If you are wondering what to read before your trip to Israel, my advice is to only read Scripture. Immerse yourselves in God’s Word rather than the words of man. The books below are excellent resources, but they will be much more meaningful to you after the trip, rather than before.
Bear in mind that a wide range of opinions exist on most (or all) topics related to Scripture, and given my “conservative view” of the Scriptures, I seldom agree with all the author’s opinions.
For beginning Bible Study reference materials, I can recommend the following:
- “The Jewish New Testament” and also “The Jewish New Testament Commentary” by David Stern
- “The Baker Atlas of Christian History” by Tim Dowley
- “Holman Bible Atlas” by Timothy Brisco
- “Zondervan Handbook to the Bible”
To better understand the Jewish roots of our faith in Messiah, I highly recommend the following books:
- “Listening to the Language of the Bible” by Lois Tverberg and Bruce Okkema
- “Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus” by Lois Tverberg“Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus” by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg
- “The Letter Writer: Paul’s Background and Torah Perspective” by Tim Hegg
- “Torah Rediscovered” by Ariel & D’vorah Berkowitz
- “Fellow Heirs: Jews and Gentiles Together in the Family of God” by Tim Hegg
- “Take Hold: Embracing our Divine Inheritance with Israel” by Ariel & D’vorah Berkowitz
- “They Loved the Torah” by David Friedman
- “Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus” by David Biven and Roy Blizzard
- “New Light on the Difficult Words of Jesus: Insights from His Jewish Context” by David Biven
- “Restoring the Jewishness of the Gospel” by David Stern
- For more in-depth study in this area, look at the all articles, books, and teaching by Tim Hegg available at www.torahresource.com. I highly recommend all Hegg’s materials.
For some books that take a deeper look at history, I can recommend the following:
- “Constantine’s Sword” by James Carroll
- “My Father Abraham” by Marvin Wilson
- “The Jews in the Time of Jesus” by Stephen Wylen
- “The History of Jewish Christianity” by Hugh Schonfield
- “Yeshua, A Guide to the Real Jesus and Original Church” by Ron Moseley
- “But Were They Good for the Jews? Over 150 Historical Figures Viewed from a Jewish Perspective” by Elliot Rosenberg
- “The New Foxe’s Book of Martyrs” by John Foxe, rewritten by Chadwick
- “The Veil is Torn” – Volume 1 of The Christian History Project
- “A Pinch of Incense” – Volume 2 of The Christian History Project
- “The Sacred Bridge” by Rainey and Notley. An atlas of the Biblical world with comprehensive near eastern background to Biblical History.
- “Regions on the Run” with set of maps from Biblical Backgrounds (www.bibback.com)
For books that discuss the background and significance of the Sabbath and the Appointed Times, consider the titles below:
- “The Feasts of the Lord” by Howard and Rosenthal
- “God’s Appointed Times” by Barney Kasdan
- “Celebrating Biblical Feasts in your Home of Church” by Martha Zimmerman
- “The Fall Feasts of Israel” by Mitch and Zhava Glaser
- “Christ in the Feast of Tabernacles” by David Bickner
- “The Feast of the LORD and their Fulfillment in Messiah Yeshua” by Bruce Booker
- “The Sabbath in Scripture and History” by Kenneth Strand
- “From Sabbath to Sunday: A Historical Investigation of the Rise of Sunday Observance in Early Christianity” by Samuele Bacchiocchi. This book is also helpful in understanding more of the early history of the church and its separation from our Jewish roots.
- “The Sabbath in the New Testament: Answers to Questions” by Samuele Bacchiocchi