Friday, October 24, 2008
Israel in the NT
A good little article to read on Israel in the NT is by Stephen Voorwinde, 'How Jewish is Israel in the New Testament?' Reformed Theological Review 67 (2008), 61-90. It is a good piece though I might have slightly different takes on Gal. 6.16 and Rev. 7.4-9.
Voorwinde makes three basic points: (1) The Church in the NT does not replace Israel, rather, it is engrafted into Israel; (2) There is still a bright prospect that a majority of Jews will yet believe the gospel; and (3) Evangelistically, it means we should continue our witness to the Jewish people.
I think this a good summary since the language of 'new Israel' or 'true Israel' occurs nowhere in the NT and 'Israel' is usually an ethnic category (even in Rom. 11.25-26). I prefer to speak of the church as the representative of Israel in the messianic age and (with other Jewish Christians) are part of the Israel-within-Israel.