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Who Wrote the Bible? [Paperback]

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Item description for Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard Elliott Friedman...

A Bible scholar and author of The Hidden Face of God uses archaeological evidence to hypothesize about the identities of the authors of the central books in the Old Testament--Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Reprint.

Publishers Description
"It is a strange fact that we have never known with certainty who produced the book that has played such a central role in our civilization," writes Friedman, a foremost Bible scholar. From this point he begins an investigation and analysis that reads as compellingly as a good detective story. Focusing on the central books of the Old Testament--Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy--he draws upon biblical and archaeological evidence to make a convincing argument for the identities of their authors. In the process he paints a vivid picture of the world of the Bible--its politics, history, and personalities. The result is a marvel of scholarship that sheds a new and enriching light on our understanding of the Bible as literature, history, and sacred text.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard Elliott Friedman has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 12/31/2008 page 98
  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/1998 page 74
  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2004 page 74

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Item Specifications...

Studio: HarperOne
Pages   299
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.02" Width: 5.34" Height: 0.76"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 25, 2009
Publisher   HarperOne
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0060630353  
ISBN13  9780060630355  
UPC  099455014007  

Availability  12 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 07:58.
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More About Richard Elliott Friedman

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Richard Elliott Friedman is the Davis Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Georgia and Katzin Professor of Jewish Civilization Emeritus of the University of California, San Diego. A nationally recognized biblical scholar, Friedman is the author of the bestselling Who Wrote the Bible? as well as The Disappearance of God, The Hidden Book in the Bible, Commentary on the Torah, The Bible with Sources Revealed, and The Exile and Biblical Narrative.
Shawna Dolansky is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Northeastern University. She is the author of Now You See It, Now You Don't: The Relationship Between Magic and Religion in the Hebrew Bible and the editor of Sacred History, Sacred Literature.

Richard Elliott Friedman currently resides in the state of California.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts > Bible > Old Testament
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament > Old Testament

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Who Wrote the Bible??

For Those who are students of the Documentary Hypothesis  Mar 18, 2008
This book is an excellent read. For those who are literary critics of the Holy Bible, this would prove to be the back bone for understanding who evolution of who wrote the bible, why they wrote it, and when. Friedman's emphasis' lies on the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the bible which were purportedly written by Moses. Friedman however dismisses this, and provides a more plausible explaination behind these first five books. His image of the documentary hypothesis cannot be matched in this day and age.
Important For Those Who Like Postmortem  Nov 25, 2007
Most of this book concentrates on a hypothesis for how the Torah, not the bible as a whole was written (regardless of what the book's name or some of the reviewers say)- it is the origin of Torah that is attributed to Moses, not the bible as a whole.

Torah in its own right, if this hypothesis is correct, is a) an omelet and b) has a history. I don't know why for Christians it is important that the written Torah was revealed to Moses all at once, for the Orthodox Jews, this is important because Torah is the covenant between the Suzerain - God and a King - the people Israel. This relationship between God and Israel is at the core of Judaism. Also, it is important for the Orthodox that Torah is attributed to Moses because of the position that the Orthodox hold that the ancient state of Israel had to find its justification in the Torah - not the other way around. Israel only has one ruler and law giver - God.

I will leave it to the reader of this review to look at the other reviews to see what the book is talking about. In my review, I would like to raise a few questions about the validity of some of what the author of "Understanding The Bible" wrote.

Firstly. The author Richard Friedman, wrote in Chapter 14 about how the various pieces that sometimes contradicted and were totally unrelated were put together and that they created something that the originators could never have imagined. I argue that this is not correct. There are major themes in the Torah that are constants that are seen throughout and have been preserved all throughout the "merges".

1) The theme that leads from the creation story to the Tabernacle and the first temple. The idea is that the first temple represented Eden.
2) The moral growth of humans as well as the moral changes in the conceptions by God. This leads us from Cain who killed his brother, but was tolerated by God to the dictum made by God that all those who shed the blood of man will die by man's hand. As well as that God will demand a reckoning from every beast for killing men. This was a legal principle that Israelites used from the earliest time (even if the writing down of this principle is attributed to a later age). Additionally, we go from Adam and Eve who are children, to Noah who is the most righteous of his generation, but doesn't attempt to change God's mind about killing all people and animals, to Abraham who tells God not to dare to destroy an entire city.
3) The covenental formulary is preserved throughout all the so called modifications, "arbitrary additions", political feuds, etc. To learn what covenental formulary is and why it is important, please read the book Sinai and Zion: An Entry into the Jewish Bible by Jon Levenson.

Here is another thing that one has to watch out for. The so called contradictions. On page 229, the author lists two "contradictory" passages.

(1) "Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it...because in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and he rested on the seventh day. Therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it."

(2) "Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it...and you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Yahweh your God brought you out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore Yahweh your God commanded you to observe the Sabbath day"

The author claims that (1) and (2) above are somehow contradictory and yet people who read them seem to be able to reconcile them. Let me suggest that (1) states why the Sabbath day is sanctified while (2) states why you should keep it sanctified. Had the author understood that the story of the bringing out of the land of Egypt is the reason for why we as Jews obey God's commandments, he would have understood the reason for (2). (1) simply states that given that you will obey God and keep Sabbath holy, here is an explanation for why it is holy. Contradictory? Perhaps in the author's imagination.

In any case, the bible is a living book. It is the way in which one communicates with a living God. Perhaps the reason that so many people object to the kind of study that leads to the documentary hypothesis is the notion that it is like cutting up a dead frog in order to do a postmortem. Instead, you can use the book to create a relationship with God that has been described by many as a relationship between lovers.
A Critical Look at the Bible, without being anti-religious  Nov 24, 2007
There are precious few books out there that critically examine the Bible as an archaeological item without bashing the religions that hold it up as a divine creation. While there are few fundamentalists or traditional religious believers who would applaud Dr. Friedman, "Who Wrote the Bible?" is a fantastic work that critically examines some books in the Old Testment and places them in a historical context.

In looking at "apparent contradictions" and other anomalies of the Old Testament, Dr. Friedman's explanations provide a plausible alternative to the strange, twisted logic of apologists. Archaeology tells us that the Bible was written by many different people over a very long period of time. Dr. Friedman lays that path out for us with stunning clarity.

If you consider yourself a "Bible Freak", or know someone who does, then you owe it to yourself to learn about the Holy Book. Dr. Friedman's book is a great start.
Ultimate Historical Whodunnit  Oct 24, 2007
Frequently, scholarly treatises should carry the warning "Do not drive or operate machinery while reading this work." While I don't recommend doing either while reading anything, with this book the problem is insomnia, not somnolescence.

The author presents a careful and reasoned historical analysis to support his conclusions. In doing so he engages the reader with the skill of a Dorothy Sayres. Prompted by reviews which indicated other readers had similar reactions, I bought and read "Who Wrote the Bible?". It came as close as anything I have read to satisfying the criterion: "I couldn't put it down."
good book, misleading title  Aug 31, 2007
The title shouldve been reserved for a more comprehensive book on more than just the 5 books of "Moses" and a few others after it. Good book though! Partway through "Hidden Book in the Bible". Good too so far....

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