Blast from the Past – Jesus and the Gentiles

Blast from the Past – Jesus and the Gentiles June 7, 2016

I’m going to habitually post quotes from some of my previous books and essays in biblical and theological studies. Today, going back to my PhD thesis on Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission:

I will argue in this thesis that Jesus was attempting to achieve and enact the restoration of Israel, and in continuity with other strands of Jewish belief, Jesus conceived of the restoration of Israel as resulting in the salvation of the Gentiles.   Jesus’ mission was Israel-centric, but he espoused a view of restoration that was indebted to certain strands of Israel’s sacred traditions where the Gentiles are implicit beneficiaries of Israel’s salvation.  Since this restoration was already being realized in Jesus’ ministry, it was becoming possible for Gentiles to begin sharing in Israel’s salvation in the present.   Additionally, Jesus understood himself and his followers as the new temple and vanguard of the restored Israel who would appropriate for themselves the role of Israel and the temple in being a light to the nations.  Thus, a Gentile mission is implied in the aims and intentions of Jesus and was developed in a transformed situation by adherents of the early Christian movement.

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