Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus

by Lois Tverberg

© Baker Publishing, 2018, Paperback, 288 pages
List Price: $16.99 US
Price: $12.99


The Bible is an Eastern book. We see it through the colored glasses of Western culture. Much is lost. What lies between the lines, what is felt and not spoken, is of deepest significance. 
(From “The Cross and the Prodigal,” by Kenneth Bailey)

One of the biggest obstacles to understanding Scripture is failing to appreciate its Jewish, Middle Eastern context. Combining careful research with engaging prose, Lois Tverberg equips her readers with tools to transport themselves across the cultural divide between West and East, between our world and that of the Bible.

Tverberg highlights cultural ideas that are lost on modern Westerners, allowing us to read the Bible through the eyes of its original audience. She explores how Jesus preached and made bold claims to be the promised Messiah in a very Jewish way. By helping readers grasp the perspective of Jesus’ first listeners, she equips them to read the Bible in ways that will deepen their understanding and enrich their lives.

The book explores questions like:

• What cultural differences get in the way for us in the modern, Western world?
• How does a lack of grasp of Jesus’ Jewishness cause us to misunderstand his words?
• How can we read the Bible more Hebraically?
• What tools do we need to read the Bible more as a native?

View/download the press release.

Read an interview about the book on BibleGateway


Reading The Bible with Rabbi Jesus

Table of contents: (with excerpts at

1. Opening the Bible with Jesus

I. Repacking My Mental Bags
      Tools for the Journey

2. Learning to Be There
3. What does “Christ” Mean, Anyway?
4. Painting in Hebrew

II. How the Bible Thinks
      Big Picture Ideas That You Need to Understand

5. Greek Brain, Hebrew Brain
6. Why Jesus Needs Those Boring Begats
7. Reading the Bible as a “We”
8. Like Grasshoppers in Our Own Eyes

III. Reading About the Messiah
        Seeing Him Through Hebrew Eyes

9. Memory Is Critical
10. Moses and the Prophets Have Spoken
11. Reading in the Third Dimension
12. Jesus’ Bold Messianic Claims
13. When the Words Catch Fire


A. Books of the Tanakh
B. Thirty Useful Hebrew Words for Bible Study
C. Bible Translations for Word Study




“In her delightful style, Lois Tverberg engagingly leads us across cultures to begin to envision a different worldview, a worldview more consistent with the world of most of Scripture. In so doing, she brings alive texts of Scripture from the inside.”

— Craig S. Keener, Professor of Biblical Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary; Coauthor, NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible

(Read more reviews at the link.)

Download a sample chapter (pdf)

Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus is available for ($16.99) $12.99.

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