Top 10 Best Books to Read in Jewish Theology - August 2021

Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Jewish Theology. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.

1. Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Jewish Theology - August 2021

A rare chance to know Jesus as his first disciples knew him. What would it be like to journey back to the first century and sit at the feet of Rabbi Jesus as one of his Jewish disciples? How would your understanding of the gospel have been shaped by the customs, beliefs, and traditions of the Jewish culture in which you lived? Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus   will change the way you read Scripture and deepen your understanding of the life of Jesus. It will also help you to adapt the rich prayers and customs you learn about to your own life, in ways that both respect and enrich your Christian faith. Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus   takes you on a fascinating tour of the Jewish world of Jesus, offering inspirational insights that can transform your faith. Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg paint powerful scenes from Jesus' ministry, immersing you in the prayers, feasts, history, culture, and customs that shaped Jesus and those who followed him. In these pages, you will: Hear the parables as they must have sounded to first-century Jews, powerful and surprising. Join conversations among the rabbis of Jesus' day. Watch with new understanding as the events of Jesus' life unfold. Experience new excitement about the roots of your Christian faith. This expanded edition includes a discussion guide for both individuals and groups, and instructions for a simple home Passover Seder celebration.

  • Author: Ann Spangler
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Unabridged edition (February 6, 2018)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Religion & Spirituality


2. The Jewish Gospels: The Story of the Jewish Christ

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Jewish Theology - August 2021

“A fascinating recasting of the story of Jesus.” —Elliot Wolfson, New York University   In July 2008, a front-page story in the New York Times reported on the discovery of an ancient Hebrew tablet, dating from before the birth of Jesus, which predicted a Messiah who would rise from the dead after three days. Commenting on this startling discovery at the time, noted Talmud scholar Daniel Boyarin argued that “some Christians will find it shocking—a challenge to the uniqueness of their theology.”   Guiding us through a rich tapestry of new discoveries and ancient scriptures, The Jewish Gospels makes the powerful case that our conventional understandings of Jesus and of the origins of Christianity are wrong. In Boyarin’s scrupulously illustrated account, the coming of the Messiah was fully imagined in the ancient Jewish texts. Jesus, moreover, was embraced by many Jews as this person, and his core teachings were not at all a break from Jewish beliefs and teachings. Jesus and his followers, Boyarin shows, were simply Jewish. What came to be known as Christianity came much later, as religious and political leaders sought to impose a new religious orthodoxy that was not present at the time of Jesus’s life.   In the vein of Elaine Pagels’s The Gnostic Gospels , here is a brilliant new work that will break open some of our culture’s most cherished assumptions.   “A brilliant and momentous book.” —Karen L. King, Harvard Divinity School   “Raises profound questions . . . This provocative book will change the way we think of the Gospels in their Jewish context.” —John J. Collins, Yale Divinity School   “It’s certainly noteworthy when one of the world’s leading Jewish scholars publishes a book about Jesus . . . Extremely stimulating.” —Daniel C. Peterson, The Deseret News

  • Author: Daniel Boyarin
  • Publisher: The New Press (March 20, 2012)
  • Genre: Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Religion & Spirituality


3. Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Jewish Theology - August 2021

A distinguished religious leader's stirring case for reconstructing a shared framework of virtues and values. With liberal democracy embattled, public discourse grown toxic, family life breaking down, and drug abuse and depression on the rise, many fear what the future holds. In Morality , respected faith leader and public intellectual Jonathan Sacks traces today's crisis to our loss of a strong, shared moral code and our elevation of self-interest over the common good. We have outsourced morality to the market and the state, but neither is capable of showing us how to live. Sacks leads readers from ancient Greece to the Enlightenment to the present day to show that there is no liberty without morality and no freedom without responsibility, arguing that we all must play our part in rebuilding a common moral foundation. A major work of moral philosophy, Morality is an inspiring vision of a world in which we can all find our place and face the future without fear.

  • Author: Jonathan Sacks
  • Publisher: Basic Books (September 1, 2020)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Politics & Government
  • ISBN: 978-1541675315
  • Dimensions: 6.25 x 1.25 x 9.5 inches


4. The Sabbath (FSG Classics)

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Jewish Theology - August 2021

Elegant, passionate, and filled with the love of God's creation, Abraham Joshua Heschel's The Sabbath has been hailed as a classic of Jewish spirituality ever since its original publication-and has been read by thousands of people seeking meaning in modern life. In this brief yet profound meditation on the meaning of the Seventh Day, Heschel introduced the idea of an "architecture of holiness" that appears not in space but in time Judaism, he argues, is a religion of time: it finds meaning not in space and the material things that fill it but in time and the eternity that imbues it, so that "the Sabbaths are our great cathedrals." Featuring black-and-white illustrations by Ilya Schor

  • Author: Abraham Joshua Heschel
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux; Illustrated edition (August 17, 2005)
  • Genre: Religion & Spirituality, Judaism
  • ISBN: 978-0374529758
  • Dimensions: 5.58 x 0.42 x 8.26 inches


5. When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Jewish Theology - August 2021

The #1 bestselling inspirational classic from the nationally known spiritual leader; a source of solace and hope for over 4 million readers. When Harold Kushner’s three-year-old son was diagnosed with a degenerative disease that meant the boy would only live until his early teens, he was faced with one of life’s most difficult questions: Why, God? Years later, Rabbi Kushner wrote this straightforward, elegant contemplation of the doubts and fears that arise when tragedy strikes. In these pages, Kushner shares his wisdom as a rabbi, a parent, a reader, and a human being. Often imitated but never superseded,  When Bad Things Happen to Good Peopl e is a classic that offers clear thinking and consolation in times of sorrow.

  • Author: Harold S. Kushner
  • Genre: Audible Books & Originals, Health & Wellness, Psychology & Mental Health, Mental Health, Mood Disorders


6. Everyday Holiness: The Jewish Spiritual Path of Mussar

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Jewish Theology - August 2021

Mussar is an illuminating, approachable, and highly practical set of teachings for cultivating personal growth and spiritual realization in the midst of day-to-day life. Here is an accessible and inspiring introduction to this Jewish spiritual path, which until lately has been best known in the world of Orthodox Judaism. The core teaching of Mussar is that our deepest essence is inherently pure and holy, but this inner radiance is obscured by extremes of emotion, desire, and bad habits. Our work in life is to uncover the brilliant light of the soul. The Mussar masters developed transformative teachings and practices—some of which are contemplative, some of which focus on how we relate to others in daily life—to help us to heal and refine ourselves.

  • Author: Alan Morinis
  • Publisher: Trumpeter; 2nd Printing edition (December 2, 2008)
  • Genre: Religion & Spirituality, Judaism
  • ISBN: 978-1590306093
  • Dimensions: 6.05 x 0.87 x 8.95 inches


7. To Heal a Fractured World: The Ethics of Responsibility

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Jewish Theology - August 2021

One of the most respected religious thinkers of our time makes an impassioned plea for the return of religion to its true purpose—as a partnership with God in the work of ethical and moral living. What are our duties to others, to society, and to humanity? How do we live a meaningful life in an age of global uncertainty and instability? In To Heal a Fractured World, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks offers answers to these questions by looking at the ethics of responsibility. In his signature plainspoken, accessible style, Rabbi Sacks shares with us traditional interpretations of the Bible, Jewish law, and theology, as well as the works of philosophers and ethicists from other cultures, to examine what constitutes morality and moral behavior. “We are here to make a difference,” he writes, “a day at a time, an act at a time, for as long as it takes to make the world a place of justice and compassion.” He argues that in today’s religious and political climate, it is more important than ever to return to the essential understanding that “it is by our deeds that we express our faith and make it real in the lives of others and the world.” To Heal a Fractured World—inspirational and instructive, timely and timeless—will resonate with people of all faiths.

  • Author: Jonathan Sacks
  • Publisher: Schocken; Reprint edition (February 6, 2007)
  • Genre: Christian Books & Bibles, Christian Living
  • ISBN: 978-0805211962
  • Dimensions: 5.21 x 0.73 x 7.98 inches


8. Salvation Is from the Jews: The Role of Judaism in Salvation History from Abraham to the Second Coming

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Jewish Theology - August 2021

The book traces the role of Judaism and the Jewish people in God's plan for the salvation of mankind, from Abraham through the Second Coming, as revealed by the Catholic faith and by a thoughtful examination of history. It will give Christians a deeper understanding of Judaism, both as a religion in itself and as a central component of Christian salvation. To Jews it reveals the incomprehensible importance, nobility and glory that Judaism most truly has. It examines the unique and central role Judaism plays in the destiny of the world. It documents that throughout history attacks on Jews and Judaism have been rooted not in Christianity, but in the most anti-Christian of forces. Areas addressed include: the Messianic prophecies in Jewish scripture; the anti-Christian roots of Nazi anti-Semitism; the links between Nazism and Arab anti-Semitism; the theological insights of major Jewish converts; and the role of the Jews in the Second Coming.

  • Author: Roy Schoeman
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; First edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Genre: Christian Books & Bibles, Theology
  • ISBN: 978-0898709759
  • Dimensions: 5.25 x 1.05 x 8.01 inches


9. The Jew in the Lotus: A Poet's Rediscovery of Jewish Identity in Buddhist India (Plus)

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Jewish Theology - August 2021

While accompanying eight high–spirited Jewish delegates to Dharamsala, India, for a historic Buddhist–Jewish dialogue with the Dalai Lama, poet Rodger Kamenetz comes to understand the convergence of Buddhist and Jewish thought. Along the way he encounters Ram Dass and Richard Gere, and dialogues with leading rabbis and Jewish thinkers, including Zalman Schacter, Yitz and Blue Greenberg, and a host of religious and disaffected Jews and Jewish Buddhists. This amazing journey through Tibetan Buddhism and Judaism leads Kamenetz to a renewed appreciation of his living Jewish roots.

  • Author: Rodger Kamenetz
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Updated edition (August 21, 2007)
  • Genre: Politics & Social Sciences, Social Sciences
  • ISBN: 978-0061367397
  • Dimensions: 5.31 x 0.76 x 8 inches


10. Primeval Evil in Kabbalah: Totality, Perfection, Perfectibility

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Jewish Theology - August 2021

Primeval Evil analyzes the various versions of a theory maintaining the Kabbalistic visions as to the precedence of evil before good, within the divine realm and in the lower dimensions of reality. It proposes a source for some of the theories of evil in medieval Kabbalah, in the Zurvanic version of Zoroastrism and their reverberations, which is different from the scholarly assumptions as to the influence of Gnosticism on Kabbalah. A series of pre-Kabbalistic, Kabbalistic and Hasidic texts have been addressed, in print and in manuscripts, in order to substantiate the understanding of these theories are related to visions of the divine as all-encompassing, and perfect or perfectible.

  • Author: Moshe Idel
  • Publisher: KTAV Publishing House (June 28, 2020)
  • Genre: Religion & Spirituality, Judaism
  • ISBN: 978-1602804036
  • Dimensions: 6 x 1.25 x 9 inches