He Thought Cinco De Mayo Was His Birthday: A Ten Commandments’ Tale

cinco de mayo commemorates mexico’s victory in the battle of puebla against the french in 1862. in california, the mexican holiday is celebrated much like st. patrick’s day. a large segment of population are moved to consume both ethnic fare and beverage.

years ago, it has been told that, on the 5th of may, a professor, who had recently moved to california, stepped out onto the uc san diego campus to discover students celebrating. “how did they know it was my birthday?” he thought. over time, he began to accept that the treasured date that he came into the world would be one to be saluted with a margarita-or two- in hand.

this familiar story is a part of the comic lore of the elite biblical scholar, professor richard elliott friedman. his humorous bit illustrates the powers of perspective and perception. these are valuable lessons for one entering scholarship of the hebrew bible.

according to professor friedman, the hebrew bible scholarship is monstrous multi- disciplinary endeavor. knowledge of multiple languages, epigraphy, archeology, and history are some of the disciplines which have flushed out our modern understanding of the text.

as such, students, for decades, took advantage of dr. friedman’s hard work and insights and have been able to consume his knowledge. likewise, readers are also allowed to enjoy his insights with books addressing who wrote the bible and whether the exodus did in fact happen.

many of dr. friedman’s lectures are available for viewing online. one is guaranteed to get insight, as well as a joke or two, within every lecture. of interest is his discussions of the bible in its time and the bible as it currently presents. dr. friedman is one of the few capable people to be able to flush out the different times and how they bring meaning to the text.

be well!!

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Published by biblelifestudies

I am a practicing lawyer and long term admirer of the bible

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