The Bible as Literature: The Five Books of Moses

The Bible as Literature: The Five Books of Moses

Wednesday - 11:00am

First Class: 2/15/23

Last Class: 3/22/23


Instructor: Marcel Infeld

Marcel Infeld has taught Bible classes at Jewish congregations. As a fluent Hebrew speaker, he reads the Bible in the language it was originally written. Professionally he was trained as a health care administrator and served as an HMO director and health care consultant.

Course Description

We treat the Hebrew Bible as literature not sacred text. We explore what the author had in mind, based on the plain meaning of the text, the historical context, and current biblical scholarship. We rely on common sense. Let me give you three examples of my approach. Example 1: The Bible says God created man in his image. Really? Or is it the reverse, that man created God in man’s own image? Example 2: The Ten Commandments are almost 3,000 years old. Are they ready for an update? I will give my version of the Ten Commandments for the 21st century. Example 3: Moses is harshly penalized for hitting a rock instead of talking to it. He can’t go to the promised land, a goal he labored for 40 years. Is the penalty too harsh? Why was Moses penalized at all? He was 120 years old. Hit the rock, talk to the rock - it could have been a hearing issue! I expect participants to be familiar with the Five Books of Moses. The entire collection is the size of an average novel, less than 400 pages. The format is lectures with time set aside for questions. If this course has appeal, I will cover the remainder of the Hebrew Bible in the next two years.

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