Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus
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Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus

Baker Books / 2018 / Hardcover

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Product Description

What if you could sit down beside Jesus as he explained the Bible? - Vast treasures await us when we read the Scriptures as a native, through the eyes of one of Jesus's first-century Jewish disciples. Combining careful research with engaging prose, Lois Tverberg acts as a master guide, transporting us across the cultural divide between our world and that of the Bible.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lois Tverberg has been speaking and writing about the Jewish background of Christianity for the past twenty years. Her passion is to translate the Bible's ancient setting into fresh insights that deepen and strengthen Christian faith. She is cofounder of the En-Gedi Resource Center, an educational ministry with a goal of deepening Christian understanding of the Bible in its original context. A former professor, Tverberg currently lives in Holland, Michigan, and speaks at churches, conferences, and retreats.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2018
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0801017157
ISBN-13: 9780801017155

Publisher's Description

What would it be like for modern readers to sit down beside Jesus as he explained the Bible to them? What life-changing insights might emerge from such a transformative encounter?

Lois Tverberg knows the treasures that await readers willing to learn how to read the Bible through Jewish eyes. By helping them understand the Bible as Jesus and his first-century listeners would have, she bridges the gaps of time and culture in order to open the Bible to readers today.

Combining careful research with engaging prose, Tverberg leads us on a journey back in time to shed light on how this Middle Eastern people approached life, God, and each other. She explains age-old imagery that we often misinterpret, allowing us to approach God and the stories and teachings of Scripture with new eyes. By helping readers grasp the perspective of its original audience, she equips them to read the Bible in ways that will enrich their lives and deepen their understanding.

Author Bio

Lois Tverberg has been speaking and writing about the Jewish background of Christianity for the past 20 years. Her passion is to translate the Bible's ancient setting into fresh insights that deepen and strengthen Christian faith. She is cofounder of the En-Gedi Resource Center, an educational ministry with a goal of deepening Christian understanding of the Bible in its original context. A former professor, Tverberg currently lives in Holland, Michigan, and speaks at churches, conferences, and retreats. Learn more at www.ourrabbijesus.com.

Product Reviews

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  1. Deuce Skunks
    Springfield, MO
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    learn more about the Jewish roots of Jesus' teachings and the culture of the early church
    April 23, 2018
    Deuce Skunks
    Springfield, MO
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Reading The Bible With Rabbi Jesus: How A Jewish Perspective Can Transform Your Understanding by Lois Tverberg is a valuable resource for anyone wanting to gain insight into the teachings of Jesus and the culture of the early Christian church based on the Jewish background and heritage of the new testament.

    Using Jewish history, teachings, and perspectives, Lois shows us how to reset our mental imagery of Biblical times to relate better to both the old and new testament through revelations about their culture, logic and thinking patterns, and prophecies and views pertaining to the Messiah.

    During the course of each chapter, Lois carefully examines both our modern western viewpoint and the traditional Jewish views pertaining to a given biblical topic. This allows a sort of compare-and-contrast of differing cultures to help aid us in bridging the gap between the world of Christianity today and how early Christians would have interpreted the same stories and lessons in their time. Each chapter concludes with a "tools and reflections" section which includes suggested scriptures, questions, and activities designed to pull you closer to a period (and culturally) appropriate mindset.

    I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn more about the Jewish roots of Jesus' teachings and the culture of the early church. 5/5 stars.

    *Disclaimer: I received a complimentary print copy of this book from Baker Books for the purpose of this honest review. All opinions are my own.*
  2. Kelsey
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Compelling, Transforming, Enjoyable
    April 20, 2018
    Kelsey
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    In today's world, we recognize the need to understand and respect cultural differences. Besides being necessary, it's hugely enriching! How much more, then, should Christians become more familiar with the culture and viewpoint of the people for whom the Bible was first written? It would help us better understand the Word of God that we live by. Lois Tverberg's book is a compelling path into the Hebraic culture of Bible times, enjoyable and accessible for readers at all levels of biblical knowledge. It's perfect for Bible study groups because each chapter has questions for further discussion at the end, as well as recommended reading for further study.

    First and foremost, Tverberg's book is significant because it puts Jesus back in His Jewish context while fully upholding the tenets of our faith. It explores Messianic prophecies, how they were viewed in His time, and how He fulfilled them. (I got chills reading about Isaiah 53.) This book explains how He claimed to be the Messiah in ways that non-Jews might miss.

    The book also shows how understanding the cultural context and historicity of the Bible is faith-affirming. If there's something that our Western minds can't grasp, we're apt to dismiss its veracity. But when we get a glimpse of the radically different mindset of non-Euro-American civilizations, we realize that what we questioned makes perfect sense to the other half of the world's population. I enjoyed learning about the differences, especially the ones that explain some confusing parts of the Bible (such as why the "begat" sections are important).

    I loved how Tverberg examined the full meaning of the Hebrew words behind terms that are pivotal to our faith, such as Christ, gospel, king, and fear/reverence. There's an appendix called "Thirty Useful Hebrew Words for Bible Study," a wonderful resource that curates the words she talked about in the book as well as words she didn't cover.

    The section on how Jews read the Bible was also very enlightening. As the book depicts, adopting some of their methods would be beneficial to Christians in our search to better know God's Word and understand our Messiah. It's amazing how they memorized it, how they connected it, how they quoted from it, and what a sophisticated scholar Yeshua was.

    There's so much more I could say in praise of this book, but probably the best thing I could do is encourage you to read it. It will deepen your appreciation for God's message to humanity and for His chosen people, and it will remind you of His greatness!

    (I was graciously provided a copy of this book for my honest review.)
  3. Melissa
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    This book has ignited a flame to dig deeper into God's word!
    April 17, 2018
    Melissa
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I find myself a bit at a loss for words and not quite sure where to start.

    Truly, Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg is that good!

    Everyone comes across books that help to transform their life in certain ways. There are the books that lead to emotional and spiritual healing. And the books that kick your faith into gear.

    But this book has ignited my flame to read and understand the bible in a way I never have before.

    About the Author

    Lois Tverbergs bio describes her passion is to translate the Bibles ancient setting into fresh insights that deepen and strengthen Christian faith. And she does not disappoint.

    Part 1: Repacking Our Mental Bags

    Lois starts the book by helping the reader to stretch our context of reading the bible. We often look at the bible through our current world understanding. Lois provides multiple insights to help you to be there when reading. This context helps to answer some of the more obscure laws or traditions of the Old Testament.

    The book also addresses the significant difference in the Hebrew language and the English language. The Hebrew language has about eight thousand words. Whereas, English has one hundred thousand or more words. Lois describes it as Hebrew expresses truth by splashing on bold colors with a broad brush, like van Gogh. Even though the details are quite rough, you mentally fill them in, inferring them from the context.

    Part 2: How the Bible Thinks

    Lois addressed multiple ideas in part two to help the reader understand the writing of the bible. She first explained the difference between the Greek brain and the Hebrew brain. Meaning the thought process and way of processing information was different, therefore writing style was different as well.

    The book also focuses on the importance of family and reading the bible from a sense of we versus me mentality. So much of the bible focused on family and community whereas in our Western culture we are much more self-centered. It is then understandable how certain aspects of the bible seems outdated. But Lois brings to life the importance of reading the bible from the stance of the collective. And truly realizing how small we actually are.

    Part 3: Reading about the Messiah

    I LOVED part three of the book. The first two parts helped to provide understanding and set the stage for helping the reader to understand how and why Jesus taught in the manner that He did. She gave amazing connections from Old Testament prophesies that Jesus hinted at and alluded to that many common, Western Christian readers wouldnt notice or understand.

    This was the part of the book that ignited a passion to learn more. To continue to dig deeper into Gods word and understand the greater depth of its meaning!

    Extras

    At the end of each chapter, Lois provides a tools and reflection section. The section gives bible reading recommendations in light of the information discussed in the chapter as well as websites, books, and other resources for going deeper into understand the bible.

    Lois also gives the reader multiple appendixes for further study Hebrew words for bible study, bible translation recommendations, and recommended resources.

    I know this is a book I will come back to multiple times and I highly recommend you do, too!

    Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book by BakerBooks a division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.
  4. hoovitorloseit
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great Read
    April 12, 2018
    hoovitorloseit
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Too often we read, study and apply the words of the Bible from our western perspective. We attempt to apply our modern understanding of how things work, how relationships are formed, and how conflict is managed to God's Word without ever considering the culture and perspective of the Jewish culture in which it was originally written.

    Bottom line: when we do this, we cheat ourselves of an accurate understanding of how God's Word was written in its original language and with its original Jewish understanding.

    "Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus" takes a deep look at this very idea and will challenge the reader to set aside their modern preconceived notions of what the Bible is all about and to more fully embrace its Jewish roots.
  5. Bekah
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Easy to Understand AND So Informative
    April 7, 2018
    Bekah
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I typically read a book every week, and I try really hard to mix up the genres I read. (I like to think this makes me a well-rounded person.) A few weeks ago, I learned about a new book coming out called Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg. Her name sounded vaguely familiar to me - like maybe I had heard of her from my radio days.

    I'll be honest: I was a bit nervous to try this book because I was afraid it might be too academic for me. Lois is a former professor and in reading her bio, I could tell she's a smart lady who knows her stuff. I feared I might not be a smart enough lady to understand it. Happily, I was wrong.

    Lois has been studying the Jewish background of Christianity for many years and it's obvious she's passionate about helping westerners understand the culture of the Bible's world. She's previously written two other books (which I will be purchasing to read) called Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus and Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus.

    This book, though, was fascinating to me. I think perhaps part of my fascination came through desperately wanting to understand the Bible better as my husband and I read through it chronologically this year. I'm seeing things in the pages I don't remember reading before (though I know I have...) and I'm gaining wonderful fresh perspectives.

    And after studying the 263 pages of this book, I could already see myself beginning to think about my Bible study in different ways.

    Lois explains how the people of the Bible would have understood the things written in it. She talks about how so much of what they knew was memorized, and how we can't possibly fathom how much they were capable of memorizing, because they really had no other choice. (Lack of books, you know.) She explains in understandable ways the very different "feel" of the Hebrew language compared to ours. (They don't have nearly as many words, so each word is rich and deep and can capture a wide variety of intents.)

    She offered insight into why things that seem tedious to us in Bible reading were crucial pieces of information to the people of the Bible. She explained how very communally minded that culture was, and how we struggle to understand it, because we are far too independent and logical for our own good sometimes.

    Lois doesn't dumb down her writing in any way, but she is extremely conversational. I laughed a few times (great use of humor!), I identified with her personal stories and illustrations, and those parts of the book were perfectly placed between the more academic parts that required my brain to sit up and work a bit harder.

    I really loved her writing style, and I actually took a little over two weeks to read this book, because I didn't want to rush through it and miss something. I felt like I'd been given a treasure in the opportunity to learn from Lois, and I wanted to drink it in. I'll be returning to this book for refreshers, and I am eager to read her first two books and learn even more!

    ** Baker Books provided a copy of this book to me at no charge. All opinions are my own. **
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