Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard Elliott Friedman
After several novels, we’re turning to non-fiction this time. We’ll be reading Friedman’s Who Wrote the Bible? – an
exploration of theories on the authorship of the Tanakh or Jewish Bible. Focusing on the Torah – the first five books
of the Tanakh – noted biblical scholar Richard Elliott Friedman explains how researchers have concluded the Torah has
multiple authorship. He demonstrates the clues that indicate different writers composed different sections and shows
how they were put together to make the Torah we have now.
This book has what might have been a dry, academic topic but it is written in a breezy, conversational style. Friedman
presents a central mystery: if the Torah was written in pieces by different people and woven together into the text we
have now, who did the weaving? The editor who put the Torah together is known in academic circles as the Redactor.
Friedman thinks he knows who the Redactor was. Like a mystery novelist, he plants clues throughout the book and then
reveals the identity in the final chapter. A fun read, which uses the bible to illuminate history and history to
illuminate the bible, increasing the reader’s appreciation for both.
The CAA Library has acquired multiple copies of Friedman’s book, which are available for members to borrow. There are
also copies available to borrow at Keene Public Library and Keene State College’s Mason Library. Get one now and join
us on April 17 to discuss over light refreshments at CAA.