One thing that has always puzzled me was how different Biblical names are in Chinese and English. Well, it’s a little different in Japanese as well, but the Japanese pronunciation are actually quite similar to the Chinese pronunciation. Well, after reading Identity Theft, it hit me – the Chinese and Japanese names are transliterated from Hebrew/Greek, not English!
Identity Theft is based on a simple premise – the Jesus that we know today has been stripped of his Jewishness. And that is something that is hindering the Jews from coming to know him. From names that have been changed (think Miriam to Mary) to the idea of Peter as the Pope, the book provides a brief introduction to how Jesus has been stripped of his Jewishness.
The book isn’t written in the normal non-fiction form. The narrative vehicle uses the experiences of a Jew called David as he’s visited by and taught by an angel called Ariel. As a Messianic Jew, the author Ron Cantor used his experience, his struggle of being both Jewish and Christian to show how David struggled with belief in Christ.
Personally, I thought this book was eye-opening. I’ve always been told that Jesus was a Jew, and that the Gospel came first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles, but since a lot of my Sunday School materials (not to mention so much classical art) came from the West, I developed this impression of Jesus as a Caucasian.
For me, it was the section of how names that were changed that got me to realise how casually I’ve taken the fact that most Jews aren’t Christians. Why am I not more upset that not more of God’s chosen people don’t believe in his Son?
I heartily recommend this book. I think it fulfills its twofold purpose of introducing Jesus to the Jew and of re-introducing Jesus to the believer.
Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.
Buy Identity Theft on Amazon and support ItB!
Published on 20 August, 2013. Last updated on