Getting Beyond Me-O-Centric Bible Reading

(Based on an excerpt from my upcoming book, Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus (Baker, 2018).

Did you know that you can now order a copy of a Bible translation called “Your Personalized Bible” which will insert your name in more than seven thousand verses? 1 Here are a few verses from my copy:

Lois like a sheep has gone astray. Lois has turned to her own way; and the Lord has laid on Him Lois’s iniquity. (Isa. 53:6)

Lois is the light of the world. (Matt. 5:14)

You have made Lois a little lower than God,
And crowned Lois with glory and honor.
You make Lois a ruler over the works of Your hands.
You have put all things under Lois’ feet. (Ps. 8:5–6)

You might think I’d be a fan of this style of study. I’m single, never married. I’m self-employed. I work by myself out of my own home office. I have no boss, no husband, no children. I’m queen of my own pleasant little world.

I’ve heard the siren call of individualism and succumbed as much as anyone, so you’d think I’d want to read my Bible that way. The more I study the Bible, however, the more I’m realizing the many ways that a me-o-centric approach misunderstands the text.

Take, for instance, this Bible’s translation of 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Lois is a temple of God.” Often people read this line…

Next Book Done! Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus

Shalom friends –

I’m happy to say that after three years of work, I finished the manuscript for my next book, Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus. Yay!

It will be released by Baker Publishing in January 2018, so we still have a bit. Between now and then I’ll share some sneak previews and interesting material that I found along the way.

The book’s aim is to equip the average Christian to read the Bible more like a first-century disciple. As I worked on it I asked questions like,

• What cultural differences get in the way for us in the modern, Western world?
• How does a lack of grasp of Jesus’ Jewishness cause us to misunderstand his words?
• How can we read the Bible more Hebraically?
• What tools can I give readers to read the Bible more as a native?

The book is in three sections:

I. Repacking My Mental Bags – Tools to bridge the cultural divide between our world and that of the Bible

II. How the Bible Thinks – Big-picture background ideas that you need to understand

III. Reading About the Messiah – Jesus’ messianic claims in light of his Jewish way of reading Scripture

As I’ve been researching I’ve been posting articles on this blog. Here are some I’ve posted in the past on themes that you’ll see in the book:

Repacking our bags:

Reading the Bible from a…