Thursday, February 9, 2012

Post-Supersessionist Interpretation

You may wonder what I am studying while I am in Israel at the University of the Holy Land. The area of study is called post-supersessionist interpretationNew Testament scholarship is revisiting its understanding of how the writers of the New Testament understood Jews and the Judaism of the 1st century.  Since the early Church fathers, supersessionistic interpretation of the New Testament has been widely accepted and promoted within Church theology.

Layers of Biblical scholarship have been constructed around the premise that the authors of the New Testament viewed the Church as having replaced or superseded the Jewish people as the people of G-d.  Twentieth-century and post-holocaust scholars began to question these historical and theological assumptions. Major studies appeared in the last quarter of the century that challenged the traditional supersessionism of Church history.  The result: today we are seeing a new school of thought emerging within the field of New Testament studies, sometimes referred to as post-supersessionist interpretation.

Messianic Jewish post-supersessionist interpretation maintains that the New Testament writers affirmed (1) G-d’s covenant fidelity to the Jewish people, (2) that Jesus was Israel’s Messiah and participated in the unique identity of the G-d of Israel, (3) that the besorah (gospel) was for Jews and Gentiles, (4) that Jesus-believing Gentiles were full members of G-d’s people without becoming Jews, and (5) that Jesus-believing Jews should continue to live as Jews in keeping with Israel’s calling to be a distinct and enduring nation.

Research in this area is still fairly new but scholars are definitely looking into what it means to return the rightful identity to the Jewish people as the covenantal people of G-d. I look forward to sharing all I learn with you on this journey of study and exploration.


  1. Mm. Maybe this is my new theological label. You know how we require those here in the West. ;)

  2. this was so refreshing. it's what i've been discovering in my heart, but here you have put it into words. looking forward to learning from your studies as you share them here :)