Richard Elliott Friedman earned his doctorate at Harvard in Hebrew Bible. He also earned the degree of Master of Theology at Harvard, the degree of Master of Hebrew Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and the B.A. degree in Philosophy at the University of Miami.
He was a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge and Oxford, a Senior Fellow of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Jerusalem, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Haifa. He participated in the City of David Project archaeological excavations of biblical Jerusalem. He is now the Ann and Jay Davis Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Georgia and is the Katzin Professor of Jewish Civilization Emeritus of the University of California, San Diego.
His books have been translated into Hebrew, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Polish, Hungarian, Dutch, Portuguese, Czech, Turkish, Korean, and French. Who Wrote the Bible? has sold over 250,000 copies, was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, a New York Times Editors’ selection, and was the subject of a three-hour television special. The Disappearance of God (published in paperback as The Hidden Face of God) was named among the “Best Books of 1995” by Publishers Weekly. The Hidden Book in the Bible was named among the “Best Books of 1998” by Publishers Weekly. It was a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, History Book Club, Quality Paperbacks Book Club, and Jewish Book Club. His Commentary on the Torah, with his new translation of the Five Books of Moses, was named among Commentary Magazine Best Jewish Books of 2001. His The Bible with Sources Revealed was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist of 2005. His most recent book is The Bible Now, co-authored with Shawna Dolansky and published by Oxford Press. It relates the Bible to the controversial issues of our day: homosexuality, abortion, women’s status, capital punishment, and the earth.
He also authored The Exile and Biblical Narrative, published in Harvard Semitic Monographs. He also has edited four books and written seventy-four articles and seven book reviews.
He has been interviewed by CNN’s Larry King and on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition” and “Radio Times” and “Talk of the Nation” by Robert Siegal, Ray Suarez, and Derek McGinty. Articles and citations of his work have appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Time, New York Daily News, Newsweek, Commentary, Commonweal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Forward, Moment, The Jerusalem Post, Maariv, and Haaretz.
He was a consultant for the Dreamworks film “The Prince of Egypt”; for NBC “The Eternal Light”; for A&E, PBS, and “Nova.”
He was an American Council of Learned Societies Fellow. He was elected to membership in The Biblical Colloquium. He was President of the Biblical Colloquium West. He received three awards for Outstanding Teaching at the University of California.
He has lectured at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. and at Yale; Harvard; Princeton; Cambridge; The Hebrew University, Jerusalem; UCLA; University of California, Berkeley; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; UNC Asheville; UNC Greensboro; American Jewish University; Ohio State; Cal Tech; University of Miami; Emory University; University of Nebraska, Omaha; University of Nevada; University of Hartford; Arizona State University; Knox College; McMaster University; Creighton University; Texas A&M University; University of Florida; the American Schools of Oriental Research, Jerusalem; the World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem; Jewish Theological Seminary; UC Riverside; UC Davis; UC Santa Barbara; UC Santa Cruz; Southern Methodist University; Linfield College; Wright State University; University of Dayton; San Diego State University; Siegal College; Society of Biblical Literature; Association for Jewish Studies; Biblical Archaeology Society; Temple University, Philadelphia, Marking the 200th Anniversary of the United States Constitution.
He has given over two hundred lectures at non-academic institutions around the United States.
Ancient: Akkadian, Aramaic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Phoenician, Ugaritic
Modern: French, German, Hebrew
Two volumes have been written in his honor:
Sacred History, Sacred Literature: Essays on Ancient Israel, the Bible, and Religion in Honor of R. E. Friedman on His 60th Birthday), Edited by Shawna Dolansky (Eisenbrauns, 2008)
Milk and Honey: Essays on Ancient Israel and the Bible in Appreciation of the Judaic Studies Program at the University of California, San Diego), Edited by Sarah Malena and David Miano (Eisenbrauns, 2007)