Interpretations of the Bible over the centuries
Over the centuries there have been various interpretations and commentary on the Bible. Among the best-known are an 11th-century rabbi Shlomo Yitschaki (known as Rashi, 1040 – 1105) – a medieval French rabbi, considered the greatest scholar ever to interpret the Old Testament. Another prized interpretation of the Old Testament is from a much later date – the 19th century – that of David David Cassuto, an Italian rabbi and scholar (1883 – 1951).
Many of such interpretations are primarily intended for those who devote themselves to reading and learning the Bible, and are otherwise too complicated for the average person to understand.
Bible stories told in simple language
In addition, there are many books that tell the Bible stories in a more “simple, readable” language. Many of such books, intended for both adults and children, attempt to be accurate to Scripture, crafted in a simple, understandable language aimed at getting the reader (s) to understand and understand the main points of the stories (I mention not here any examples of such stories so as not to “advertise” any of them).
Yet Mordechai Rimor, Ph.D., a psychologist, a philosopher, a university teacher, and the author of many academic and literary works, has found a unique way to bring Bible stories to our attention (Mordechai Rimor, Ph.D .: Variations in the Book: Glimpses from the Bible, Create Space Independent Publishing, 2012, 590 Pages).
The unique thing about Dr. Rimor’s “book variations”
“Book variations” are unique in form and style with short stories – one page or less. Each story is based on a verse taken from the Old or New Testaments. In the more than 500 stories in “Variations on the Book”, Dr. Rimor his imagination to carry him beyond “dry” interpretation of the verse and to a more poetic, interesting, compact storyline. In doing so, he not only brings a unique approach (unlike many others who tried to interpret the Bible), but also engages us, the readers, in visualizing the image he draws before our eyes.
What is unique and refreshing about Dr. Rimor’s “variations in the book” is that he doesn’t try interpret the Bible stories, and he doesn’t try to do that either rewriting or make them in simple language. Rather, he takes a paragraph that attracts his attention, and on the basis of that single section, he makes a brief, succinct fictional story and uses his own imaginary powers.
Thus, Dr. Rimor us – the readers – the freedom and the “permission” to use our own imagination, psychological and philosophical view – just as he does! – to relate to Bible stories in our own wayand thus connect our own life experiences and wisdom to Bible stories.
Many literary as well as religious scholars have long agreed on the assumption that the Bible sums up all sorts of human “scenarios”, from love and death, to betrayal and war; from faith and devotion to sadness and happiness. Dr. Rimor’s book takes note of such a well-known argument and uses its fertile imagination to bring a new, up-to-date perspective on many of the Bible’s verses.
As such, Rimor’s “variations on the book” suggest the educational value of the Bible by “allowing” and encouraging us to open our eyes and imagination to Bible stories – each from our own conception and life experiences.
Is there any better way to “get involved” in these stories than on a personal level?