An Edu­cat­ed Man: A Dual Biog­ra­phy of Moses and Jesus

  • Review
By – September 12, 2011
In An Edu­cat­ed Man, schol­ar David Rosen­berg exam­ines the lives of Moses and Jesus simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, draw­ing par­al­lels between the edu­ca­tion, devel­op­ment, fam­i­ly lives, and lead­er­ship of the two men.

Draw­ing on tex­tu­al evi­dence from the Old and New Tes­ta­ments, as well as his­tor­i­cal sources, Rosen­berg shows that both men were edu­cat­ed, both encoun­tered oppo­si­tion from their com­mu­ni­ties, and both, as we know, became great lead­ers nonetheless. 

What Rosen­berg shows, which most accounts of these two men don’t even attempt, is the extent to which Moses and Jesus drew on their respec­tive edu­ca­tions to inform their ser­mons. Rosen­berg argues that Moses, hav­ing been edu­cat­ed among the roy­al­ty of Egypt, was heav­i­ly influ­enced by Egypt­ian med­ical lit­er­a­ture and that this edu­ca­tion is reflect­ed in Moses’ own words and thoughts. Jesus, in turn, knew the Five Books of Moses and, as Rosen­berg argues, owed much of his think­ing to the knowl­edge he gained from the Old Tes­ta­ment, and from Moses in particular. 

Rosen­berg con­vinc­ing­ly argues that the val­ue in study­ing these par­al­lels, and in study­ing the Bible in gen­er­al, is that with­out this under­stand­ing we can’t prop­er­ly under­stand mod­ern civ­i­liza­tion. Human­i­ty has been so influ­enced by Judeo-Chris­t­ian think­ing that with­out under­stand­ing the source of this think­ing we can­not prop­er­ly under­stand who we are. 

The book is thick with bib­li­cal exam­ples and the 134-page chap­ter cov­er­ing the dual biogra­phies would have ben­e­fit­ted from fur­ther divi­sion into small­er chap­ters. The book is part biog­ra­phy and part bib­li­cal schol­ar­ship, with a brief intro­duc­tion into some nec­es­sary bib­li­cal vocab­u­lary. Over­all Rosen­berg offers an inter­est­ing cou­pling of two of the most influ­en­tial lives in our col­lec­tive his­to­ry. Bib­li­og­ra­phy, index.

Discussion Questions