Reviewed by Susan E. Richardson
Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg
Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus by Lois Tverberg
This month I’ve chosen to reintroduce two excellent books: Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg, and Tverberg’s solo follow-up, Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus. Both would make excellent Father’s Day gifts for someone interested in Biblical history or Hebrew.
The first book introduces Jesus’ traditional rabbinic teaching methods and how those enrich our modern understanding; especially with the ways He used the Old Testament Scriptures. Then the culture and traditions of first-century Jewish life shed light on many things Jesus said or did. The authors are careful to separate more recent Jewish traditions from those present during Jesus’ earthly ministry. Other chapters show how the Old Testament feasts fit into Jesus’ life.
The second book has a similar goal of helping readers understand Jesus’ teaching in His Jewish context but covers new material. The author divides the book into three major sections: “Hearing our Rabbi’s Words with New Ears,” “Living Out the Words of Rabbi Jesus,” and “Studying the Word with Rabbi Jesus.”
Throughout, Tverberg “unpacks” Hebrew words from Old Testament passages Jesus used in His teaching. Hebrew words often have both basic meaning and an implied action, which we often miss in English. We may also miss some of the idioms Jesus used, which the author explores. We can understand Scripture without this additional information, but Tverberg’s work augments what we already know.
Whether for a gift or for your own library, don’t miss these two wonderful books.
Susan E. Richardson is a writer, critique reader, and former Christian retailer with a passion for meeting people’s needs through the written word.