Reading the Bible as a
First-Century Disciple

A cultural guide for more authentic Bible study. Insights from Jesus’ Eastern, Jewish setting allow readers to encounter the Bible more deeply. By illuminating the language, culture, and imagery of the Bible, readers are equipped to view their Scriptures through the eyes of a first-century disciple.

Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus, Tverberg

About the Book

What if you could sit down beside Jesus as he explained the Bible to you? What life-changing insights might emerge?

Vast treasures await us when we read the Scriptures as a native, through the eyes of one of Jesus's first-century Jewish disciples. Combining careful research with engaging prose, Lois Tverberg acts as a master guide, transporting us across the cultural divide between our world and that of the Bible.

As we begin to understand how the Bible "thinks," our own thinking will be transformed, and we will be able to approach God and the stories and teaching of Scripture with fresh insight. By opening our eyes to the way Middle Eastern people would have understood Jesus, Lois Tverberg takes us on a journey that will deepen our love of this very Jewish book, enriching our lives in the process.


About the Author

Lois Tverberg has been speaking and writing about the Jewish background of Christianity for the past 20 years. Her passion is to translate the Bible's ancient setting into fresh insights that deepen and strengthen Christian faith. She is cofounder of the En-Gedi Resource Center, an educational ministry with a goal of deepening Christian understanding of the Bible in its original context. A former professor, Tverberg currently lives in Holland, Michigan, and speaks at churches, conferences, and retreats. Learn more about Lois and her other works at


“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 biblical texts from the inside.”

Craig S. Keener, F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary

“Thanks to the good work of biblical scholars, the historical Jesus of Nazareth is once again situated in his divinely designed Second Temple period Jewish context. The next critical step is to understand that hearing him in his original setting equips us to follow him more faithfully in ours. The latest from Lois Tverberg is a meaningful contribution to that end. Read this book for a more informed reading of The Book.”

James C. Whitman, president, Center for Judaic-Christian Studies

“In Reading the Bible With Rabbi Jesus, Lois Tverberg opens up the Scriptures we all love and shines a fascinating new light on them. As she gracefully bridges the culture gap between Jesus’ first Jewish followers and twenty-first century Christians and unites the Old and New Testaments, I found myself falling in love with the Bible all over again. Lois is a superb teacher, using story and gentle humor to great effect. I devoured this fascinating book. Highly recommended!”

Lynn Austin, author of Where We Belong 

“Just what exactly did Jesus share with his disciples on the road to Emmaus? This excellent book unfolds so many valuable truths in the Scriptures that are often ignored or misunderstood. Lois Tverberg is a trustworthy guide whose insightful discoveries provide a delightful appetizer to some of the most exciting passages in the Old Testament. I’m recommending it to everyone I know.”

Todd Bolen, professor of biblical studies, The Master’s University

“Lois Tverberg is back with her most insightful work yet. Every chapter takes us on a journey of discovery, opening our eyes to astounding realities and clarifying confusing or misunderstood passages that have significant impact in our reading of the Bible and our relationship with Jesus Christ. Every Christian should read this book!” 

Brad Gray, author of Make Your Mark and
founder of Walking The Text Ministries

“Though the truth in the written Word of God transcends time, place, and culture, understanding the Bible’s context adds depth of meaning to every jot and tittle it contains. Lois Tverberg is an apt guide to the Jewish context of the Bible, and her mix of thoughtful research and relatable application will help readers discover new riches within its pages. She offers an entry ramp to the time, place, and culture in which the Bible was first given with the goal of enriching not only personal reading and study but also strengthening the church in her identity and mission here and now. Highly recommended!” 

Michelle Van Loon, author of Moments & Days:
How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith

“In Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus, Lois Tverberg gives us a front row seat at the feet of Jesus as familiar passages in the Bible come alive. By taking us on a journey into the culture of the first century and the Hebraic mindset of Jesus, Lois teaches us how to bend our ear to hear the Galilean accent of our Jewish Rabbi. Open your Bible, grab a highlighter, and dive into the world of the first century like never before.”

Robby Gallaty, pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church
and author of The Forgotten Jesus

“Lois Tverberg has written still another classic. Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus compliments her Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus, but goes beyond. Tverberg clarifies what it meant to study ‘Moses and all the Prophets’ with the sage from Galilee, Yeshua of Nazareth. For those who want to know what it was like to be one of Jesus’ inner circle of disciples and sit down with him to study Scripture, Tverberg’s new book is the place to start.”

David N. Bivin, founder and editor of Jerusalem Perspective

“How odd of God / To choose the Jews.” It is not certain who wrote that epigram and why, but what is certain is that God did indeed choose the Jews to show us what he is like. His Son Yeshua, whom we know as Jesus, was a Jew. How wonderfully and mysteriously strange is the incarnation! That the infinite maker of heaven and earth would definitively reveal himself in a particular man, of a particular ethnicity, in a particular culture, who spoke a particular language, in a particular time and place in history. Lois Tverberg’s splendid book explores that divine oddity with clarity, good humor, and even startling insight, showing how Jesus the first century Jew is oddly the Savior and Lord of all peoples in all times and places.”

Ben Patterson, campus pastor, Westmont College

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