The “People of God” in Romans 9:25-26 -- By: W. Edward Glenny

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 152:605 (Jan 1995)
Article: The “People of God” in Romans 9:25-26
Author: W. Edward Glenny

The “People of God” in Romans 9:25-26

W. Edward Glenny

[W. Edward Glenny is Director of Postgraduate Studies, Central Baptist Seminary, Minneapolis, Minnesota.]

One of the challenges to the dispensational approach to Scripture concerns how the New Testament applies to the church certain Old Testament passages that refer to Israel. Some suggest that such passages disprove the main tenet of dispensationalism, the distinction between Israel and the church. Ladd states, “I do not see how it is possible to avoid the conclusion that the New Testament applies Old Testament prophecies to the New Testament church and in so doing identifies the church as spiritual Israel.”1 In the same context he uses Romans 9:24–26 as a “vivid illustration” of this principle. Verses 25–26 quote Hosea 2:23 and 1:10, which speak of God’s restoration of Israel to covenant relations with God in the last days. But Paul quoted these Hosea verses to support the fact that God is calling Gentiles to be a part of His covenant people in this age. Verses 27–29 include additional Old Testament quotations (Isa 10:22–23 and 1:9) to show that He is also calling a remnant of Jews to be a part of this people, the church.

Dispensationalists have not avoided passages like Romans 9:24–26, though such passages have not been central to the theology of dispensationalism. Dispensationalists who have addressed Romans 9:24–26 have suggested one of three interpretations. Most explain verses 25–26 as an application of a principle from the Old Testament to the church in the New Testament. These writers view the hermeneutical connection between Romans 9:25–26 and the verses in Hosea as an analogy.2 A second explanation of the

use of the Hosea quotations in Romans 9:25–26 is that the Romans passage is a literal application of the Old Testament text to ethnic national Israel. McClain views the hermeneutical connection between these passages as direct fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy.3 Other d...

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