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Predestination and the Jews in Romans 9 — 3 Comments

  1. Wow David!

    Forgive me, I didn’t know you were this awesome of a writer before I offered you that .02 per word work!

    I had no idea you were a master of Biblical exegesis as well! This article blew me away…Now I have to break out the book of Romans. Hated / loved less is a Judaism that is a sticking point to many beginner Bible students. Good info. Another is “The Kingdom of Heaven” Many consider it as only the place you go , if saved, after death (or purgatory for us Catholics) Where really, the Kingdom of Heaven also refers to a “set of laws” or a dominion here on Earth…As in, the Kingdom of God is upon you. How ’bout a post on that? Do you take requests? Great job here bro!

  2. Oudated and flawed argument fails for the following reasons:

    1) There was no monolithic Judaism in Paul’s day. So what “Judaism” are you contrasting Paul the Jew with?

    2) There is no evidence that any sectarian Jewish group in the 1st century practiced “works righteousness.”

    3) Justification by faith is by the faith of Jesus Christ, not the faith of the believer. The Greek expression in the NT is a subjective genitive, referring to Jesus.

    4) In the end Paul believes that Israel will be saved.

    5) Your argument is supersessionist. God;s covenant with Israel was never revoked.

    • Thank you for your comments, Kevin and AM.

      AM, I don’t understand how you reached your conclusion from what I wrote. Perhaps I did not express myself as clearly as I thought I did. But anyway, you have started a dialog, and that is always good. Now as to your points:

      1) There were many strains of Judaism in Paul’s day. Within each of them, a few believed Paul’s message; most did not. The entire parenthesis is devoted to explaining why most Jews did not believe his message. So here’s the contrast: Jews like Paul within the church vs all the rest.

      2, 3) Here, you are careless. Works righteousness, or justification by works, as Paul carefully explains throughout Romans and points to in most of his other writings, means trying to get right with God through performing works of the law. All Jews who were at all serious about being right with God tried to do so by keeping the law, until some of them discovered the gospel. In Romans 9:30-33, Paul explicitly says that the Gentiles had no interest in getting right with God, but found themselves justified because of their faith (their faith, not Jesus’). In contrast, he says just as explicitly that the Jews tried to justify themselves by works of the law and failed, on the grounds that their attempts to justify themselves left trusting God out of the picture. God alone can justify, and he will not justify anyone trying to buy or earn what he intends only as a gift.

      4, 5) The conclusion of the parenthesis, in chapter 11, certainly says that all Israel will be saved. Through all of the three chapters (9-11) Paul denies in several ways that God had revoked his covenant with Israel. My objective was to explain why Romans 9 has been misinterpreted for so long and why today’s Christians have so much trouble accepting it. I am not a supersessionist, and as I say, I don’t understand how you concluded that I am. But if I did not express myself clearly, I am grateful that you gave me the chance to clarify.

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