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By Daniel C. Juster Th.D.
Recently I was asked to review two books that have a very negative slant on the modern State of Israel. I wrote a lengthy letter to one of the authors and have had extensive dialogue with the brother who recommended one of the books. Both books emphasize in detail Israel's sins against the Palestinian Arabs (as if this should change our understanding of what Scripture says?). There is plenty of factual material for both Israelis and Palestinians to make a one sided case against the other. However, the most alarming assertion in these books was that because the New Testament does not explicitly emphasize the promise of the Land to the Jewish people, this must not be a continuing promise. In addition, both authors held that the New Testament re-interprets the Old Testament and universalized the idea of the Promised Land as a place for all God's people. "The meek shall inherit the earth."
A recent book by a very prominent Catholic also used the idea of the New Testament as re-interpreting the Old. The Roman Catholic Church has repudiated replacement theology; the idea that the Church has replaced Israel or is the superceding ongoing meaning of Israel. However, this book described the Church as forming a new universal Israel with greater transcendent significance. It argues that the New Testament teaches that the Church, to a significant degree, is the fulfillment of the promises to Israel. The choosing of 12 disciples is given as further evidence. In this viewpoint, old Israel is not rejected (which is contrary to official Catholic doctrine) but is certainly diminished.
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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicted, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Tikkun International, Inc. is not affiliated with TIKKUN magazine,
the Institute for Labor and Mental Health, or Rabbi Michael Lerner.
Tikkun International, Inc. is not affiliated with TIKKUN magazine, the Institute for Labor and Mental Health, or Rabbi Michael Lerner.