Back in 2007, I discovered the Complete Jewish Bible translation. I’ve professed faith in Jesus since preschool, but reading the Gospels in David H. Stern’s translation was like getting to know Jesus and His earthly ministry all over again. The reintroduction of the Jewish context to the New Testament is like putting on 3D glasses. An engaging two dimensional movie suddenly pops with new depth.
If the notions of Jewish roots are new to you or your friends, I recommend Charisma’s recent piece Recovering the Lost Letter of Jacob by Michael L. Brown. It begins:
It is high time the English-speaking church recovers the long-lost letter of Jacob. For 500 years, we have wrongly called this the letter of James, despite the fact that the Greek does not say James, but rather Jacob (as in Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), and despite the fact that in every other language, the letter of Jacob is rightly identified as such.
By calling this the letter of James, and by referring to the apostle James rather than the apostle Jacob (not to mention Jacob the brother of Jesus, also wrongly called James, who led the congregation in Jerusalem), we have produced theological confusion and cut off an important Jewish dimension to the roots of the Christian faith.
The name of the apostle James is just one translational deviation that has deprived us of the full picture. I encourage you to read the rest of the article at Charisma, and I hope to whets your appetite for more of Yeshua, Messiah, King of Israel.