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Jesus And The Land: The New Testament Challenge to Holy Land Theology Paperback – Apr 1 2010
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From the Back Cover
"Gary Burge has made a valuable contribution to the ongoing matter of the 'Holy Land' so contested by Israelis and Palestinians. He recognizes the powerful impulse to a territorial dimension in much of Judaism. But then he reflects on New Testament texts--notably those by Luke, John, and Paul--to see that Jesus and the early church distanced themselves from any territorial dimension of faith. This leads Burge to offer a powerful, compelling critique of 'Christian Zionism,' to which 'the NT says: No.' Clearly a faith that intends to reach Gentiles must, perforce, refuse any closed tribalism that makes exclusive territorial claims. Burge's reading of Scripture is persuasive and provides a fresh way to think about 'faith and land.'"--Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
"Burge writes out of a deep knowledge of Scripture and personal acquaintance with the Middle East to demonstrate how the concern for the geographical land in the Old Testament is transmuted into concern for a spiritual inheritance for God's believing people, both Jewish and Gentile, in the New Testament. His exposition of the biblical material offers a gracious corrective to some inadequate and misinformed ideas about the role of Israel in the plan of God and about the Palestinian-Jewish situation and has important consequences for Christian belief and behavior. I warmly commend this thorough and scholarly but nevertheless clearly and simply written presentation."--I. Howard Marshall, University of Aberdeen
"Burge may be American evangelicalism's foremost expert on a biblical theology of the land of Israel. This book reintroduces sanity, common sense, and exegetical acumen into a discussion that often sadly lacks these traits. Absolutely essential reading for any Christian who wants to hold a biblically defensible position on the topic."--Craig L. Blomberg, Denver Seminary
"Burge's accessible consideration of 'holy land theology' in relation to New Testament texts cannot be overlooked. From now on, Christians who wish to engage responsibly with this highly charged and controversial issue will need to interact fully with Burge's careful, constructive, and challenging presentation."--Bruce W. Longenecker, Baylor University
About the Author
Gary M. Burge (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of New Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. His published works include The New Testament in Antiquity: A Textbook for Students; The Bible and the Land; Jesus, the Middle Eastern Storyteller; the NIV Application Commentary on the Letters of John; and the NIV Application Commentary on the Gospel of John. He has also been active as a speaker and writer evaluating Christian Zionism within the evangelical world.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I was thinking it was going to just be a book to counter the many modern arguments in support of modern Israel, but instead it is a fairly thorough historical march through the Bible, covering the covenant, the promises, and the importance of the land along the way. Most of the way through, it spoke so much in favor of the importance of the land, that I thought it was going down a path other than what I thought the intent was. Then as he approached the New Testament, and the new covenant, the shift began, and the last couple chapters examine the view of the land in those last days for the Christians.
Kenneth Gentry recently commented, saying this book is one of a few books that has greatly shaped his view of Israel and the land, and that after reading this and the couple others, if someone still could cling to a modern dispensational view of the land, then they are probably beyond hope (that is a paraphrase as I understood it).
Maybe this book had more of an excitement and impact on me due to it's heavy look into Israel's past and understanding of the land, since I had recently finished the Resurrection and the Restoration of Israel: The Ultimate Victory of the God of Life which examined a lot of historical understandings in Hebrew thought; but either way, this book was full of great content, history, and biblical conclusions. I have so many highlighted remarks throughout, it would be hard to narrow it down to give a brief synopsis, but I just encourage you to check this book out if you have any interest in the modern crisis in Israel over who has the rights to the land.
1) The author paints a broad (and wrong) portrait of the opposing viewpoint. This allows him to repeatedly set up straw men and knock them down. I do not think this is fair to the author's readers, who might be investigating this topic for the first time. It would have been better for Burge to deal with the Biblical texts that he disagrees with instead of creating his own opponents.
2) Throughout this work, the author ignores the Old Testament claims/prophecies associated with Israel. He holds to a view called Replacement Theology, though I am sure he would deny that wording. But that is exactly what it is. The author views the Old Testament through the lens of the New instead of using the Old Testament as the foundation for the New. One must ask: Can the NT be interpreted without the Old? This is what the author attempts in this work. He often questions why the NT does not address the Land but then fails to address the question: why would the NT need to repeat what is so clear already in the Old?
3) The author also misinterprets some parables of Jesus, such as the parable of the talents, into being about land ownership. This is a funky way to interpret the text and no doubt stems from the author's replacement theology views.
Overall, I am disappointed with the book.