Will “All Israel” Be Saved? Really? Guest Post by Jason Staples

Here now is the third and final post by Jason Staples connected with his dissertation and now to be published book on what Paul meant that “All Israel will be saved.”  It’s a big issue.  Isn’t Paul the apostles of the “gentiles”?  Doesn’t he attack Jews and Judaism?  Doesn’t he think God rejected them because they rejected him?   What could Paul mean by this?


Jason argues that Paul does not mean what scholars have long argued and regular ole lay folk ...

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When Paul Says “Israel” Does He Mean “The Jews”? Guest Post by Jason Staples

Last week I posted the first of three interesting discussions by my erstwhile student Jason Staples, PhD in New Testament, currently teaching at North Carolina State University.  Here is the second post, with an even more challenging thesis that runs counter to what scholars have long said, but for which he makes a compelling case.  His fuller discussion will be found in the book he has coming out from Cambridge Press at the end of the year.


Jason will be happy ...

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Did Paul Really Think “All Israel Will Be Saved”? Guest Post by Jason Staples

One of the most thorough dissertations I’ve directed in recent years was by Jason Staples, called “Reconstituting Israel: Restoration Eschatology in Early Judaism and Paul’s Gentile Mission.”  It might be difficult for a lay person to figure out what it’s about from the title, but it was on a really significant topic that I think most any reader of the New Testament would see is important.  It involves the Apostle Paul’s views of Jews, Judaism, and the nation of Israel.


The ...

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Why Do Christians Try to Convert People?

I begin this New Year by addressing a really interesting question I received recently from a reader.  It’s a question that has rarely occurred to most people.  Today, we tend to think that religions are by their very nature interested in converting others to their views, that they just inherently evangelistic, missionary, proselytizing.  If you religion is “the right one,” wouldn’t you want everyone to agree with you, so they too could be right, instead of wrong?   Wouldn’t their salvation ...

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Heightened Opposition to Jews in Early Christianity

I have been outlining some of the issues that I may talk about in a book on the rise of anti-Judaism in early Christianity, if I write it.  In previous posts I have detailed some of the uglier Christian attacks on Jews and Judaism, almost all of them tied to Christian ways of reading the Old Testament that different from traditional, Jewish readings.  Some Christians claimed that Jews misread what God had told them in the Scripture, and that this ...

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When Christians Went on the Attack Against Jews

I return now, for a couple of posts, to my thoughts on the rise of anti-Judaism in the early Christian tradition, and my thesis that it was largely driven by a different way of reading the Bible, that the Christians insisted the Jewish scriptures were looking forward to Jesus as a suffering messiah who would die for sins, and in doing so fulfilled all sorts of prophecies, and most Jews thought this entire view was nonsense, if not blasphemous.

Here is ...

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Why Christians Needed an Old Testament: Pagan Attacks on the Faith

In my discussion why Christians claimed the Jewish Bible for themselves (and argued it no longer belonged to Jews), I’ve been focusing strictly on the relationship of Jews and Christians, for obvious reasons.  But as it turns out, there is more to it than that.   Here is an issue that is hardly ever talked about in the scholarship on the rise of anti-Judaism in early Christianity, let alone among lay people wondering about why mainstream Christianity became opposed to Jews ...

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The Jewish Bible in the Gentile Churches

I continue here with my thoughts about how Christians came to claim the Jewish Bible for themselves, and to argue that it no longer belonged to Jews.   I’ve already pointed out that the Jewish followers of Jesus (Many? Most? All?)  (I suspect the answer is “Most”), within a short time after his death (months?  a year?) began wonder why other Jews did not accept Jesus as the messiah.  After all, they themselves “knew” he had been raised from the dead.  ...

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How “Jews” Became “Children of the Devil” in the New Testament

I have just started getting into the meat of the book proposal I have written for myself about The Battle for the Bible, on how it is that Christians claimed that the Hebrew Scriptures belonged to them rather than the Jews, and how this is what ultimately led to Christian opposition to Judaism and the Jews who practiced it.    As the argument unfolds, I hope it will make increasing sense!  Here’s the next bit, dealing with how the process began.


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Should the Old Testament Even Be in the Bible?

A week or so ago I started to describe how I’m thinking of one of my future books, that I’m tentatively calling The Battle for the Bible.  The book (if I write it) will be about how Christians got the Old Testament and saw the Old Testament as *their* book rather than the Jews’, who had misinterpreted it and given up (without their knowledge) any claim to it.  My argument is that this dispute is what ultimately led to the ...

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