One Rabbi Offers Christians the Chance to Understand the Bible from its Original Hebraic Origins

February 4, 2020

4 min read

When you read the Book of Noah, you may have come across the verse in Genesis 6:14 where God commands Noah to make an ark of gopherwood and to ‘pitch’ it.

What you may not realize is that the Hebrew word used in this passage for the word ‘pitch’ (וְכָפַרְתָּ), is actually a word whose root word (כפר) is used in many instances throughout the Bible but in completely different contexts. And those who understand what the original Hebrew text says and more importantly, what the word means, will be privy to a completely different dimension of the Bible that most Christians don’t even know exists. This, as well as many other Biblical secrets, are unlocked in Rabbi Chaim Eisen’s exclusive Zion Bible Study program.

What is Zion Bible Studies?

Zion Bible Studies is a multi-day online total-immersion program enabling Christians worldwide to sign up and reconnect with Jewish Biblical teachings. As the program’s founder, Rabbi Chaim Eisen puts it, the Hebrew Bible and its unique teachings are valued “as essential wellsprings of Christianity.”

What the alumni says

“One of the things I learned in that interview is that he didn’t want to change anybody’s beliefs, he only wanted them to be able to satisfy the hunger for Torah” explained Bob O’dell, co-founder of Root Source, a Christian knowledge portal.

O’dell went on to say that the reason Rabbi Eisen doesn’t try to change people’s beliefs is that he “sees himself as helping to fulfill Isaiah 2:3, that Torah teaching to the nations would come out of Zion.”

Why Zion Bible Studies?

Because most people don’t realize that when Jews teach the Bible (in its original form) to Christians, it’s actually a form of returning Christianity to its roots. That’s because one of the goals of the original founders of Christianity was to “institute the Noahide covenant for non-Jews” Rabbi Eisen explains.

Another reason why it’s important for Christians to reconnect with the Bible’s Hebraic roots is that according to Rabbi Eisen, the Christian Bible features “translations out of context”. And those translations involve many layers of understanding that one who reads a Bible that is translated from Hebrew could “never know about.” That’s because as Rabbi Eisen puts it: “all translations are always commentary”. He compares it to looking through a screen without knowing if what the subject is looking at is a screen or a picture. But with Zion Bible Studies, they see the Scriptures for what they are. Additionally, students enjoy The Bible’s original Hebrew text standing in an equal and opposite column from its English translation. This format is used as a launching pad for a deeper understanding of the Bible’s true messages.

The founder

Rabbi Chaim Eisen is the founder and dean of Yeshivat Sharashim – Zion Bible Studies. He is also a senior rabbinical lecturer in adult education at the Orthodox Union Jerusalem World Center, where he has taught for 36 years. An acclaimed speaker, Rabbi Eisen has been stimulating audiences throughout Israel, North America, and Europe for three and a half decades. Over the past years, Rabbi Eisen has become increasingly involved in building bridges with Christian believers, through lectures and informal meetings in Israel, North America, and Europe, and via the Internet.

Rabbi Eisen has taught thousands of Jews and Christians worldwide. From Amsterdam to Dallas, participants throughout the globe seek his Biblical wisdom. He is known as one of the only Rabbis who can translate the Jewish Torah perspective into a message that Christians can easily understand.

The syllabus

The curriculum in Rabbi Eisen’s Zion Bible Study program is 100% text-based. This means that everything taught has a basis in the Scriptures. There’s no room for opinion or conjecture. If it’s not completely grounded and rooted in the text of the Bible, it won’t be included in the curriculum. Even Jewish commentaries in the Bible will come with an explanation regarding why the commentators say what they say in a step-by-step manner.

“The most surprising part of the program to me was his knowledge of the entire Tanach” O’dell said. And he wasn’t only referring to the Torah. O’dell lauded the way that Rabbi Eisen “helps you think through topics structurally, tying seemingly disparate concepts together into a systematic understanding of God’s purposes.”

One example he gave was when he and the rabbi “discussed the anointing of King David”. According to O’dell, “He made us go back and look at the history of anointing, the anointing of people, and then of kings. Many “surprises” came out of the Biblical text, which was his primary focus, the Midrash being used only in a supporting manner, based on the class preferences.  Anyway, from this exercise we began to see that anointing is a joint effort between God and man. This surprise was well beyond what anyone had ever considered before, and it was only one surprise of many during those days. The rabbi brought up points and questions that were adding perspective to people who were already extremely serious Bible students and had great knowledge of the Bible.”

And unlike some of the other more insulated Jewish thought leaders, Rabbi Eisen respects Christians as they are. He also believes that “Christians can and should remain faithful to Christianity even after studying the Bible from the classic Jewish perspective” explains Zion Bible Study CEO, Rabbi Michael Kaplan. “This is unlike other programs where the end goal is to ‘disprove’ Christianity or disassociate Christians from how they practice,” Kaplan added.

In the Bible, there are a lot of layers. “Rabbi Eisen is perfect for unraveling those layers” Kaplan added. “He has the Bible at his fingertips.”

Who is it for?

According to O’dell, the type of person that would “benefit the most from Zion Bible Studies is a person who has already been reading the Torah portions for a long enough time that they are past the basics, and want to look deeper in their studies.” O’dell added that another suitable candidate for the program would be a person who “ would benefit is a person who wants to study the entire Tanach from a Jewish perspective, not just the Torah, because the Rabbi has forty-years experience in the entire Tanach, and I’ve yet to ever touch on an area of the Tanach he is not already familiar with.”

Other initiatives

Aside from his online seminar, Rabbi Eisen also offers tours of the Old City while showing holy sites throughout Jerusalem. His iconic Bible Tours will take you through Jerusalem’s Old City allowing people to actually experience the Bible while connecting the ruins and archaeology in front of their eyes with what is written in the book. To find out more about registering for the Zion Bible Studies program, contact Rabbi Eisen today.


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