I wanted to take a moment and promote a couple books. When people ask us what the most influential book has been on our journey, our response always is The Bible. Hands down. It is alive, endlessly revealing new mercies, and is the breathed Word of our God! Reading all of the Scriptures, repeatedly, has done more than anything else to soften our hearts and open our eyes to the mysteries of YHWH. That being said, there are some fantastic books definitely worth reading as you wrestle through tough Scriptural issues. I want to highlight two in this short post.
These two books provide insightful and foundational perspectives that are not readily apparent to us anymore. In the culture and era in which we live, thousands of years removed from the actual writings of the Scriptures, with the history of the Christian Church behind us, it is so critical that we search for ourselves and evaluate interpretations of the Word. The only way to do that is by studying the Word itself, and researching the context of the Word. This takes considerable effort, but the resources are now widely available. It seems to me that if one would chose to put their whole faith into someone or an idea, it would be the prudent thing to take the time and the effort to examine everything possible related to the subject.
As an aside, I am in no way compensated for this post. I did not even receive the books for free. In fact, the authors probably have no idea I exist. So these are purely my thoughts…no advertising.
The first book is Torah Rediscovered, by Ariel and D’vorah Berkowitz. This is just an excellent introduction on Torah. I have read many books that attempt to point Christian believers back to their Hebrew roots, but not many would I wholeheartedly recommend. This is an exception. The authors logically explore what the Torah is, how it applies to life, who is the Torah for, why anyone should consider Torah, and both Jewish and Christian misconceptions of the Torah. The content is non-threatening and gracious, and yet exceptionally challenging.
This book is clear and easy to read, while still providing ample Scriptural and contextual evidence. If anyone is desiring a deeper understanding of Scriptures, and interested in exploring the Hebraic foundation of the Word, this is a perfect place to start.
The second book I want to recommend is The Letter Writer: Paul’s Background and Torah Perspective, by Tim Hegg. This book is revolutionary for those who view Paul as the founder of “Christianity” as we know it. This book expounds on what is known about Paul’s history, his education, his ministry, his community. If you struggle to understand the complex messages in Paul’s writings, and perhaps question his seemingly inconsistent themes, this book will present a perspective that clarifies and simplifies Paul’s message.
This book takes a little more effort to get through, though still very readable. There just is so much information and background on Paul that is largely unknown or ignored. I found myself rereading sections repeatedly so I could absorb it all. I think it will be eye opening to see Paul, and in turn the Word, revealed in a new way. It is a perspective that remains Jewish, passionate about Messiah, zealous for the Torah, and fully abounding in grace.
Both Torah Rediscovered and The Letter Writer are for sale on Amazon. Tim Hegg’s book, along with many additional titles, is available on his website as well, Torah Resource. For additional books, articles, and information about Israel Study trips check out the Written on Our Hearts Resources link. I pray that these will be a significant support to you in your research and study as you journey with YHWH and his Word.