Rashi and the Peshat Interpretation of the Bible (Zoom Course)



3 Academic Credit Hours (February 8 – May 10, 2023)

this course has already ended

Rashi and the Peshat Interpretation of the Bible

Course will be held via Zoom on Wednesdays , 4 – 7 PM Israel Time



Course Description

This course is going to focus on the works and motives of Rashi and his contemporaries. Rashi – Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki – lived in the 11th Century in France, during a time when persecution against Jewish communities was on the rise. Rashi is still considered the foremost commentator of the Tanakh (and the Talmud) among Traditional Judaism. He is known for his “Pshat” method, which attempts to give the simplest and literally meaning of the texts. Nevertheless, recent studies reveal that a vast percentage of his interpretations were apologetic in nature; meaning, his commentary was far from being the “Pshat” of Scriptures. Rather, it was a way to protect his Jewish community against the Christian interpretation, especially concerning Messianic verses and prophecies from the Old Testament.

Course Structure

The lessons will be held through a Zoom format, consisting of lectures and interactive discussions between all participants. There will be 10 three hour (with breaks) live zoom lectures. Recordings will be available* to registered students to watch multiple times during the time of the course and for six weeks after it ends. It won’t be possible to download video lectures to personal PC.

*We cannot ensure the quality of zoom recordings should technical failures occur. We also cannot guarantee that all parts will be recorded. Therefore, it is NOT possible to register for recordings only. Students need to participate in live lectures.

Course Goals

  1. To explain the religious and cultural background of Rashi’s times.
  2. To help the students become more familiar with Rabbinic interpretation of the Scriptures.
  3. To give the students a taste of Rashi’s most famous commentaries of the Tanakh.
  4. To introduce the students to the Jewish-Christian relations, through the eyes of Rashi.

Learning Outcome

  1. The students will be more sensitive to the circumstances of Rashi’s commentary.
  2. The students will learn to appreciate Rabbinic methods of interpretation in its right context.
  3. The students would learn the motives of Rashi’s commentary and will know how to respond accordingly.
  4. The students will learn to appreciate more the reasons behind the ‘parting of the ways’, concerning Jewish-Christian relations, especially through Rashi’s point of view. Thus, they will grow more sensitive towards Jewish antagonism concerning the Gospel.

Course Dates and Topics :


Feb 8 Introduction to course; the fall of Biblical Judaism and the rise of the Rabbis Church; the literary context of the 2nd Temple period; The way the Oral-Law treated the Tanakh and used it
Feb 15 The parting of the ways; Conversion, Theology and religious practice of the two churches: Messianic Judaism and Rabbinic Judaism; Jewish-“Christian” relations
Feb 22 Main three types of Rabbinic literature: Midrash, Halachah and Haggadah; the rise of Biblical commentary;
Mar 1 The Messianic-Rabbinic debate, turning into a Jewish-Christian polemics;
Mar 8 Towards the end of the Middle-Ages: The golden age of Rabbinic commentary and the introduction of the ‘Pshat’ method;
Mar 15 Dallas Spring Break, no class
Mar 22 The ‘Minim’ as Messianic Jews, in Rabbinic thought and especially in Rashi’s commentary; The destiny of Gentiles in the world to come;
Mar 29 Rashi interpretation: ‘Pshat’ or Polemics?
Apr 5 Passover Holiday, no class
Apr 12 Passover Holiday, no class
Apr 19 Rashi interpretation: reasons and objectives;
Apr 26 Israel Independence Day, no class
May 3 Rashi commentary: hidden debate with Christian interpretation;
May 10 The effect of Rashi’s legacy on Jewish thought today and the Messianic interpretation of the Hebrew Bible; summary of the course

Instructor: Dr. Golan Broshi

Dr. Golan Broshi is an Israeli born Messianic believer in Yeshua and an active member of Or Ha-Sharon Messianic Congregation. He holds MA in Social Education, MA in Jewish Education, and DMin in Middle East Leadership Ministry. He serves on the faculty of Israel College of the Bible in Netanya, Israel, as a full-time lecturer. His teaching field concentration is on Jewish Oral Law, Biblical Hebrew, and Education. Dr. Golan Broshi has published several scholarly articles and books including, The Oral Law Debunked (co-authored with Dr. Eitan Bar, One for Israel, 2018), “Shavuot,” in A Handbook on the Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith (eds. Craig A. Evans, David Mishkin, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2019).




  • Live Lectures via Zoom
  • February 8 – May 10, Wednesdays , 4 – 7 PM GMT+3 (Israel Time)
  • Language: English

Required Textbooks

Main Texts

  • The Bible
  • Rashi’s commentary, available at: https://www.sefaria.org.il/Rashi_on_Genesis.1.1.1?lang=en
  • Much of this course is inspired by Avraham Grossman’s new book: Rashi and the Jewish-Christian Polemic, 2021 (still available only in Hebrew: אברהם גרוסמן רש”י והפולמוס היהודי-הנוצרי)

Must Read for students who TAKE THIS COURSE FOR ACADEMIC CREDIT (choose two books for reading assignment, one from each list):

  • Please choose a book from list A:
  1. Bonchek, Avigdor. What’s Bothering Rashi?. Philipp Feldheim, 1997.
  2. Grossman, Avraham. Rashi. The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization in association with Liverpool University Press, 2014.
  3. Kearney, J. Rashi – Linguist despite Himself. New York and London, 2010.
  4. Owen, Aron. Rashi: His Life and Times. London: Jewish Religious Educational Publications 1955.
  5. Shulman, Yaacov David. Rashi: The Story of Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki. Moscow, 1993.


  • Please choose a book from list B:
  1. Bar-Asher Siegal. Michal. Jewish-Christian Dialogues on Scripture in Late Antiquity: Heretic Narratives of the Babylonian Talmud. Cambridge University Press, 2019.
  2. Boyarin, Daniel. Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity. University of Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Press, 2006.
  3. Brown, Michael L. Our Hands Are Stained With Blood. Destiny Image Pub., 1992.
  4. Dunn, James D. G. (Ed.). Jews and Christians: The Parting of the Ways, A. D. 70 to 135. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1999.
  5. Maccoby, Hyam. Judaism on Trial: Jewish-Christian Disputations in the Middle Ages. The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization in association with Liverpool University Press, 1993.
  6. McCaul, Alexander. The Old Paths, or The Talmud Tested by Scripture. Andesite Press, 2017.
  7. Neusner, Jacob. Judaism and the Interpretation of Scripture: Introduction to the Rabbinic Midrash. Baker Academic, 2004.
  8. Porton, Gary G. Understanding Rabbinic Midrash. Ktav Pub. House, 1985.
  9. Rydelnik, Michael. The Messianic Hope. B&H Academic, 2010.
  10. Safrai, Zeev. The Literature of the Sages, Midrash, and Targum. Fortress Press, 2007.
  11. Synan, Edward A. The Popes and the Jews in the Middle Ages. Macmillan, 1965.
  12. Yuval, Israel Jacob. Two nations in your womb. University of California Press, Berkeley, 2008.

Course Fees

  • For Personal Enrichment  – $249 USD
  • For DTS students (please provide valid student ID#) – $450 USD
  • For Academic Credit  – $750 USD

*These fees do not include required textbooks

**Payment is non-refundable