Who is the “all Israel” in Romans 11? Is it the church? Is it ethnic Jews? Or something more nuanced?
One of the most difficult set of verses in the Bible to understand is found in Romans 11:25-26a:
Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved….(ESV).
There is a lot going on in these verses, so in this post I would like to focus on the meaning of two words, found in verse 26: “all Israel.” This is a crucial part of the Bible as this passage comes near the end of Romans 9-11, where Paul is making an extensive argument, trying to explain why so few Jews in his day were accepting Jesus as their Messiah. Paul is demonstrating that God has indeed kept his promises to Israel, and in these key verses, he is drawing his argument to a conclusion.
However, there are very different views as to who is meant by this “all Israel.” What does Paul mean by this? Let us examine the views and see if some sense can be made about this question.
Veracity invites everyone interested, in the Williamsburg area, to attend next week’s conclusion to our Romans 9-11 Panel Discussion. Enjoy the video from this past week!
- Williamsburg Community Chapel, 3899 John Tyler Highway, Williamsburg VA, 23185
- Student Ministries Worship Room
- Sunday, September 4, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Hunter Ruch went to the trouble of going through the video and marking the time segments, allowing you to skip to particular questions you are interested in. Thanks, Hunter (though it was his wife’s idea to do this)!
WEEK 1 (8/28):
- Introduction by Clarke Morledge (0:00-25:28)
- Question #1: Why is Paul so burdened about his fellow Israelites? (25:29-31:07)
- Question #2: Why would a knowledge of the Old Testament help us to understand what Paul is trying to say in Romans 9-11? (31:08-37:43)
- Question #3: What is “election?” (37:44-1:02:18)
- Question #4: Does God still have a plan for ethnic Israel? (1:02:19-1:18:24)
- Question #5: Final panelist questions (1:18:25-1:22:00)
- Question #6: Who is “all Israel?” (1:22:01-1:24:58)
- Wrap Up & Prayer by Clarke Morledge (1:24:59-1:27:20)
As part of the two-week Sunday evening panel discussion at the Williamsburg Community Chapel, Sundays, August 28 and September 4, I wanted to provide a web portal for where you can submit your questions to be asked of our pastoral panel. Simply go to the bottom of this blog post and find the comments section entitled, “What do you think?” Enter your question as a comment and then post it, and I will do my best to make sure your question is addressed by the panel. If your question does not get answered at the panel discussion, we will do what we can to provide you an answer after the panel discussion is over.
To receive future announcements of new posts on the Veracity blog, simply click the “Follow” button under where is says “Follow Veracity” on the right hand side of this web page.
To prime your thoughts in asking questions, I have uploaded the outline and questions from night one, plus a couple of sample questions below that in the post, with a few answers, just to get you thinking. Please remember: God’s Word is the “plumb line” for discerning truth:
ROMANS 9-11 OUTLINE with QUESTIONS FROM NIGHT ONE (pdf format)
Is there a future for ethnic, national Israel?
If you are in the Williamsburg, Virginia area next Sunday night (August 28) and the following Sunday night (September 4), I invite you to attend a panel discussion on Romans 9-11 sponsored by the Williamsburg Community Chapel and the folks here at the Veracity blog.
I have been living in Romans 9-11 for over a year now, and it has been a challenging study. Questions about predestination and human free will are addressed by the Apostle Paul in these chapters, but the central and most intriguing theme concerns God’s plans and purposes for Israel.
Is there a future for ethnic, national Israel? Or should we think of the church, Jewish and Gentile believers together, as the spiritualized, contemporary embodiment of true Israel today?
Come and hear our panelists, all pastors at the Williamsburg Community Chapel, discuss this important topic: Hunter Ruch, Doug Bunn, Rich Sylvester, Wes White and Claude Marshall. I will serve as the moderator for our discussion.
- Williamsburg Community Chapel, 3899 John Tyler Highway, Williamsburg, VA 23185
- Student Ministries Worship Room
- Sundays, August 28 and September 4, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
When I first started to read the Bible as a young Christian, I bought myself a study Bible. As I was reading the New Testament, I would run across quotations of the Old Testament. I rarely took the time to go back and read the various Old Testament references. But for the past two years, I have taken a “deep dive” into the Book of Romans, so I decided to look up some of those cross-references…finally. What I found at first surprised me, then it bothered me, and then it captivated me.
Here is the surprise: On more than one occasion, a New Testament writer will quote something from the Old Testament. But if you compare the quotation in the New Testament with what you have in our English translations of the Old Testament, the quotations typically do not match, word-for-word.
Are these typos in our Bibles? Apparently not.
Not sure if you believe me? Come take a little trip with me into the Book of Romans, and I can show you…