V.p. (New York, Phila., etc.): 1891-1927.
11 vols. 4to (Note) and 8vo. "The greatest Jewish master of Biblical learning in America" Various bindings, condition as described below. Provenance: from the library of biblical scholar Frank Zimmermann, student of Margolis and contributor to the 1952 memorial volume, Max Leopold Margolis Scholar and Teacher, published by Dropsie College. References: Zimmermann, Margolis' Contribution to Bible and Rabbinics, pp. 21-22, in Max Leopold Margolis Scholar and Teacher, ed. Robert Gordis (1952); Greenspoon, Max Leopold Margolis A Scholar's Scholar (1987). Item #230969
Max L. Margolis, linguist and scholar, was professor of Biblical Philology at Dropsie College from 1909 until his death in 1932. The "greatest Jewish master of Biblical learning yet arisen in America," Margolis was named editor-in-chief of the Jewish Publication Society's project of translating the entire Bible anew, which bore fruit in 1917 with the appearance of The Holy Scriptures, According to the Masoretic Text.
"While the King James version, of course, had become an English classic in its own right, it nevertheless was inaccurate in the light of three centuries' advance, inadequate in scores of translations, and infused with Christological preconceptions. The committee felt that the Jewish people had need of a version they could call their very own. [...] For the background of the translation, Margolis prepared a giant collection of notes, issued ultimately by the Jewish Publication Society in 1921 for private circulation. [...] The product is a monument to scholarship, and within the exigency of the masoretic text, 'the best version of the Jewish Scriptures that we have' (James A. Montgomery)."
A man of profound learning, Margolis was also skilled at writing for a wider audience; he published a succinct general work, The Story of Bible Translations, in the same year The Holy Scriptures appeared, and was later author of The History of the Jewish People, with Alexander Marx (1927). His modern biographer, Leonard Greenspoon, writes "[H]e achieved a synthesis of Jewish and biblical studies that served as a model for his students and then for theirs. he demonstrated that it was possible to remain true to the high ideals of his religion and of the academy" (ANB)"
The collection includes the following:
Margolis, Max L. Note on the New Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Published in 1917 by the J.P.S.A.). Prepared by the Former Editor-in-Chief ... (For Private Circulation Only) Edited and Typewritten by Dr. H.S. Linfield. Duplicated typescript, printed on rectos only, with text in English, occasionally in Hebrew, Latin, Greek. Pp. [i]-v, - +[1, list of abbreviations]. Notes to each chapter of the Bible individually paginated. 4to, Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1921. First and only edition, for private circulation. Bound in red cloth. Some rubbing, else fine. Rare. Only three copies are recorded in insitutional holdings.
— Commentarius Isaacidis quatenus ad textum Talmudis investigandum adhiberi possit, tractatu 'Erubhin ostenditur. Dissertatio inauguralis quam .... Pp. 72, with errata leaf inserted after final page of text. 8vo, New York: 1891. First Edition of the scholar's first book, inscribed "To Prof. George F. Moore, D.D., with the compliments of the author Plymouth, Mass., July 24, 1891". Red buckram. Occasional light pencil marks in margins. Fine.
Inscribed to prominent scholar George Foot Moore, then professor at Andover Theological Seminary; from 1902, Moore was professor of history of religion at Harvard, founding editor of the Harvard Theological Review, and later a syndic of the Harvard University Press. "Moore's international stature as a Hebrew and Old Testament scholar bridged the scholarship of Europe and the United States at the turn of the century" (ANB).
— The Feminine Ending "T" in Hebrew. A Contribution to Comparative Semitic Grammar. Pp. 35. 8vo, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1896. First separate publication. Reprinted from The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. XII, Nos. 3-4. Original printed wrappers. Presentation copy "To Prof. G. F. Mo[ore] ... with the comp[liments of the] author." Spine repaired with cloth tape. Chipped at margins, with loss at corners and tear in margin of last leaf.
- [Spine title: Commentationes Philologicae]. Three bound volumes of offprints, preprints, and reprints, the author's own reference copies of 45 articles, on Comparative Semitic Linguistics [1904-1927]. 3 vols. 8vo, V.p.: [1904-1927]. First two volumes in half brown morocco, worn, one rebacked with remains of backstrip, second with defective spine. Bookplates of the author. Third volume in green cloth, shaken, some leaves loosened or detached. Tables of Hebrew Grammar (1925) folded and loosely inserted in second volume.
With four other works by or about Margolis: The Theological Aspect of Reformed Judaism (1904); The Holy Scriptures with Commentary. Micah (1908); The story of Bible Translations (1917); The History of the Jewish People, with Alexander Marx (2nd ptg, 1927); Max Leopold Margolis Scholar and Teacher, ed. Robert Gordis (1952).
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