Television Special on A Prayer to Our Father!

We just finished a great television interview in Odessa, Texas on Prime Time Christian Broadcasting’s program “Light of the Southwest”. The 2-hour television special will air this Wednesday night Aug 26 at 8-10pm (central time) and will be re-broadcast three times on Thursday Aug 27 at 1-3am, 7-9am, and 2-4pm. The program can also be watched at the above times on the station’s website (the link is on the left-hand side under “Watch GLC Live!”). We are excited that this program will be broadcast throughout West Texas and New Mexico as well as via satellite throughout North American, India, the Middle East, East Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia, North Africa, and the Philippines.

Bookstore Event in Charlotte

Things are really starting to happen! Our joint Colorado Springs presentation was a resounding success. After that event, Nehemia went on a 7-state speaking tour and we are now back together in Charlotte. This week we are doing three radio interviews and tonight we have a book event at Joseph-Beth Booksellers (South Park Mall, Charlotte), which is carrying our book. Next week we fly to Texas to film a 2-hour television special on Prime Time Christian Broadcasting.

Speaking in Charlotte

This coming Sunday, July 26 at 4-6pm, my co-author Keith Johnson and I will be speaking on our book “A Prayer to Our Father” at the Doubletree Inn & Suites in Charlotte, North Carolina (6300 Morrison Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28211). The event will be sponsored by “United Israel” of Charlotte and hosted by Dr. James D. Tabor, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

We will also be doing a live interview on “Charlotte Talks” with WFAE host Mike Collins on Thursday, July 23rd, 9am (90.7FM).

In the coming weeks I will also be speaking in Boulder and Colorado Springs, Colorado, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in Borger, Texas, and in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Details for these events are posted on the appearances page.

I currently have a few open dates in my itinerary in August so if you would like me to come and speak at your congregation, please contact me.





Keith Johnson’s Sermon

I am currently traveling in the US speaking on my new book “A Prayer to Our Father”. This last Sunday my co-author Keith Johnson and I presented the book at a “Prayer and Reconciliation” meeting hosted by Sanctuary Covenant Church of Minneapolis, MN. The event was attended by 250 people from a wide variety of ethnicities and religious persuasions and denominations. At the meeting, the “Lord’s Prayer” was recited in 5 languages: English, Spanish, Swahili, French, and Hebrew.

Earlier that day Keith gave a sermon at the church based on information in our book. This was actually the first time I had ever been to a church service. I am not exaggerating when I say that Keith’s sermon was the most powerful and moving speech I have ever heard in my life. At several points in the sermon I was brought to tears! I want to strongly encourage both Jews and Christians to listen to this sermon, which is posted on the website of Sanctuary Covenant Church. The sermon is called "Get a Bigger Box" from July 12, 2009.

An mp3 of the sermon is also available.

Nehemia Gordon
Reporting from Charlotte, North Carolina


Pictures of Israel and New Endorsements of A Prayer to Our Father

Photographs of historical sites in Israel mentioned in “A Prayer to Our Father” by Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson have been posted on the book’s Facebook page.

The book continues to receive rave reviews and endorsements. One of the more notable comes from Professor Curtiss DeYoung of the prestigious Bethel University in St. Paul Minnesota who wrote:

“There is much power in this story. And along the way the insights gained from reading the prayer with a Hebrew lens fascinate and inspire.”

Curtiss Paul DeYoung, Professor of Reconciliation Studies, Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota

A number of Hebrew roots advocates have also written rave reviews including the following:

“I really enjoyed your book. I got quite emotional and not a little jealous of your experiences. Having been to Israel several times and experienced the amazing little treasures the LORD puts in our path, I really got into your adventure…”

Michael Beer,

“Wow! What an adventure the new book by Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson brings us… one cannot read nor understand the “Our Father” prayer the same way ever again…”

Robert Glantz, Webmaster, What Would Yahushua Do?

Numerous other endorsements from readers around the world have been posted on the testimonials page.

The book can be purchased from the order page.

The book is also available now from

World-Renowned New Testament Expert Endorses A Prayer to Our Father

Dr. James Tabor, a world-renowned archaeologist and New Testament scholar, has written a very positive review of “A Prayer to Our Father” by Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson. Dr. Tabor is a professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and author of the book “Restoring Abrahamic Faith”. Here is what Dr. Tabor wrote:

A Prayer to Our Father: Hebrew Origins of the Lord’s Prayer by Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson released the first week of June, 2009. It represents a rare and uncommon collaboration between Nehemia Gordon, a Jew devoted to the ancient Hebrew faith, and Keith Johnson, a dedicated African American Christian believer and pastor. The book is as much about the remarkable relationship of these two men, and how they embarked on a common quest for the historical and Hebraic origins of the prayer, as it is about the understanding of the prayer itself.

Both men represent truly remarkable stories. Gordon, a Chicago native, who now lives in Jerusalem, is a scholar with B.A. and M.A. degrees in Biblical Studies from Hebrew University. Son of an orthodox Rabbi, but now identified with the Karaite Jewish community, Gordon was fired at an early age to forge his personal understanding of his Jewish faith based on a direct study of the Hebrew Bible. Johnson, who now lives in Charlotte, NC, has his Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical and is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church. He has served as pastor of Park Avenue Church in Minneapolis, and as chaplain of the Minnesota Vikings.

The book is written in an autobiographical style that pulls the reader into an engaging, unfolding story, that is every bit an adventure in learning and discovery. The most remarkable aspect of this story for me was to see how Johnson, as a devoted Christian seeking the Hebraic roots of Jesus (Yeshua), was drawn to study Hebrew with Gordon, and how Gordon in turn, without sharing Johnson’s messianic views, could nonetheless wholeheartedly participate in the historical quest for the Hebraic roots of Jesus’ most famous and well-known teaching–the Lord’s Prayer. This symbiotic relationship alone makes the book stand out as a unique and singular contribution that can be of great interest to both Christians and Jews.

But what is just as remarkable are the results of the historical investigation itself. Johnson and Gordon take turns narrating their stories in a gripping first person style. Central to the book is an analysis of the Prayer as it appears in the various copies of Hebrew Matthew preserved by Ibn Shaprut, a 14th century Rabbi living in Spain. This is the text of Hebrew Matthew (called Even Bohen) that Professor George Howard brought to the attention of the academic world in 1987 (see my notes and summary). I agree with Howard, as do Gordon and Johnson, that this version of Matthew is not merely a translation of our Greek New Testament manuscripts, but represents an independent and ancient source written originally in Hebrew that was passed down in rabbinic circles for centuries. Hebrew Matthew offers us an opportunity to examine the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples in the original Hebrew, rather than an approximated version based on a translation from the Greek.

The book is divided into two "terrains," one geographical and the other textual. Gordon and Johnson first examine all available evidence as to where Yeshua might have taught the prayer. They take the reader to all possible geographical locations, from Jerusalem to the Galilee, based on references in the New Testament and other early Christian sources. At each place they relate their own experiences and analysis of what appears to have been the most likely setting for the "mountain" scene depicted in Matthew 5 and Luke 6. They then turn to a line by line, phrase by phrase, analysis of the prayer in Hebrew, compared with the traditional English translations that are based on the Greek. There are surprises and insights at every turn, and frankly, I don’t want to spoil the adventure for readers by revealing in this informal review much about the content. Let me just tantalize a bit here and say that no one reading this book, whether Jew, Christian, Muslim, or secularist, will ever be able to think of, much less pray, the AVINU (Hebrew for "Our Father") prayer in the same way again. One’s understanding of the simple power and meaning of this prayer will be thoroughly enlightened and transformed. I am pleased to recommend this book to any and all who will take up the challenge to expand their horizons and experience the excitement of historical and textual investigations. You will not be disappointed.

Dr. James D. Tabor, Chair, Deptartment of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Jerusalem Rabbi Endorses New Book on the Lord’s Prayer

Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman, a Jerusalem-based rabbi, has written a resounding endorsement of the new book “A Prayer to Our Father: Hebrew Origins of the Lord’s Prayer” by Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson. Rabbi Weiman-Kelman is the congregation rabbi of Kol HaNeshama, a synagogue in southern Jerusalem affiliated with the Reform movement. He also teaches prayer and liturgy at the Hebrew Union College, the flagship seminary of the Reform movement, located in downtown Jerusalem. Reform Judaism is the largest Jewish denomination in the world. Here is what Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman has written about the book “A Prayer to Our Father”:

“I just finished the book and really enjoyed it. I teach liturgy at the Hebrew Union College so I know how important and difficult it is to teach and write about the topic. A Prayer to Our Father is a multi-layered love story: the love of prayer, the love of learning, the love of the land of Israel, the love of the Hebrew language, and the love of Judaism and Christianity. It is part detective story, part guide-book, part text-study and all love. It is also a fabulous model of chevruta (the interactive Jewish learning model) – two people learning together, challenging each other and inspiring each other. Both Jews and Christians could learn a great deal from this book – about their own and each others traditions. I highly recommend it!”

Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman, Congregation Kol HaNeshama, Jerusalem

These and other endorsements are posted on the testimonials page.

The book can be purchased from the order page.

Hebrew Roots Scholars on A Prayer to Our Father

Two experts on the Hebrew roots of the New Testament have given resounding endorsements of the new book A Prayer to Our Father by Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson. Jerusalem-based Avi Ben Mordechai is the author of numerous books on the “Hebrew roots” including the famous Messiah series and a Hebraic commentary on Galatians. Brad Scott of Wild Branch Ministry teaches all over the world on the Hebrew meaning behind key New Testament words and concepts. Here is what these Hebrew roots experts have written about the book “A Prayer to Our Father”:

“Coming from dramatically different backgrounds, these two men unite with Biblical truth in mind to reveal the brilliant simplicity of the Hebrew language and culture that has always patiently stood in the shadows of our English versions. Another treasure in the text I highly recommend.”

Brad Scott, Wild Branch Ministry

“A Prayer to Our Father is clearly a book of spiritual insights and interpretive applications to everyday life!”

Avi Ben Mordechai, Millennium 7000 Communications

These and other endorsements are posted on the testimonials page.

The book can be purchased from the orders page.