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While most of the books listed on this page are scholarly, some are easier to read and understand than others. These are the best of the lot:
Edersheim, Alfred. The Temple: Its Ministry and Services. New Revised Edition. Kregel Publications, 1997. An authoritative yet captivating description of worship in the Temple in the time of Jesus (see photo). Order now!
Edersheim, Alfred. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah. Updated Edition. Hendrickson Publishers, 1997. Written in a popular, often devotional style, but meaty enough for the professional theologian. Still valuable today (though written in the 1880's) because of Edersheim's mastery of the ancient Jewish sources. A must read! Order now!
Edersheim, Alfred. Sketches of Jewish Social Life. Updated Edition. Hendrickson Publishers, 1995. Another Edersheim masterpiece about life in the time of Jesus. Available in both hardcover and paperback. Order now!
Juster, Dan. Jewish Roots: A Foundation of Biblical Theology. Destiny Image Publishers, 1995. An excellent and very readable overview of Messianic Jewish (Jewish Christian) Theology. Although I don't like some of his more recent stuff on prophecy, this, his first effort, is solid. Order now!
Moseley, Ron. Yeshua: A Guide to the Real Jesus and the Original Church. Lederer Publications, 1999. Another one of those "Israel" guys--he and I were obviously drinking at the same well in Jerusalem. Highlights the recent discoveries that have helped recover the Jewish nature of Jesus and the earliest Church. Order now!
Young, Brad H. Jesus the Jewish Theologian. Hendrickson Publishers, 1995. The latest research coming out of Israel. Puts Jesus' teachings back in their original Jewish context (see photo). Much of this book is excellent, with the exception of Brad's interpretation of Jesus' teaching on divorce, which does not accurately reflect the original sources. But then we must always discern everything we read! Order now!
OTHER JEWISH ROOTS BOOKS
Brown, Michael L. Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: General and Historical Objections. Baker Book House, 1999. The latest from the author of Our Hands Are Stained with Blood, an account of the horrible history of persecution of Jews by the Church (see photo). Order now!
Young, Brad H. Paul the Jewish Theologian: A Pharisee Among Christians, Jews, and Gentiles. Hendrickson Publishers, 1998. This is Brad's latest contribution, putting Paul back in his original Jewish context (see photo). Though not as strong as his book on Jesus, it reflects the new direction of scholarly thinking about Paul--a Hebrew among Hebrews. Order now!
Young, Brad H. The Parables: Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation. Hendrickson Publishers, 1998. This is Brad's second book on parables. The first, Jesus and His Jewish Parables, first published by Paulist Press, was hard going at times (see photo). Order now!
Kasdan, Barney. God's Appointed Times: A Practical Guide for Understanding and Celebrating the Biblical Holy Days. Lederer Messianic Publications, 1999. A Messianic (Jewish Christian) guide to the Biblical feasts. Order now!
Scarlata, Robin and Linda Pierce. A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays. Heart of Wisdom, 1997. This book comes highly recommended. The feasts are one of the major ways in which Judaism instills its teachings into the hearts of its children. Christians (by whom this was written) can learn much--and have fun doing it (see photo)! Order now!
Flannery, Edward. The Anguish of the Jews: Twenty-Three Centuries of Antisemitism. Paulist Press, 1985. The dark side of Christian history. Every Christian must learn what happened so we can repent of the past and never let it happen again! Order now!
Herzog, Chaim. The Arab-Israeli Wars: War and Peace in the Middle East. Random House, 1984. Put on your helmet and get ready for the trenches. Battle by battle, war after war, Herzog leads us through the military side of the rebirth of the State of Israel (see photo). Order now!
Johnson, Paul. A History of the Jews. Reprint. Harper Collins, 1988. From Abraham to Modern Israel, Johnson, a Gentile writer, brings life and color to each of the many periods of Jewish history (see photo). Order now!
Dimont, Max. Jews, God, and History. Mentor Books, 1994. A view of Jewish history from the inside out. The writer, himself a Jew, surveys the vast sweep of Jewish history. What he occasionally lacks in objectivity is more than made up for in the sheer human interest of his story (see photo). Order now!
Shanks, Hershel, ed. Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism: A Parallel History of Their Origins and Early Development. Biblical Archaeology Society, 1992. A detailed history of early Christianity and early Rabbinic Judaism, though it neglects the Jewish Christians. Takes into account many of the latest discoveries. Order now!
Josephus Flavius. The New Complete Works of Josephus. Trans. William Whiston. Kregel Publications, 1999. Josephus was born 7 years after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. He was an eyewitness to the Jewish War that led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. He is our primary source for much of what we know about Jewish history in and around the time of Christ. Order now!
Danby, Herbert, trans. The Mishnah. Oxford University Press, 1933. If you really want to dive into the Jewish context of the New Testament, the Mishnah is a must. It's a written version of what in Jesus' day was called the Oral Law. Order now!
Finegan, Jack. The Archaeology of the New Testament: The Life of Jesus and the Beginning of the Early Church. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992. A technical catalog of archaeological discoveries impacting the New Testament. Too dry for the average reader, but it's the most complete and up-to-date source on New Testament archaeology in a single volume. Order now!
Lindsey, Robert, ed. A Comparative Greek Concordance of the Synoptic Gospels. Why do I list such an obscure scholarly work here? Because yours truly wrote the computer code for the compilation of volumes 2 and 3. It gave me an excuse to stay in Jerusalem and date my wife, Karen. The original source for purchase is no longer available. Try our new format Bookstore for used copies on Amazon.com. Listed in the "General Reference" section. Order now!
For more recommended books, visit our New Format Bookstore!