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Unhealthy Theologies of Israel

Perspective Paper

One of the primary reasons why GCFI exists is to guide the Church on what a healthy understanding of Israel can look like. This paper will outline some of the most common errors, misconceptions and unhealthy teachings about Israel and the Jewish people.

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This is a part of our series of Perspective Papers. These papers are not official statements or positions from Gateway Church, but are our thoughtful perspectives on complex issues related to Israel.


Introduction

Scholars endlessly debate with one another about the meaning of history, the interpretation of ancient texts, and the ever-evolving implications of archaeological data. GCFI does not pretend to have the perfect answer to every question about Israel and the Church. We aim to discuss these topics with honesty and humility, admitting our own finite perspectives and opinions. However, we also believe that it is important to speak out on key issues that are facing the Church today. It is important for believers in Jesus to be able to distinguish between the many theological approaches to the topic of Israel. This is one of the primary reasons why GCFI exists—to guide the Church on what a healthy understanding of Israel can look like. The following paper will outline some of the most common errors, misconceptions and unhealthy teachings about Israel and the Jewish people.

History of Theology on Israel

As with most subjects, the best way to understand how we got to where we are today is to look back on where we’ve been. Please note that the following discussion will attempt to cover 2,000 years of history in a few short paragraphs. The informed reader may detect some generalizations, primarily because the recounting of history is never straightforward or simple. History can be very selective, and a wider narrative is often necessary to make sense of the breadth of available data. Therefore, we encourage you to seek out other papers and resources on our website to learn more. (For a good introduction to this topic, see specifically the book by Edward Kessler listed at the end of this paper in the additional resources section.)

Undeniably, Christianity began as a late Second Temple Jewish sect in first-century Roman Judea. Within the not-too-distant past were the events of the Maccabean revolt against Antiochus Epiphanes that led to the establishment of the Hasmonean dynasty. It was not more than a century after Hasmonean autonomy ended and Judea became a Roman vassal state that a Jewish rabbi from Nazareth named Yeshua (Jesus) began calling together his small band of disciples. As the inhabitants of Judea were still living under Roman occupation, the first-century historian, Josephus, explains that there were “zealots” who wanted to overthrow the Romans and return to the days when Israel was its own autonomous nation. Some scholars suggest that one of the twelve disciples, “Simon the Zealot” (Luke 6:15), associated with this group. Regardless, the expectation for the restoration of Israel was palpable enough that the last question the disciples reasonably asked Jesus on earth was whether the time had finally come for him to inaugurate the Kingdom of Israel and reign from Jerusalem (Acts 1:6).

Over the next few decades after Jesus’s ascension, as the gospel went out to the nations and the Gentile presence increased in the predominantly Jewish movement, questions concerning the identity and future of Israel abounded. The Apostle Paul traveled extensively and wrote prolifically to combat the numerous heresies that were cropping up about Gentile circumcision and the relationship of faith to membership in the family of God. To make matters more complicated, a series of zealot revolts culminated alongside of this ever-expanding movement until Rome could no longer bear it. The destruction of the Temple in 70 CE marked the beginning of the end for the renewed Jewish dream of national autonomy in the land of Israel. On par with these historical developments, an irreversible trend began to surface in subsequent generations of Jesus followers—a centrifugal motion away from Jerusalem, both physically, after the destruction of the Temple, but also theologically in Christian allegorical interpretation of the Bible. You can read more about the so-called “Parting of the Ways” in our paper on The Jewish Foundation of Christianity.

Within just a few centuries after the disciples’ hopeful expectation for the restoration of Israel, a new group of Christian leaders began to believe that the Jewish people lost their status as “Israel” and were instead replaced by a universal body of believers from all nations who became the true, spiritual Israel. A watershed moment occurred in 380 CE when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. In the centuries that followed, a series of Roman and Byzantine emperors supported legislation that increasingly limited the rights and freedoms of the Jewish people and prohibited Christians from any association with Jewish customs or culture. As a result of the Church’s hostile stance toward Jewish people, violent acts of antisemitism were often committed in blood libels, expulsions, and forced conversions throughout history; these at times leading to more systematic and insidious events such as the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition, which later formed the seedbed for the Holocaust in the heart of Christian Europe. Thus, when we look back on the long history of the Church’s relationship with Israel, we immediately face the pain and suffering of countless Jewish people, young and old, who lost their lives simply on account of their being Jewish.

After the gradual parting of the ways in the fourth and fifth centuries, there were a few fringe groups who related positively to the Jewish people, but, by and large, antisemitic teaching continued to negatively portray the Jewish people for another millennium. The next turning point did not happen until the sixteenth-century Augustinian monk, Martin Luther, wrestled with the doctrines and biblical interpretations of the Roman Catholic Church. Though Luther held an early love for Jewish people, he sadly changed directions later in life and did not remedy the Church’s views on Israel. Historians accurately suggest that his sermons against the Jewish people would one day be the rhetoric that lay beneath the soil of Nazi propaganda in early twentieth-century Germany. However, the Protestant Reformation that followed as a result of Luther’s resolve nevertheless catapulted the literal interpretation of Scripture to the forefront, allowing the biblical concept of “Israel” to undergo revisions by a new generation of readers.

The European Enlightenment, beginning at the end of the seventeenth century, ushered in the age of reason and scientific empiricism, influencing the burgeoning Protestant movement in more ways than one. The idea that the word “Israel” in the Bible could literally refer to a reconstituted national Israel began to gain more popularity. Over the course of the next two centuries, numerous writers and theologians began to author biblical commentaries and write theological treatises on the subject of Israel in Scripture, arguing that God’s purposes with Israel were not finished and that the Jewish people would one day be restored to the land of Israel (McDermott 2016). It was during this period that Count Zinzendorf also helped to establish the first congregation specifically formed for Jewish Christians. Indeed, many other significant developments continued to blossom throughout this period, paving the way for the movement that would later be termed “Messianic Judaism” (Rudolph and Willitts 2013: 25-36).

In the modern era, the events of the Holocaust and the ensuing establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 thrust the question of Israel into the spotlight and caused the Church to more deeply consider its theological relationship with the Jewish people. We are still feeling the reverberations of these events today, which in large part is why the Gateway Center for Israel exists. In 1962, the Catholic Church convened the Second Vatican Council and formally condemned the belief that the Jewish people were guilty of the death of Jesus and began discouraging missionary activity to the Jewish people. This is but one example of a recent radical shift in theology on Israel that should challenge us: In a post-Holocaust world, is it insensitive or even inappropriate to evangelize the Jewish people?

Although the global Church in some places has become more receptive of and positive toward our fellow Jewish brothers and sisters, there is still much work to be done. Replacement theology is only one part of the problem. If we validate the existence of Jewish people who believe in Jesus not just as those who assimilate into the Church but as those who form their own unique Messianic Jewish identities, a host of other theological dilemmas begin to surface. The remainder of this paper will survey a few of the most common aberrations that are encountered as one examines the different Israel-related ministries in the context of the Church.

Christian Zionism

Perspectives on Christian support for the nation of Israel and the details of the biblical land promise are diverse and highly controversial.

Zionism is both an ideology and a movement that promotes the establishment and maintenance of a Jewish state in the historic land of Israel. It is called Christian Zionism simply whenever those who are upholding this belief are Christians. Part of the reason for Christian support of a Jewish homeland can be a desire to correct the Church’s long history of antisemitism and the atrocities of the Holocaust. Feeling shame for the past, some Christians become political and spiritual advocates with the mindset, “It’s the least we can do.” Other Christians have a more nonchalant approach, knowing that Jesus was Jewish, and the stories of the Bible took place in the land of Israel, so why wouldn’t we support Israel? Still others broach the topic in a more systematic way, arguing that Christian Zionism is a theological conviction that all believers should espouse.

In general, GCFI maintains that the Church should be wary of conflating the modern nation of Israel with the Israel of biblical prophecy. As believers in Jesus who seek to interpret the Bible carefully, we must acknowledge a present and future reality for the Jewish people in the land of Israel. But is that future divorced from belief in Jesus as Messiah? If that were the case, then we might inadvertently begin teaching a dual-covenant theology, wherein Jewish faithfulness to God has no connection to faith in Jesus. This is precisely what some of the most prominent Christian Zionist organizations believe, which we will explain further below in our section on dual-covenant theology.

We should not ignore individual destinies for the sake of corporate destinies. What is a nation without its people? Israel ceases to be Israel when it becomes merely a future ideal, separated from the reality of each individual that makes up the corporate. We can talk abstractly about “God’s purposes for Israel” without ever affirming that individual faith remains centrally important. The on-the-ground reality in Israel proves that Jewish believers in Jesus are the minority. Ideally, we believe Christians should be quick to support indigenous Israeli believers first, with support of the nation of Israel following closely thereafter. Furthermore, anyone who has spent time in the land of Israel will acknowledge that the Jewish people share the land with their Palestinian brothers and sisters and are surrounded by Arab nations on all sides. The proper formulation of any kind of Christian Zionism must also always take into account God’s heart for the descendants of Ishmael.

Unfortunately, many Christian Zionist organizations do not cultivate these kinds of relationships with indigenous Jewish or Arab Israeli believers, preferring instead to support well-intentioned government-backed humanitarian aid projects rather than the many resident believers and congregations based in Israel. We believe that the Church should be more discerning in this regard. We should moderate our support and be cautious of arguing that everything Israel does is sanctioned by God. Just because the Bible speaks positively of a national Israel does not mean that the modern nation state of Israel can do no wrong (just the same with the government in the United States, or any state government).

However, using this same train of thought, some anti-Zionists argue that the existence of Israel is not legitimate because the majority of the nation has yet to acknowledge Jesus as Messiah. This is partially a valid argument, but there is a balance that must be struck. On the one hand, ethnic Israel (whether believing or not) has a pre-existing land promise that stretches back to Genesis 12. But on the other hand, that same Israel is subject to certain stipulations in the fulfillment of the promise. For this reason, many Ultra-Orthodox Jews do not even support Zionism. They argue that Zionism is a secular philosophy that should not be supported by Jews, because it conflates Jewish identity with nationalism and does not honor the covenantal stipulations laid out for Israel’s possession of the land. Suffice to say, there are many erroneous forms of Christian Zionism that support the nation of Israel without any regard to the standard ethical obligations that any twenty-first century nation should be held accountable to.

But all of this does not mean that we should disregard the existence of Israel and champion anti-Zionist agendas until the nation becomes a theocracy with Jesus on the throne in Jerusalem. This would be a misunderstanding of how God has always worked out his purposes from within nations and political systems throughout history. Paul knew very well the difference between the elect “remnant” and the “rest” of Israel (Rom 11). He did not collapse the distinction, as if he believed that faithfulness to Jesus was not necessary for all of Israel. He urged the Church to hold onto the hope that one day “all Israel will be saved” (Rom 11:26). We must never forget that there is a vibrant and growing remnant of Jewish and Arab believers in Jesus who live in the land of Israel and whose prayers and worship are daily ascending before the Lord. When Elijah lamented at the people’s unbelief and their violence toward the prophets, God assured him that he had kept for himself a remnant, seven-thousand strong. Paul appealed to this story and argued in his own day that there was such a remnant (Rom 11:5). Likewise, we can confidently declare the same today!

Whether or not the elect remnant of Israel has a sanctifying effect on the larger whole, there still remains a purpose for Jewish people who do not believe in Jesus. Within God’s plan for world redemption, a mutual humbling occurs between the simultaneous inclusion and exclusion of those who do not believe in Jesus. This is exactly what Paul describes in Rom 11. The unfaithfulness of Israel led to the Gentiles receiving faith. Thus, God included and used Jewish people who did not believe in Jesus for his purposes—while also excluding them for their unbelief. Some of the branches of Israel were “broken off” in order that believing Gentile branches might be grafted in, yet the broken-off branches can always be grafted back in, if they do not continue in their unbelief (Rom 11:23).

The criterion of inclusion versus exclusion rests upon faithfulness to Jesus, but, at the same time, any exclusion of Israel has always anticipated a future inclusion. This is why Paul can boldly call those of Israel the “natural” branches and unequivocally argue, “The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable” (Rom 11:29). It is not enough to say that only Jews who believe in Jesus are uniquely beloved by God. That would be the opposite point Paul makes in these verses since he specifically says that Jewish people who do not believe in Jesus are nevertheless “beloved on account of the patriarchs” (Rom 11:28). God will remain faithful to his ancient promises to the Jewish people, not merely as a means to an end, but because he has covenanted himself in unconditional love to them.

All Christian Zionism must be tempered with the reality that Jews who believe in Jesus are the minority in Israel and that the destiny of the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael are intricately intertwined. While we can hope and pray along with the Apostle Paul that the entire nation “may be saved” (Rom 10:1), we should also not shy away from calling out any injustice or misguided policy that the secular government of Israel supports. We recognize that Jewish people who do not believe in Jesus are still beloved by God, and the literal, corporate, and national restoration of Israel is a key aspect of New Testament faith. Above all else, we promote a Christian Zionism that lifts up and blesses the indigenous Jewish and Arab believers in Jesus who are daily laboring in the land of Israel for the sake of the gospel, and we reject any Christian Zionism that seeks to sidestep the present-day offer of Good News to Israel or to silence the voice of Messianic Jews or Arab believers in the land.

Dual-Covenant Theology

A common teaching that accompanies some forms of Christian Zionism is the belief that God’s covenant with Israel remains separate from the redemptive work of Jesus. It is important to spell out exactly how this takes shape in the Church.

If the Jewish people have an irrevocable covenant with God and one day “all Israel” will be saved, as Romans 11:26 indicates, then it might seem like God has a separate way of dealing with Israel than he does with other nations. The twentieth-century Jewish theologian, Franz Rosenzweig, is often credited as the major pioneer of this teaching that the Jewish people do not need Jesus. In the end, the dual-covenant theology that Rosenzweig and others like him taught was that the Jewish people are saved through Torah and not through Jesus. In contrast to major Jewish-Christian relations efforts that draw out similarities between the two faiths, the dual-covenant position argues for respectful exclusivity: The Jewish people have their own way to God just as the Christians do, so there is no need for evangelizing or trying to convert each other.

Dual-covenant theology is continuing to gain popularity today in many forms, but it should be rejected by the Church on the grounds of the written Scripture: “Salvation is found in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12), for Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through [him]” (John 14:6). Although Paul affirms ethnic distinction in saying that he was called to minister to the uncircumcised while Peter was called to the circumcised (Gal 2:8), he explicitly condemns any notion that there are two separate gospels for Jews and Gentiles, “For if justification could be gained through the Law, then Christ died for nothing” (Gal 2:21). Some prominent dual-covenant teachers re-read these passages by inserting the word “Gentile” into the text: “For if justification could be gained for Gentiles through the Law, then Christ died for nothing,” implying that justification for Jews through the Law is valid. But this is clearly not the force of what Paul is arguing in Galatians.

Nevertheless, some scholars more subtly argue for “unrecognized mediation” by appealing to the mystery of a wider hope—that somehow Jesus is involved in the redemption of Torah-observant Jews who do not explicitly acknowledge faith in Him. A similar suggestion is made by proponents of natural law who question the eternal status of all those who died before ever having the opportunity to hear about Jesus in their lifetime. These are difficult issues to consider, but we still lean on the plain scriptural truth that the assurance of salvation comes only by faithfulness to Jesus as Lord. We appeal to God’s mystery and relentless love, but we also resist lapsing into complete universalism. Paul specifically says that he continues to pray for the salvation of his kinsmen who are zealous for the Law but nonetheless do not know God as revealed in Messiah (Rom 10:1-4). It does not make sense for Paul, himself a Jew, to say these things if he thought that the salvation of Jewish people rested outside of Jesus.

While dual-covenant theology rightfully supports the ongoing ethnic distinction between Jews and Gentiles in the Church, it ultimately alienates the Jewish people entirely from salvation in Jesus. At the center of the New Testament’s theology, and even within the word “Christian” itself, is an unflinching and uncompromising devotion to the centrality of “the one Lord, Jesus the Messiah, through whom are all things and through whom we exist” (1 Cor 8:6). Therefore, the Church has a sober responsibility to reject dual-covenant theology and any derivations of it that serve to undermine Jesus’ Lordship over Israel and the Jewish people.

One Law Theology

The opposite extreme of dual-covenant theology is what has come to be known as “One Law” theology. The recent re-interpretation of key passages in the New Testament has led to the revolutionary claim that there is no such thing as a “Law-free” gospel. It is true that Jesus, his disciples, and even Paul were all Torah-observant Jews who maintained a lifestyle steeped in Jewish practices and traditions. Recognizing these facts, an increasing number of scholars are now rightfully arguing that the New Testament authors assumed Jewish followers of Jesus will continue identifying as Jews and seek to live a Torah-observant lifestyle—not as a means of justification, but as a means of identification with the covenants and promises God made with Israel. We at GCFI support this nuanced understanding of Jewish covenantal identity according to the New Testament. However—as the name implies—One Law teaching does not stop merely with Jewish observance of the Law. Because Gentiles have been “grafted in” (Rom 11) as full-fledged covenant members with Israel, they argue, that must mean that the Law also remains valid for Gentile believers. In other words, all Christians, whether Jewish or Gentile, must observe the Law of Moses.

Right at the start, there are multiple inconsistencies with this position that must be pointed out. First, different advocates of One Law theology disagree on how to define observance of “the Law,” but many teach that this involves Rabbinic Jewish traditions, some of which are not found at all in Scripture. More often than not, these ideas concerning the Law stem from confusing what the Old Testament says with what Rabbinic Judaism says. You can learn more about this subject in our papers on the Jewish Foundation of Christianity. The historical development of Jewish legal traditions (halakha) is an entirely separate issue of its own, but the traditions in the Mishnah and Talmud should not be conflated with those found in the Hebrew Scriptures. One Law teachers argue that they are utilizing a literalist interpretation of the Bible. But, ironically, some of the Jewish traditions they teach are, literally, not found in the Bible.

Secondly, the question of Gentile Torah-observance was definitively answered by the First Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. Luke recorded that within the first-century community in Jerusalem, a disagreement arose from some Jewish believers in Jesus who argued, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1). The first to disagree with them were Paul and Barnabas who arrived bearing news of the many Gentiles who came to salvation and who received the Holy Spirit before their very eyes. But even after hearing that the Gentiles were worthy to receive the Spirit, there were still some believers who were arguing, “It is necessary to circumcise them [the Gentiles] and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses” (Acts 15:5). Presumably, the theology of these so-called “believers from the sect of the Pharisees” would have likely resembled that of One Law advocates.

But the story doesn’t end there. The apostles and elders of the Jerusalem congregation gathered together to debate the issue and decide what measure of the Law the Gentiles should keep. The chapter records, “after there had been much debate,” Peter was the first to speak, recounting his recent experience with the conversion of Cornelius’s household:

And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us [the Jews] and them [the Gentiles], cleansing their hearts by faith. Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are (Acts 15:8-11).

After Peter took his seat and Paul and Barnabas gave further testimony, James, the leader of the congregation, concluded that Gentile believers in Jesus should not be commanded to keep the Law of Moses. Rather, the council decided only to require four specific things for Gentile converts to abstain from: (1) sexual immorality, (2) blood, (3) strangled foods, and (4) food sacrificed to idols. The point is, the New Testament clearly teaches that there is no “One Law” that both Jews and Gentiles are called to observe.

Like we mentioned above, One Law teaching is related to the important assertion that much of the Law remains applicable for Jewish believers in Jesus. For this reason, it seems very close to the truth and might even be attractive to Christians who emphasize the continuity between the Old and New Testaments. But, as the saying goes: The most dangerous of all falsehoods is a slightly distorted truth. By teaching Gentiles to observe the Law of Moses, One Law teachers inadvertently erase the ethnic distinction between Jews and Gentiles taught in the New Covenant Scriptures. Certainly, the assertion that Gentiles must convert to Judaism and thus become Jews is the opposite of teaching that Jews must convert to Christianity and become Christians. But both teachings equally result in the supersessionist erasure of ethnic distinction and particularity. Thus, One Law theology is but another form of replacement theology. Gentiles are not called to observe the Law of Moses, but rather to remain distinct through non-observance. Any assertion to the contrary would be to directly violate the decision of the apostles at the First Jerusalem Council in Acts 15.

Hebrew Roots Movements

Closely related to the teachings of One Law theology is the belief that the early Church was corrupted by pagan Greek and Roman influences and should thus return to its “roots” in observing the Torah and identifying itself as Israel. Some who hold to this position argue that Gentile Christians are really the Ephraimites (the ten lost tribes of Israel), and others argue that the ancient Jewish synagogue is the correct and ideal model for Christian worship. Milder forms tend to just emphasize a grassroots return to the Jewish roots of Christianity. We have already touched on this issue in our paper on the Jewish Foundation of Christianity, but it remains a problematic teaching that results in the dismissal of much of valuable Church history and the core of Christian faith and practice.

Although not written from a Hebrew Roots perspective, the book, Pagan Christianity, by Frank Viola and George Barna, is a provocative look at the many secular influences that have shaped Christian religious practices over the centuries. There is certainly some merit in recognizing the many abuses and doctrinal freedoms that the “institutional” Church has taken throughout its history. But Evangelical Protestantism is similarly guilty of the same kinds of creative liberties when considering how it looks far less like Judaism than even the historic Church does. Comparatively, the ancient liturgical traditions of the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches resemble Jewish liturgies in many respects. Therefore, we as Protestants should not be so quick to discount the historic Church and its worship practices.

We can rightly understand that when one begins to excavate the historical basin from which Christianity emerged, an irreconcilably Jewish story emerges. Jesus and his earliest disciples were all thoroughly Jewish and desired to stay within the bounds of first-century Judaism as reformers and not separatists. Yet within decades after the Apostle Paul died, the Church began to gradually separate from its Jewish roots. The Saturday celebration of Sabbath and the annual calendar of Jewish festivals was soon displaced by worship on Sunday and a new set of Christian festivals. All that was Jewish quickly became anathematized, and a new, separate religion emerged. It is true that the Church of today looks very different than the Church of the first century.

But in regard to this picture, the question is, should the Church of today really look exactly like the Church of the first century? Even despite what Hebrew Roots advocates say, there is much continuity between the ancient Jewish synagogue and the early Church. Many Christian liturgical symbols and elements were patterned specifically upon biblical descriptions of the Tabernacle of Moses and the Temple of Solomon. Even the preeminent Christian practice of the Eucharist (Communion), evolved within Jewish traditions of liturgical blessings over bread and wine in the context of the feast of Pesach (Passover). Furthermore, we must never forget that the supposed “Christian” sacraments of baptism, holy matrimony, confession of sins, and the anointing of the sick all originated from within a Jewish context and were replicated by the earliest Christians who were themselves Jewish.

The discussion of pagan influences on Christianity brings up another important philosophical question. Does the history of a practice always determine its present value? In other words, if certain ancient Christian practices are linked to paganism, does that mean we should completely disregard them, or can we celebrate them today for what they have come to represent? To claim that worshipping on Sunday stretches back to the pagan worship of the sun god versus the true, biblical worship that was meant to take place on Saturday is one of the more far-fetched (and historically weak) theories. Similarly, suggestions that the name Easter comes from the Saxon fertility goddess Eostre or that the date of Christmas originated with the pagan festival of Saturnalia do not do justice to what these holidays have come to represent in the Christian imagination. A call to rediscover the Jewish roots of the Christian faith is not a call for every believer everywhere to reject Christian holidays and to only observe the Jewish festivals. Once again, this kind of teaching only further blurs the line between Jews and Gentiles, eliminating the important God-ordained distinction between Israel and the nations.

We at GCFI certainly stress the importance of affirming the Jewish foundation of Christianity, but we also recognize the value and beauty in the distinctive history and theology of the ecumenical Church. Therefore, we cannot support any Hebrew Roots teaching that disparages the Christian Church as a corrupt or obsolete representation of God to the earth. We wholeheartedly believe in the “one new man” vision of Eph 2, where all the distinctive qualities of the Gentile Church are mutually and synergistically partnered in unity with Jewish synagogal expressions of faith in Messiah.

Conclusion

Although there are a seemingly infinite number of theological approaches to the subject of Israel, we have outlined above some of the most common views that Christian believers are likely to encounter in the context of the Church. Throughout this paper we have also included many links to our other papers that explain even further problematic teachings in depth. The book is not closed, so to speak. The conversation remains ongoing as we at GCFI are committed to educating the global Church on both the challenges and blessings of engaging with God’s heart for Israel and the Jewish people.

Additional Resources

  • The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel and the Land, edited by Gerald R. McDermott. IVP Academic, 2016.
  • “The Problem of Two-Covenant Theology,” Kai Kjaer-Handsen. Mishkan, 21. 1994.
  • One Law, Two Sticks: A Critical Look at the Hebrew Roots Movement, International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues (IAMCS), 2014.
  • Jewish Roots: Understanding Your Jewish Faith (Revised Edition), Daniel Juster. Destiny Image Publishers, 2013.
  • Introduction to Messianic Judaism: Its Ecclesial Context and Biblical Foundations, edited by David J. Rudolph and Joel Willits. Zondervan, 2013.
  • An Introduction to Jewish-Christian Relations, Edward Kessler. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
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