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Reviews

Concerning Commentary on the Torah:

  • The single most interesting mind working on the Bible in any language today.
    -Jacob Neusner

  • As exceptional for the 2000’s as Rashi was for the 1000’s, this is the definitive Jewish commentary on the Five Books of Moses.
    -Baruch Halpern, Chaiken Family Chair in Jewish Studies, Pennsylvania State University

  • A culminating work by a remarkable scholar.  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

  • Like the prototypical commentator, Rashi, Richard Friedman conveys a vast amount of learning with a light touch.  His translations are fresh and vibrant.  His masterful commentary blends scholarly precision, literary sensitivity and spiritual reflection. -Daniel Matt, author of God and the Big Bang and The Essential Kabbalah

  • Other reviewers of Friedman’s fresh translation and commentary on the Five Books of Moses have already mentioned Rashi in the same breath. It is not without reason. -Shofar

    Friedman has written a commentary that is both learned and engaging, consistently reaching out to the reader in order to make the Biblical text relevant to contemporary spiritual and ethical perplexity.  Lucid, judicious, provocative;  a major achievement.
    -Arnold Eisen, Chancellor, Jewish Theological Seminary

  • A pathbreaking translation and commentary.  Jews and Christians alike will hail this work!
    -David Ellenson, President,  Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion

  • Friedman’s Commentary on the Torah is unique and wonderful—intelligent, courageous, creative, and playful.  It could only have been created by a world class scholar.  It could only have been crafted by a great lover of Bible.  It could only have been written by Richard Elliott Friedman.
    -Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, Dean, Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, American Jewish University

  • A vast array of insights.  Every page of the commentary shows Friedman’s keen eye for subtle nuances and telling literary details.
    -Alan Cooper, Professor of Bible & Provost, Jewish Theological Seminary

  • This is the way to study Torah!  Friedman models for us the most intelligent—and traditional—way to make the Torah live in our own lives.
    -Elliot Dorff, Rector, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, American Jewish University

  • Concerning The Disappearance of God:

    • A stunning work, nothing less than the masterpiece for this year and years to come.
      -David Noel Freedman, General Editor, The Anchor Bible

  • Important and original, enlightening, inspiring.
    -Mary Douglas

  • An exhilarating book.  A work of biblical scholarship and metaphysical speculation that is also entertaining, reader-friendly and surprisingly passionate.
    -Washington Post

  • A fascinating and dazzling piece of detective work.
    -Publishers Weekly

  • This is a book that confronts momentous issues.  Friedman, building out from his commanding knowledge of the biblical texts, proposes a striking evolution in the Western consciousness of God from the early iron age to the era of astrophysics.   -Robert Alter,author of The Art of Biblical Narrative

  • Friedman writes with clarity and charm.  He captures and holds one’s interest, pours out fresh ideas in a torrent, and thoroughly intrigues.
    -Frank Moore Cross, Hancock Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

  • Insightful. . . a terrific book.  The disappearance of God and the coming of age of the human race are threshold themes for the third millennium.  These themes are so deftly laid out on page after page and traced through more than three millennia.
    -Robert Funk, author of The Five Gospels

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

  • An enchanting and utterly fresh work of theological argument and religious reflection by a Bible scholar who writes with the pen of an angel.
    -Jacob Neusner

  • Well written, well researched, provocative, and engrossing.
    -Bishop John Shelby Spong

  • With a dazzling display of deep learning lightly presented, Friedman addresses the fundamental moral and religious issues which confront the present malaise and future survival of our species.  If we listen, there is hope
    -H.G.M. Williamson, Regius Professor of Hebrew, Oxford University

  • Bold.  Provocative.  Friedman writes in stirring phrases that somehow evoke both science and Scripture.
    -Los Angeles Jewish Journal

  • Stimulating, provocative. . . conveyed with a dazzling display of learning, a graceful literary style and a leavening of wit.  It will stimulate you immensely, whether you are believer, agnostic or religiously indifferent.
    -The Plain Dealer

  • Friedman’s biblical analysis is brilliant.  An elegant and learned reflection on one of the central mysteries of the Bible and of modern life.
    -Bible Review

  • A spiritual and intellectual feast.  This extraordinary book disguises serious and creative theological thought in the guise of a page-turning mystery, without sacrificing depth, nuance, or scholarship.  A significant tool for those who seek a way to integrate faith and science.  Remarkable insight.  Friedman is one of the greatest biblical scholars of our age.
    -Conservative Judaism

  • The Disappearance of God,at once scholarly and popularly accessible, is packed with wonderful insights into scriptural narrative, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, and cabala.
    -Booklist

    Concerning Who Wrote the Bible?

    • Friedman has gone much further than other scholars in analyzing the identity of the Biblical authors.   Provocative.   Promises to rekindle heated debate about the Good Book’s origins.
      -U.S. News & World Report

  • One of the most dramatic reappraisals of the Old Testament in recent times.
    -The Independent,  London

  • There is no other book quite like this one.  It may well be unique.  …brilliantly presented…
    -Los Angeles Times

  • …intriguing…  thoughtprovoking…   enjoyable…  If you have ever thought biblical scholarship as dry as dust, then join detective Friedman as he tracks down his elusive authors.  He has an eye for clues the average reader passes over unnoticed, and a lively style illumined by apt contemporary allusions.
    -New York Times

  • Controversial.  Now the documentary theory is entering the public arena.  That’s because of Mr. Friedman’s book.
    -The Wall Street Journal

  • What is remarkable about this book is that Friedman manages to do a number of things simultaneously and well.  It renders the Bible both more interesting and more helpful in dealing with the complex issues of our time.
    -Toronto Globe and Mail

  • A notable contribution to efforts to solve the riddle that biblical researchers, historians, archaeologists and people of faith have labored to solve for nearly a thousand years.
    -Maariv, Israel

  • Remarkable.  Friedman has written that most rare of books: a legitimate intellectual contribution that is also a good read.   The field of biblical studies will be enriched by this book.
    -Dallas Times Herald

  • An outstanding cultural contribution.  Friedman brings this material to life with a keen instinct for holding off the disclosure of each discovery until exactly the right moment.  This book could make Sunday School as exciting as Saturday night.
    -Kirkus Reviews

  • An important work.   Not only does Friedman attempt (successfully, it would appear) to advance the body of knowledge regarding the biblical authors, he does so in a non-scholarly, breezy, almost man-in-the-street way so that everyone—not just fellow scholars—can comprehend.  He takes readers on an exciting journey.  So craftsmanlike is he as mystery writer that, at times, the reader is on the edge of his or her seat…
    -The Jewish Week,  New York

  • Friedman’s conclusions could pave the way to a more wholesome approach to Biblical scholarship.
    -Jewish Telegraph,  Manchester, England

  • A tour de force.
    -Catholic Biblical Quarterly

  • Illuminating.  There is no doubt that Who Wrote the Bible? is an important book, both for its subject matter and for Friedman’s deft handling of the material.  There is simply nothing like it for the general public.
    -B’nai B’rith Magazine


  • Concerning The Hidden Book in the Bible

    • Richard Elliott Friedman is that rare biblical scholar who is both able to address a broad audience and willing to raise large speculative issues about the Bible.  Now, in his new book, he proposes that we can detect in the Bible. . . the earliest long prose masterwork in world literature.  Friedman can be impressively resourceful in seeing connections.  Friedman has devised a challenging, exhilarating theory that will force biblical scholars to rethink some basic assumptions.  A bold thesis that should give everyone pause.  Some of his arguments are strong enough to make even a doubter wonder whether, after all, he might not be right.
      -New York Times,  Robert Alter

  • An engrossing, magical book of literary recovery.  No novelist is going to be unmoved by this unearthing and sunlighting of buried treasure, and no reader is not going to be fascinated.  Done with gracious energy and clever insight, Mr. Friedman’s argument is utterly cogent.  Now, instead of a mystery wrapped in an enigma, we have a Brothers Karamazov unwrapped for all to see.
    – Paul West, author of Terrestrials and Rat Man of Paris

  • Friedman’s work is poised to produce one of those once-in-a-generation breakthroughs, after which the field of study can never look the same again.  The evidence for this stunning claim is fully presented.  If this is true, the ramifications are enormous.  Beyond Biblical studies, it will also be of significance for the history of literature in general, for Friedman will have done just what he claims: he will have rediscovered the first great prose writer of western civilization.
    -H.G.M. Williamson, Regius Professor of Hebrew, Oxford University

  • [It] may be a brilliant piece of scholarly detective work and is surely a virtuoso piece of narrative construction.  Provocative and engaging, Friedman’s book blows like a fresh breeze through the halls of biblical studies.
    -Publishers Weekly


  • Exciting, provocative, ambitious yet reverent, Friedman’s latest book is as usual grounded in impeccable scholarship.
    -Donal Spoto, author of The Hidden Jesus


  • Refreshing.  He forges new ground in calling upon readers to see biblical text in a larger context.
    -Forward,  Lawrence Schiffman, Professor, New York University


  • Friedman builds the most amazing, cohesive, and, in some remarkable ways, authentic telling of the story of a people and their God.  The literary quality is high, the biblical scholarship fine, if more than a bit provocative.
    -St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • Friedman has written a tantalizing new book.  What is exciting about Friedman’s work is that he builds on earlier scholarship to demonstrate the continuity between Torah literature and the rest of the Bible.  Friedman’s work exemplifies the best in “intertextual” readings of the Bible.
    -S. David Sperling, Professor of Bible, HUC-JIR, in New York Kollel, “The New Jewish Books”

  • Impressive new translations and interpretations of Hebrew scripture.
    -San Francisco Chronicle

  • Friedman pesuasively argues his case and offers his own highly readable translation.
    -Reform Judaism


  • Concerning The Bible with Sources Revealed:

    • An important and useful volume that should be on the bookshelf of every serious student of the Bible.
      -Frank Moore Cross

  • A succinct, lucid, detailed exposition and defense of the classic Documentary Hypothesis, giving the reader a profound sense of the dynamic development through which the Pentateuch was composed—a highly useful resource.
    -Eugene Ulrich, O’Brien Professor of Hebrew Scriptures, University of Notre Dame

  • A fundamental resource for understanding what the Hebrew Bible is all about.
    -Peter Machinist, Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages, Harvard University

  • Professor Friedman has outdone himself.  The world’s sharpest historian of biblical literature furnishes a volume indispensable for study in biblical history.  No one can really understand the Bible’s composition without consulting this work,
    -Baruch Halpern

  • An amazing work.  It makes the theory of the Bible’s origins available to all in a clear and concise way.  The introduction is superb.  This book will be an indispensable addition to the library of acholars as well as laypeople.
    -David Ellenson

  • A paradigm of accessible scholarship of the highest order.  A lucid introduction and extensive notes enhance this indispensable teaching tool.
    -Michael Coogan, editor, The New Oxford Annotated Bible