Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Review: Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus

We view everything we read, see and hear through our own set of lens and filters. Often the difference between the lens and filters we have and those others have, causes things to be "lost in translation" causing to, at best miss a nuance, and at worse miss the point completely. The greatest such gaps occur when communication is done cross-culturally, especially with very different cultures. In "Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus" Lois Tverberg walks us who were raised in a modern western worldview across the gap between us and the first century Jewish worldview the New Testament was written in.

I have long been aware of the gap between our mindset and that of the Biblical writers and have spent time and study to bridge that gap for myself but I found every chapter to contain new insights or framed things in a new way for me. Tverberg walks us through the key differences between the eastern mindset of the Bible and our western one, including differences in the structure of Hebrew vs. English, the meaning of narrative vs. propositions and arguments, group identity vs. individual identity and viewing ourselves as small and insignificant vs. viewing God as small. 

The final section focusing on seeing the Messiah through Hebrew eyes is very enlightening. Tverberg walks us through the Hebrew ways of remembering and stringing together passages of scripture. I particularly enjoyed her discussion on the regular synagogue readings and how they have changed over the years.

Each chapter also includes a section of Tools & Reflection to point the reader towards a further look at the topic at hand. There is also very interesting appendix of thirty useful Hebrew words for study. Knowing these words and keeping them in mind is very helpful in applying this book to one's personal Bible Study. 

Overall, I would highly recommend this book as it gives valuable insight into how to read and understand the context of scripture.

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.