n In die Skriflig - 'Israel' in biblical and Christological terms, Steven Paas (Ed.) : book review

Volume 50 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1018-6441
  • E-ISSN: 2305-0853



This book deals with an essential question: Is the gospel sufficient for Jew and Gentile? The answer, deceptively simple, comes with huge ramifications. One quickly realises that for Paas there is not one version of the gospel for Jew and another for non-Jew (Gentile). Extrapolated, this means that no nation enjoys privileged status in spite of popular expressions claiming love and sympathy for Jews and claims of the spiritual and New Testament significances of the founding of the Jewish nation in 1948 (p. 24). These claims are basically lumped under what Paas calls 'religious or ideological' notions (p. 18), generally closely related to a variety of eschatological views (p. 7). These major on, among others, the horrors of the holocaust and the 'Jewishness of Jesus' as bond between Christians and Israel (p. 14-15). Such views tend to romanticise Israel, elevating it above other nations (p. 20). It impacts the approach of missionary endeavours to the Jews, seeks to redefine the reformational concept of church, the traditional understanding of the covenant of grace (ch. 6) and the Christocentric nature of the Bible (p. 24). In fact, Paas says insightfully, an overly sympathetic view of Judaism implies a questioning of Christian truth (p. 15). For that reason, the church needs to resort to clear thinking. Israel needs to be identified in biblical and Christological terms for present evaluation and understanding. Which is what this book endeavours to achieve.

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