The Tsur Institute was founded in order to engage in in-depth study and research of the Bible, to participate in the scholarly debate, and to share the fruit of this study with a wider audience. This website is dedicated to the last of these aims – to encourage reading the Scripture with understanding and an open heart to engage with the text. To this end, you will find on the site tools to help you with your personal reading of the Bible, in-depth articles, and short devotionals.
The Bible excites us! The goal of this website is that you will also be excited by it. We want to share with you the riches that we and others have gained from this wonderful book. If you begin to read and delve into the text of Scripture, we will have achieved our goal.
The Bible in Our Eyes:
We understand that to most Israelis the Bible equals only the Tanakh (Old Testament). We agree that the Tanakh is Scripture but with that we have come to the conclusion that the New Testament is the natural continuation of the Tanakh and is worthy to be considered also a part of Scripture. We acknowledge the fact that in Israel we are in the minority, but we want to encourage all Israelis to read the Bible no matter what background they come from. We decided to make the material available in English because we deeply desire to encourage everyone, wherever they may be, to read the Bible and to be touched by its message.
From a historical perspective the Bible is a very special book. We believe in the reliability of the Biblical text, that is a unique text written by men inspired by God’s Holy Spirit. It can expose us, change us, and bring us to God Himself. Therefore we want to encourage people not just to enjoy the book on a literary level, but to open their hearts to hear God’s voice speaking through the text.
The members of the Institute are Israeli Bible scholars who hold to the importance of the close reading of the Biblical text in the context of our faith in Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah and in the unity of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and the New Testament. We’re also open to the contributions of other scholars who can enrich our understanding of Scripture. We sincerely hope that the material on this site will help you to be excited about reading the Bible and enable you to do so.
Our approach to the text:
The text is the source of meaning. Therefore we want to let the text speak for itself. Our approach is to let the text guide us to its own meaning, rather than bringing what we want or expect to find in the text. The wise reader will desire to equip himself with the tools both to understand the text on a literary level and to have a heart that’s open to hear it’s message.
The team is made up of the core staff and other contributors not listed here:
Dr. Yohanan Stanfield – Director of the Tsur Institute
Yohanan was born in Britain, grew up in Uganda, and during his high-school and undergraduate years lived in Scotland. He came to Israel in 1982. He has an M.A. in Jewish History (Cum Laude) from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a Ph.D. in Bible also from the Hebrew University. Yohanan is married to Amy and they have three children.
Ben Eisenberg – Research assistant
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in Functional Linguistics and Hebrew Language from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His academic interests include Biblical Hebrew and Semitic Linguistics. He also teaches Biblical Hebrew to bible translators.