancient argument behind the texts as they have come down to us..As Jewish theology evolved, which side “won” in this dispute, and what did this discussion have to do with concerns about the sin of idolatry? Moreover, what would these ancient authors have thought was involved in God having a body? Would this make God a limited and vulnerable being? Would one in principle be able to starve, imprison, or physically harm such a being?.You can subscribe to Thinking About Religion wherever you get your podcasts or by email..The Bodies of God and the World of Ancient IsraelDr. Sommer’s home pageRevelation and Authority: Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition A Prophet Reads Scripture: Allusion in Isaiah 40–66Jewish Concepts of Scripture: A Comparative IntroductionSaadia GaonMaimonides (aka Rambam), his Guide to the PerplexedGenesis 18The 10 Commandments: Exodus version, Deuteronomy versionIdolatryKabbalaMoses de Leon and the ZoharTrinityIdealism in western PhilosophyA scene from Star Trek: The Next Generation: S3E21-Hollow Pursuits featuring the Holodeck.Bonus audio: Comparing Maimonides’s view on God’s “body” with Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Holodeck. https://www.thinkingaboutreligion.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/TAR-S1E9-bonus.mp3


26 Jan 2019