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The Earth and the Land

Studies about the Value of the Land of Israel in the Old Testament and Afterwards

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Edited By Hendrik J. Koorevaar and Mart-Jan Paul

In the Bible, the land of Israel is more than a piece of ground. It is a theological symbol, because it was an essential part of Israel’s practice of its relationship with God. The land is connected to a lifestyle and to the carrying out of religious acts, like the sacrifices and the celebrations. Aspects of this are the use of the land and the enactment of ecological and humanitarian obligations. In this volume, we concentrate on the religious viewpoints, especially how the promised land can be seen from the Old and New Testament perspective. Before practical conclusions are drawn, it is important to have a good overview of the subject in the entire Bible. The chosen approach is historic-canonical and implies that we use the order of Bible books from the Hebrew canon. Two additional chapters show the Jewish and Islamic viewpoints.

This book has received the Franz Delitzsch Award 2018.

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Chapter 11 The Land in the New Testament (Boris Paschke)

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Boris Paschke

Chapter 11 The Land in the New Testament

In order to learn to what extent the land promised in the Old Testament is valued in the New Testament, the latter’s references to the land, the city of Jerusalem, and the temple are studied. Whereas some passages spiritualize the land, other texts rather suggest that from a New Testament perspective, one should not spiritualize the land too hastily.

1. Introduction

This study investigates the value of the land of Israel in the New Testament. The main research question is: To what extent do the writings of the canonical New Testament attribute value to the land of Israel as land? Answering this question involves, for example, studying to what extent the land promised in the Old Testament (cf. Gen 13:15; 15:18–21; 17:8) is spiritualized, universalized, deterritorialized, or transcended in the New Testament. The findings of this study are relevant from both a theological and political perspective.1

The investigation proceeds as follows: The remainder of this introductory section presents the study’s terminology and methodology. The second section then offers a history of research. Here, it will become obvious that the majority of scholars think that the New Testament attributes value to the land of Israel as such only to a limited degree. Sections three and four react to this scholarly consensus: The third section presents and discusses those New Testament texts that seem to...

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