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Whose Promised Land?

21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0801064418
ISBN-10: 0801064414
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Highly illuminating and gives an excellent analysis (with thought-provoking questions) of both sides of the problem." -Christianity Today

Does the land of Israel belong to the Jews?
¢ Abraham and his descendants lived in it for many centuries before Christ.
¢ They believe God has promised it to them forever.
¢ The United Nations gave it to them in 1947.

Or does the land belong to the Palestinian Arabs?
¢ Their ancestors have been living in the land continuously for many centuries.
¢ It holds a special place in the religion of Islam.

Whose Promised Land? unravels the complex issues surrounding the continuing crisis between Israel and Palestine. This fully revised and updated edition, including new chapters on Zionism, Christian Zionism, and dispensationalism, provides an evenhanded approach that does not automatically assume a pro-Israel stance. Instead, it seeks to present an honest appraisal of modern Israel while clearly delineating the inter-related issues surrounding the crisis in the Middle East.

Beginning with the history of the territory from the 20th century BC to the present day, it explains the development of the conflict and the complexity of the issues. Then it surveys both the Old Testament teachings on land and the perspective taught by Jesus. Finally, it examines the major contemporary forces affecting the conflict today.

Colin Chapman is lecturer in Islamic studies at the Near East School of Theology, Beirut, Lebanon. He is the author of several books, including Christianity on Trial, The Case for Christianity, and Islam and the West: Conflict, Coexistence or Conversion?

About the Author

Colin Chapman is Lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Near East School of Theology in Beirut, Lebanon. The author of several books, including Christianity on Trial, Islam and the West, and The Case for Christianity, he has lived and worked in the Middle East for sixteen years during various times since 1968.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801064414
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801064418
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #942,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Mort Coyle on January 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
I heard the author, Colin Chapman, being interviewed on Hank Hanegraaff's "Bible Answer Man" radio program and was impressed by his thoughtful, balanced and theologically sound viewpoint, so I went and bought the book.

Chapman's book is broken into three sections:

The first offers an historical overview (in FAQ format) of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, covering the time period from 2000 B.C. to the present.

The second section looks at the conflict from a Biblical/theological angle. I was pleasantly surprised to find numerous quotes from Anglican theologian and author N.T. Wright.

The third section brings the historical and theological components together and examines how they apply to the present circumstances in the Middle East.

As you can see by some of the negative reviews here on Amazon, this book may challenge you, especially if you're locked into a "Zionist" or "Dispensationalist" position regarding Israel. If, however, you are honestly seeking a balanced viewpoint, and aren't afraid to examine some of your own presuppositions, you'll find this to be a very rewarding book.
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52 of 60 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
Colin Chapman does an excellent job of summarizing the history of Palestine and the biblical texts related to the promise of the Land. His answers to these questions are not the standard dispensationalist line and will make many who live and breathe dispensationalism very uncomfortable. His history is thouroughly documented as is his biblical exposition. He devotes a minimal amount of time to editorializing, choosing instead to let the major players through history (Scripture, Lord Balfour, Theodor Herzel, Chiam Wietzmann, Yassar Arafat, David Ben-Gurion and a host of others) speak for themselves. The inevitable conclusions drawn are both historical and thoroughly biblical. Because this book is more of a survey it is short particularly on theological detail, so there is no textual analysis or in-depth discussion of differences in translation (for example). The book is particularly helpful for understanding the history of the region and for its appendices which include a primer on expositing biblical prophecy as well as a summary of the Covenant of Hamas.
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60 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Dr. R. Lowe on March 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
An excellant book; theologically sound; rooted in the real history or the region. It will not please those sold on fundamentalist, dispensational theology. It will please those open to Biblical interpretation that makes sense and that is consistent with New Testament teachings on the Kingdom of God and the people of God. It will give the reader a balanced view of the real history of the confict. It will in the words of each side give their story and rationale for the conflict. It is one of the best books I have ever read cataloging each side's perspective of the problems.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Faruk Ekmekci on December 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is a good introduction to arguments of both sides in Palestine/Israel. The reader will enjoy the abundance of "quotes" from significant figures on key issues in a single book, instead of tirelessly searching and sourcing them on him/her own.

The second half of the book is more theology and theory than history and facts. In here, some readers might feel less secure than in the earlier pages. In this part, Chapman offers another Christian interpretation of the Holy Bible which is less literal and (according to him) more progressive, at least so far as finding a lasting peaceful solution to the conflict in the Holy Land is concerned. I think Chapman deserves to be listened to especially in a time when more unyielding religious views are not so scanty.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By chelio on August 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the credibility of this work is its inclusion of cited sources for the actual events and quotes that create the long history of this struggle. Beginning with a review of ancient times that set the stage for the origens of Zionistic thought and its Arabic and Islamic counterpart, Chapman tells the story with balanced intent. Perhaps he does not always acheive this to every readers satisfaction, but he does reveal that the blame, misunderstanding and error do not rest soley on either side. since Chapman is Christian, this is actually a fresh approach that deviates from the usual American pro-Israel position. Perhaps what I was able to personally conclude from a thorough examination of the information is that being pro-Isreal today does not, and probably should not, be for religious reasons; either Muslim, Jewish or Judeao-Christian reasons. Cultural reasons maybe, political reasons perhaps, but for a Christian to favor the Jews for religious reasons is very likely to be derived from an overly literal interpretatin of the Biblical Old Testament using a narrow, Americanized version of dispensationalist theology. This book shows that the history of actual events tells the story better, and should therefore dictate our view, rather than holding to a theological construct. Christians, Jews and Muslims all could learn well from this vigorous review of events.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By George Bush HALL OF FAME on August 9, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'Are we simply dealing with 'the war against terrorism, or do we have the patience to investigate the nature of the conflict and root causes?' That is the key question, and author Chapman brings it to the fore at the very beginning. Turns out that both the Jews and the Palestinian Arabs believe the land belongs to them based on prior occupation and scripture. The Jews say their ancestors first settled in Palestine between the 20th and 18th centuries, B.C., while the Palestinian Arabs say they've been living in Palestine since at least the 7th century A.D. The Arabs also contend that if we accept claims based on possession centuries ago, then Mexico would have a right to parts of the U.S., the Spaniards could claim Mexico, and the Arabs could claim Spain.

In 1918 the Jews owned 2% of Palestine. Britain was given responsibility for Palestine in 1922 as an outgrowth of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. Terms of the Mandate were ''(Britain) shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative, and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home . . ..' In 1936 the Arabs revolted against the British in protest of continued Jewish immigration. The revolt was crushed, and by 1947 the Jews numbered 31% of the total population. During those intervening years the Jews purchased more land from the Arabs, and in 1935 they owned about 5.5% of the land, 6% by 1947. In 1947 the British government handed the problem over to the U.N. A special U.N. commission recommended two separate states: 1)A Jewish state (55% of the land, with slightly more Arabs than Jews residing there), and 2)An Arab state made of the remainder - with 749, 101 Arabs and 9,520 Jews. As for Jerusalem and the area surrounding it - that would become an international zone.
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