I’ve loved studying the Jewish background of the New Testament beginning with my undergrad days. At that time, my Hebrew professor shared details of life in Israel where he earned his Masters Degree in Jewish studies (before going on to Hebrew University in Cincinnati). He would often share a snippet of insight from the intertestamental period, a geographical detail about the Holy Land, or an interesting linguistic note that added to the text.
Since that time I’ve added to my knowledge whenever I can. Reading about Jewish history from the end of the exile to the fall of the temple has vastly increased my understanding of the New Testament texts. Lois Tverberg feels the same way. In Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus, she opens the text and offers examples of details we would wash over in our western mindset. By resetting our minds to an Eastern way of thinking, she says, we get a fuller picture.
This book is less academic than it is autobiographical, honestly. She speaks less about her personal life than the New Testament. However, her own journey of discovery comes through brilliantly. I learned some things I had never heard before, but many of them I had. But I really loved hearing her passion of discovery. It matched my own.
This is a great book for those who have never studied Jewish backgrounds before. A great primer on the topic in a very easy to read and understand text. I can’t wait to read more from Tverberg!
Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.