I have never been much of a reader. I’m what you call, a “I’ll wait for the movie” sort of person. Recently, that has all changed for me – and I have made it my mission to read as much as possible, in the effort to know more about the History, Context and any other bits of information that can help broaden my understanding of the New Testament Writings, as well as the Old.
The following list contains a few of the books that I highly recommend to be read by everyone who is interested in expanding their knowledge, in the effort to understand the Bible better. (This is not a sales pitch. It is merely an effort to help anyone who is looking to expand their knowledge. The Amazon links of each of the books have been provided, so that each of you can check the reviews on your own, with ease) If you live in Sri Lanka, and you want to borrow any of these books, I would be more than happy to lend them to you, as long as you promise their safe return.
The Bible (Lion Access Guides)
by Michael Keene
This book offers a tremendous amount of information about every aspect of the Bible and is an ideal reference guide offering essential information which includes a short overview of the biblical narrative, the history of the Bible, the making of the Bible upto the reformation and beyond.
Wonders of the Hebrew Alphabet
by W.E. Steele-Smith
This gem of a book is an easy read which will give the reader a good understanding of the Hebrew alphabet and as the title suggests, insight into each letter in a very brief but inspiring way.
Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament
by Daniel B. Wallace
How much did the theological arguments of the church affect the copying of the New Testament text? Focusing on issues of textual criticism, this book offers some answers to that question and helps you to see the differences between manuscripts.
Names of Israel
by John Koessler
This book lists and discusses a few of the names and titles used or substituted for God’s chosen people “Israel”.
The Story of Anne Frank
by Mirjam Pressler
Anne Frank’s poignant story is familiar to everyone through her Diary. This biography brings that story to life in a fresh way, giving insight into her early life, her family relationships, the development of the Diary and her own emotional life in hiding.
A History of the Middle East
by Peter Mansfield
To understand the present, as well as prophetic events written in the Bible, we must know what has taken place in the past. An unbiased recording of events that have transpired in the middle-east (especially regarding the land Christ is going to return to), this book will open your eyes to the conflicts of today, and the events that have molded the middle-east as we see today.
Yeshua – A guide to the real Jesus & the original church
by Dr.Ron Moseley
If you are seeking an in depth understanding of some of the Hebrew idioms used by Yeshua and the New Testament writers as well as get a grip of the history and backdrop to which Messiah appeared, this is a quick read that would help all Christians – especially in the understanding of the popular 1st century sect in Judaism that we know of as the Pharisees.
The 100 most important events in Christian History
Each and every Christian should know what has happened in between the time of the 1st Century church and the 21st Century we live in. In this regard, this book is a really good start. As the authors themselves admit, they don’t have the final word on “the most important list”, but they help you to see some of the most important events you should know about.
Jesus the Bridegroom: The greatest love story ever told
by Brant Pitre
Written by a Catholic – professor of sacred Scripture at Notre Dame Seminary, this is by far one of the best books I have read on the subject of Christ as Bridegroom. I was amazed at the information provided by the author, which reinforced my belief of the one theme of the Bible: one of a bride and bridegroom from beginning to end. Highly recommended!
Apocrypha – Authorized King James Version
by Baker Publishing
Apocrypha, meaning ‘hidden’ in the Greek, is the collection of Books which were not accepted into the Hebrew Old Testament canon. These extra books which were carried in the 1611 King James Version, as well as “the Septuagint” – the Greek Translation of the Hebrew bible (Old Testament) done in 2nd Century BCE, contains a number of Books worth studying.
Written by a Karaite(Believers in the Old Testament Scriptures only) Jew who has worked with the dead sea scrolls, this book is an eye opener about the Messiah, giving insight into the Hebrew version of Matthew, Jesus’ true name ‘Yeshua’, as well as the Pharisaic sect and it’s extra Laws.
Josephus – The Essential Writings
A condensed version of the books “Jewish Antiquities” and “The Jewish War” written by the 1st Century historian Josephus Flavius. Contains historical accounts of Christ, John the baptist & James the brother of Jesus alongside many other accounts, which proves the integrity of the New Testament writings.
His Hallowed Name Revealed Again
Written by a Methodist Pastor in search of the roots of our beliefs, this is a book that will help you to look past the “LORD” in the Bible to see the actual name of our Heavenly Father, and understand what it really means to say “Hallowed be thy name”!
Referenced in Joshua 10:13 & 2 Samuel 1:18, this book provides an expanded version of the Old Testament, going into stories in much detail and giving additional insight into biblical figures. It is important to note that 2 Timothy 3:8 contains a piece of information from Jasher proving Apostle Paul had knowledge of this text.
Holy Bible, 1611 King James Version: 400th Anniversary Edition
A replica of the original 1611 printing of the King James Bible, with the exact pages and prints that rolled out of the printing presses. It is noteworthy to check Acts 7:45 & Heb 4:8 on this version to understand the connection between the names Joshua & Jesus.
This book contains literary, nonliterary, and archaeological sources on what life was like in the first-century Roman colony of Corinth, helping us understand what happened to the Christian community, after Paul left Corinth.
This book is an attempt to understand the Lord’s prayer in it’s original Hebrew, bringing forth new insight into these precious words of Messiah. This combined effort of a Jewish Bible Scholar and a African-American Methodist Pastor will help you say this prayer like never before.
Building upon ancient astronomical sources and current scientific data, this book displays how the constellations bear witness to the accuracy of biblical prophetic truths. While I do not believe and accept everything put forth by this book, it is still worth reading for the mere fact that it shows, God did make the Stars to showcase signs in the sky. It is important to note that this is not a book on “Astrology”, but one on “Biblical Astronomy”.
Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence
Yet another great read, brought to you by the Karaite Jew who has stepped forward to help the Christians know the Hebrew roots of our faith. This book will help you understand how God’s name “Yehovah” has been completely silenced, and know the power of the priestly blessing written in the Word of God, which should be read over God’s people.
The Bethrothed Bride of Messiah
This book will show every Christian, how God had planned a Grand Wedding from the very beginning of creation itself. It is a good start in connecting the Feasts of God with the events that have happened and are yet to happen through Messiah. As the Bride of Christ, we should all get ready for this wedding feast, and this book is a guide for all, who want to prepare themselves.
Written by a great Jewish scholar and theologian, this book is a poetic look at the Sabbath day. The author calls the Sabbath – a great cathedral in time. I recommend that all Christians who are interested in the Sabbath day, read this book for the insights it lends on the connection of Space to Time, and how God has created a sanctuary in time for all mankind.
Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith
Hailed as one of the primary books, any Christian should read, to understand the true roots of the Christian faith – this book will help you look past the barriers of Judaism & Christianity ; Old Testament & New Testament, helping you re-examine your beliefs and truly start living true to the Biblical texts.
Quoted in the Book of Jude in the New Testament, The Book of Enoch is a text full of Prophecy from the beginning of time to the end of time. From the days of Noah to a time yet to come. At times, it can be quite hard to understand – but the commentary provided in the book, while it may not be correct completely, is a helpful guide to set you on your way.
The Real Kosher Jesus: Revealing the Mysteries of the Hidden Messiah
Written by a Messianic Jew, as a reply to a book called “Kosher Jesus” written by a Jewish Rabbi, this book is a must read for Christian and Jew alike, who wants to know about who Christ was. It showcases the life of Rabbi Yeshua(Jesus) that will help everyone get a deeper understanding of Him, His message & His Life.
There are some great recommendations here. I plan on reading several. I am not surprised to see a book authored by Brant Pitre listed here. He is an amazing writer and researcher. One day it won’t be necessary to point out his denomination (which I share) because if we are on the right path we will be living as one – as Yeshua is with the Father. Acceptance of the Jewishness of Christianity is on the rise and will be the wave that washes us ashore together.
thank you for your encouraging words. I hope you don’t think I pointed out Dr.Pitre’s denomination in a negative fashion. Actually it was a compliment as most people would think that Catholicism is the furthest from the truth when it comes to denominations. I believe all denominations have parts of the truth which we have to pick out looking through the lens of God’s Word. You are surely right – I sure hope we can all leave behind our denominations and become the true body of Yeshua, which we are meant to be.
Be a blessing to everyone around you.
Loved your answer. Truth shows up everywhere YHVH wants it to. We are only one through Him. Baruch HaShem!