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Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change Your Life Hardcover – February 29, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (February 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310284201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310284208
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"What Tverberg uncovers brings Scripture to light in contextual, astonishing ways. She makes me hunger to dig deeper in the meaning of the Word." - Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts

"The first book that I would suggest to those interested in understanding Jesus' teaching better with the help of the historical background." - Todd Bolen, BiblePlaces.com

"Her knowledge of Jewish customs, scholarship, language, and culture is astounding, and her writing style is lively and accessible...I cannot recommend it enough." - Rachel Held Evans, author of The Year of Biblical Womanhood

From the Inside Flap

In Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus, Lois Tverberg brings the Bible to life as she explores the cultural context of Jesus' teachings. With well-researched information and a highly readable style, Tverberg explains
  • How understanding Jewish idioms and expressions can help us better grasp what Jesus was saying
  • How viewing Jesus within the context of Middle Eastern culture can enliven his parables in surprising new ways
  • How the Jewish world of Jesus can teach us many wise insights, like how to pray with chutzpah or think with both hands
By understanding the religious and cultural atmosphere in which Jesus lived and taught, you will begin to understand why his first disciples abandoned everything to follow him. You will also learn the meaning behind key Hebrew words that make Bible reading a richer, more powerful experience. And you will see how Jewish customs, culture, and beliefs can enrich your life as a Christian whose faith first emerged from Jewish roots.
Come eavesdrop on the conversations among the rabbis of Jesus' time. Learn how hearing Rabbi Jesus with the ears of a first-century disciple can bring new depth to your spiritual life. Along the way you will discover both practical ways to live as Jesus' disciple and an invigorated faith that will draw you closer to God.

More About the Author

Lois Tverberg has been teaching and writing about the Jewish background of Christianity for the past fifteen years. She has always enjoyed discovering the answers to head-scratching questions and sharing the "ah-hah" moments with others. For years she did this as a professor of Biology at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, USA, after receiving her Ph.D. in Physiology. Her career as a professor took a turn, however, when she discovered the importance of the Bible's Jewish setting, and began learning Hebrew and Greek and studying in the land of Israel.

With Ann Spangler she authored the best-seller, "Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus" (Zondervan, 2009). The book explores the first-century world of rabbis and disciples, festivals, prayers and the Torah, and how restoring Jesus to his Jewish reality sheds light on his life and ministry.

In 2012 Lois released "Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus" (Zondervan). There she asks, what are the implications of Jesus' Jewish context for how we live today? She contemplates Jewish ideas that deepen our understanding of Jesus' words and yield fresh, practical insights for following him in our modern world.

Her most recent work (2014) is "5 Hebrew Words that Every Christian Should Know," a bite-sized Bible study of five flavorful Hebrew words. Readers explore the breadth of each word by examining it in various passages and by comparing Bible versions.

Lois is the co-founder of the En-Gedi Resource Center (www.egrc.net), an educational ministry that seeks to teach Christians about the Bible's ancient cultural and Jewish context. She headed that ministry until 2007, and since has been writing independently. In 2004, En-Gedi published her first book, "Listening to the Language of the Bible: Hearing it Through Jesus' Ears." This is a devotional guide to Hebrew words and cultural ideas that unlock the Scriptures.

Lois currently lives in Holland, Michigan, USA. For more information, visit her website, Our Rabbi Jesus: His Jewish Life and Teaching (http://ourrabbijesus.com).

Customer Reviews

I found this well written and interesting to read.
J. Frazier
Throughout the book we discover the depth of meaning in Jesus words, I learned to appreciate even more His words that I love so much.
Richard Burkey Lifelong Learner
This is what happened when I read Lois Tverberg's book, Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus.
Mark Thompson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Lois Tverberg does us a great service here with this book. How wonderful and different to hear what Jesus was saying, teaching, and thinking, when we understand his Jewish nature and how the language in his time worked and what things meant AS they were spoken in His native vocabulary, not how they have been translated, perhaps even transliterated and then translated, substituted for newer interpretations and meanings, etc., down through the ages.

I long have avoided regular attendance at church services, and frankly often look at the Bible and scratch my head. I have always been comfortable when I have attended Synagogue with Jewish friends. Not knowing completely why, I would have to say "that it is because it is closer to the way things were", and to me that is deeply relevant. As an adult I have continually sought out any and all information that I can find that takes me back to the way that things really were and to become more enlightened in all things resulting from Jesus and His direct followers and those who witnessed events directly related to Him and His thoughts and ideas, teachings, sayings, etc.

So, for me, this book is a wonderful and closer look at, and also a welcome breath of truth (fresh air so to speak) Jesus the Man and his teachings. You will find much here that will surely please you to know and come to understand that has seemed "murky" or "unclear" and that enlightens one in ways not seen before.

Once you understand what the words Jesus used really meant (in His time), as spoken by Him, everything makes such common clear sense. Like I said above, it's like "fresh air" and it's truly wonderful to have new insight and knowledge into His expressions and sayings AS He presented them to His friends and acquaintances.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By kindred spirit VINE VOICE on February 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
While reading this book I almost feel like Christians get cheated in our Sunday School class as children. I so wish I had grown up with the understanding I am getting as an adult. I have long had a love of the Jewish faith and God's chosen people always wanting to learn more as I know Jesus was in fact Jewish. He didn't just start a new church he was preaching in the temple at 12 years of age and keeping all the Jewish traditions and Holy Days.

In this book Lois Tverberg digs so deep into the Hebrew meanings of the words Jesus spoke and taught us with. Hebrew has only 8,000 words and English 400,000 I never knew that. Thus the words are deep and full of meaning, often mean different things. She teaches us how in the context of the time and whom he was speaking to what the words most likely stood for. It is eye opening and very humbling. I have highlights on most every page and plan to re read it as it is so rich you have to take time and think and pray about what you have learned.

I have often wondered just what the Talmud was it is a huge set of books that are commentary on the Mishnah which simply put is the oral teachings of the time 200 AD and the previous 200 years. The teachers of the time including Jesus taught much more than what is recorded in our Bible. This Mishnah puts into print this oral history. I plan on looking into this soon.

Included in the back are her vast resources and a glossary of terms we may not be familiar with. I found this very helpful event though I have read much about Jewish teachings. I have never read anything like this. This is a life changing book to read. To know the deeper meanings of what Jesus was telling us, how to live and how to treat others what he expects.

Shema- Hear and Obey.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Smith VINE VOICE on January 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I read the back of this book, checked the En-Gedi Resource Center website and read the "About Lois Tverberg" on her website, I was skeptical. There are enough religious authors who set up their own foundation to promote their cockamamie ideas I wasn't interested in finding another such author. I didn't. Lois Tverberg clearly knows her stuff. She presents her material in a friendly, conversational style that is welcoming to any Bible study - group or individual. The "lessons" are peppered with her personal experience and retellings of Bible narrative with cultural information gently slid in. It makes reading the book much more of a spiritual companion experience than a spiritual teacher. I mean that as a high compliment.

But the greatest accomplishment of the text is that Tverberg succeeds in making the Gospel story fresh while remaining faithful to the story. Give this book a thumbs up.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lfmiller VINE VOICE on February 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A friend told me once about having to break up a fight in her school room. "Jesus wasn't a Jew!" one girl insisted, "The Jews killed Jesus!"
A few Jews handed Jesus over to the Romans for execution 2000 years back, and all Jews forevermore were judged as undesirables. Tverberg holds that many christians forget or discount Jesus's Jewishness when reading His gospel. A few preachers even teach that Jesus did away with the Jewish scriptures--the New Testament supercedes the Old Covenant. But Jesus Himself said He did not come to do away with the Old Covenant, but to add to it.

Lois Tverberg writes a thoughtful study of the Jewish scriptural basis for the New Covenant gospels. She sheds light on the key parables of Jesus which define 'christianity', adding extra depth and bringing out more of the richness of Jesus's teachings--what He really meant when speaking of Himself as the Living Water, or preaching on loving God and loving each other--all that entails. The trouble with the Bible is, we read it, listen to it, study it, and it never sits still! There's always more in its pages!

Tverberg is careful to document her teachings. She starts with Jesus and His contemporaries to an attempt to better understand the World Trade Center destruction and the conflicts between Jews and others in the middle east, today. Most of this book focusess on the Shema--so central to the identity of the Jew, and such a seminal springboard for the many discussions of its meanings in the parables of the New Testament. She deals mostly in comparisons of the teachings of the Pentatuch and of the 4 gospels.

I chose this book, because I've always wanted to understand more of what the Bible says, what it means. I assumed the Bible can be confusing because I can't read it in the original.
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