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Jesus and Israel: One Covenant or Two? [Paperback]

By Mr. David E. Holwerda (Author)
Our Price $ 19.98  
Retail Value $ 23.50  
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Item Number 144216  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   206
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.14" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.54"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 6, 1995
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802806856  
EAN  9780802806857  

Availability  58 units.
Availability accurate as of May 28, 2017 11:02.
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Item Description...
Revisiting the important topic of covenant fulfillment, Reformed theologian David Holwerda argues that God's promises to Old Testament Israel cannot be understood apart from Jesus Christ. Based on careful exposition of key New Testament texts-including a significant in-depth study of Romans 9-11-in dialogue with a wide variety of interpreters and theologians, Holwerda maintains that the Old Testament promises of God find their complete fulfillment in Jesus Christ and the church.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Hint: One  Feb 24, 2006
I agree with Steve Jackson's review: this is a good book. In particular, I think that Holwerda's work on the Gospel of Matthew here presents an extremely powerful case that where Israel failed, Christ fulfills the promises. The question essentially is, "Who is Israel?" The way to answer that, Holwerda says, is to look and see who fulfills those promises and there's our answer. As I said, he claims it is Jesus. I think if you are interested in eschatology, OT-NT continuity/discontinuity, cov. theology, etc., you should at least look at this book, if not buy it.

Why 4 stars and not five? It seems to me that despite all its lauditory acclaim, some of the more hermeneutical issues that separate dispensational premillennialists who will scream at this book are brushed over if not ignored. There's some really delicate issues regarding the nature of typology (c.f., Glenny's article in JETS 40, no. 4, 1997) that aren't sufficiently tackled here. I also wish Holwerda would have gone after or at least acknowledged works like *Dispensationalism, Israel and the Church*, edited by Bock and Blaising, since what the articles there say have huge implications for the plausibility or implausibility of Holwerda's arguments. The same may be said for that book with regard to Holwerda's arguments. I realize his book was not primarily an attack on dispensational eschatology and ecclesiology; but it seems to me that there are some important interlocutors in the entry-way that need to either be completely welcomed into the house or kicked out the door. So despite all its merits (and there are lots of them), there could have been some additional pages devoted to these other prolific writers. If there's a tiger in the corner acknowledge it. And Holwerda's opponents should acknowledge this work!
Balanced exegesis  Sep 12, 2003
It's widely stated that the holocaust has led to theological reexamination on the relationship between Christianity's understanding of Jesus and the relationship between Israel and the Church. Actually, that reexamination has been going on in Fundamentalist and Evangelical circles for a long time. In the 19th century, ex-Anglican John Nelson Darby developed a theory known as Dispensationalism. Prior to that time, theologians of all stripes saw the Church as the "New Israel" and saved Gentiles as replacing the Jews as God's people. It was believed that the Old Testament promises to the Jews had been fulfilled in the church. This view is known as "supersessionism" (sometimes called "replacement theology"). Dispensationalism advanced a novel interpretation of the covenantal structure of the Bible: the church is a "parenthesis" in history and as soon as Christians are "raptured," God will again deal with the Jews, who remain heirs to the Old Testament's promises. (This is why Fundamentalists are pro-Israel and see the Jews as the rightful owners of a good chunk of Middle East territory.) In recent years, liberal Christians (such as Cardinal Walter Kasper, head Vatican bureaucrat for Jewish/Catholic dialogue) have advocated a similar theory widely called "dual covenant theology" which teaches that God's covenant with the Jews hasn't been revoked they are in a saving covenant with God. This theory has more to do with religious pluralism than with the high view of Scripture advocated by Dispensationalists. (Most Dispensationalists do not think Jews can be saved without faith in Jesus.)

Prof. David Holwerda has advanced an excellent defense of the traditional view (at least as its understood by many Calvinists). He shows that the Old Testament promises (such as the temple and the land) find their fulfillment in Jesus. Besides refuting Dispensationalism, it is a "positive" presentation of the supersessionist case. Because he sees only one covenant, there is much more emphasis on fullfilment instead of "replacement." As Holwerda says, under New Testament teaching the children of Abraham have inherited the world, so it's hard to assert that the New Testament is attempting to take something from the Jews. Nonetheless, his exegesis of one of the New Testament's more difficult portions, Romans 9-11, indicates that Paul sees a continuing role for the Jews. (This is contrary to some Calvinists who see Romans 9-11 as dealing with spiritual Israel.)

My only complaint about this book is that Prof. Holwerda's historical survey in chapter 1 deals mostly with current thinkers. There is some discussion of contemporary thinkers such as Pinchas Lapide, Karl and Marcus Barth, and Rosemary Ruether. I would be interested in Prof. Holwerda's opinion of how orthodox thinkers have evaluated the relationship between Israel and the church.
Perpetuating the old Dogma  Jul 1, 2003
This is an excellent book for getting to know the standard but flawed Replacement Theology Christianty has handed down since the early gentile Church Fathers. It is very sad, however, that authors like Mr. Holwerda are not aware of the destructive and unsupportable nature of this old theological position. Thier heads are in the 2000 year old theological sand.

For accurate theological balance and history concerning crucial Jewish - Christian dialogue see books like: "The God Of Israel and Christian Theology" by Kendall Soulen, or "Has God Only One Blessing?" by Mary C. Boys, or "Our Father Abraham" by Marvin Wilson, or "Irrenconcilable Differences?" by both Christian and Jewish scholars, among many other sources of good, current information from respected Christian and Jewish theologians.


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