and Spiritual Depth
A Feature Review of
Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus:
How a Jewish Perspective Can Transform Your Understanding
Hardback: Zondervan, 2018.
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Reviewed by Michelle Wilbert
The weekly Bible study I attend in my Anglican parish church is led by a remarkable woman—a retired a pediatric hematologist specializing in childhood leukemia—who, with her late husband, also a physician, decided, in their 60’s, to return to University for advanced degrees in Religious Studies. Since his death several years ago, his widow has continued to teach our class by deftly combining her particular interest in spirituality and the arts with his scholarship and passion for ecumenical understanding and knowledge, particularly as it pertains to the Jewish roots of Christianity. Over the years, we have learned so much about the rich religious and cultural antecedents of our faith, indeed, we have been led to revere vigorous study of the Scriptures through the lens of Judaism.
In light of this pursuit, I found this finely crafted book, Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg not only worthy of inclusion in that quest but an essential addition to any library devoted to ecumenical religious education, and to any reader interested in the deepest possible understanding of Christianity and of the first century Jewish world in which Jesus lived and carried out his ministry. Dr. Tverberg holds a PhD in Biology and was teaching as a college professor when her fascination for biblical study was kindled by a seminar at her church. This led her to take several trips to Israel in order to study, taking courses in Biblical Hebrew, Koine Greek and in the historical and cultural context of the Bible. She has made excellent use of her scientific education to write a book that thoughtfully—and thoroughly—interrogates the material and is outstanding in its structure and readability—it’s a truly use friendly guide for scholars and lay people alike–to understanding the Jewish history, culture and original languages of the Bible.