Monday, October 03, 2011

Typology of Zionism

Since Jamin Hubner likes to bandy the term "Zionism," keep in mind that Zionism ranges along a wide spectrum of different or divergent views:


  1. I am just asking questions about the Bible says about Zion.

    Does Hebrews 12:22-23 teach us how to understand the fulfillment of Mt. Zion as "the heavenly Jerusalem" and "the church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven" ?

    see also Hebrews 11:10; 11:16; 13:14 - doesn't this show the land promise was fulfilled ?

    Fulfillment of Psalm 87 ? where God registers the peoples (nations) as being born in Zion?

    Philistia, Tyre, Babylon, Rahab (Egypt or Canaan ?), Ethiopia among those who know Me, who are born in her" ?

    fulfillment of Galatians 4:26 - "the Jerusalem that is above, she is our mother"?

    Fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant - "through you all the families/nations of the earth will be blessed"? (Genesis 12:3, 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14)

    Command to Israel to shine the light of the true God to all the nations? (Psalm 96:3, Isaiah 49:6 - see Acts 13:46-47)

    Prayer of blessing and the purpose for the blessing - Psalm 67 - bless us and cause Your face to shine upon us, so that your ways may be known among all the nations, peoples and all the earth; Your salvation among all nations.

    This is the commission still operative today - disciple all nations - Matthew 28:18-20

    Fulfillment at the end of time before the seals of God's wrath are broken and poured out -

    Revelation 5:9
    some out of every tribe, people, tongue, and nation were purchased by the blood of the Lamb for God.

    so, is Biblical Zionism, based on Psalm 87 and Hebrews 12:22-23 different than the modern Zionist movement to return to the land of Israel?

    And different from the other explanations?

  2. Does the Jewish Virtual Library include that NT fulfillment idea? ( I did not have time to read all of it)

  3. Ken,

    Haven't we been over this ground last Spring?

  4. Keep in my that in my various responses to Hubner during the current cycle, I haven't justified support for Israel on theological grounds. Rather, I've justified support for Israel on ethical/geostrategic grounds.

    In addition, I've simply taken issue with Hubner's many flawed arguments.

  5. I remember the general subject of Dispensationalism vs. Covenant theology and the issues of so called "replacement theology", but I don't remember the specific issue of how Psalm 87 uses Zion and how Galatians 4:26 (that Paul is alluding to Psalm 87 by calling the Jerusalem above, she is our mother, with "this one and that one will be born in her" (some from some of the famous enemies of Israel) and Hebrews 12:22-23 seems to interpret what the fulfillment of Zion seems to be. (the church of God among all nations.)

    My question here is more specific.

  6. If someone alludes to something else to help the reader better understand a new concept, where is the warrant to then go back to the passage used for reference and wholesale reinterpret that too?

    For example, if I get stung by a scorpion and in explaining to you what it felt like, I reference the time I got stung by a bee last year as an example of what it's like, why would you think it then normal or natural to conclude that when I got stung by a bee last year, that was really a scorpion not a bee? Unless I specifically say, "Hey, remember that time you thought I got stung by a bee last year? That's what this scorpion sting felt like. Oh and also, that wasn't a bee last year, that was a scorpion too," you have no warrant for reinterpreting the bee as a scorpion.

    Someone else can explain this better and elaborate on the details, but in Galatians 4, Paul says nothing about "fulfillment" or replacement. Paul gives no warrant to go back and reimagine the terms Jerusalem or Zion. Paul references the real, physical place to help his readers understand his point about what we have in Christ. It's a referential example, as in the 'sting' analogy above.

    In Hebrews, by noting he is talking about the heavenly Jerusalem, it is clear there is then still also a physical, literal Jerusalem. And again, no mention of "fulfillment".

    You're reading that into these passages because you are approaching them with a textual bias. If you don't presuppose looking for Paul to somehow cancel what God promised explicitly in the OT to the ethnic Jewish nation of Israel, but instead take the text at face value, there is much less confusion.

    God bless.

  7. Rather, I've justified support for Israel on ethical/geostrategic grounds.

    Yes, I agree with that. The Ottoman Turks were the "sovereign nation" (Empire) that governed the land of Palestine before 1915/1917 (end of World War 1). Turretinfan's latest article about supporting the Arabs with bad arguments, and the map of the Ottoman Empire is important.

    It does seem that God Himself judged Israel in 70 AD and 135 AD by expelling them from the land. (if indeed Matthew 23:36-24:1-3, 15, 34 point to fulfillment of judgement of 70 AD.)

    The Romans and the Byzantines were the dominant group in power in the land from that time until the Muslim Arabs conquered them, beginning in 634-638 and onward.

    Later the Ottoman Turks took over after the Crusades.

    In the 1880s - 1948, the first areas of land, that Jews came back to, seems to be they bought land from rich Arab land owners that were not even living there. (they were in Egypt or some other area.)

    When the Arabs never accepted even the existence of Israel at all (even the 1948 borders), and then they attacked and kept on attacking and each time, the Arabs have lost more territory, so it is impossible to go back to the 1948 or 1967 borders, since the Arabs, neither Hamas nor the PLO (they are little more subtle and tricky in their words, and the late Arafat was caught lying and saying one thing in English and one thing in Arabic, so how do we know if they are telling the truth or not?), have yet to even recognize Israel as a sovereign state and, especially Hamas, keeps quoting the Hadiths that say, "fight the Jews until the day of resurrection and the trees and rocks cry out, "there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him", etc. (summary/paraphrase from memory, not an exact quote.)

    But they still both need the gospel (Jews and Arabs).

    It seems that God in His sovereignty, is deliberately making the world look at the conflict in Israel/Palestine, because the message of the "once for all sacrifice" that occurred in Jerusalem, (where the temple was and is not longer, no more sacrifice, now 2 Muslim structures are there, Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque) has not yet been proclaimed to either the Jews or the Arab Muslims in a powerful way so that those whom God has chosen come to faith in Him. (Luke 24:44-49; Acts 13:46-48; 2 Peter 3:8-15; 2 Timothy 2:10; Rev. 5:9).

  8. Ken,

    While these are worthwhile questions in their own right, they have no bearing on the reasons I've given in my recent responses to Hubner.

    It would make more sense for you to redirect your questions to someone like Fred Butler.

  9. I guess the issues that I raise - the focus on the gospel and evangelism to both Jews and Arab Muslims; seems to the issue that is not talked about enough in all the controversy over the land promises aspect in the Dispensationalism vs. Covenant theology debate.

    Because, not all, but it seems to me, many conservative Baptists and Bible and other independent churches and Charismatics also, when they get on this issues, seem to imply that Israel can do no wrong and that they are somehow "already in the kingdom". I myself found this as I was part of that kind of church for many years.

    Galatians 4 reminds us that both the "present Jerusalem" (at the time of Galatians, the Judaizers and Jews who opposed Jesus as Messiah) are still in slavery, like Hagar and Ishmael; and the Arab Muslims today, without Christ, are still in slavery.

    It just seems to me that both sides need to emphasize this more, while at the same time showing the history of Palestine and standing with Israel based on justice and the ethical issues of the background of the Ottoman Empire and the fact that the Arabs never recognized Israel's right to even exist at all; and they they caused most of their problems by their constant attacking first and then loosing more land each time.

  10. I guess the issues that I raise - the focus on the gospel and evangelism to both Jews and Arab Muslims; seems to the issue that is not talked about enough in all the controversy over the land promises aspect in the Dispensationalism vs. Covenant theology debate.
    Because it's already a given for all but the extremist dispy who is Hubner's whipping boy but irrelevant to the mainstream conversation. Every man is a sinner, every man needs the Savior.
    We're past that. We're just looking at whether or not the modern state of Israel has an eschatological significance or not.

    Because, not all, but it seems to me, many conservative Baptists and Bible and other independent churches and Charismatics also, when they get on this issues, seem to imply that Israel can do no wrong and that they are somehow "already in the kingdom".

    Can't speak for Charismatics, as they typically have bigger theological problems, but any concept of a separate way to God or do-no-wrong mentality certainly isn't a belief held by reasonable people. Some sincere but confused people, probably, due to bad-but-sadly-popular figure-head televangelists or whatnot, but honestly if you're watching that sort of junk you're just asking to be deceived about any of a number of things.

    Your concluding paragraph is on target.

  11. Because it's already a given for all but the extremist dispy who is Hubner's whipping boy but irrelevant to the mainstream conversation.

    Thanks Jacob!
    It is a given for you and I and for Steve and J. Hubner and other Reformed folks and otherwise Evangelicals; but it has not been communicated clear enough" as a given" in most other "Evangelical" venues on this issue that I have seen. Even good Baptist and Bible church folks, not just charismatics and the goof-ball heretics like John Hagee and those like Hal Lindsay that have suggested dates for the rapture, etc.

    I don't watch the TV Charismatics much, the word of faith heretics or millennial madness goof-balls, except when I need to confirm something, because so many average Christians can't believe it when I tell them the outrageous things that they have said, not just on the Israel issue, but on the word of faith issue content. ( I had to gather info on a lot of that stuff in the past, because average-joe pew Christians were shocked when I quoted from Hagee's stuff that the Jews don't need the gospel and "Jesus didn't come as Messiah", and "the Jews didn't reject Jesus as Messiah", etc. and Hannegraff's "Christianity in Crisis" or MacArthur's "Charismatic Chaos" - I was amazed that they never heard the heresies.

    I have dealt with Muslims for 27 years, and they only hear the Hal Lindsay/ John Hagee/ Jack Van Impe/ Left Behind (LaHaye and Jenkins) type stuff. (even Ryrie/Pentecost/Walvoord (the church I was baptized in and a member of for 26 years taught their views hook line and sinker) end-time scenarios and Charles Dryer (he predicted that Saddam Hussein was the re-establishment of ancient Babylon and seemed to imply that his invasion into Iraq was going to be the Babylon of Revelation 17-18.

    So, it is a given for you and me and good teachers like MacArthur, but most other people out there don't hear a good balance of all the issues.

    Muslims need the gospel; but our conservative politics is louder than our evangelism.


    This was a very good video of the modern Israel vs. Palestine issue.

    At the same time, the Romans did call the area Palestine after 70 AD / and 135 AD - the Bar Kokhba rebellion; and then most of the people who lived in the land were Byzantine Christians until Islam came in the 634 onward. Then Crusades, then the Ottomans, (1400s - 1917), etc.

    It is true that the area was never a sovereign country with political borders called "Palestine", but they did call that area "Palestine" after the Jews were exiled and /or killed from 70 AD and especially from 135 AD.

    Up until 1880s, most reports I have seen say that there were only 4 % Jews living in the land of Biblical Israel. But hard to know who is telling the truth, as others have pointed out in these discussions. Al Awlaki originally wrote against 9-11-01 in national geographic, but later ascribed to their ideals and actions; Arafat lied, etc. Muslims using Taqqiye (deception, dissimulation) - yes, very hard to get at the truth and facts sometimes.

    When they started coming back to get away from European and Russian anti-Semitism and the Holocaust of Nazi Germany, it was then also that more Arabs started moving back into the land from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, trans-Jordan, because of, it seems to me, the idea that loosing territory of the Dar Al Islam back to Dar Al Harb (the territory of war = Jews, Christians, atheists, etc.) was what was motivating them.

    The article Jacob linked to at Fred Butler's web-site,( I only saw this after Steve suggested I go there); does point out the fact that many Arabs started coming in from Syria and Egypt and other surrounding areas in the 1900s-1940s, but it does not say the percentage of Jews living in the land from 70/135 AD up to 1800s.

    That is what the Muslims focus on - that they had the land from Omar (636 AD - Crusades; then gained it back and then the Ottomans had it until 1917, end of World War I.

    Their religion of Islam and the doctrine of Dar Al Islam (territory under Islamic rule) vs. Dar Al Harb (the house or territory of war - that any area not under Islamic rule is legitimate to make war on) motivates them to continue to fight no matter what, because to admit the Jews have the right to exist there, is implicitly admitting that Islam was wrong to conquer that area for Allah and Islam.

  13. "We're just looking at whether or not the modern state of Israel has an eschatological significance or not."

    Would somebody mind providing a brief primer, or book or website recommendation on this subject?


  14. Would somebody mind providing a brief primer, or book or website recommendation on this subject?

    There is no such thing as a "brief primer" on this subject, I don't think.

    I have not read this (above), but I found it when Jacob in the comments box at Fred Butler's blog (Hip and Thigh) recommended a book by one of the contributors to this book.

    Jacob recommended these 2 books; I had never heard of them before:

    1. Israel and the Church by Ronald E. Diprose (the same author also has a chapter in the "Christian Perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian Issue" above.

    2. Future Israel by Barry Horner

    I have read:
    Blood Brothers, by Elias Chakour

    Whose Promised Land? by Colin Chapman

    Who Owns the Land? by Stanley A. Ellisen ( I now see that Charles Dyer has updated this book. Charles Dyer is the guy who predicted Saddam Hussein was Babylon - and implying that modern Iraq might become the Babylon of Rev. 17-18, so I don't know if the update is good. The original one by Ellisen was good and fair, in my opinion. )

    The Israel of God, by O. Palmer Robertson

    Myths and Facts: A Guide to the Arab - Israeli conflict by Mitchell Bard ( also at the web site:

    I have read a lot of "From Time Immemorial" by Joan Peters. (but not every word; skipped around a bit)

    I had read a lot of Dwight Pentecost and John Walvoord on the subject as a young Christian.
    (Google them and find their books, Pentecost wrote the commentary on Daniel in the "Bible Knowledge Commentary" (by Dallas Seminary Professors)

    I thought Gary DeMar's 2 books,
    Last Days Madness
    End Times Fiction

    were good; although I don't agree with everything he wrote. (not specifically about the land issue, although some things touch on it; but he exposes the problems with lots of End-Times date setting and suggesting and challenges the exegesis of Dispensationalism.)

    There may be others, of course.

    I confess I am still learning facts about this issue, after 27 years.

  15. I would recommend these two as background on the over-arching topic of Israel and the Church:

    Israel and the Church by Ronald E. Diprose

    Future Israel by Barry Horner

    Those will give you the background and history of the subject within the church as well some analysis of the biblical passages used by the primary points of view on the subject.

  16. I have recently started Has the Church Replaced Israel? by Dr. Michael Vlach, so I cannot yet recommend it, but it is likely to be a third recommendation.

  17. Here's a review of it for reference.


    Above is a book that has a chapter contribution by one of the authors that Jacob recommended.
    (Ronald E. Diprose)

    Who Owns the Land ? by Stanley E. Ellisen (Dispenational, Dallas Seminary grad, late professor at Western Conservative Seminary) was good; but I don't know about the update by Charles Dyer, because Dyer wrote a book suggesting Saddam Hussein was going to be the End-time "Babylon" of Rev. 17-18. Dyer hurt his credibility by all that "End-Times Madness".

    Whose Promised Land? by Colin Chapman - gives another perspective; there are things I disagree with in there.

    Blood Brothers by Elias Chakour is a personal story of how a Christian Arab in Galilee lost his home and friends in the 1948 war.

  19. I'm sympathetic to the plight of Arab Christians who are caught in the middle, between the Muslim/Jewish-Israeli conflict.

    However, Islam clearly more of a threat to Arab Christians (and other Middle-Eastern Christians than Israel. Look at the persecution of Christians in Egypt, Iraq, &c.

    If Christians controlled most of the Mideast except for Israel, it would be much easier for Israel to accommodate the Christian minority in Israel.

  20. The "Christians" (Byzantines, EO, RCC) did "control" the Middle East for a while - 312 AD to Theodosius, to Justinian to Hericlius - to 634/638 AD (Omar, battle of Yarmouk, fall of Jerusalem to the Arab Muslims).

    It seems to me it (God allowing Islam to rise and conquer) was a judgment on "Christians" and the external churches for leaving their first love. (starting in Ephesus, Revelation 2:1-7); and lack of gospel power and Biblical evangelism,
    and their heresies and false piety in the exalting of Mary too much, neglect of justification by faith alone in teaching, rituals and thinking water baptism has power in itself (without internal faith and repentance), and penance and indulgences and ex opere operato and relic trafficking replacing sound teaching on justification and sanctification.

    The external force of quartering of troops and seeking to coerce the Monophysites (Copts and Jacobite Syrians and Armenians) to accept the Chalcedonian Creed in Egypt and Syria and Armenia, and of Israel areas of the Justinian years and Hericlius; and wars with Persia, exhausted the Byzantine Empire and created a vacuum for the zealous new religion of Islam to come and conquer.
    Monophysites in Egypt and Syria "welcomed the Arab invaders as liberators" according to Islamic sources and many history books on this issue. Others dispute that to some degree and say the Arab Muslims deceived them and then later the Christians were reduced to "Dhimmi" status, as outlined by Surah 9:29 and the Pact of Omar Ibn Khattab (around 638 AD)
    and the Covenant of Omar 2 (717 AD). (A further development of the original one.)

    We can still sympathize with those Christians and Copts and Oriental Orthodox and Armenians and Eastern Orthodox and RCs who suffer under Islamic rule. Since there is no freedom to evangelize and no freedom to build new churches; it is a lie for Muslims to say that Christians have freedom of religion under Islamic rule.

  21. The "Christians" (Byzantines, EO, RCC)

    Should have been -
    The "Christians" (Byzantines, EO, seeds of what would later become the RCC)