Friday, October 21, 2005

Paul & Israel...

This is something I have never really found that interesting, but my friends [who will no doubt be reading this blog with great expectation, and are now about to be sorely disappointed] do find it a topic of interest and thus, since they claim exegetical support, it must become a small interest of mine too. Well, for next week Monday anyway since that's the only time I allow for spare reading!

I've been presented with two articles that suggest that there will be a great turning of the Jews in the end times, or at least that's what Paul appears to suggest in Romans 11. The articles can be found online, and they are: Justice, The Gospel and the Land of Israel and All Israel will Be Saved. This latter one is the one of most interest to me. Does Paul really believe that there will be a massive "revival" among the Jewish nation before the end? Chris notes a book: Israel in the Plan of God by Steve Motyer, but I've not read this.

Ben Witherington's commentary on Romans notes that "temporarily some Jews, but not all, are not part of the people of God because they have rejected Jesus' messiahship. Paul nowhere in Romans 9-11 suggests that there are two peoples of God." Witherington goes on to suggest that a reading of 11:25-26 would go: some Jews have been hardened until the full number of Gentiles are brought in (by grace through faith) and in the same manner all Israel will be saved. But he then seems to go on to suggest that "therefore, he is talking about a mass conversion of non-Christian Jews at the end of salvation history." [pg. 273-275]

Are there any good articles [online?] or books to read on this topic. Any serious NT exegetes who propose such, or a different understanding? [If memory serves, Wright totally dismisses such an idea of an eschatological revival of Jews...] Witherington's reading seems so awkward when I read Paul. Does this fit into the "Left Behind" category of more fiction than exegesis?
Help would be greatly appreciated.

1 comment:

eddie said...

I've emailed you some stuff on them. remember, the passage needs to be read in light of the whole of romans, that is, its place within the argument