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

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4.35  ·  Rating Details ·  1,020 Ratings  ·  136 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
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Elizabeth Trancik I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest to better understand the context and culture of the time Jesus was on Earth. That could be…moreI would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest to better understand the context and culture of the time Jesus was on Earth. That could be as young as 12 to as old as 100. I have read it twice now, and it is definitely going to be read over and over again. The information is great! And this is a great launching pad to learn about more authors (she sites all of her external information at the end of the book) that focus on the Jewish culture and how it relates to what Jesus said/did.(less)
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Community Reviews

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John
Feb 05, 2011 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Jane
Sep 10, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Robin Sampson
Apr 03, 2013 Robin Sampson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kate Scott
Feb 20, 2010 Kate Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Barry
Sep 15, 2014 Barry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bible
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
Lisa
May 11, 2010 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lisa
May 03, 2010 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was just as informational from beginning to end as Jewish traditions help explain and open specifics around stories in both the old and new testament.

Not having a Jewish background, I enjoyed learning some of the customs and will carry this through in my trip to Israel and during my Bible time.

Well done, highly recommend this one!
Denise
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.
Megan Cox
Jan 03, 2017 Megan Cox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: megan
I loved this book! It gave me a fresh understanding of Jewish culture and renewed my intrigue for the Old Testament. Highly recommended!
Shirley Brosius
Jun 28, 2015 Shirley Brosius rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
“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
Debbie
Apr 07, 2009 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Lillie
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
Shorel Kleinert
Dec 31, 2010 Shorel Kleinert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
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
...more
Jenn
May 03, 2011 Jenn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: catholic-books
This book was not only a pleasure to read, but it was quite informative. They did a great job of pointing out first century Jewish customs which could enrich our understanding of Jesus' teaching. The note they made about being careful about which Jewish customs to bring into our current spiritual practice was a good one to remember. With everything, we need to discern what we are doing and the reasons why we are doing it. The style of the book was like having a chat with a friend -- very accessi ...more
Astrid
Sep 15, 2011 Astrid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good combination of different works I have read or listened to on the "jewish roots" so I was familiar with most of the points presented in the book (still good to be reminded about), but there was also several new fresh perspectives that strenghten my faith and encouraged me to live this amazing life with God through the Messiah. love it!

"The Sermon on the Mount was not a revolution against the Torah, but a revolution in understanding how to live out the Torah"
Amanda
Sep 07, 2015 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jaime
Jun 03, 2012 Jaime rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm taking this one slowly with a highlighter and pencil. Each section is full of enriching information. It has heightened my own personal Christian faith by giving me valuable insight into the 1st century Jewish culture of Jesus. There are brief thoughtful questions and summary material at the end of each chapter that make this book useful on a practical level.
Alicia
Jan 11, 2010 Alicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic!! As a modern-day Christian, it had never occurred to me that so much of what Jesus did was so heavily influenced by the Jewish culture in which he was living. And how much we as Christians have to learn from that! Also -- Spangler and Tverberg did a great job writing in a way that is pertinent and readable by lay Christians that isn't drown out by confusing theological terminology.
Josiah
An excellent introduction to the (often) unspoken Jewish perspective of Christianity, the authors do a great job of making accessible to the layperson several jems that you'd have to do a lot of studying or traveling to otherwise learn. Covered topics include common prayers, the festivals, the Kingdom of God/Heaven, discipleship, the Law, and more.

Writing: B
Material: A
Level: Easy
CCCfaithathome
May 21, 2014 CCCfaithathome rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kelsey
Jul 13, 2012 Kelsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is probably my favorite non-fiction book I have ever read. It gave great depth & understanding to my faith & gave an even deeper longing to know everything I can about the Jewish culture and it's foundation in Christianity. Seriously, every chapter I exclaimed, "God is SO cool!!!". Every single thing in scripture is not random or just because. Every single verse is significant.
Fara Zaleski
A wonderful look at the "Rabbi" Jesus--where He learned His teaching style, how He engaged people collectively and individually. It helps you understand better the parables and prayers by providing earlier Jewish influences and background from the OT to the time of Jesus.
Kim
May 09, 2014 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the few books that I plan to read again. It will take me a second or third pass to successfully undo some of the misinterpretations I've held about Jesus' teaching and to rewire my brain to think about the greater context of his day.
Brad N
Mar 09, 2015 Brad N rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Insight

This book helped me see the context of what Jesus said and did. This may sound negative but I do not intend for it to be but it left me wanting to know more. I didn't want the chapters to end!
Tim
Mar 08, 2011 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book of its kind - very thorough treatment of the Jewish background of the gospels. Less technical than NT Wright's material, interacts well with Van Derlaan, David Bivin, et al. Great background for Bible teachers, but written for lay people and very accessible. Highly recommended!
Sharon
Feb 03, 2010 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is a book to take your time with and get the pencil out! The Christian faith heritage is in the Jewish faith. By better understanding Jesus time, the Jewish traditions, and the Henrew language you can better understand the New Testament stories and verses that I grew up hearing.
Joan
Apr 16, 2011 Joan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a great cultural study of being Jewish in the first century AD and gives valuable insight into why Jesus taught in certain styles. It is also fun to read! Not dry, not boring by any stretch of the imagination - the authors bring you into 1st century Israel and you love the trip.
Irene Melissa
Mar 03, 2014 Irene Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sheila
Dec 27, 2010 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful book, that I would recommend for any Christian or Jew. This book puts the teaching and ministry of Jesus into the context of the Rabbi that he was, and into the context of the Jewish faith during his time. Eye opening, and very interesting.
Jonathan P.
Jun 18, 2009 Jonathan P. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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
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“...pray for the grace to realize that no matter where you are, you are in the presence of the Lord.” 9 likes
“None of us is so mature that we cannot be influenced. The question is: Who or what do we want to shape our lives?” 4 likes
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