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
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of sixteen
books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the
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
storyteller/priests and their transmission of ancient traditions is
Through this unique metaphor he seeks to explain the purpose and
the classic religious text. As an exploration of the value system
the development of monotheism, The Bible, the Greatest Marketing Book
Written challenges the reader’s imagination, intellect, and spiritual
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
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
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
“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.
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.
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
'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.'
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
The Bible: The Greatest Marketing Tool Ever Written.........$23.99
Published by Hamilton Books, A member of the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.
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