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Whose Land? Whose Promise?: What Christians Are Not Being Told about Israel and the Palestinians Paperback – June 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

This is a new, revised edition of the 2004 volume that takes into account developments over the last ten years and addresses all reader/reviewer comments.

Readers should expect that this controversial topic will draw extreme reader reviews (see the 2004 edition).  The first review here (Jan 28) is typical, written by a Zionist organization which aims to silence any criticism of Israel.  Each of the concerns listed here could be easily addressed and are generally debated in the literature. 
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Pilgrim Press (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0829816607
  • ISBN-13: 978-0829816600
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,309,536 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 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

94 of 112 people found the following review helpful By "sammymountjoy" on October 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Gary Burge has written a book that fills a void that is existent in Evangelical publishing circles.
The book is rightly described as 'bold' because it seeks to challenge many ingrained assumptions Evangelicals hold in regard to the State of Israel. Still, it should be noted that Burge is relatively conservative on the subject when compared to publications of other secular (or non-American Christian) organisations. On a wider spectrum, Burge is far from radical; yet he is a bold voice within the Evangelical arena.
Burge is not an undiscriminating supporter of Palestinian actions, he wishes to place those actions in a context - not an attempt to justify, but an effort to understand. Thus, his conclusions are not based on a parochial interpretation of particular biblical texts; instead, it is an informed theological, missiological, and even pastoral exploration of the realties present in the conflict.
In a roundabout way, the negative reviews of this book can be considered an endorsement - because Burge hopes to challenge assumptions, those who are unwilling to confront their own biases (nor admit that their exegesis of particular biblical texts are merely one interpretation among many, not canon) will retrogress to previously unchallenged premises. Some reviews merely set forth an opinion about the State of Israel rather than an actual rejoinder to the arguments proposed in 'Whose Land, Whose Promise?'. If Burge successfully took an unbiased and non-dehumanising view of both sides of the conflict, his work would inevitably cause discomfort.
This book is well worth reading. This is not to say that one must agree with all of the author's conclusions (Burge is not looking for undifferentiating disciples); 'Whose Land, Whose Promise?
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47 of 55 people found the following review helpful By E. Johnson on August 6, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book that you will either love or hate depending on your view of Dispensationalism v. Covenant Theology. Here, Burge--a professor at Wheaton College--shows why Zionism is not biblical, as he utilizes history and the Bible to show his point. The Tim LaHayes of the world will wrench their hands in disgust and say that Burge is missing clear evidnece in the Bible regarding the place for the Jews in the end times. Yet many of these hyper-Dispensationalists need to not take their peripheral view of eschatology so seriously. Yes, end times are important, and yes, I think compasion on the Jews is needed. But as Burge points out, what about human rights for everyone? I just finished reading through Isaiah and Jeremiah, and boy, they sure were tough on "God's people" for their sins. I think it is important to show how a person's heritage should not matter since all people are created equal in God's sight, as Paul mentioned in Galatians that there is neither male nor female and neither Jew nor Greek. To classify an entire people as above the moral law and allow their government to persecute another people in the name of biblical presuppositions is immoral and should be condemned. And Burge explains this side very well.

The book does have some weak points. First, I read it in the summer of 2007, and with so much that has taken place over the course of these last four years, is in bad need of an update. This is especially true with Hussein no longer an issue and Iraq's future much different than when this book was first written. Another criticism is that Burge really does make it look like the Palestinians are completely innocent and have not caused many of their own problems.
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51 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Y. Katanacho on December 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
The words of Gary Burge, a professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, are as strong as the Israeli bullets, if not stronger. Unlike many Evangelical Americans, Gary is well informed of the situation in Israel/Palestine. He addresses one of the toughest questions in the Middle East i.e. whose Land and whose Promise?

With a sharp mind, and a passionate heart, Gary tackles these questions seeking the mind and heart of God as revealed in the Bible. Gladly, Gary combines a great spirit of humility, an ability to see the big picture, and an outstanding documented description of the details. Thus, the reader will not only be exposed to eschatological conceptual frameworks but will also experience, through powerful stories, an intimate fellowship with the Palestinian Church and an unmasked understanding of the intentions of the Zionist movement and many of its leaders.

In his preface, Gary steps forward as an honest seeker and pursuer of truth. He says, "As an Evangelical I have a theological interest in Israel's history and future. As a Christian I recognize the ancestral connection between Jews today and Abraham, Moses, and David. And yet I am confused and troubled when I try to interpret the meaning of this small country and I learn about one more village story one more set of keys to a lost home, one more house being bulldozed, and more refugees being pushed away from their homeland" (xii).

He seeks to resolve one of the questions that Palestinians struggled with for so long: how would the Modern State of Israel be the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies if they are committing many injustices against the Palestinians? He explains for his audience the background of the problem and then moves into an exciting study through the pages of Bible.
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