Curriculum Resources for Teaching Tanakh תנ”ך
The teaching of Tanakh and other key Jewish texts has been the cornerstone of Jewish education for hundreds of years. While the texts remain the same, teaching them has changed in ways that most of us could not have imagined just a few years ago! Follow the links below to see the latest news in archaeology, cartography, and other resources important to the study of the Bible.
On this page:
Apocrypha and Other External Sources
Antiquities of the Jews — Brief summaries introduce each chapter of the book by Josephus Flavius
Apocrypha – Article on definition, contents and place of books in Jewish textual tradition. From 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia.
The Book of Ben Sira — This website brings together Hebrew manuscripts of the Book of Ben Sira that are located in libraries around the globe, presented with an introduction to its discovery and history.
Perseus Collection of Greek and Roman Materials (Tufts University) – Four works by Josephus Flavius: Against Apion, Antiquities of the Jews, The Life of Josephus Flavius, and The Wars of the Jews.
Historical and Archaeological Sites
Archaeology Wing (Samuel and Saidye Bronfman) of the Israel Museum – View descriptions and artifacts of some of the collection.
Archaeological Excavations Relating to Jewish History – Arranged alphabetically, at the Dinur Center for Research in Jewish History, Hebrew University
Biblical Archaeology Society – Web page opens portal to free articles by scholars, as well as library of past magazines (requires membership).
History of Jerusalem from Pre-Bible to David – Each page is devoted to a specific time period in Jerusalem’s history
Index of Archaeological Sites in Israel – Organized alphabetically, on the website of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Politics of Archaeology in Israel – article at MyJewishLearning.com, which examines whether or not archaeology can prove the Biblical narrative and therefore support the historic right of Jews to the land of Israel
Shifting Ground in the Holy Land: Archaeology is Casting a New Light on the Old Testament –From Smithsonian magazine, this article explains the complicated political implications of archaeological digs and discoveries in Israel.
Commentaries on the Tanakh
גיליונות נחמה — Commentary and insights from Nechama Leibowitz (Hebrew)
Jewish Bible Quarterly — archive of articles on Bible-related topics
Nechama Leibowitz (The Lookstein Center) — Parshat HaShavua lessons based on the study sheets of Nechama Leibowitz.
What is Bothering Rashi? — Rashi’s commentary explained, organized by Parsha with archive of previous years discussions.
Bible-History.com – Maps can be downloaded as PDFs; provides text explanation of map as well as excerpts from Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias
Bible Land Maps — maps in English, organized according to time period/event from the Ancient Near East through the early Church.
BibleMap.org — using GoogleMaps, this offers Biblical text online (RSV or KJV) with built-in links to the passages. Place names in the text are linked to the map, along with other sites that are described for their biblical significance.
BiblePlaces.com — photographs and descriptions of sites in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and Greece with an emphasis on biblical archaeology, geography and history
Biblical Studies and Technological Tools — provides data files to identify cities, rivers, lakes as well as a Jerusalem Temple overlay to take a tour of biblical places on GoogleEarth.
Free Bible Maps – High resolution maps for downloading from the Creation to the early Church
Imperial History of the Mideast – Animated map showing conquests of the Middle East from Ancient Assyria through modern independent countries; play and pause features.
מפות ארץ ישראל מתקופת האבות ועד היום — Hebrew site with maps of varying quality
Other Versions and Translations of Tanakh
םפר התורה המקוון — Tikkun for use in practicing to read the Torah
Aleppo Codex — online Aleppo Codex viewer
Dead Sea Scrolls: Book of Isaiah — view the scroll up close, with links to other biblical and sectarian books
Early Jewish Writings — books of the Tanakh, Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Philo, and Josephus. Click on a text and you will find multiple translations, as well as links to online resources for that text.
Septuagint — Greek original with line by line English translation
Tanakh — Screenshots of pages of the Bible with Yiddish translation
תרגום אונקלוס — Targum Onkelos at Mechon Mamre
Targum Jonathan — Incomplete Targum Jonathan
Teaching and Preparation Resources
Al HaTorah — A work in progress – gives topics, suggestions, highlights, and sources for parts of Torah
Discovering the Biblical Value of Human Life – English-language lesson by Dr. Moshe Sokolow, editor of Ten Da’at. Remainder of lessons available in Hebrew.
Tanakh Profiles: An Encyclopedia of Biblical Personalities – Alphabetical listing (in Hebrew) of “every individual mentioned in the Tanakh.” Each listing includes the names, chapter/verse location, and summary of significant information (English). Search by first letter or in a general search box.
“Teaching Tanakh,” – Summer 2012 issue of HaYidion, journal of RAVSAK.
Text and Resource Sites
Brown-Driver-Briggs (BDB) Hebrew-English Lexicon — Scanned version of the 1906 BDB, the standard reference for biblical Hebrew and Aramaic.
The Bialystoker Synagogue Online Library–Jewish Texts –Portal to full text of Tanakh, commentaries, Bar Ilan Responsa Database, images of sefer torah, and more.
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary— Available in Hebrew with Chabad’s English translation, Rashi in Hebrew and English for Torah and just English for Nach. Click on “show” for Rashi’s Commentary.
דעת לימודי יהדות ורוח — A Hebrew website with texts, articles, books, activities, and other resources related to a variety of topics including Tanakh, Rabbinics, and Jewish History.
iTanakh – Portal to websites with online biblical texts, audio, art, articles and essays
Internet Sacred Text Archive: Judaism — Tanach and other texts such as Talmud, Midrash, and Kabbalah translated into English
JPS Tagged Tanakh – Spearheaded by JPS, this is a collaborative site that “joins vetted and user-generated commentary” on the Tanakh. Words that appear in one section of the Tanakh are cross-referenced to other sections, as well as to other media.
JTS Torah Commentary Archive — The new JPS translation arranged by Parsha with various commentaries.
Leipzig 1: Rashi’s Torah Commentary — “This manuscript was written in the 13th century by R. Makhir b. Karshavyah, who states that he produced it from a copy of the commentary transcribed and annotated by Rashi’s own secretary, R. Shemayah. R. Makhir not only copied Rashi’s base commentary from R. Shemayah’s manuscript, but he also reproduced many of the marginal glosses contained in R. Shemayah’s text, a good number of which R. Shemayah explicitly attributes to Rashi himself.”
MS Leipzig 1 is, thus, an extremely valuable textual witness which comes tantalizingly close to the original source.”
Lesson Plans in Tanakh – At the Lookstein for Jewish Education, organized by grade level.
מגאר ספרות הקודש— A Hebrew website with resources related to Tanakh and Rabbinics, including Mishnah, Tosefta, Talmud (Bavli and Yerushalmi), and Midrash. It also includes Rashi AND Ramban (in Hebrew) on every pasuk as well as linked references in the Talmud and Rambam and the ability to hear individual verses or whole chapters read out loud.
Mechon-Mamre — Tanakh and Toshba texts available in Hebrew with older JPS English translation available for Tanakh both online and for downloading.
Navigating the Bible – Produced by ORT, this online bar/bat mitzvah tutor offers weekly Parsha readings with aliyah divisions, a reference guide to people, places in the Bible, haftarah portions and divrei torah.
On One Foot — searchable database for biblical and rabbinic texts and resources related to social justice. Search by theme, text or time period.
Oxford Biblical Studies Online – Subscription-based portal to reference books, biblical texts and commentaries, and images and maps of the biblical world. Subscriptions are available to individuals as well as to institutions.
Sefaria – Click on a sentence in the Tanakh and view all inputted commentaries (Rashi, Ibn Ezra, etc.) on the sidebar. Texts may be imported directly into a source sheet.
ספרים Online — A large collection of PDF books including commentaries, biographies, and philosophy.
סנופי קונקורדנציה — Digital, searchable concordance
Tanach on Demand (beta): On-line Tikkun — You give the book of the Tanakh, the chapter and verses, wait a few minutes, and a tikkun page appears with parallel scroll and humash texts.
Videos, Music and Art
AlephBeta Academy – Features courses on Jewish tradition,Parsha, and upcoming hagim. Courses consist of a series 7-10 minute videos on a given subject with downloadable teaching guides, can be used individually or as a complete course)
Bible Raps (original songs and lyrics, many based off of theTanakh text, and some with lesson ideas)
G-d Cast.com — Short, animated films connected to theParsha of the week, also featuring a series on Joshua, some on Tehillim, and the holidays
מקרא וידאו — Lectures by academics, talks by prominent Israelis, and dramatic presentations on the Bible
Scripture Envisioned: The Bible Through the Eyes of Rembrandt — Website provides brief introductory essay and twenty-four drawings and paintings by Rembrandt that depict biblical narratives. Clicking on a thumbnail opens a page with links that form a study guide to the topic portrayed in that image.