richard elliott friedman

Dr. Richard Elliott Friedman

Lectures on the Hebrew Bible

RICHARD ELLIOTT FRIEDMAN is one of the premier bible scholars in the country. He earned his doctorate at Harvard and was a visiting fellow at Oxford and Cambridge, a Senior Fellow of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Jerusalem, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Haifa. He is the Ann & Jay Davis Professor of Jewish Studies Emeritus of the University of Georgia and the Katzin Professor of Jewish Civilization Emeritus of the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of /Commentary on the Torah/, /The Disappearance of God/, /The Hidden Book in the Bible/, /The Bible with Sources Revealed/, /The Bible Now/, /The Exile and Biblical Narrative/, the bestselling /Who Wrote the Bible?/, and most recently, /The Exodus/. His books have been translated into thirteen languages. He was a consultant for Dreamworks’ /The Prince of Egypt/, for Alice Hoffman’s /The Dovekeepers/, and for NBC, A&E, PBS, and Nova.

The Hebrew Bible presented in 27 lectures

Playlist [27 videos]

Start with the last lecture, a 35-minute video [27. What is it about the Bible]. You can judge for yourself whether you want to continue from the beginning. I myself found it fascinating as my husband was an English professor. He would have said that a lot of the Bible is literature. What is literature? A man‘s/woman‘s attempt at using words to describe something they do not understand. Think of it like a morality play from the Middle Ages or a folk tale about how Coyote gets the better of us, so we‘d better watch out, or the great books Friedman references like The Brothers Karamazov


Myth is like this, too. For example, the Book of Job is a story with epic/mythic proportions. Literature is understood by the file cabinet drawers you have or don‘t have in your mind-if the drawers are empty-you will only take a little from any story. You can come to many conclusions if your drawers are filled with neatly filed info. The adverse effect is true if your drawers are stuffed and you can‘t recall where you put that tidbit of information– you might as well clean the house. Now that we have added to the mix the lying pen of the scribes from Jeremiah 8:8, I keep my salt shaker and redacting pen near at all times


Everyone on this forum, regardless of previous faith paradigm, will bring something different to his/her reading of Job or any other Bible book or chapter; therefore, every exit from the text‘s reading will be different. It cannot be any other way. Our unique life experiences and even our DNA demand individual outtake or exegesis.

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