Studies in Romans Part VII: The Jews and the Oracles of God -- By: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 130:519 (Jul 1973)
Article: Studies in Romans Part VII: The Jews and the Oracles of God
Author: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.


Studies in Romans
Part VII:
The Jews and the Oracles of God

S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

[S. Lewis Johnson, Jr., Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis, Dallas Theological Seminary.]

Since the establishment of the nation Israel in 1948 interest in the prophetic Word has been mounting. The sales of books that deal primarily with the Scriptures and the future have skyrocketed. “The Second Coming Bible,” Time recently commented, “a warmed-over 1924 chestnut, has sold 50,000 copies since August; The Beginning of the End has sold 81,000 since March. Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth, a compendium of apocalyptic prophecies, has sold more than 1,500,000 copies since its publication in 1970.”1 On the outside of the automobiles of thousands are the bumper stickers that read, “Guess Who’s Coming Again!” On the inside are the dashboard stickers, “If I’m Raptured, Take the Wheel!” The Jesus Movement and the related messianic groups are responsible for a great amount of the interest, but not all of it. Nor is the interest concentrated exclusively in evangelicalism. The secular periodicals are taking note of the phenomenon. A recent Time religion section subtitle was, “Is the End Near?”2 A Newsweek religion section commented upon the interest of young Jews in the Second Coming of Christ.3 Oxford scholar G. B. Caird, an author of a commentary on the Book of Revelation, may have referred to the 20th chapter as “the paradise of cranks and fanatics,” but, if that is so,4 there are certainly a lot of them around today, for many are perusing with

great pleasure the Apocalypse. It is true that wild statements are often made by those most attracted to the vivid scenes of the Revelation, but statements just as extravagant are made by its detractors. “John wrote that book when he was senile,” commented a Dallas minister not long ago.

Another feature of the present time is the interest in the relationship of Judaism to Christianity. In some ways this interest has become a very sensitive matter in view of Key 73, a concerted evangelical movement to evangelize the American continent this year. On the scholarly level the interest in the subject, fueled by declarations from Vatican II and the World Council of Churches, has produced talk of a new “theology of Judaism,” which remarkably admits that the ancient promises of God to Israel form a valid and unbroken covenant between the two parties, not abrogated by the ...

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