Romans 11:25-27 and the Future of Israel in Paul’s Thought -- By: Michael G. Vanlaningham
MSJ 3:2 (Fall 92) p. 141
Romans 11:25-27 and the Future of Israel in Paul’s Thought
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Ethnic Israel is a dominant theme in Scripture, particularly as it pertains to the future. Paul divulges some key elements in his own Spirit-inspired thinking on this subject in Rom 11:25–27. He looks forward to a time of salvation for the Jewish people by divulging hitherto unrevealed details about their future, i.e., their salvation will follow the bringing in of a prescribed number of Gentiles. Currently beset by a partial spiritual hardening toward God, a significant group of Jews will experience a future repentance and salvation. This will come at some future point in the church age, perhaps as one of the series events that will compose Christ’s second coming. Paul adduces proof of this salvation with two quotations from Isaiah. Through this significant passage God’s future program for Israel becomes clearer than before.
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Significant contemporary interest surrounds the subject of the Jewish nation. Israel’s prominent and permanent place throughout the Bible has been a focus of dispensational theology. A recognition of this prominence is one of the marks distinguishing that system from covenant theology that has often assumed that Israel’s privileges and promises have been transferred to the church. The crux of the matter is: Does Israel have a future? The future of Israel is a focal point from both secular and biblical perspectives, a subject that requires
MSJ 3:2 (Fall 92) p. 142
understanding for anyone attempting to discern present trends and their relationship to theological themes. Romans 11:25–27 is one of the key Scriptures that teach about this subject. It is worthy of the closest scrutiny in a quest for information on this vital subject.
The following discussion will examine the Romans passage to ascertain Paul’s concept of the future of Israel by investigating the hardening of Israel (v. 25a), the identity of “all Israel” (v. 26), the timing of Israel’s salvation (v. 26), and the manner of the salvation’s accomplishment (vv. 26b–27).
Romans 11:25—The Circumstances Surrounding Israel’s Salvation
An explanatory γάρ (gar, “for”) l...
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