Since the horrific sequence of events that started on October 7, I have been asked about the historical roots of the conflict.  Much of the important information is well known and easily accessible, from the biblical accounts of the Conquest of the Promised Land, up through 1948, on to the Second Intifada, till today.  I won’t be covering this information here, and I will not be offering my political or personal opinions on the matter.  I will instead provide some important and widely unknown historical information on one of the significant aspects of the matter.

In a section of my book Armageddon: What the Bible Really Says About the End, published earlier this past year, I discussed how the expectation that “The End is Near,” largely based on interpretations of the book of Revelation, came to affect broad swaths of American culture in ways that almost no one would suspect.  I should say emphatically that I’m not one of those religion scholars who thinks religion is at the heart of everything.  But it is at the heart of some things, and one of those things is American foreign policy on the Middle East.

One question few people have asked (and fewer answered correctly) is: what lies at the heart of the widespread support of Israel among American evangelical Christians?  I stress:  I’m not taking a political or personal stand here on the blog on this issue.  I’m interested in the historical question.

The question is particularly intriguing because, as one recent NY Times editorial indicated, support of the nation of Israel is widely attested among Christians who are otherwise opposed to Jews and Judaism and are often antisemitic.  How does that work exactly?

In my book I address the question.  In one way the answer is simple, but in another way, the history is complex.  In my explanation I begin with the French Revolution.

I bet you didn’t see that coming.

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