An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible with Richard Elliott Friedman

Discover the Hebrew Bible in an online course

richard-friedmanTake a course on the Hebrew Bible from the comfort of your own home with renowned Biblical scholar Richard Elliott Friedman! Professor Friedman’s online course is an introduction to the books of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) that tell its core story, from creation to the time of great empires. Learn from a leading researcher in the field and the author of the bestselling and most-assigned book on the subject, Who Wrote the Bible? Encounter the narrative books from literary, historical and archaeological perspectives. Address real questions of what in the Bible is historical and what is not. See the world of the ancient Near East that produced it. See the Bible’s conception of God, covenant and how to relate to one’s fellow human beings.

Professor Friedman’s lectures are known for combining the latest scholarship with humor, spirituality and sensitivity to contemporary concerns.

There are 27 hour-long lectures for $26. The first lecture is free!

Topics include: creation, the Ten Commandments, miracle, sacrifice, love of neighbor, the birth of Israel, prophets, priests, kings and queens, sex and love, prose and poetry, sin, war, peace and who wrote the Bible.

Click here to start Professor Friedman’s Hebrew Bible course!

Ministers, priests, rabbis, and laypersons have learned from Professor Friedman. Men and women across the religious spectrum have praised his books and his teaching:


Photo: Raul654’s image is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

“The single most interesting mind working on the Bible in any language today.”
—Jacob Neusner

“Friedman is one of the greatest biblical scholars of our age.”
Conservative Judaism

“A tour de force.”
Catholic Biblical Quarterly

“Important and original, enlightening, inspiring.”
—Mary Douglas

“A refreshingly honest look at what the ancient Bible teaches us about contemporary controversies.”
—Alan Dershowitz

“If you have ever thought Biblical scholarship as dry as dust, then join detective Friedman. He has a lively style illumined by apt contemporary allusion.”
New York Times

“Friedman has gone much further than other scholars in analyzing the identity of the Biblical authors.”
U.S. News & World Report

“Friedman’s Biblical analysis is brilliant.”
Bible Review

“Friedman conveys a vast amount of learning with a light touch. His masterful commentary blends scholarly precision, literary sensitivity and spiritual reflection.”
—Daniel Matt, author of The Essential Kabbalah

“Friedman captures and holds one’s interest, pours out fresh ideas in a torrent and thoroughly intrigues.”
—Frank Moore Cross, Hancock Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

“Lively and engaging, grounded in solid scholarship. Friedman raises some important questions and answers them persuasively.”
—Harold S. Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

“Friedman has had a place in the company of the great scholars of the recent past; now we find him another place of equal value and importance among an older generation of legendary commentators on the Hebrew Scriptures: Kimhi and Abarbanel, Rashbam and Nachmanides, and that perennial master of the written Word, Rashi.”
—David Noel Freedman, General Editor, The Anchor Bible

Click here to start Professor Friedman’s Hebrew Bible course!

Richard Elliott Friedman is the Ann and Jay Davis Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Georgia and Katzin Professor of Jewish Civilization Emeritus at the University of California, San Diego, and author of the classic Who Wrote the Bible? (1987). He was a visiting fellow at Cambridge and Oxford, a senior fellow of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Jerusalem, a visiting professor at the University of Haifa and participated in the City of David Project archaeological excavations of Jerusalem.

As the point where three of the world’s major religions converge, Israel’s history is one of the richest and most complex in the world. Sift through the archaeology and history of this ancient land in the free eBook Israel: An Archaeological Journey, and get a view of these significant Biblical sites through an archaeologist’s lens.

More from Richard Elliott Friedman in Bible History Daily:

Love Your Neighbor: Only Israelites or Everyone?
Richard Elliott Friedman’s full article as published in the September/October 2014 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review.

Video: The Exodus Based on the Sources Themselves
Richard Elliott Friedman discusses text and memory at UCSD’s Out of Egypt conference.


1 Responses

  1. Kurt says:

    When Was the Bible Written?

    The Bible is an exceptional book. More than three billion people consider it sacred text. It has been called the best-selling book of all time, with an estimated 6,000,000,000 copies printed (in whole or in part) in over 2,400 languages.

    ALTHOUGH the Bible is the most widely read book in history, there are many ideas in circulation regarding when it was written, especially the Hebrew Scriptures, often called the Old Testament. You may have read some such theories in journals and books, or you may have watched scholars explain them in television documentaries. Here are some statements that highlight certain contemporary views.

    ▪ “Biblical literature was written down largely in the eighth through the sixth century B.C.E., or, between the days of the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah.”

    ▪ “For the past two hundred years biblical scholars have usually assumed that the Hebrew Bible was written and edited mostly in the Persian and Hellenistic periods (the fifth through second centuries B.C.E.).”

    ▪ “All the texts of the Hebrew Bible in its present form date to the Hellenistic era (as late as the 2nd-1st century [B.C.E.]).”

    How should a Christian who believes that “all Scripture is inspired of God” view these conflicting ideas? (2 Timothy 3:16) To find the answer, let us consider the two sides of the matter.

    For a detailed study of the Bible’s chronology, see the book Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 1, pages 447-467.
    See the article “Ancient Scribes and the Word of God” in the March 15, 2007, issue of The Watchtower, pages 18-20.

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