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Supersessionism, the Holocaust, and the Modern State of Israel
Theological Studies ^ | Michael Vlach

Posted on 06/08/2014 10:22:57 AM PDT by wmfights

Perspectives concerning supersessionism have been seriously affected by two twentieth-century developments—the Holocaust and the establishment of the modern state of Israel. These events have pushed questions and issues concerning Israel and the church to the forefront of Christian theology.[1]

More than any other event, the Holocaust has been the most significant factor in the church’s reevaluation of supersessionism. According to Irvin J. Borowsky, “Within Christendom since the time of Hitler, there has existed a widespread reaction of shock and soul-searching concerning the Holocaust.”[2] Peter Ochs asserts that Christian reflections on the Jews and Judaism after the Holocaust “have generated theological questions of fundamental significance.”[3]

These questions include: (1) “What are Christians to make of the persistence of the Jewish people?”; (2) “Is the Church the new Israel?”; (3) “What of Israel’s sins?”; and (4) “What of Israel’s land and state?”[4] The answers to these questions in recent years indicate a reaction against supersessionism. Clark M. Williamson states, “Post-Shoah [Destruction] theology” among contemporary theologians “criticizes the church’s supersessionist ideology toward Jews and Judaism.”[5]

The establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 has also raised questions concerningIsrael and the doctrine of supersessionism. Herman Ridderbos lists some of them:

The existence of Israel once again becomes a bone of contention, this time in a theoretical and theological sense. Do the misery and suffering of Israel in the past and in the present prove that God’s doom has rested and will rest upon her, as has been alleged time and again in so-called Christian theology? Or is Israel’s lasting existence and, in a way, her invincibility, God’s finger in history, that Israel is the object of His special providence (providential specialissima) and the proof of her glorious future, the future that has been beheld and foretold by Israel’s own seers and prophets?[6]

Commenting on the events of the Holocaust and the establishment of the Jewish state, R. Kendall Soulen states, “Under the new conditions created by these events, Christian churches have begun to consider anew their relation to the God of Israel and the Israel of God in the light of the Scriptures and the gospel about Jesus.”[7] This includes a “revisiting [of] the teaching of supersessionism after nearly two thousand years.”[8]

[1] “Since the tragic events of the Shoah and the birth of the modern State of Israel on May 14, 1948, the interest shown in God’s ancient people has been widespread and sustained.” Ronald E. Diprose, Israel in the Development of Christian Thought (Rome: Istituto Biblico Evangelico Italiano, 2000), 1.

[2] Irvin J. Borowsky, “Foreward,” in Jews and Christians, 11. According to Peter Ochs, “Christian theologies of Judaism have been stimulated, instructed, or chastened by the memory of the Holocaust – the Shoah (‘Destruction, Desolation’).” Peter Ochs, “Judaism and Christian Theology,” in The Modern Theologians, ed. David F. Ford (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1997), 607. Boesel says, “Overcoming the tradition of supersessionism constitutes the heart of what is commonly understood as responsible Christian response to the Holocaust.” Christopher Jon Boesel, “Respecting Difference, Risking Proclamation: Faith, Responsibility and the Tragic Dimensions of Overcoming Supersessionism” (Ph.D. diss., Emory University, 2002), 11.

[3] Ochs, 607.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Clark M. Williamson, A Guest in the House of Israel (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox, 1993), 7.

[6] Herman N. Ridderbos, “The Future of Israel,” in Prophecy in the Making: Messages Prepared forJerusalem Conference on Biblical Prophecy, ed. Carl F. H. Henry (Carol Stream, IL: Creation, 1971), 316.

[7] R. Kendall Soulen, The God of Israel and Christian Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996), x.

[8] Ibid.


TOPICS: Charismatic Christian; Evangelical Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: holocaust; israel; supersessionism; theholocaust
The existence of Israel once again becomes a bone of contention, this time in a theoretical and theological sense. Do the misery and suffering of Israel in the past and in the present prove that God’s doom has rested and will rest upon her, as has been alleged time and again in so-called Christian theology? Or is Israel’s lasting existence and, in a way, her invincibility, God’s finger in history, that Israel is the object of His special providence (providential specialissima) and the proof of her glorious future, the future that has been beheld and foretold by Israel’s own seers and prophets?[6]
1 posted on 06/08/2014 10:22:57 AM PDT by wmfights
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To: wmfights; Kandy Atz; Mrs.Z; CynicalBear; Iscool; amigatec; kjam22; boatbums; imardmd1; metmom
Dispensationalist Caucus ping

If you would like to be added to this ping list please mail me.

2 posted on 06/08/2014 10:25:11 AM PDT by wmfights
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To: wmfights

Jews vote (if they may on this forum) for the latter. Here is an interesting audio class, for those inclined to study the...opposition(?) on the prophesies of the (Jewish) Bible and the miracles that have maintained our tiny minority among the nations— the sheep among the wolves, to borrow an analogy.

http://www.simpletoremember.com/media/a/rabbi-berger-7-wonders-jewish-history/


3 posted on 06/08/2014 10:42:23 AM PDT by Phinneous
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To: wmfights

Would anyone think that Jews in Israel would give a damn about this kind of nonsense?


4 posted on 06/08/2014 10:46:09 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: wmfights
"(2) “Is the Church the new Israel?”"

Yes.

5 posted on 06/08/2014 10:46:38 AM PDT by Wyrd bi ful ard (Pope Calvin the 1st, defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades)
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd

Maybe Israel is the new “Church”, and always was.


6 posted on 06/08/2014 10:50:40 AM PDT by Daveinyork
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To: wmfights

The events in the article throws a monkey wrench into the machine of supersessionism...

That, with the world positioning against Israel coupled with the Vatican in hot pursuit of the Throne of David in Jerusalem ought to wake anyone up who takes the bible seriously...


7 posted on 06/08/2014 11:02:20 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: onedoug

Kind of :

“At a gala dinner in New York in 1980, Prime Minister Begin bestowed upon Falwell a medal named for Vladimir Jobotinsky, the right-wing Zionist leader. In 1981, when Israel bombed the nuclear reactor in Iraq, Begin immediately called Jerry Falwell for support”.http://iraqwar.org/fundamentalists.htm

BTW, I didn’t read the substance of the article, just googled Begin and Falwell to answer your question.


8 posted on 06/08/2014 11:11:43 AM PDT by gusopol3
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To: Daveinyork

Maybe Israel’s work was done the second Christ gave up His ghost on the cross of our salvation, and Israel is behind the curve because it fails to recognize Christ’s Divinity.


9 posted on 06/08/2014 11:25:06 AM PDT by Wyrd bi ful ard (Pope Calvin the 1st, defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades)
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd
The church is not now nor never will be the “new Israel.” Hasn't God showed you people a million times AND IN THE SCRIPTURES that Israel is the twelve tribes who made up the Kingdom of Israel under King David. Show me in the new Jerusalem which has 12 gates to enter a Church gate. There is none. The Bible is about Israel, to Israel, for Israel and written by Israel. The “church” is a man made Roman religion made up to REPLACE Israel. Man makes plans and God laughs…Read your Bible!
10 posted on 06/08/2014 12:01:55 PM PDT by ladyL
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To: gusopol3

Well, you got me. Though I was coming at it more from an OT perspective, which admittedly, in context does seem a bit selfish.

I’ll try to do better. Thanks.


11 posted on 06/08/2014 12:29:51 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: Iscool
That, with the world positioning against Israel coupled with the Vatican in hot pursuit of the Throne of David in Jerusalem ought to wake anyone up who takes the bible seriously...

Amen Brother!

We see these things right in front of us and yet people don't think it's real.

12 posted on 06/08/2014 12:31:03 PM PDT by wmfights
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd

Read Romans 11 and you will see why they are “behind the curve”.


13 posted on 06/08/2014 12:32:27 PM PDT by wmfights
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To: ladyL
"The church is not now nor never will be the “new Israel.”"

Au contraire. Christ fulfilled the Old Covenant and instituted the New Covenant. In Christ, Israel consists of all believers.

"28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[g] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise." Gal 3:28-29.

"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And whosoever shall follow this rule, peace on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God." - (Galatians 6:15-16)

The Israel of the OT prefigures the Israel of the NT. Mana kept the old Israelite's bodies alive, the bread of the NT, Christ's Flesh, keeps the new Israelite's souls alive. The old Israelites had a temple made with hands, the new Israelites in Christ have a temple made without hands, built in three days. The old Israelites were the 12 tribes of Israel, the new Israelites are all those, Jew and gentile, who are in Christ. The old Israelites were given the Jerusalem of the promises land, the new Israelites are given the heavenly Jerusalem of Christ's kingdom which is not of this earth. The old Israelites will one day be accept Christ en masse, and will be fully within the New Covenant, as are the new Israelites.

As a Christian, I am an Israelite of the New Covenant. I am of Zion, of the new Jerusalem.

And one note, "The Bible is...written by Israel"" is a statement which requires correction. The Bible is written by God Himself, not Israel.

14 posted on 06/08/2014 12:53:34 PM PDT by Wyrd bi ful ard (Pope Calvin the 1st, defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades)
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To: wmfights
Most of the churches that have re-evaluated supersessionism after the Holocaust took the left wing, ecumenical route and are today fanatically anti-Israel. Fundamentalists were opposed to supersessionism before the Holocaust . . . in some cases as far back as the seventeenth century.
15 posted on 06/08/2014 12:57:29 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (The Left: speaking power to truth since Shevirat HaKelim.)
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd; wmfights
As a Christian, I am an Israelite of the New Covenant. I am of Zion, of the new Jerusalem.

For you have not come to what may be touched....

Links that may come in handy, later in the thread:

  1. Godwin's Law
  2. "Big Lie".

16 posted on 06/08/2014 1:18:10 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise" Gal 3:29)
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To: wmfights
If God's covenant with Israel was forfeited because of faithlessness and not following the Word of God, why should God keep his covenant with the Church? The Church is "at least as guilty" as unbelieving Israel. Perhaps more so...to whom much is given, much is required...

The truth is that the "time of the gentiles" is almost up and God's grace will be turned back to the people of Israel...whom the prophet Hosea says "...were not his people...", then says "...they will be my people once again..."
17 posted on 06/08/2014 2:11:34 PM PDT by Jan_Sobieski (Sanctification)
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To: Lee N. Field
Concerning "Godwin's Law"...it is an interesting observation (even though not a Law). I believe the prevalence of NAZI hyperbole is because the looney left has conditioned our younger generations (and low information voters) into believing that communism is a left wing movement and National Socialism (NAZIism) is a right wing movement. Of course this is not true. Both are totalitarian big government leftist movements.

When you go to college campuses anywhere, it seems the looney left is winning this battlefield of the mind. They have succeeded in creating a "straw man" of conservatives that they knock down any time conservatives dare question the West's retreat from biblical morals and rule of law.

Liberal theologians capitalize on this and accuse the right of "reductio-ad-hitlerum" to silence any criticism of their un-biblical support of Supersessionism. If God's Word states that He would bring the children of Israel back to their land in the last days...and that Israel would miraculously be "saved" out of their unbelief (Jeremiah 30), what are followers of Christ supposed to think of Supersessionism's proponents? Scary!
18 posted on 06/08/2014 2:38:37 PM PDT by Jan_Sobieski (Sanctification)
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To: wmfights
Thanks for the ping.

I’m sure the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 caused those who don’t understand prophesy and the place of Israel in God’s plan some serious angst. If not it should have.

19 posted on 06/08/2014 3:08:50 PM PDT by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: wmfights
I believe John 3 and Romans 9-11 (particularly 11) are NT passages that support a restored Israel. We must remember that Jn 3 was given by the Messiah to an Israelite, before the rejection of their Messiah. Yet Jn 3 is how the Gentiles are saved, the Remnant is saved, and according to Romans 11, how ALL Israel (at that particular time) will be saved. THAT is what Ezekiel 36 is about...the grafting of Israel back into the Root.

Ezekiel 36

16 The word of the Lord came to me: 17 “Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds. Their ways before me were like the uncleanness of a woman in her menstrual impurity. 18 So I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood that they had shed in the land, for the idols with which they had defiled it. 19 I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries. In accordance with their ways and their deeds I judged them. 20 But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that people said of them, ‘These are the people of the Lord, and yet they had to go out of his land.’ 21 But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came.

22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. 23 And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. 24 I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. ***DOES MAN, JEW OR GENTILE GET SAVED ANY OTHER WAY? THIS IS JN 3)*** 28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29 And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you. 30 I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.

33 “Thus says the Lord God: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt. 34 And the land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by. 35 And they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’ 36 Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I am the Lord; I have rebuilt the ruined places and replanted that which was desolate. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.

37 “Thus says the Lord God: This also I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them: to increase their people like a flock. 38 Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

20 posted on 06/08/2014 3:27:44 PM PDT by uptoolate (Republicans sure do like their liberalism)
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd
Au contraire. Christ fulfilled the Old Covenant and instituted the New Covenant. In Christ, Israel consists of all believers.

So God came to Earth manifest in the flesh as the Jewish Messiah, got rejected and killed, and that was fulfilling the old covenant???

The old Israelites were the 12 tribes of Israel, the new Israelites are all those, Jew and gentile, who are in Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[g] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

There's your answer right there...No Jew nor Greek...No Israel nor Gentile...

As a Christian, I am an Israelite of the New Covenant. I am of Zion, of the new Jerusalem.

You just showed with scripture that there are no Israelites in Christ...There aren't any men nor women...I am happy to know that as a Christian I am not an Israelite but am in Jesus Christ...

21 posted on 06/08/2014 3:37:23 PM PDT by Iscool
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To: Iscool
"So God came to Earth manifest in the flesh as the Jewish Messiah, got rejected and killed, and that was fulfilling the old covenant???"

http://www.broomallrpc.org/index.php/articles/how-jesus-fulfills-the-old-testament -- I would just post it here but its rather long, but very clearly explains Christ's fulfillment of the Old Covenant.

"You just showed with scripture that there are no Israelites in Christ...There aren't any men nor women...I am happy to know that as a Christian I am not an Israelite but am in Jesus Christ..."

I don't think it means that there is literally no Jews or Gentiles, because clearly there are. Rather, that in God's eyes all His people are equal and the saved who are Israelites by blood are not superior to the saved who are Israelites by Christ.

22 posted on 06/08/2014 4:13:19 PM PDT by Wyrd bi ful ard (Pope Calvin the 1st, defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades)
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To: Jan_Sobieski
The truth is that the "time of the gentiles" is almost up and God's grace will be turned back to the people of Israel...whom the prophet Hosea says "...were not his people...", then says "...they will be my people once again..."

Amen!

The only thing I would disagree with you on is even though it sure seems like the Tribulation is right around the corner we just don't know how soon.

23 posted on 06/08/2014 5:10:17 PM PDT by wmfights
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To: CynicalBear
I’m sure the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 caused those who don’t understand prophesy and the place of Israel in God’s plan some serious angst. If not it should have.

Amen!

24 posted on 06/08/2014 5:13:10 PM PDT by wmfights
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To: uptoolate
I believe John 3 and Romans 9-11 (particularly 11) are NT passages that support a restored Israel.

I do to.

Thank you for bringing Ezekiel 36 into the discussion as well.

The existence of Jews and the nation of Israel despite all the persecution, the holocaust, several arab attacks and political pressure should open everyone's eyes, but it doesn't. We don't know if this is the national Israel that God will transform into a believing Israel or if they will be scattered again, but they continue to exist despite all the odds that are stacked against them.

25 posted on 06/08/2014 5:21:52 PM PDT by wmfights
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd

Maybe not.


26 posted on 06/08/2014 5:34:34 PM PDT by Daveinyork
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To: gusopol3

27 posted on 06/08/2014 7:32:49 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Paladin2

I’ve been wondering.


28 posted on 06/08/2014 7:58:24 PM PDT by gusopol3
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To: onedoug
Would anyone think that Jews in Israel would give a damn about this kind of nonsense?

Maybe. I would think that most of the Hebrew race would prefer not to be superceded. Being supplanted might be a bit different issue. For now, the OT prophesied true constituents of His Bride has temporarily displaced His preference for His brethren above other nations, but has not superceded His Father's promises to the Friends of The Bride.

29 posted on 06/08/2014 8:39:13 PM PDT by imardmd1 (Fiat Lux)
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd

While “Israelites” may have failed to recognize The God’s Messiach, it’s pretty obvious that The God has not failed to recognize “Israelites,” however they at this tine regard Him.


30 posted on 06/08/2014 8:48:55 PM PDT by imardmd1 (Fiat Lux)
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd

Hmmm...and what happened to Abraham’s Covenant? and yes I didn’t clarify that Yahweh wrote the Bible through Israelites I Know not Timothy.,,however that is another long story going way back to Gen 12:3 ending in Gal 3:29 via Gal 3:8


31 posted on 06/10/2014 8:30:13 AM PDT by ladyL
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