Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Reformed Baptist Saying Wacky Things

John Reisinger insisted folks on my email discussion group should read this article by Jim Gunn: What the Prophets Had to Say. I was told it was a good treatment on biblical hermeneutics with regards to eschatology, Israel, and the Church.

I found this interesting nugget by Pastor Gunn who writes,

The modern country in the Middle East that is called Israel is not the Israel of God’s prophecy in the OT. Israel as a nation disappeared when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70. No one living today or any time in the future can prove that he is a Jew. All the genealogical records were destroyed and after centuries of intermarriage there is no such person as an ethnic “Jew”.

So, if he is right, does that mean Hitler and the Nazi's made a blunderous mistake with that Holocaust thing in World War 2? They gassed the wrong people!?

That Masoretic OT was put together by elves?

Just wondering...

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Blogger donsands said...

My business partner, Meir, is a Sabra, and loves Christ. He stills speaks fluent Hebrew, and is a Hebrew. He is one bold Jew for Jesus, let me tell you.
Does he know what tribe he is from? No.

I agree that the Temple being destroyed and the Jews being dispersed was God's way of showing the world, and His people, there's a new covenant, and the old covenant has waxed old and so:

"In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away."

There are two flocks (Jews & Gentiles), made to be one fold, with One Shepherd.

12:22 PM, January 02, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

But that is far different that saying "no one living today or in the future can prove he is a Jew." They may not know specifically what tribe they are from, but it is undeniable historical fact that the Jewish people have pretty much maintained their ethnic identity even after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Interestingly, Mormon geneticists looking for the Lamanites, were able to identify a distinct Semitic Jewish race of people.

12:53 PM, January 02, 2010  
Blogger Matt Waymeyer said...

"Israel as a nation disappeared when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70."

Of course, then there's Jeremiah 31:35-36: "Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; the LORD of hosts is His name: 'If this fixed order departs from before Me,' declares the LORD, 'then the offspring of Israel also will cease from being a nation before Me forever.'"

1:48 PM, January 02, 2010  
Blogger donsands said...

"the Jewish people have pretty much maintained their ethnic identity"

I concur.

Israel did disappear when the Lord judged Jerusalem.

However, there is since 1967 a nation and a Jerusalem once again. A Christ rejecting Jerusalem under God's wrath, nonetheless, a Jerusalem.

I have a question about Jer. 31. There's no question God is speaking about Israel with the new covenant, but doesn't Hebrews expound upon this and include all believers, Gentiles as well?

"God made the old covenant with the nation of Israel and gave the people the laws written on tablets of stone. He establishes the new covenant with the believer in Christ and writes God's law on the believer's heart." -William Hendriksen

4:07 PM, January 02, 2010  
Blogger David said...

If you're a classic (partial) preterist, you're sawing off your limb if you say that there are no Jews left, and you're about a step and a half away from Marcion. Even St. Augustine said that the Lord preserved the Jews so that no one could say that Christ came out of nowhere.

4:38 PM, January 02, 2010  
Blogger Highland Host said...

Way to over-react to Zionism, pastor Gunn. The fact that some people make way too much of the existence of Israel today and practically allow the Israeli government to get away with murder (this is a rhetorical expression, folks!) does not mean that we ought to pretend that ethnic Israel no longer exists when it rather blatantly does!

I have of course heard this chestnut before. The fact is that the Jews have a pretty solid cultural identity, and have maintained it, by and large, for centuries. The loss of the genealogies does of course mean that no-one living today can know if they are from David's line or not, and so no Messiah can come for sure from that line today - in other words, the Messiah's identity could not be confirmed unless he came before AD 70.

7:33 AM, January 03, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Don asks:

I have a question about Jer. 31. There's no question God is speaking about Israel with the new covenant, but doesn't Hebrews expound upon this and include all believers, Gentiles as well?

I believe Jeremiah 31 specifically has the people of Israel in mind with its promise, but the greater implications of that covenant included not only Israel as a people, but the entire world. Christ's redemptive work fulfilled the promise of the NC with its application extending to the gentiles at this point in history. That is what Hebrews is expounding upon. Where as the remainder of the prophecy, what is spoken in Jeremiah 31:38-40 about the permanence of the nation of Israel, is an eschatological realization still in the future.

6:39 AM, January 04, 2010  
Blogger donsands said...

Thanks Fred.

Could the verses 38-40 refer to Nehemiah rebuilding the Walls?

Or is the Lord going to build a Jerusalem like Nehemiah did when He comes back; and yet a little different in dimensions?

"Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and set its doors. They consecrated it as far as the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Tower of Hananel." Neh. 3:1

7:23 AM, January 04, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Could the verses 38-40 refer to Nehemiah rebuilding the Walls?

Perhaps, but Nehemiah's building projects have a difficult time fulfilling the final words in the oracle: "It shall not be plucked up or thrown down anymore forever." This happened again in 70 A.D., I believe to fulfill Daniel's prophecy regarding desolation in 9:24ff. Nothing in either Jeremiah or Hebrews suggests to me that I have to re-interpret Jeremiah's prophecy to be "spiritual Israel" or "spiritual Jerusalem" etc. I take it at the prophet's word.

7:29 AM, January 04, 2010  
Blogger The Squirrel said...

"That Masoretic OT was put together by elves?"

A little known fact that is quite true! The best examples are the Codex Mirkwoodicus and the Codex Northpolicus. Mirkwoodicus is treated with more seriousness, as many scholars consider Northpolicus to be little more then a toy.


5:17 PM, January 04, 2010  
Blogger Jeff Dolanmicscit said...


I bumped into a Reformed Baptist guy who told me that there was no pure Jews left in the world. He thought that I would disagree with him but I told him that it is an old story. After Rahab there was a line of Jews that were not pure and then you get to Ruth the Moabitess, and then King David was not a "pure" Jew. Jesus had both of these woman in His lineage so technically Jesus was not a "pure" Jew.

So I asked this reformed man just what he was trying to prove by his statement. He offered no defense and just walked away.

My question to you Fred, has anyone approached you with this line of whatever he was trying to prove by that statement?

Thanks Fred,

Jeff Dolan

8:15 PM, January 04, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

My question to you Fred, has anyone approached you with this line of whatever he was trying to prove by that statement?

Yes I have, though not along the same lines of argumentation. We use to have a group of radical, anti-dispensational, replacement protesters who would come to Grace Church a few years ago. It was during the time the Iraq war was hot and heavy. They didn't like that John had made positive comments about the war on a Larry King Live program he was on.

Ultimately, the ring leader named Charles, who I emailed a bit after their "protest," was anti-Semitic. His main argument was that all Jews disappeared after 70 AD and they are no longer alive on the earth. The people in Israel who call themselves "Jews" are really of Turkish descent.

I am not really sure what their motivation for believing such nonsense truly is. They certainly hate Israel and Jews and they also have it in for anyone who argues for a biblical restoration of Israel in the last days.

I wrote about one of their protests HERE

4:50 AM, January 05, 2010  
Blogger DJP said...

Let me just raise a dram of (virtual) 17yr Lagavulin to toast the return of Highland Host to these parts.

9:08 AM, January 07, 2010  
Blogger Lynda O said...

Interesting -- I have to deal with Reformed, no-future-for-Israel people here locally, but I've never heard them claim that people don't even know if they're Jews or not -- only that they don't know what tribe. (I have heard, from one disp. premill preacher who thinks the 10 tribes were actually lost, that there are people descended from Jews -- the 10 lost tribes all those years ago -- who don't know they are Jews and yet for the future program God considers them as Jews... but that's another matter.)

Apparently the Jews can now identify a "levite" gene and some of them know that they are of the tribe of Levi. What is your understanding on that?

I wonder, does John Reisinger actually think this, too? Or does he concur that they know they are Jews but not which tribe they're from?

8:44 AM, January 08, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

I am not sure what Reisinger's take is on that. It would surprise me he blew over that comment when he read the article.

Though granted Jews cannot identify their specific tribes at least at this point in time, it is just wrong to the point of foolishness to claim no one can know they are really a Jew or not. Perhaps the pastor overstated his comment, but from the overall tone of the article, it appears to me he believes it.

The DNA stuff is interesting, but I can't make any authoritative comment about it. I trust God to know who goes to which tribe.

8:56 AM, January 08, 2010  

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