Saturday, May 16, 2009

Book Discussion for "Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus"

Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus

As you read Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg, this is where you can make comments on the book, ask questions (of other club members or the authors), or answer questions that I post here.

Click on the title of this post to see the discussion and to get the comment box so you can post your own comments.

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Book Club and Reviews said...

I really enjoy this book since it opens up whole new areas of knowledge about the Bible that I hadn't known before.

How about you? I'd never connected the anointing of kings and priests with Mary's anointing of Jesus with nard. It adds a whole new dimension to what happened afterward.

Did anyone else know about this connection before reading the book?

I've heard people say that nard was used in the burial customs of the time. But I've also heard people try to downplay the scene by saying she was simply "trying to liven up the party."

What other explanations for her actions have you heard before?

Book Club and Reviews said...

On Twitter, Judith46 tweeted the following on May 2nd:

I've been reading first 45 pages of "Rabbi Jesus." I've already learned many new things that make the life and teachings of Jesus come alive!

I wondered why Jesus chose that particular time in history to come to earth; now I see even the commoner was well learned in Scripture.

Book Club and Reviews said...

Yes, they knew the scriptures well enough to recognize that Jesus fulfilled the scriptures foretelling the Messiah. They also knew what scriptures Jesus referred to when he taught.

Has anyone looked up the Old Testament verses referred to in the Matthew 5:3-12 "Beatitudes"? (These verses given on p.50 of "Rabbi Jesus".)

I did look them up. Reading the Old Testament verses referred to in the Beatitudes really adds a fuller meaning to them--God is faithful to His promises!

Book Club and Reviews said...

To quote from the book:

"...disciples often...lived with and imitated their rabbis, learning not only from what they said but from what they did....The task of the disciple was to become as much like the rabbi as possible."

Do you study the gospels with the intent of imitating Jesus' actions & becoming as much like Jesus as possible like a disciple would?

Judith said...

This book is full of valuable insight, because the heritage of the Jews is the heritage of the Christians.

Chap. 7, a blessing for everything: For a number of years, I have tried to lift up words of thanks or praise throughout the day. It was interesting to see that this is an old Jewish practice--to the extreme of finding reasons for thanking God in every small detail of their daily routine by saying short prayers of blessing. This would certainly keep one connected with God and also give one a more positive attitude!

Knowing about this Jewish practice in the time of Jesus gives fullness to the Scriptures which state that Jesus blessed and broke the bread, the healed leper blessed the Lord, etc.

Moving on to the Passover....
I didn't know that during the Passover ceremonies the Jews were not just remembering God's deliverance from their slavery in Egypt but were also in expectation that the Messiah would appear during some Passover feast to redeem them again. How sad that they missed the Messiah when He did fulfill that expectation.

Book Club and Reviews said...

I knew a lot of the information the authors gave about the Passover, but some of it was new, like the part Judith pointed out.

However, I didn't realize how Jesus fulfilled the symbolism in the other six feasts! That was fascinating. Did anyone else know the forward-looking significance of those feasts before they read this book?

Darrell said...

I was especially interested in the information about the Pentecost feast.

Lois said...

Thanks for all your comments and feedback so far. You've picked up on some of the same things that were life-changing for us as authors.

The feasts were amazing in how they overflow with meaning and point toward Christ. We barely scratched the surface of how rich they are.

And the practice of blessing the Lord in prayer really deepened my faith in God.

The most important thing to me out of the book is seeing what a disciple really was, in Jesus' time, and how it challenges me to live as a disciple.

It was hard to decide how to condence all this rich information into the book, and as we were writing we could see that an entire book could be written on each chapter. There was a lot more to say on every topic.

Thanks again - we appreciate your comments.

Blessings -

Lois Tverberg

Darrell said...

Hello, Lois Tverberg.

I found the information on the feast in the book very interesting and helpful in a research project of mine. What books would you recommend for learning more about the OT->NT fulfillment connections?

Thank you.

Darrell said...

Sorry, make that "Feasts." And, to clarify, I'm specifically interested in the OT->NT fulfillments found in the Feasts.

Debbie of ChristFocus Book Club said...

Lois Tverberg,

Thanks for coming here to comment. Actually, what you said brings up some questions I had for you. Are you and Ann Spangler planning on writing another book which will go further into the information you brought up in "Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus"?

What are some of the things you left out of the book but really wish you could have fit in this one?

Which book would you most recommend for a person who wants to study further about Jesus in his first-century context?

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and for writing the book. :-)

Anyone else with questions for Lois Tverberg, feel free to post them here.

Lois Tverberg said...

To Darrel -

A couple books on the feasts as they can be understood by Christians that I recommend are The Feasts of the Lord and God's Appointed Times. See the appendix of my book Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus for these books and others.

Lois Tverberg said...

To Debbie -

Thanks for hosting this discussion of our book! As I said before, just about every topic we wrote on deserved an entire book.

Yes, actually I'm going to be working by myself on the follow up book. I'm planning right now will be a daily guide to Jesus' words in light of their Jewish setting.

Pray for me, I'm serious! Writing books is quite a challenging tasks. I pray quite a bit as I'm writing that it will be what God wants to say, not just my own "spin."

Darrell said...


Thank you. I haven't studied the appendix in detail yet. (We're still reading, though almost done.) I also thought there might have been books you used for research that were not included in the listings.

I look forward to your next book on Rabbi Jesus.

Judith said...

We're just a chapter or two away from the end of the book. Wow. I could read this book twice!

Debbie a.k.a. @ChristFocus said...


I look forward to your upcoming book. I'll certainly be praying for you. :) And thank you for linking to this discussion from your blog.

Debbie a.k.a. @ChristFocus said...


I've already read the book twice and plan on reading it again in the future.

All Club Members,

I found the books explanation of "the kingdom of God/Heaven" as an idiom for "God's reign" useful, though pretty much what I'd already muddled out for myself in my Bible study. What about everyone else?

Debbie on behalf of Sharon said...

Sharon has been having troubles getting Twitter and this blog comment form to work, but she told me that she's enjoying the book. She found the information on the feasts very interesting. She hadn't known that the way the disciples followed Jesus was typical of rabbi/disciple relationships at the time.

Anonymous said...

I have been re-studying topics of the book that were of special interest to me. I “re-wrote” the Lord's prayer to reflect the undercurrent of meaning contained within that terse prayer to make the meaning richer for me. I then studied the fuller meanings underlying the Lord's Supper so that I will have a fresh approach to my next communion. Incidentally, as I was taking communion one morning, I looked at all the small pieces of bread on the plate and remembered how Jesus had said that this was His body. It reminded me that all the people that I was sharing that communion with were “pieces” of His body. There are so many meanings expressed in the Lord's Supper that one can partake in it again and again and it never becomes a ritual.