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Jun 7, 1997 - 08:58 -

I have a question:
where can I find a list of names and know where to find the place talked about in the christian Bible- and a list of names used but translated in meanings in english? What I want is to understand old testament through jewish eyes but for me a christian to know what you are about when you use your names!

About me: jacob kriek my family is jewish, I am catholic.
My e-mail address:
How I found this site: from contact list MAVEN'S NEW RESOURCES.

Jacob, I'm not sure I fully understand your question. The first step to understanding the Bible through Jewish eyes is to stop thinking of it as "old testament". From our perspective this usage is either uninformed or perjorative. (From a Jewish perspective, Christian Scripture consists of translations of translations of the Bible plus lots of other added stuff that isn't Bible at all.)

We call the Bible the Tanakh. This is an acronym for Torah Naviim Ketuvim (Torah, Prophets, Writings -- the three collections of books in Scripture). The most value-neutral English words to use for our respective documents would be "Jewish Scripture" and "Christian Scripture". Many people try to avoid the perjorative and inaccurate "old testament" by saying "Hebrew Bible", but of course that is redundant and sounds a bit silly to traditional Jews -- like saying "English Shakespeare".

I do not know what place-names are mentioned in the texts unique to Christian Scripture, but you can find much useful information well organized in "The Sequence of Events in the Bible" by Shulman. Originally written in Hebrew by a Soviet Jewish dissident while in Siberian prison, this fantastic reference has been translated into many languages. The title is often changed by non-Jewish publishers to "The Sequence of Events in the Old Testament". I hope this book is helpful to you.

By the way, when you say that your family is Jewish, does that include your mother or were you referring to distant ancestry or relations?

--- Jordan

I am great full for your answer. I hope to find the book. You did not mention where the book is for sale. But if it is well known we will find it on the market. It was not mine intention to use the wrong expressions in Jewish eyes and ears, but none the less I apologise if it was unpleasant to read. By names I mean in english genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy etc. So that on internet when I read jewish names I automatic know where to find it and be able to follow it. I have a long list of favorites already via jewish on internet. Again thanks and may G-d bless you. I am really Dutch so english poets don't mean much to me either.

--- Jacob.

Jacob, I apologize for misunderstanding your question.

The Jewish designations for prayers and for the books of Scripture are usually based on objective descriptions of their form, or upon their first or most distinctive words, so that no particular viewpoint is expressed and the reader is not constrained in personal interpretation by any imposed title.

Here is a translation table, including the literal meanings of each Jewish name:

Torah (Instruction) is also sometimes called Chumash (The Five):

  1. B'reishit  (Genesis)  "in the beginning of"
  2. Sh'mot  (Exodus)  "names" 
  3. Vayikra  (Leviticus)  "and called"
  4. BaMidbar  (Numbers)  "in the wilderness of"
  5. Devarim  (Deuteronomy)  "words"

Naviim (Prophets):

  • Y'ho-shu-a  (Joshua)
  • Shof-tim  (Judges)
  • Sh'mu-el  (Samuel)
  • Me-la-chim  (Kings)
  • Y'sha-yo-hu  (Isaiah)
  • Yir-mi-ya-hu (Jeremiah)
  • Y'chez-kel  (Ezekiel)
  • Na-vi-im  (The Twelve Prophets)  "The Shorter Prophets"
    1. Ho-shei-a  (Hosea)
    2. Yo-eil  (Joel)
    3. A-mos  (Amos)
    4. O-va-d'ya  (Obadiah)
    5. Yo-nah  (Jonah)
    6. Mi-cha  (Micah)
    7. Na-chum  (Nahum)
    8. Cha-va-kuk  (Habakkuk)
    9. Ts'fa-n'ya  (Zephaniah)
    10. Cha-gai  (Haggai)
    11. Z'cha-r'ya  (Zechariah)
    12. Mal-a-chi  (Malachi)

Ketuvim (Writings):

  • Tehillim  (Psalms) **
  • Mishlei  (Proverbs)
  • Iyov  (Job)
  • Megillot (Scrolls)  
    1. Shir Ha-Shir-im  (The Song of Songs)
    2. Rut  (Ruth)
    3. Ei-cha  (Lamentations)  "How?"
    4. Ko-he-let  (Ecclesiastes)  "Kohelet" 
    5. Es-teir  (Esther)
  • Dan-i-el  (Daniel)
  • Ez-ra  (Ezra)
  • Ne-he-m'yah  (Nehemiah)
  • Div-rei Ha-Ya-mim  (Chronicles)  "The Commentary on the Days"

**    Note that Christians number some of the Psalms differently. For example, Psalm 122 is called Psalm 121 by Christians, etc.

The above links are to Amazon.Com's order pages for the Soncino Edition of the Bible. The Soncino Edition features rather archaic translations, and a small but representative sampling of classical commentators. It is a reasonable value for the money. For more money, Bibles with better translations are available from Art Scroll; and Bibles with a much more complete sampling of the important classical commentaries are available from Judaica Press. If funds and shelf space are not a problem, check out Judaica Press.

I hope this information is useful.

--- Jordan