Home |  About Bernard Beck | Blog Discussion | EndorsementsExcerptsContact | Calendar

      Comments and endorsements from recognized authorities:

Dr. Israel Drazin:
    Whether people are convinced that the Bible was revealed to the Israelites by God some four thousand years ago or think it was composed by humans over a period of time and finally compiled and edited around 400 BCE, they can enjoy this thought-provoking book. Bernard Beck, a marketing consultant for fifteen years, asks: what made the ancient Bible such an enduring book that people of widely different faiths still find it relevant, meaningful, and inspiring?
    He suggests that the Bible uses sharp and effective marketing techniques, techniques recommended today by top marketing authorities. He states: “The way marketing communications are presented is very important in determining their effectiveness…. Ideally the message should (attract) attention, hold interest, arouse desire, and elicit action.” He shows how the Bible does this and how it convinces readers that its laws are rational.
    The Bible is the first law code that includes narratives. The narratives are crafted to convey the desired messages. Readers are attracted to the biblical characters and relate to them because they “are intellectual, and have the appearance of wealth and/or success.” Abraham is a perfect leader because, beside these attributes, he, like most Bible readers, is also vulnerable. He is a person to whom they can and want to relate. The stories draw readers’ interest. The first biblical drama, the Garden of Eden, is a “most effective potboiler – sex, intrigue, and violence.” And after capturing the readers’ interest, the narrative offers a message. The story of Abraham draws readers who relate to him, toward the moral of the tale: they become “convinced of the strength and goodness of God."
    Beck shows how the stories and laws are presented in an effective order that encourages acceptance. For example, the first biblical laws are rules that are relatively easy to accept and add a feeling of enjoyment, such as the Sabbath. It is no surprise that the Ten Commandments, an early set of rules, make no harsh demands on daily life.
    In summary, Beck offers his readers a novel approach to how the Bible should be understood. Whether one agrees in whole or in part, readers will gain much from this thought-provoking presentation.

Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of sixteen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible 

        Rabbi Zachary Heller:
    In Bernard Beck’s view of the Bible, the contemporary methodologies of marketing and advertising become the framework for analysis through which the creative powers of the storyteller/priests and their transmission of ancient traditions is viewed. Through this unique metaphor he seeks to explain the purpose and perspective of the classic religious text. As an exploration of the value system leading to the development of monotheism, The Bible, the Greatest Marketing Book Tool Ever Written challenges the reader’s imagination, intellect, and spiritual quest.

    Rabbi Zachary Heller z'l, was the Associate Director, National Center for Jewish Policy Studies, Hebrew College

         Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg:
    There has got to be a reason why billions of people in this world – Jews, Christians and Muslims – consider the Bible sacred. “The Bible: the Greatest Marketing Tool Ever Written” provides a marvelous reason; the Bible speaks forcefully to the 21st century human being.
    This book reminds us that the message of religion is meant for more than one’s personal life.  It speaks to our daily dealings in society’s marketplace.  The “old time religion” has much to teach us Moderns.  “The Bible: the Greatest Marketing Tool Ever Written” has lessons for all of us to incorporate into our lives.  We owe a debt of gratitude to Bernard Beck for this informative, well written, intellectually stimulating presentation from which all of us can learn the keys to success in our relationship with others and ourselves.

        Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg is the Senior Rabbi, Beth Tfiloh Congregation, Baltimore, MD

        New Jersey Jewish News  
        by Ron Kaplan, January 12, 2011

Moses meets ‘Mad Men’ in new take on Torah | Life & Times

At one point, most everyone who attends synagogue services finds his or her mind wandering. For some, it might be thoughts of work or family; for others it’s sports or a good TV program.
Bernard Beck came up with something more to the point.
    During a Shabbat Torah reading several years ago at Ahavas Sholom in Newark, Beck found himself wondering why the Five Books of Moses was written down when it was, historically speaking. “I know what purpose it serves for us today — a moral guide, a religious icon,” he told NJ Jewish News in an interview from his home in Essex Fells. “But what did it do for the people when it first came out? What purpose did it serve?”
    He decided that purpose was to mold the Children of Israel into one nation from a group of loosely affiliated tribes and sought a way to frame this message in terms of his former occupation as a marketing consultant and adjunct professor of marketing at Rutgers University-Newark. “If I were a marketer today and I was helping in the formation of a nation, how would I go about doing it?”
    In his new book, The Bible: The Greatest Marketing Tool Ever Written (Hamilton Books), Beck compares the “marketing techniques” of modern-day industry experts to the biblical narrative.
    “I believe that the Bible is a marketing tool that was initially designed to give a nascent society a core,” he writes in the book. “This remarkable marketing document is so ingeniously crafted, so spectacularly laid out, so richly illustrated, that it has had the unique ability to withstand the test of time and adapt to the needs of various societies.”
    The author discusses such ideas as Joseph as an ideal communicator and the role of biblical priests building a “corporate culture” and spreading “the advertising message.”
    “The storyteller/priest starts out by giving his listeners a brief summary of the story that is about to unfold,” Beck writes. “Although this telling removes the suspense from the story, it adds a comfortable familiarity. This method of presentation is used by many successful speakers and writers.
    “The formula goes like this: ‘Tell them what you’re going to tell them; tell them; then tell them what you told them.’ The initial telling is just a brief outline; this is followed by a detailed presentation and then finally a summation in which the conclusion is driven home.”
    Beck grew up in Brooklyn, where he attended the Hebrew Institute of Boro Park/Yeshivat Etz Chaim and Yeshiva High School in Flatbush. The book’s foreword was written by noted attorney and legal scholar Alan Dershowitz, a yeshiva classmate and boyhood friend.
    The 136-page book concludes with the giving of the Ten Commandments. “I think that’s the end of the narrative,” Beck said. “I think The Bible moves into another category, being rules of life.”
    Beck said he focused on the mythology of the Bible. “Mythology should not be considered a pejorative,” he said. “I don’t mean by mythology that it’s not correct. It serves the purpose of uniting a people.” He cited Paul Revere’s midnight ride, George Washington atop his horse, and Abraham Lincoln delivering his Gettysburg Address as examples. “Whether these are recalled as they actually happened or whether they’ve been embellished is not relevant. What is relevant is the impact that it’s had on our American national identity.”
    Beck, 72, has been busy on the book tour circuit; he will be the guest speaker at a Men at Leisure meeting on Thursday, Jan. 20, at the Aidekman Jewish Community Campus in Whippany. His book, he said, “has been very enthusiastically received. The discussions have been animated, exciting.” The only negative reaction he recalls came from a gentile.
    I have a friend who owns a restaurant and she invited me to do a program there…. There was a non-Jewish couple, I think the man is a lay minister. He was very knowledgeable about the Jewish Bible and he questioned my interpretation because his feeling about it was that — it’s sort of strange to say — the words came from Hashem and therefore we have no right to wonder about the purpose of it.
    For further information and to read excerpts from the book, visit bernardbeck.com. For information about the Jan. 20 program, call 973-929-2917.
        Book Review, Circles of Montclair, www.circlesofmontclair.com
    As one of the most enduring literary works of all time, the Hebrew Bible is at once a historical narrative, a deep spiritual and moral compass, and the mythology of a people from the Middle East.  And according to Bernard Beck – a retired entrepreneur, professor in the MBA program at Rutgers University, and a founder of the B’nai Keshet Reconstructionist Synagogue in Montclair – the Old Testament was the impetus that encouraged the Hebrews to coalesce into a nation.  From there, the three faiths we know today as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, developed. 
    In his book, The Bible: The Greatest Marketing Tool Ever Written, Mr. Beck examines the use of marketing within the Bible from the perspective of modern ad campaigns.  'I wondered why the book was written,' says Beck.  'But more so, I asked why the stories in Bible occur in the order they do.'  It came to him, while teaching a course at Rutgers, that the Bible was structured in such a way as to create an optimal market environment for the purposes of the authors: to craft a story that fostered group solidarity within the various Hebrew tribes.  And when he examined the recommendations in his marketing textbooks, he found a similar set of rules (or order of operations) that underlie any successful marketing endeavor.
    A powerful mythology can lend strength and fiber to an idea.  In one example Mr. Beck uses the founding fathers of the United States.  The current idea we all hold of our nation is buoyed up by the legendary characters of its past.  Without revealing too much, we would like to give you a quick example from Mr. Beck to illustrate his point.
    'First you must market to the ‘early adopters’, the people who are ready for the message or product.  In the case of the bible we have Abraham, an insightful man, who is intrigued by monotheism.  Today, we have the people who stand in line from 4am for the latest iPhone.  Next you must establish an iconic person or image to associate with the product.  Again, think of brave Abraham back then, or a popular sports star today.  You think, ‘if they use the product or have that idea, I should too’.  The final purpose is to make the average guy – in the Bible it’s Isaac, today, it is the consumer – associate with the famous individual.  And from there, the idea runs and develops.'
    With a foreword by Alan Dershowitz, Beck’s book is both a historical study and an educational tool, whose clear explanation of the marketing process can be easily applied to twenty-first century business opportunities.  The thought provoking and controversial conclusions that he draws present points of discussion and conversation for individuals and all groups of all faiths.  The book is written in an informal, conversational style that is both accessible and deeply insightful.  For more information about the book and its author, please visit www.bernardbeck.com.

The Bible: The Greatest Marketing Tool Ever Written.........$23.99 

Published by Hamilton Books, A member of the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.

To order and receive a signed copy please click  here: