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Jesus and the Land: The New Testament Challenge to "Holy Land" Theology Paperback – April 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Gary Burge has made a valuable contribution to the ongoing matter of the 'Holy Land' so contested by Israelis and Palestinians. He 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.'"--Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

"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."--I. Howard Marshall, University of Aberdeen

"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."--Craig L. Blomberg, Denver Seminary

"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."--Bruce W. Longenecker, Baylor University

About the Author

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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801038987
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801038983
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #401,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gary M. Burge (Ph.D., Aberdeen University, Scotland) is a professor of New Testament in the Department of Biblical & Theological Studies at Wheaton College and Graduate School near Chicago, IL. Gary also keeps an active speaking schedule (see www.garyburge.org). In addition he has accepted invitations to lecture in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.

Gary has authored a number of books both on the New Testament and the Middle East. His theological works include commentaries on the Gospel and Letters of John, a textbook on the New Testament, four volumes explaining the cultural background of Jesus and the gospels, and technical volumes on the study of Johannine theology. His book Whose Land? Whose Promise? (2003; 2nd ed. 2013) won national awards as a critical analysis of the current Arab-israeli conflict from a Christian perspective. His recent Jesus and the Land (2010) is a theological examination of this same conflict. He has recently released Theological Questions Everyone Asks (2014) and A Week in the Life of a Roman Centurion (2015).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Nathaniel Rhoads on May 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Burge's latest book on land theology and its political consequences is thoroughly exegetical and, IMO, utterly convincing. He demonstrates sound biblical theology, interpreting the OT promises in light of what the NT writers and Jesus say about them. The chapters on John's gospel and Paul's letters are worth the price of the book easily. The only drawback here may be that the discussion gets a bit technical at times. However, I'd strongly recommend the book as a noteworthy correction to misplaced Christian Zionist theology and ethics.
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36 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Troy McClure on June 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
It is a shame that a reviewer who has an axe to grind and clearly hasn't even read the book can pull the rating down and dissuade others from reading it. I've read several books by Dr. Burge, and I always find him to be insightful, gracious, and biblically sound. He has spent a lot of his life studying and visiting the middle east, and this is a topic that he is passionate about. You may not agree with his conclusions (though I do), but in this book you will find a well reasoned, though respectful, argument against Christian Zionism.
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful By J. Mccormack on February 18, 2011
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I really enjoyed this book, and right after I started reading it I noticed two other authors I respected had also recently made mention of it, so I figured it should be a good read. The issue of Zionism, or those who feel Israel deserves to be back in their land due to some biblical, covenantal, or eschatological reason, really need to examine the issue further; and this book is a great place to start.

I was thinking it was going to just be a book to counter the many modern arguments in support of modern Israel, but instead it is a fairly thorough historical march through the Bible, covering the covenant, the promises, and the importance of the land along the way. Most of the way through, it spoke so much in favor of the importance of the land, that I thought it was going down a path other than what I thought the intent was. Then as he approached the New Testament, and the new covenant, the shift began, and the last couple chapters examine the view of the land in those last days for the Christians.

Kenneth Gentry recently commented, saying this book is one of a few books that has greatly shaped his view of Israel and the land, and that after reading this and the couple others, if someone still could cling to a modern dispensational view of the land, then they are probably beyond hope (that is a paraphrase as I understood it).

Maybe this book had more of an excitement and impact on me due to it's heavy look into Israel's past and understanding of the land, since I had recently finished the
...Read more ›
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Levi on August 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just finished reading Dr. Burge's book. Though the author is a careful and articulate writer, he is unconvincing in his argument. Here are several reasons why I disagree with his thesis:

1) The author paints a broad (and wrong) portrait of the opposing viewpoint. This allows him to repeatedly set up straw men and knock them down. I do not think this is fair to the author's readers, who might be investigating this topic for the first time. It would have been better for Burge to deal with the Biblical texts that he disagrees with instead of creating his own opponents.

2) Throughout this work, the author ignores the Old Testament claims/prophecies associated with Israel. He holds to a view called Replacement Theology, though I am sure he would deny that wording. But that is exactly what it is. The author views the Old Testament through the lens of the New instead of using the Old Testament as the foundation for the New. One must ask: Can the NT be interpreted without the Old? This is what the author attempts in this work. He often questions why the NT does not address the Land but then fails to address the question: why would the NT need to repeat what is so clear already in the Old?

3) The author also misinterprets some parables of Jesus, such as the parable of the talents, into being about land ownership. This is a funky way to interpret the text and no doubt stems from the author's replacement theology views.

Overall, I am disappointed with the book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Holiday2011 on February 12, 2015
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Dr. Burge builds an emotional case that is one sided. His exegesis of the applicable scripture is poor and while he sounds good, many of the supporting evidence for his arguments are missing or misrepresented. Unless you have a background knowledge of Israel and an understanding of the scriptures (you have read them yourself for the simple meaning from genesis thru revelation) you will be left with a skewed and frustrating worldview by the end of his book. Better books and authors are Sailhammer, Shapiro and the most current, Dr. Rydelnik of Moody Bible Institute. Your attitudes toward Israel matter- don't let this book color your worldview.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ang on February 14, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wonderfully Biblical, compelling and gracious.

Burge seeks to correct the error of Christian Zionism without attacking people or ranting.

As a former Christian Zionist, I must attribute my new understanding primarily to Burge's influence.

I still deeply love Israel. I bless Israel. I pray for the peace of Jerusalem. But I do not offer Israel blind loyalty or unconditional support. That place is reserved for Christ alone.

I highly recommend Jesus and the Land, as well as Whose Land? Whose Promise?

This is a must read for every Christian concerned with the conflicts in the Holy Land.
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