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Quote of the Week

William Dumbrell provides a good summary on Romans 11:25-27.

The exegesis of a vexed context such as Rom 11:25-27 must find a meaning within the total biblical expectations surrounding Israel.  In the final analysis, biblical exegesis must take place within the totality of the Canon.  Given this, the ‘all Israel’ who will be saved in Rom 11:25 cannot be national Israel, but will include the totality of Jews who, over the centuries and eons, turn back in faith to Israel’s Messiah.  Together with the Gentiles (who are being progressively saved in world mission) they will comprise the true Israel. (Dumbrell, Romans: A New Covenant Commentary, 117)

Categories: Quotes
  1. Kevin Pannebaker
    May 20, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    I’m just thinking out loud here, but is it possible in v. 26 that Paul is turning a corner in his thinking and expressing the “way” in which “all Israel” will be saved – namely, “The Liberator will come…He will turn away godlessness…(and) take away their sins,” – the emphasis being on “how” (i.e. the method/means) the Israelites will be saved – not on how many or who constitutes the “all?” I see there’s a colon after “as it is written:” in v. 26, and that’s what made me ask the question.

    (BTW, I’m not saying Dumbrell is incorrect. Typically, the focus of the controversy is on what “all Israel” means, and I’m wondering if it’s not more an issue that all Israel [i.e. the totality of Jews who through the eons of time have turned in faith to the Messiah] will be saved in the same way everyone else is saved – by the work of the Liberator through the New Covenant.)

    I’d be curious to know your thoughts.

  2. May 20, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    Paul understands Isaiah 59:20 (Rom 11:26-27) through the cross of Christ. Jesus, the Deliverer, is not coming “to” national Israel to save them only (read Isa 59:20), but he comes “from” national Israel to save both Jews and Gentiles. Both Jews and Gentiles are saved in the same way (by grace through faith in Jesus) and are grafted into the true holy olive branch–Jesus (Rom 11:11-24; Isa 11:1; Zech 3:8; 6:12).

    I am not sure what you are asking with your second question, but Dumbrell is arguing that “all Israel” will be saved in the same manner as the Gentiles during this present age until of the end of time. The ESV rightly translates the Greek by reading, “And in this way (by grace through faith in Jesus) all (elect) Israelites will be saved (throughout human history). At the end of the age God will have the full number of his people from both Jews and Gentiles. This is my position.

    There are many good brothers who are not dispensational, but still believe a mass conversion of Jews will take place before Jesus returns. However, I do not believe that is Paul’s point. He is not asking how many Jews get saved or the timing of that salvation; rather, is God faithful to the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is faithful to the promises because Jews are being saved today (e.g., Paul, Rom 11:1). The promises in the OT were never meant for unbelieving Jews, but only those who believed in the promises of God; those are the recipeients of such promises. The whole nation does not need to believe for God to be faithful to the fathers. God is not unfaithful, but has chosen to make a Gentiles part of his people. God has not replaced Israel, but added to it (Gentiles) and the true Israel are those who have the same faith of Abraham (Gal 3). Thus, we can all say with one accord, “Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and unfathomable His ways!”

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