Paul believed Israel’s Messiah had come. But what does this mean for Israel? Debate rages over Paul and supersessionism: the question of whether—and if so, to what extent—the new covenant in Christ replaces God’s “old” covenant with Israel. Discussion of supersessionism carries much historical, theological, and political baggage, complicating attempts at dialogue.
God’s Israel and the Israel of God: Paul and Supersessionism pursues fruitful discussion by listening to a variety of perspectives. Scot McKnight, Michael F. Bird, and Ben Witherington III consider supersessionism from political, biblical, and historical angles, each concluding that if Paul believed Jesus was Israel’s Messiah, then some degree of supersessionism is unavoidable. Lynn H. Cohick, David J. Rudolph, Janelle Peters, and Ronald Charles respond to the opening essays and offer their own perspectives.
Readers of God’s Israel and the Israel of God will gain a broader understanding of the debate, its key texts, and the factors that shaped Paul’s view of Israel.
Mike Bird and Scot McKnight have assembled an outstanding group of scholars to address an important and controversial topic: supersessionism. What I especially appreciate about this book is the care with which this complex concept is defined and contextualized. Readers will come away with a much clearer understanding of what the apostle Paul—himself a devout Jewish follower of Jesus—has to say about historic Israel and its relationship to the church.
—Craig A. Evans, Houston Christian University
A deeply illuminating and instructive starting point for anyone who wishes to enter into this crucial conversation.
—Matthew Levering, Mundelein Seminary
Recommended for all who want to know if Jesus and Paul thought God ended his covenant with Jewish Israel and transferred it to the gentile Church.
—Gerald McDermott, author of Israel Matters and Jesus Across the Millennia
This is an important collection of essays exploring what constitutes a faithful representation of the views and practice of Paul the apostle on the basis of his own testimony in the face of significant pressures in academic circles to affirm a two-covenant theology and make Paul a witness to the same.
—David A. deSilva, Ashland Theological Seminary
Michael F. Bird is academic dean and lecturer in theology at Ridley College, Australia, and author of numerous books, including An Anomalous Jew and Introducing Paul.
Scot McKnight is Julius R. Mantey Chair of New Testament at Northern Seminary, Illinois, and author of numerous books, including Reading Romans Backwards.