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Listening to the Language of the Bible. (training my ears….)

Listening to the Language of the Bible

(Hearing it through Jesus’ Ears)

By: Lois Tverberg with Bruce Okkema

So often those of us who are “Christian”

forget that Jesus was “Jewish”

and that the Bible we read is a mere translation of Hebrew, a complex language not perhaps in amount of words but in definition and real meaning of the word.

Lois gives the example in her introduction how the”… hebrew word for house, bayit can be used ….as house, temple, family or lineage”(page xvi)

and that Hebrew can use the “…same word to decribe both a mental activity and its intended physical result”(page xvi)

Her book details certain key words, key phrases that help the christian better understand the deeper meaning in the biblical language.


this is me

I want you to think for a moment

that the earliest christian’s, the disciples of Jesus, were …Jewish….Jesus did not come to destroy Judaism, he came to complete it.

It is modern man(person) that has put the word “Old” on the Jewish bible the (Tanakh) and the word “New” on the christian half of the bible.

Although we don’t think about it much this holds the idea that perhaps “New” is in someway better and for Christians it contains the good news of Jesus….but we mustn’t forget that the Tanakh(or what we call the old testatment) is also the word of God and no less important when learning about Jesus and Christianity than the new testament is.

In the book Lois highlights

the differences in cultures, specifically the culture of Jesus day versus modern day western attitudes.

some of the words she discusses are(and this is a very short list compared to what is in the book)

Shema-Listen and Obey

Shalom-How is your peace?

Hokhmah- Giving of his Wisdom

Nephesh-Loving God With All Your Life

Levav-Hear and Mind

Berakh-Blessing the Lord

Avinu-Our Father

Ve’Ahavta-Loving God and Neighbor

eye opening and insightful ….every bible reading christian should take a look at Lois’s book


another great book by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg (and I’ll detail it in another post) is:

yet another insightful book to help bring us to a better understanding of Jesus.

About ellasurreau

I was first grade religious education catechist I have been teaching for 20 years I have a BA in Religious Studies I have continued taking classes in religious studies since graduating. I grew up Methodist, and became catholic after marrying.

One response »

  1. Pingback: books for a religious education teacher to read? | ellasurreaublog

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