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Through the years, our understanding of Jesus has been shaped by different cultural influences, and many Christians have forgotten that Jesus was a Jewish man living in a Jewish land, observing Jewish customs, and investing his life into Jewish men and women. Trading the popular, but inaccurate Western perspective of the Bible for the context in which Jesus actually ministe Through the years, our understanding of Jesus has been shaped by different cultural influences, and many Christians have forgotten that Jesus was a Jewish man living in a Jewish land, observing Jewish customs, and investing his life into Jewish men and women. Trading the popular, but inaccurate Western perspective of the Bible for the context in which Jesus actually ministered in 2000 years ago, author Robby Gallaty reveals the fascinating Hebraic culture, customs, and nuances many Christians have never experienced or learned about. By uncovering the teaching of the first and second century rabbis and Christian theologians, and highlighting little-known Jewish idioms and traditions, Gallaty takes Christians on a biblical journey to rediscover a forgotten Jesus from a biblical perspective, deepening your relationship with God.


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Through the years, our understanding of Jesus has been shaped by different cultural influences, and many Christians have forgotten that Jesus was a Jewish man living in a Jewish land, observing Jewish customs, and investing his life into Jewish men and women. Trading the popular, but inaccurate Western perspective of the Bible for the context in which Jesus actually ministe Through the years, our understanding of Jesus has been shaped by different cultural influences, and many Christians have forgotten that Jesus was a Jewish man living in a Jewish land, observing Jewish customs, and investing his life into Jewish men and women. Trading the popular, but inaccurate Western perspective of the Bible for the context in which Jesus actually ministered in 2000 years ago, author Robby Gallaty reveals the fascinating Hebraic culture, customs, and nuances many Christians have never experienced or learned about. By uncovering the teaching of the first and second century rabbis and Christian theologians, and highlighting little-known Jewish idioms and traditions, Gallaty takes Christians on a biblical journey to rediscover a forgotten Jesus from a biblical perspective, deepening your relationship with God.

30 review for The Forgotten Jesus: How Western Christians Should Follow an Eastern Rabbi

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Geaney

    The Forgotten Jesus helped me exchange my Western viewpoint of scripture for that of a Torah-faithful Jew. Gallaty doesn’t reinterpret the Bible, rather he explains the significance and symbolism of Jesus’ words, actions, and the Rabbinical methods of instruction he employed. By doing so, he made connections and provided insights which I wouldn't have made on my own. It took me a few days to tackle roughly 200 pages of text (not counting the reading plan or extensive endnotes) because I read with The Forgotten Jesus helped me exchange my Western viewpoint of scripture for that of a Torah-faithful Jew. Gallaty doesn’t reinterpret the Bible, rather he explains the significance and symbolism of Jesus’ words, actions, and the Rabbinical methods of instruction he employed. By doing so, he made connections and provided insights which I wouldn't have made on my own. It took me a few days to tackle roughly 200 pages of text (not counting the reading plan or extensive endnotes) because I read with my Bible open and a notepad ready. At the end, I am left with 24 post-flags and two pages of shorthand notes I’d like to discuss with my book group. Not since reading Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus (co-authored by Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg) have I been so completely enthralled by the community and culture of first-century Judaism. I cannot wait to encounter these portions of scripture in my reading plan with fresh eyes. Highly recommend! I received a copy of this book for free, a favorable review was not required of me. All opinions expressed are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dana Peloso

    Great in depth explanations of often over looked details surrounding Jesus and the Bible. The author breaks down Western Biblical interpretations and factual documentation surrounding Jesus and various events in th Bible. Excellent read!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Cushman

    Loved learning more about the cultural background to stories from the Bible I’ve heard countless times before.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    I unexpectedly read this book after it was recommended to me by my mother-in-law. I enjoy thinking about the contemporary cultural contexts in the Bible, so I thought I'd like this book. I believe we do tend to forget that Jesus had to be entirely Jewish in order to completely fulfill the Law in our place. It definitely deepens our understanding of God's Word when we understand it through the connections to the Hebraic culture. Although I did not agree with everything and some scriptural referenc I unexpectedly read this book after it was recommended to me by my mother-in-law. I enjoy thinking about the contemporary cultural contexts in the Bible, so I thought I'd like this book. I believe we do tend to forget that Jesus had to be entirely Jewish in order to completely fulfill the Law in our place. It definitely deepens our understanding of God's Word when we understand it through the connections to the Hebraic culture. Although I did not agree with everything and some scriptural references didn't seem to connect with some of the author's points, I ended up learning some neat new tidbits of information. Gallaty began by introducing us to the Hebrew Bible - the Tanakh - and who renamed it to the "books of the Old Testament". He continues by illustrating the different way that the Jewish and Christians think of God. He then begins making connections by comparing Jesus to Abraham, Joseph, and Moses. This brought some new insightful comparisons I wasn't taught yet. My reading of Moses receiving the Law happened to coincide with Pentecost. Perhaps my favourite chapter was about John "the Baptist". Gallaty explains how it's possible that John was an Essene and he also clears up the common understanding of John apparently doubting Jesus while he was in prison. I also enjoyed reading about the magi and the reason they would have known about the star through their connection to Daniel, who was ruler over the wise men of Babylon. Another interesting correction - the one my mother-in-law particularly liked - is about our idea of Jesus being a carpenter and why he was likely in another trade. He also sheds light on the scene of Jesus reading from the scroll in the synagogue, where I realized the reaction wasn't like I was shown in a certain Passion play. One of the verses Robby tackles with a deeper meaning is of Jesus preparing a place for us. He also interestingly unpacks why Jesus meant to pass by the disciples as He walked on the water. Another image he addresses is the one we have of the bleeding woman crawling to touch Jesus' hem and explains the missed significance behind the account. Another fascinating chapter was about Jesus fulfilling the three messianic miracles and why only the Messiah could've done them. This chapter includes a great explanation of the troubling "unforgivable sin" and a map of Jerusalem during the time of Jesus. Robby then leads up to Jesus' triumphal entry and cleansing the temple between cursing the fig tree. We learn how this had to happen exactly as it did for Jesus to be our lamb sacrifice and we learn how the temple became so corrupt. One of my other favourite parts of this book is when Robby corrects the depiction of the last supper by da Vinci and shows what it would've looked like. There's also some interesting things said about Judas and discipleship today. The book ends with another fascinating look. This time, at Peter's denial and why the "crowing rooster" likely wasn't even a rooster. Lastly, he paints a picture of us with Barabbas and unpacks Jesus' cry of the Father forsaking Him. Robby also includes a reading plan in the back for busy believers. Overall, I would recommend this book if you want to have a deeper understanding of our Rabbi in all His Jewishness.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Johnson

    Title: The Forgotten Jesus Author: Robby Gallaty Pages: 224 Year: 2017 Publisher: Zondervan My rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Why read this book? Well, I can give many reasons why. One of the main reasons I read the book was because I wanted to have my understanding of Jesus and the Bible stretched. I didn’t want to open a book that would just rehash things I have learned before. I wanted to be challenged to think. Robby Gallaty’s book, The Forgotten Jesus, challenged me to think, understand and consider wh Title: The Forgotten Jesus Author: Robby Gallaty Pages: 224 Year: 2017 Publisher: Zondervan My rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Why read this book? Well, I can give many reasons why. One of the main reasons I read the book was because I wanted to have my understanding of Jesus and the Bible stretched. I didn’t want to open a book that would just rehash things I have learned before. I wanted to be challenged to think. Robby Gallaty’s book, The Forgotten Jesus, challenged me to think, understand and consider who Jesus was as a Rabbi. The book starts with an introduction titled, How Have We Lost the Jewishness of Jesus, and from there the journey to discover Jesus from a Jewish mindset begins. The author is a Baptist pastor. He isn’t Jewish, but the depth of understanding that comes from discovering Jesus from an eastern mindset instead of a western one was thought-provoking and life-changing! While the book “looks” like it might not have much in it when one considers there are only 9 chapters. Perhaps folks might even be tempted to pass it by. Don’t. Please don’t. I found the insights into the culture, history and original language very eye opening. I know I will not look or read the Scriptures the same way again. As with all authors there are points made, I didn’t necessarily understand or conclusions that I agree with, but the point for me was to broaden my understanding. As I read, there were many pages I marked so I can go back and consider again what was written or share with friends what I learned. Books are great tools that help us learn, think and grow. I hope that readers will grab a copy and read what the author shares. There were many times in talking with others I would share an insight or a question I thought of as I read. I hope you consider reading this with others and having a conversation. I am not revealing much about what the author specifically shared because I think that what would be helpful is a reader discovering for themselves what is written. If you approach the book with an open mind and heart, you will come away with a deeper love for God, Jesus, His Word, His people and the world. I will share what the author states on page 204 for you to consider as a reason to read the book and the Bible, “Ultimately, the goal of knowledge is not to fill your head with useless facts, but to instill in you a hunger to read and study God’s Word. In particular, I hope that you begin to see how we cannot truly grasp the message of the New Testament without an understanding of the Old. As the two complement one another and only make sense when they are studied together.” Makes sense doesn’t it? After all the Bible is one book from Genesis to Revelation. Note: The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alex Portillo

    Because I think this book has more pros than cons I’ll begin with the cons and then the pros. I’m feeling lazy so I’ll just do bullet points. Cons: 1. The author has classical theological presuppositions (timelessness, predestination, inerrancy) that detract from his interpretation of the data. 2. After the first 5 chapters two things happen. First The book starts sounding very evangelical and second, the author starts to “prove Jesus.” He does not do a bad job at this, it’s just not what I expe Because I think this book has more pros than cons I’ll begin with the cons and then the pros. I’m feeling lazy so I’ll just do bullet points. Cons: 1. The author has classical theological presuppositions (timelessness, predestination, inerrancy) that detract from his interpretation of the data. 2. After the first 5 chapters two things happen. First The book starts sounding very evangelical and second, the author starts to “prove Jesus.” He does not do a bad job at this, it’s just not what I expected or wanted (so this con is very subjective). 3. There are times when he does word studies in a very sloppy way. He makes cross references to other places where words appear, which works in many cases, except for when it does not. The theological meaning is not always simply behind the word but behind the syntax. 4. The author is not a Hebrew scholar, so he gets a pass on this one. But it is clear that he is not. When speaking about Jesus title as “son of man” he makes a reference to the name “Adam” to which he infers comes from the word for “man”. This is just flat out incorrect. The Hebrew word for man is “ish”. “Adam” more accurately is “dirt person” or “humanity”. The gender of Adam is not mentioned in his creation. It is not until that “isha” (Woman) it’s pulled from his ribs that they are called man and woman. Pros: 1. He does a fantastic job at exploring the ancient world. In fact, I learned a lot from him. His insights were very complementary to many of the ancient near east resources I have already read and have in my collection. 2. For just a footnote, this book is worth all the money. 3. As a white man, he does a great job at exploring the Jewishness and Brown of Jesus and exposing western misconceptions of a “white” or “American” Jesus. 4. He speaks as a scholar but also as a pastor. He speaks to the heart into the mind.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Spaz tastic!!

    I listened to an hour and fifteen minutes and then turned it off. Personally I got bored with listening because it was nothing new or it's something that I had personally already heard it seems a thousand times already. I was born into what I call "American Churchanity" followed all the rituals and religious practices and on and on and on...... . Then there came a time to where God removed me from it all, and instead of only learning and listening from others about Him I started to get to know H I listened to an hour and fifteen minutes and then turned it off. Personally I got bored with listening because it was nothing new or it's something that I had personally already heard it seems a thousand times already. I was born into what I call "American Churchanity" followed all the rituals and religious practices and on and on and on...... . Then there came a time to where God removed me from it all, and instead of only learning and listening from others about Him I started to get to know Him personally, a one on one relationship. In my late forties now back then I knew SO MUCH about God, but personally I never really knew Him, I thought I did, of course, but nope, I didn't, nothing in comparison to today. The only thing that I knew about God was from what other people were telling me about Him, but on a personal level, not at all. So don't just take my review and decide not to give it a listen for yourself, you might love it, enjoy it or like it, but personally for me I grew up hearing all about this and more. Now, personally, it's a relationship and if there's ANYTHING He wants me to know about Him, He either shows or tells me Himself by His Spirit in me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marty Solomon

    I put this book in a very similar category to the books from Lois Tverberg. It's a great book on context and the Jewish lens through which we can view scripture. Like Tverberg, Gallaty does a great job of taking very dense material and packaging it in a concise way that is very accessible to the average reader. It is actually amazing to step back and consider all of the content that Robby has packed into this book. This book won't be your deep dive into any one area or idea, but this book will se I put this book in a very similar category to the books from Lois Tverberg. It's a great book on context and the Jewish lens through which we can view scripture. Like Tverberg, Gallaty does a great job of taking very dense material and packaging it in a concise way that is very accessible to the average reader. It is actually amazing to step back and consider all of the content that Robby has packed into this book. This book won't be your deep dive into any one area or idea, but this book will serve to expose you to a lot of ideas in an effective way. Committed students of mine will note that Robby and I dont see every nuance in the same way, but increased exposure is always a good thing and he is having the right conversation about the right things with the right pieces — and I'm always looking for more books like that to recommend.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Russell Threet

    The Forgotten Jesus. The title of this book opens your eyes from the beginning. You begin to ask yourself what have we forgotten about Jesus? Any person that has studied the Bible in any serious manner will tell you the old adage that "context is king". However, it seems that when it comes to the New Testament, with the possible exception of the book of Hebrews, many ignore the Jewish worldview that dominated the world of Christ and His early followers. Robby Gallaty has written a book here that The Forgotten Jesus. The title of this book opens your eyes from the beginning. You begin to ask yourself what have we forgotten about Jesus? Any person that has studied the Bible in any serious manner will tell you the old adage that "context is king". However, it seems that when it comes to the New Testament, with the possible exception of the book of Hebrews, many ignore the Jewish worldview that dominated the world of Christ and His early followers. Robby Gallaty has written a book here that brings this sometimes willful ignorance into view. If I am honest I will say that there was not a whole lot of brand new information that came to light as I read this book, but the gathering together of these places in Scripture that can be enriched by the proper Jewish context really opened my eyes. Perhaps the greatest contribution Gallaty has made here is to spur people on in doing more than just surface level contextual work when preaching and teaching. This book reminds us that the finer points of Hebrew culture and the Jewish religion as practiced in the days of Jesus do not harm the truths of the New Testament as we understand them, but they bring them into clearer focus.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elysa

    Robby Gallaty offers some compelling insights into the "Jewishness" of Jesus and the way Christ's cultural background shaped his lifestyle, teaching methods, and even the way he processed the world in which he walked. Gallaty himself admits in closing that not many of these insights are entirely original to this book but that they are the product of his own extensive research. As a result, for a well-read student, some chapters will feel far more substantial than others. Having said that, the bo Robby Gallaty offers some compelling insights into the "Jewishness" of Jesus and the way Christ's cultural background shaped his lifestyle, teaching methods, and even the way he processed the world in which he walked. Gallaty himself admits in closing that not many of these insights are entirely original to this book but that they are the product of his own extensive research. As a result, for a well-read student, some chapters will feel far more substantial than others. Having said that, the book is absolutely worth reading and provides a good first taste of a topic into which every follower of Jesus should invest some depth of time and contemplation.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Stahl

    A throwback to my Old Testament History classes in college! Super insightful for those unfamiliar with Jewish traditions, culture, and context of Biblical days. Although I had a tough time getting into this book, because the writing seemed pretty sloppy, especially at the beginning; the further I went though, the better it became. My words of encouragement (or caution) would simply be to continue reading other resources (which Gallaty recommends as well). Gallaty suggests a few speculative theori A throwback to my Old Testament History classes in college! Super insightful for those unfamiliar with Jewish traditions, culture, and context of Biblical days. Although I had a tough time getting into this book, because the writing seemed pretty sloppy, especially at the beginning; the further I went though, the better it became. My words of encouragement (or caution) would simply be to continue reading other resources (which Gallaty recommends as well). Gallaty suggests a few speculative theories and explanations for situations described in the Bible. Allow that to feed further curiosity and exploration of God's Word.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Austin McNeil

    This book is really well done. It provides plenty of insight inti the Gospels while removing the bias of a Western Mindset. It is not exhaustive, but it is certainly a good start for anyone wanting to discover the historical realities that surrounded the ministry of Jesus. I did find myself searching for a bit more structure to the writing. At times the chapters and content felt a bit random. Overall, it is thoroughly researched, devoutly Biblical, and very readable. Perfect for the lay-person w This book is really well done. It provides plenty of insight inti the Gospels while removing the bias of a Western Mindset. It is not exhaustive, but it is certainly a good start for anyone wanting to discover the historical realities that surrounded the ministry of Jesus. I did find myself searching for a bit more structure to the writing. At times the chapters and content felt a bit random. Overall, it is thoroughly researched, devoutly Biblical, and very readable. Perfect for the lay-person who doesn’t want to work through the technicalities of scholarly writing.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Wow, what an eye-opening book. I gained a number of new insights into the life of Jesus by reading this book about Jewish culture at the time of Jesus. While, as the author says, we need to be careful about assuming all historical research is applicable and truthful in interpretation, there is much in this book that makes sense. I also loved all predictions of Messiah from Old Testament that are proved out in Jesus. This is a fascinating book and makes me consider how much I have yet to learn ab Wow, what an eye-opening book. I gained a number of new insights into the life of Jesus by reading this book about Jewish culture at the time of Jesus. While, as the author says, we need to be careful about assuming all historical research is applicable and truthful in interpretation, there is much in this book that makes sense. I also loved all predictions of Messiah from Old Testament that are proved out in Jesus. This is a fascinating book and makes me consider how much I have yet to learn about Jesus, the Messiah.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Caleb

    Maybe better titled: "The significance of Jesus in the O.T." I was surprised to see Robby Gallaty had time for another significant interest on top of discipleship. He has a passion for Jewish studies and the Old Testament. I have to say I learned a few breathtaking parallels of Jesus in the scriptures I had not known before. The O.T. is 3/4 of the Bible ... and we aren't reading it! The Old Testament was Jesus' Bible, and it was the "Only Testament". I'd recommend it to others but I would say tha Maybe better titled: "The significance of Jesus in the O.T." I was surprised to see Robby Gallaty had time for another significant interest on top of discipleship. He has a passion for Jewish studies and the Old Testament. I have to say I learned a few breathtaking parallels of Jesus in the scriptures I had not known before. The O.T. is 3/4 of the Bible ... and we aren't reading it! The Old Testament was Jesus' Bible, and it was the "Only Testament". I'd recommend it to others but I would say that Rand Richard's book, "Western Eyes" had a more impactful statement on this topic.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mark Taylor

    This book is a really great starting place for anyone wanting to study Jewish and Middle Eastern culture and its impact and interpretation on the Bible. Gallaty has written a book that is easy to understand and very interesting. He also provides information on sources for more indepth study if someone is interested. While it doesn't change the Gospel or its message, the material in this book will give you a greater appreciation for Christ and his work done during his time on Earth. This book is a really great starting place for anyone wanting to study Jewish and Middle Eastern culture and its impact and interpretation on the Bible. Gallaty has written a book that is easy to understand and very interesting. He also provides information on sources for more indepth study if someone is interested. While it doesn't change the Gospel or its message, the material in this book will give you a greater appreciation for Christ and his work done during his time on Earth.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Parsons

    This was such an interesting read. It places the Gospels and Jesus into the historical context of the time. It also looks Jesus' words and actions from an ancient Jewish perspective. It was very based on Scripture and had a lot of good supplements. This book really enriched my reading of Jesus' ministry and why he is the Messiah. This was such an interesting read. It places the Gospels and Jesus into the historical context of the time. It also looks Jesus' words and actions from an ancient Jewish perspective. It was very based on Scripture and had a lot of good supplements. This book really enriched my reading of Jesus' ministry and why he is the Messiah.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    This is an excellent book. I would say that I have fallen into the Western view of Jesus Christ and have often read the Bible through my cultural context and perspective, instead of through the eyes of the original context of the life of Jesus. I think every person who wants to grow in their faith in Jesus Christ should read this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Robert Conder

    The book connects Jesus and the Old Testament. Gallaty connects his points with scripture from the Old and New Testament. He shows us the Jewish beliefs and connects them to the life of Jesus. I recommend this book to those who want to know Jesus by exploring the “Jewishness” of Jesus. Read to know Jesus and His culture.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jim Keating

    Our small group dissected this book, one paragraph at a time, over about 6 months. We found almost every sentence thought provoking, giving us a more eastern view of the back story of Jesus and the people around him. Very helpful to read it slowly and use as a reference. I loved the nuggets in this book!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Justin Howe

    Followers of Jesus: run to this book! It isn't a hard read but it will be a great help to western Christians to see, smell, and hear rabbi Jesus in his very non-western, first century Jewish context. The Bible is brilliantly written, but was done so by Middle-easterners. We in the west need help to shed our own cultural assumptions a gaze more clearly at Jesus. Followers of Jesus: run to this book! It isn't a hard read but it will be a great help to western Christians to see, smell, and hear rabbi Jesus in his very non-western, first century Jewish context. The Bible is brilliantly written, but was done so by Middle-easterners. We in the west need help to shed our own cultural assumptions a gaze more clearly at Jesus.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Devon Neese

    What a beautiful portrait of the Jewish Messiah, Jesus. This book helped me see more clearly the beauty of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and helped me better understand the context of the culture and tradition that he lived in. Would recommend to anyone who wants to better understand and know Jesus of Nazareth.

  22. 4 out of 5

    James

    Content is great. The order and the sequence of the book doesn't make a lot of sense to me. But there are so many profound insights about the Jewish/Middle Eastern context of Jesus. This should be required reading for any group preparing for a tour of Israel. Content is great. The order and the sequence of the book doesn't make a lot of sense to me. But there are so many profound insights about the Jewish/Middle Eastern context of Jesus. This should be required reading for any group preparing for a tour of Israel.

  23. 4 out of 5

    michael boron

    And now for the rest of the STORY A mind opening experience about things I've heard many times and was not given the guidance to put them in context. Alternative sources are an important part of learning. And now for the rest of the STORY A mind opening experience about things I've heard many times and was not given the guidance to put them in context. Alternative sources are an important part of learning.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

    Excellent book that delves into the Jewishness of Jesus. It certainly helped explain a lot of challenging passages of Scripture, allowing the reader to see through the religious and cultural lense of early first century Jews. I would certainly recommend it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brandon H.

    A fun and educational read! Learning about the Jewish mind-sets, customs, and culture helped bring clarity and deeper understanding to Jesus, His mission, and His message. It's easy to recommend this one. A fun and educational read! Learning about the Jewish mind-sets, customs, and culture helped bring clarity and deeper understanding to Jesus, His mission, and His message. It's easy to recommend this one.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    A very insightful and interesting book that gave a new perspective to the Old Testament. I’m happy I read it, however there were a few moments when I would zone out, you have to really focus to understand and read this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    If you want more insight into the Jewish background of Jesus and how that influences our understanding of scripture, read it. It is insightful and contains tidbits of Jewishness that will help you get the NT in light of the OT.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nate Perrin

    A great resource for all Christians on the Jewish context of Jesus.

  29. 4 out of 5

    John R. Jones

    Jesus in context This is a great book. Robby does a wonderful job of helping us understand the Bible in light of its cultural context.

  30. 5 out of 5

    John Coaxum

    Excellent portrayal of the authentic Jewishness of Jesus and how it is portrayed in His preaching and teaching.

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