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Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  748 ratings  ·  114 reviews
Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus takes readers on a fascinating journey, helping them discover how learning about the Jewish world of Jesus can enrich their own faith. By exploring the land, culture, customs, prayers, and feasts, Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg help readers to perceive Jesus through the eyes and ears of first-century Jews.
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Published May 26th 2009 by Zondervan (first published 2009)
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I expected this book to be a moderately interesting but perhaps a little dry exposition of Jewish customs and perspectives. I certainly wasn't prepared for it to be so winsomely and powerfully written, full of insights & "aha" moments that have truly changed my perspective on being a follower of Christ.

Chapter by chapter, the authors go through what a first century rabbi was like and how Jesus fit into the religious culture of Israel, the importance of friendship, Jewish prayers & bless
Robin Sampson
Christian authors Ann Spangler and scholar Lois Tverberg explore the Jewish roots of the Christian faith. As more Christians seek a richer historical understanding of their faith, and the revolutionary figure who started it, the Jewishness of Jesus cannot be ignored.

The book discusses:

~ How Jesus’ Jewish upbringing shaped his life and ministry
~ The meaning behind Jewish prayers and blessings
~ Key Hebrew words that clarify and deepen Scriptural readings
~ Rabbi Jesus: How Jesus taught his disc
This is an interesting read for anyone interested in understanding the Jewish roots of Christianity. Many Christians forget that Jesus was a Jewish rabbi. When we understand our Jewish roots it brings the teachings of Jesus into a clearer light. Having worked at an Orthodox Jewish school for a year, I was pleased to learn more about how their cultural traditions and rituals are the precursor to the Christian faith. The book is well researched and the endnotes add to the chapters. I highly recomm ...more
In a relatively short amount of time, Ms. Spangler and Ms. Tverberg take readers into the world of Jesus, where they do a remarkable job of making His culture, day, and age come alive. The authors systematically go through various aspects of the life of Jesus, showing how Jewish Jesus was and how that influenced and colored His words, actions, and ministry. Along the way they point to head-scratcher passages or passing references in the Gospels and help us understand what they mean in the contex ...more
Do you sometimes feel like you don't quite understand the parables on the Kingdom of Heaven? Or like you're missing the full meaning of the Sermon on the Mount? Have you ever wondered how the disciples would have understood Jesus' actions during the Last Supper?

I've read the Gospels numerous times and read many books about what life was like in Biblical times. Frankly, I didn't realize until now how much I was missing by not understanding the rabbinic teaching styles of the time (among other thi
Shirley Brosius
“Rabbi” was the Hebrew word for “my master,” and only later, after Jesus’ time, did it become a formal title. These men roamed from village to village, relying on the hospitality of residents. As an apprentice learns a trade, disciples followed the rabbis to learn not just knowledge but a way of life. Rabbis challenged listeners with themed stories, just as Jesus did. Jesus’ statement that “others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven” may refer to the practice of some rabbis ...more
Well, duh. I guess it makes sense for Christians to understand the Jewish faith as Jesus lived it. I just never thought about it before. This book shows how the Jewish faith plays into so many of Jesus' metaphors and so many of his actions that can't make sense if you don't know the context. Really very fascinating.
Great book if you're just getting interested in the Hebrew roots of Christianity. It's easy to read and provides lots of good insights. Read this first and then "Our Father Abraham" by Marvin R. Wilson.
Jonathan P.
One of the best books on Jesus and his Jewish background. Readable and scholarly sound, a rare gem of a book. Be ready be deconstructed, and in saying that I mean it in a good way.
An enlightening and captivating look at the Jewish life of Jesus. This book is in part Biblical anthropology (if such a genre exists) and part Bible study. The authors give a lot of fascinating cultural and historical back drop to many of the scenes recounted in the Gospels, which nuances and demystifies why Jesus did the things He did and said some of the things He said.

Unfortunately, the writing feels a little fragmented and lacking cohesiveness in some places which takes a way from the whole.
This was a pretty good introduction to the study of Jesus as a Jewish rabbi from the perspective of conservative Christianity. It's written at a popular level, so it's easy to follow and the authors do their best to make the topics relevant to the reader with application points at the end of each chapter. I think it's very valuable to try to see Jesus in his original context and the authors do a nice job of selling that point and covering some basic ideas about first century Judaism and how the ...more
I'll admit, I was really pumped to read this book when I first heard about it. I had pretty high expectations going into it. I read pleasantly unsurprised as skilled writer Ann Spangler and En-Gedi Resource Center founder Lois Tverberg depicted in clear vernacular the profound truth that most Christians ignore: Jesus was Jewish. He never denounced that faith, nor did He live in opposition to it. He was simply the culmination of all the prophesies, hopes, and promises of the Old Testament. He was ...more
The premise of this intriguing book, as the authors put it in the final chapter, is "that Jesus' Jewish context is really important."
I knew that, but I know that now to a much greater degree having read "Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus," and I'm grateful for this book and for the fact that it was in my church's library.
I've always been baffled by the occasional Christian who states he only reads the New Testament. I don't know how one can really understand the New Testament without at least s
Cathy Moore
I loved this book for many reasons but the most profound for me was the beginning of understanding that you cannot understand Jesus fully without embracing His Jewishness. Having learned about the 'stringing pearls' and 'hinting' to the scriptures methods of teaching that Rabbis, including Jesus, would often use will forever change the way I read scripture. I believe I will return to this book for reference often in times to come.
This easy to read book opens up the Scriptures by bringing you back to its Jewish roots. What has always been a rich text will take on new dimensions as you come to understand the context Jesus lived in, the strength of the imagery he deliberately chose, and a better realization of what was at stake. Included in the book are prayers that you can add to your own devotional life.
Abbie Riddle
I am fast becoming an Ann Spangler fan! After reading two of her other books I was anxious to receive this one for review.

If you have ever wondered if you are missing something deeper in the stories of the gospels this is the book for you. In it the authors enlighten the reader on the customs and life of biblical times as well as rabbinical teachings. The language spoken was much deeper and richer than what can be conveyed in modern translations. Things that we think are vague examples those of
Grant Davis
Was very disappointed in this book. I have been looking forward to purchasing this book and digging into some of the rich history that surrounded Jesus as I read this book, but it becomes quickly apparent that these authors base their writing on practices of Jews today and project it as being the same 2000 years ago. Some information that they substantiate their claims with is just plain innacurate and at other times they just tend to "gloss over" any rough areas their theories might encounter. ...more

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus jumps on the bandwagon of looking at Jesus in his 1st Century context.

Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg share their insights of how learning about Jewish rabbis during the time of Jesus' life will enrich our Christian faith.

By using idioms of the era and the actual words in the original language, they bring light to some of the Bible's more obscure and misunderstood passages.

If nothing else, they add layers and flavors to well-known Bible verses. Such as, do you k
Carey Taylor-forbes
A very helpful antidote to the view so prevalent of Jesus in either a mediaeval context so often peddled by traditional religion, with its centuries of pagan accretions obscuring the real Messiah; or in a modern New Age context with its tortuous politically correct interpretations and moral equivalency with other "faith traditions" which degrades Christ to just another helpful philosopher. Reminds us that Jesus was Rabbi Yeshua who taught His message in the rabbinical tradition in a thoroughly J ...more
The Bible says, and our priest often reminds the congregation, that we Gentile Christians are grafted into Israel's tree. This book gave me a better understanding of the Jewishness of Jesus and of the meaning of being a disciple. The word disciple means "learner," but it's more like "apprentice" than "student." Although Jesus was unique as the Son of God—the Messiah, traveling rabbis were common in the days Jesus lived on earth. Like other rabbis of His day, He traveled with his disciples and st ...more
Irene Melissa
This book opened me to my Hebraic roots through Jesus. I shared the book with my pastor who has also written a book about Hebraic roots. He was blessed with the book and months after reading, he taught about Hebraic Discipleship in our Bible Institute.
Shorel Kleinert
Fascinating study on Jesus as a Jew, operating in and through Jewish culture. Really had some great "aha!" moments concerning scripture. Highly recommend.

"Once we begin to hear Jesus’ words as though we are his contempo- raries, steeped in an understanding of the Scriptures and the cultural context in which they were spoken, the power of his claims become both obvious and striking. We realize that by calling himself the “good shepherd,” Jesus is not just invoking a lovely and comforting image bu
This had some really interesting information, but the style wasn't to my taste. They reminded me constantly of the premise ("now see how THIS will impact your understanding of Jesus in light of his Jewishness! Now this! Now that!") and it was a Bible study/book club format that wasn't useful to me. Also, I'm a Catholic and we are closer to a lot of the Jewish traditions than many evangelicals, so it wasn't very paradigm-shifting for me.
Norah Jones
Powerful and appropriate way to be with the teachings of Jesus, to understand from the perspective of first century practice. From time to time the hyperbole got wearying (it's OK to say at the beginning that this is a great and potentially transformative approach - we get it, already), and also from time to time the authors had to scramble to make sure that even though all they had said so far about Jesus' behavior was pretty standard practice, that we knew that Jesus is different and unique. T ...more
Thoroughly enjoyed discovering many of the insights in this book for the first time. Readable. Engaging and questions your assumptions about the Bible.
This book was sort of devotional and sort of scholarly. It would have been better if the authors had chosen a genre.
My summer Biblical school reading assignment. A great reminder that the Bible must be read in context. The New Testament is fully revealed by understanding the Old. We cannot possible begin to understand Jesus's teachings without first understanding the Jewish world from which they are born. The only reason I hold back from a 5-star rating on this book is that the authors' non-Catholic Christianity preclude them from delving completely into the fullness of the faith... especially regarding Passo ...more
Brianna Lewis
This book gave me a new lens with which to read the Bible. It was excellent. If you haven't read it, do so!
I read this along with the Gospels to help me gain some new insights about Jewish custom during the time of Christ. It was interesting and sometimes enlightening to learn more about what Christ's life would have been like in view of Jewish tradition. It also helped me understand more why Jewish people of Christ's day did or did not accept him. The authors are not LDS but are Christians, and I appreciated their love and devotion to Christ, which really came through. Most of their insights were ri ...more
This book helped me to understand the old testament more and the connection with Jesus in the OT
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Ann Spangler is the best-selling author of numerous books, including Praying the Names of God, Women of the Bible, and Finding the Peace God Promises. An award-winning writer, Ann’s books have sold millions of copies over the course of her writing career. The mission of her books is to help readers strengthen their connection with God by encountering him in Scripture.

Before becoming a writer, Ann
More about Ann Spangler...

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“...pray for the grace to realize that no matter where you are, you are in the presence of the Lord.” 8 likes
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