In Jesus and the Land: The New Testament Challenge to "Holy Land" Theology, New Testament scholar Gary Burge describes first-century Jewish and Christian beliefs about the land of Israel in order to help contemporary Christians develop a Christian theology of Israel and assess "Bible-based" claims in discussions of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle.
Burge provides a full survey of New Testament passages that directly address the question of land and faith and offers an honest and compelling presentation of present-day tensions surrounding "territorial religion" in the modern Middle East. This accessibly written volume will appeal to undergraduate and seminary students, pastors, teachers, and anyone interested in the Israeli-Palestinian situation.
This accessible volume describes first-century Jewish and Christian beliefs about the land of Israel and offers a full survey of New Testament passages that directly address the question of land and faith. Respected New Testament scholar Gary M. Burge examines present-day tensions surrounding "territorial religion" in the modern Middle East, helping contemporary Christians develop a Christian theology of the land and assess Bible-based claims in discussions of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle.
Gary M. Burge (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of New Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. His published works include The New Testament in Antiquity: A Textbook for Students; The Bible and the Land; Jesus, the Middle Eastern Storyteller; the NIV Application Commentary on the Letters of John; and the NIV Application Commentary on the Gospel of John. He has also been active as a speaker and writer evaluating Christian Zionism within the evangelical world.
-I. Howard Marshall
Emeritus professor of New Testament Exegesis, University of Aberdeen
"Gary Burge writes out of a deep knowledge of Scripture and personal acquaintance with the Middle East to demonstrate how the concern for the geographical land in the Old Testament is transmuted into concern for a spiritual inheritance for God's believing people, both Jewish and Gentile, in the New Testament. His exposition of the biblical material offers a gracious corrective to some inadequate and misinformed ideas about the role of Israel in the plan of God and about the Palestinian-Jewish situation and has important consequences for Christian belief and behavior. I warmly commend this thorough and scholarly but nevertheless clearly and simply written presentation."
Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary
"Gary Burge has made a valuable contribution to the ongoing matter of the 'Holy Land' so contested by Israelis and Palestinians. Burge recognizes the powerful impulse to a territorial dimension in much of Judaism. But then he reflects on New Testament texts--notably those by Luke, John, and Paul--to see that Jesus and the early church distanced themselves from any territorial dimension of faith. This leads Burge to offer a powerful, compelling critique of 'Christian Zionism,' to which 'the NT says: No.' Clearly a faith that intends to reach Gentiles must, perforce, refuse any closed tribalism that makes exclusive territorial claims. Burge's reading of Scripture is persuasive and provides a fresh way to think about 'faith and land.'"
-Craig L. Blomberg
Distinguished professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
"Gary Burge may be American evangelicalism's foremost expert on a biblical theology of the land of Israel. This book reintroduces sanity, common sense, and exegetical acumen into a discussion that often sadly lacks these traits. Absolutely essential reading for any Christian who wants to hold a biblically defensible position on the topic."
Paul W. Brandel Professor of New Testament Studies, North Park Theological Seminary
"For many years Gary Burge has focused on issues relating to Palestinians and the land of Israel. In this careful survey of biblical material, he pulls the rug from under any Christian emphasis on a special status for the land of Israel and from under Christian Zionism. Churches and pastors need to give serious attention to this study and follow its lead."
-Bruce W. Longenecker
Professor of Religion and W. W. Melton Chair, Baylor University
"Burge's accessible consideration of 'holy land theology' in relation to New Testament texts cannot be overlooked. From now on, Christians who wish to engage responsibly with this highly charged and controversial issue will need to interact fully with Burge's careful, constructive, and challenging presentation."