Ever since his mission president in Florida assigned him to make the Jews in Miami his special project, Bradley J. Kramer has been passionate in learning about and from the Jewish people. This has included studying Hebrew, visiting synagogues, attending seminars and Torah classes, and doing everything he could to understand better how Jews approach their scriptures. Also holding an MA in English (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and being a devoted student of the Book of Mormon, Bradley Kramer in Beholding the Tree of Life invites his Mormon readers to "understand the things which were spoken unto the Jews . . . [through being] taught after the manner of the things of the Jews" (2 Ne. 25:5). The book fits well the main purpose of the Contemporary Studies in Scripture series of Greg Kofford Books in its exploration of the "richness and complexity found in the standard works."
Following Nephi, who understood "the things of the Jews" and who "beheld" the tree of life in his vision, Kramer invites his readers to use rabbinic principles embodied in Nephi's vision in order to read the Book of Mormon more carefully and rigorously. These principles were put forth by the Talmudic sages, developed by classic medieval Jewish commentators, and emphasized by many contemporary rabbis. In this book that links rabbinic approaches to the Hebrew scriptures and studies of the Book of Mormon, Bradley Kramer sets forth tools developed through centuries by rabbis that help one connect to Jewish modes of studying scripture and help one find greater meanings in the Book of Mormon.