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Review: Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus

Baker Books, 2018. 285 pp.
It should be no surprise that the world in which the Bible was written is drastically divergent from the world in which we live today. Scholars note a gap between these "two horizons," and, if we are able to understand how to bridge it through understanding the theological, cultural, and literary context of the original culture, we can fully understand how the Bible speaks to us today.

This is an issue that Lois Tverberg seeks to address in Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus: How a Jewish Perspective Can Transform Your Understanding (Baker Books, 2018). After being intrigued by Jesus' usage of the Old Testament and the hidden cultural nuances lost through language translation, Tverberg seeks to expose readers toward understanding how Jesus read the Bible. To this end, she describes the mechanics of Hebrew and Greek, the first-century world, and applies specifically to various OT books.

Tverberg presents a refreshing and much-needed approach to understanding the Bible. Since Jesus quoted the OT so often, it can be easy to misunderstand or lose the fullness of its original meaning. Written in an interesting yet approachable style, Tverberg helps you enter the world of the Bible. I found the study questions and recommended resources at the end of each chapter to be particularly helpful. The appendix contains thirty useful Hebrew words that should get any novice started in understanding how simple words like "walk," "glory," and "king" take different meanings in the original languages. This book is a helpful tool in understanding the linguistic context of the Bible and how it helps us follow Jesus more deeply.

(My thanks is given to Baker for providing a complimentary review copy in exchange for an honest review.)


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