balfour 100
Israel

Balfour 100: we are not ashamed of (re-)creating the State of Israel

A hundred years ago today, the Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour wrote to Lord Rothschild, leader of British Jewry, to convey the intention of the UK Government to re-establish the nation of Israel as a national home for the Jewish people:

balfour declaration

And the theo-political arguments have continued ever since: Was the Balfour Declaration a fulfilment of biblical prophecy? Was it God honouring His promise? Is Christian Zionism an un-biblical cult or an expression of the Abrahamic Covenant? Do Jews own the land by divine right? What right did Britain have to gift the land to anyone? Did we betray the Palestinian Arabs in doing so? Has not the Church replaced Israel? How can ethnic Jews return to their homeland if they have not repented? Aren’t ‘Israel’ and ‘Promised Land’ just metaphors for how things ought to be among the people of God? Can’t the promised land be found or built anywhere there are people of faith?

If you incline to supersessionism or ‘Replacement Theology’, you’re an anti-Semite. If you incline to Zionism and the notion of a ‘Promised Land’, you’re a shallow, cultic biblical literalist.

Didn’t God choose Israel (Deut 7:6)? Wasn’t the restoration of Israel God honouring His promise (Ezek 37; Zech 12; Rom 11)?

Well, it depends what you mean by ‘promise’.

Should Christians believe those parts of Scripture where God promised that a virgin would conceive? Isaiah 7:14 didn’t really refer to a promised messiah: it was just about a general plan of salvation, wasn’t it? And he wasn’t born in the long-promised Bethlehem either, was he? That’s just a metaphor for anywhere – like Slough or Lewisham, or maybe Kirkudbright. And he didn’t have to be a ‘he’ either, did he? That’s just a metaphor for all humankind. And his name didn’t have to be Jesus (Mt 2:21), meaning ‘The Lord saves’, because it could have been Brian or Steve. There’s no real, actual promise that the Lord will save us from our sins (Zech 3:9), is there? He is not ‘God with us’ (Mt 1:23), and He didn’t need to suffer (Is 53:7) because there’s no real reward for obeying the word of God (Lk 11:27). Jesus isn’t the visible image of the invisible God through whom all things were created (Col 1:15f) – that’s just daft. He didn’t reconcile us to Himself through the Cross (v20), and He’s not the glory of the nations (Ps 96:3; 39:21). And when God promises that nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ (Rom 8:35), he didn’t really mean ‘nothing’ – He meant God’s love is completely dependent on the which side of the bed he gets out of in a morning.

Are God’s promises to Christians somehow of a different theological order to those He made to Jews? Many Christians would say yes, of course: the NT superseded the OT. But why should Christians believe God’s eternal promises to them if His promises to the Jews were provisional and reneged upon? Where does the confidence come from? It seems that if God makes a promise to Jews, it’s a metaphor; if He makes a promise to Christians, it’s literal except where it refers to the Jews and Israel. Is God so confusingly capricious?

Israel is central to Jewish religious and national identity: it is both a theological community and a political community. It is the one piece of land historically promised to the Jewish people as recorded in Genesis. It is the only land where the Jewish nation has ever experienced self rule. Despite the pervasive anti-Israel (/anti-Semitic) narrative, there has never been an autonomous Palestinian state in the area: it was ruled by a succession of empires until the Ottoman Empire fell in 1917 and the League of Nations granted the British a Mandate in 1920.

Archaeological discoveries continue to confirm the biblical record of a land promised to the Jews, who spoke and wrote Hebrew, and worshiped the God called YHWH in what is now called Israel at least 1,000 years before Jesus was born. Jews are the only people who have ever had an autonomous state on this tiny piece of land. They governed themselves as a national entity, producing kings, prophets and poets from whose pens flowed some of the most treasured writings in the history of the world.

Jews have inhabited the Holy Land continuously for 3,000 years. Despite attempts by successive occupying powers to expel them, communities of Jews have lived in the Holy Land continuously since the time of Abraham until the present, in, for example, Safed, Tiberias and Hebron. Jews returned to the Holy Land throughout the Diaspora period, notably from Spain and other Mediterranean countries in the late 13th and 14th centuries.

In Jerusalem, Jews have been the largest ethnic group since the 1840s. During the British Mandate many Jewish communities in Arab towns such as Nazareth and Gaza were forced out by Arab neighbours and their members joined kibbutzim or moved to predominantly Jewish towns. Since the Babylonian exile, the Jewish diaspora has spread as far as South America, China and Australia. But Jewish ethnic identity, recognised by the countries in which they lived as minority communities, was based on Jewish affinity with the land of Israel and the Jews still living there.

At the 1920 San Remo conference, the League of Nations granted Britain a Mandate over Palestine. It committed Britain to the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine west of the Jordan River. Recognition of ancient Jewish links with the land was foundational to that Mandate. A Palestinian state was to be established east of the Jordan River (present day Jordan). Jews could not settle or buy land there.

The assertion that the Jewish homeland was stolen from Palestinians is false. In the early 19th century more than 10,000 Jews lived throughout what is today Israel. In 1880 Jews made up about 6 per cent of Palestine’s population. The land was then a run-down colonial outpost of the Ottoman Empire. Jews purchased much land from Arab owners legally during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and, by dint of huge effort, turned it from rocky hillsides and malarial swamps into productive and profitable land.

By World War One, the Jewish population of Palestine was around 85,000 out of 700,000 (roughly 12 per cent). It rapidly became the most dynamic economic centre in the Middle East attracting people from all over the region eager for a share in the growing prosperity of Palestine. In contrast, no independent Palestinian entity or identity has existed until the 20th century.

On 29th November 1947, the United Nations voted to create an Arab and a Jewish State alongside each other in what is now Israel and the West Bank. It was accepted that Israel would have a sizeable Arab minority. The Jewish State was allotted 56 per cent of Mandate Palestine, since the UN correctly predicted heavy Jewish immigration from Europe after the creation of the Jewish State. Perhaps they also guessed that large numbers of Jewish refugees from Arab nations would also need a home.

The Jewish Agency, led by David Ben Gurion, accepted the plan. Arab leaders rejected it, and Arab attacks on Jewish communities began at once. Britain announced that her troops would be withdrawn from Palestine on 15th May 1948. Aware that Arab countries had vowed to destroy any Jewish state, David Ben Gurion declared the independence of the State of Israel on 14th May 1948, with borders as stipulated in the UN Partition Plan.

Significantly, the Declaration of Independence stated: “We appeal… to the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions…” Within days of the British withdrawal, 35,000 Iraqi, Lebanese, Syrian and Egyptian troops invaded Israel. Despite overwhelming odds, and the loss of one per cent of the population of Israel, Israeli forces decisively defeated the Arab armies. Israel took territory beyond the UN allocated borders because their territory could not be defended against further Arab attacks. 

Some 6-800,000 Palestinian Arabs were displaced as a result of the Arab war on Israel in 1948. Some were compelled to leave their homes by IDF forces, but many left voluntarily before the 1948 war because local and national leaders advised or compelled them to do so. Palestinians who heeded this advice could not return to their homes after the Arabs lost the war. Unsurprisingly, given repeated Arab threats to annihilate Israel, Israeli leaders feared an Arab ‘fifth column’. However, most Arabs who had remained in Israel became Israeli citizens. Jews were also expelled from their homes by Arab forces, for example from Gush Etzion and K’far Darom in Gaza, all built on land purchased legally. And of course Jews were expelled from the Old City of Jerusalem. In addition 800,000 Jews were forced to abandon homes and businesses in Arab countries. They arrived in Israel with nothing.

These are the forgotten refugees of 1948. Both sides committed atrocities. Women and children were murdered by Jewish fighters of the Stern gang and Irgun in the peaceful Arab village of Deir Yassin. Arab fighters took revenge by murdering Jewish women and children in K’far Etzion and members of a convoy taking medical supplies to Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital.

And still the blood is spilled.

Modern Israel just wants to be like other free nations of the world (cf 1Sam 8:7-20), combining the best ideals of the Western world – democracy, liberty, openness to debate and criticism, as well as advances in technology and the pursuit of the arts. Such ideals are much needed in the region, for at times it feels as though plucky little Israel is a candle surrounded by a sea of darkness – especially that which emanates from the jurisdiction of United Nations. But only Israel seems to understand itself from the wilderness and its destination out of that wilderness, and the UK Government continues to take pride in the part we played in ending the exile:

God told Abraham to “Go…”, and he responded “I will…”. God promised Abraham that his descendants would have a land – a geographic entity – and would be a blessing to all the nations of the earth. Israel is a fulfilment of that promise, or the covenant of blessing is as fragile and ephemeral as the desert covenant. Christians and Jews together can thank the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and praise the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ for the restoration of the Jewish people to their homeland, because it was an eschatological promise that He would so. And if that was not a promise, then Jesus may not in fact be the long-promised Messiah, and our promised salvation is nullified in a plethora of meaningless metaphors.

  • William Lewis

    Bravo HMG!

    • CliveM

      Yes a surprisingly bold statement. I am surprised tbh.

      • Ray Sunshine

        With all due respect, I see nothing to be surprised about. Cranmer is restating once again the same truths that he has always maintained. At greater length than usual, I think, but the centenary of the Balfour Declaration calls for something special, doesn’t it?

        • CliveM

          I’m talking about the statement made by HMG (Her Majesty’s Govt), not what HG said.

          Which is what I presumed William Lewis was referring to.

          • Ray Sunshine

            Yes, of course, my mistake. I’m sorry. I misread the initials.

          • CliveM

            No problem!

    • Anton

      Yes. And HG !

  • Ray Sunshine

    Supersessionst (“replacement”) theology runs up against the difficulty of Romans 11:29, “the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (ESV). Also, for Catholics, St John Paul II’s address to the Jewish community in Mainz, in 1980, in which he explicitly reaffirms that God never revoked his old covenant with his people, “[das] Gottesvolk des von Gott nie gekündigten Alten Bundes”:

    http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/de/speeches/1980/november/documents/hf_jp_ii_spe_19801117_ebrei-magonza.html

  • ‘The Jewish State was allotted 56 per cent of Mandate Palestine.’

    It was actually allotted 11 per cent of Mandate Palestine, since 78 per cent had already gone to make Jordan, leaving 22 per cent west of the river in which to situate a Jewish national home.

    This article is a solid defence of the legitimacy of Israel. It is also worth adding that until the 1980s the Arabs did not support an independent Palestinian nation at all but ruthlessly suppressed Palestinian independence movements. Until then it was Jordan’s claim to the land which they endorsed.

    The British withdrawal from Palestine was of a piece with Attlee’s anti-imperialist post-War Labour Government’s over-hasty withdrawal from India, with similarly great cost in human lives.

    • Anton

      Transjordan was never known historically as Palestine.

      Britain withdrew in 1948 because it was unpopular with the Arabs (for letting Jews in over the previous decades) and unpopular with the Jews (for continuing to restrict Jewish immigration even after the Holocaust became general knowledge) and was clearing out of its territories east of Suez and so had no need to guard the Suez Canal any more. Anti-imperialism was forced upon us by the USA when Britain went bankrupt trying to pay for the Welfare State that it had voted for while paying interest on war loans. A worldwide alliance against communism between the USA and the British Empire would have changed the course of history greatly for the better, but the USA seems to have had a long memory and prioritised decolonisation.

      • Transjordan was part of Mandate Palestine though.

        The withdrawal was still recklessly over-hasty.

        • Anton

          Britain announced in 1947 that it would withdraw because by then both sides disliked it and because it had no strategic interest remaining in the region, decolonisation east of Suez being forced upon it by the USA. That announcement triggered a UN factfinding mission (UNSCOP) which recommended a 2-state solution, which the UN voted for at the end of November 1947. Immediately after the vote, fighting began between Jew and Arab, sporadically at first, but then grew into civil war. How would things have been any different if the British announcement had stipulated a later date than May 1948?

          I do agree that Britain had better alternatives, but not by then. In the time before Britain made its announcement, it should not have throttled Jewish immigration.

  • magnolia

    Do we regard those who pushed for Israel as orthodox in their faith? Certainly some surprising Egyptian influences are evident in the Rothschilds’ preferred symbology- maybe not in all the family (since when did whole families agree?) but certainly in a substantial part. Hence the Eilat roundabout discoverable here, if you scroll down. Says what it says, quite clearly thank you. No need for complex analysis as it’s in your face. Pressie from the Rothschilds to Israel. I don’t think the Orthodox Rabbis are too delighted with it.

    http://shalom-israel-shalom.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/ira-maconaria-construir-o-terceiro.html

    • Hi

      Is this similar to the David Iycke theory of “Rothschild Zionism” and the subsequent machinations of the reptilian group from alpha draconia and the greys from zeta reticuli?

      • Anton

        Two facts are fairly clear:

        * Freemasonry is creepy and occult;

        * There is some very creepy symbolism associated with the Rothschild family.

        It is in going further that Icke is unable to make his case, to put it gently.

  • Anton

    Indeed. In 1977, a decade after the PLO had been formed, Zuheir Mohsen, a Palestinian Arab who led the Syrian section of the PLO, stated that “for political reasons we carefully underwrite our Palestinian identity, because it is of national interest for the Arabs to advocate the existence of Palestinians to balance Zionism. Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity exists only for tactical reasons” (Interview in the Dutch newspaper Trouw, 31st March 1977).

  • Dreadnaught

    The worst possible ‘reason’ for the right to occupy land is that of religious right.
    This goes for all religions. People occupy land – not gods. They occupy it as for as long as they are physically robust enough to repel invaders. It has been the way of humanity since they ‘dropped from the trees’.
    There will never be peace in any part of the globe as long as one faction claims that their god gives them divine right over the real estate.
    “Its totally illogical Captain”.

  • Was the Balfour Declaration a fulfilment of biblical prophecy?

    More like a healthy awareness of Jews which subsequently fed into the exigencies of war. Balfour as Prime Minister in 1905 [PDF, p38]: ‘A state of things could easily be imagined in which it would not be to the advantage of the civilisation of the country that there should be an immense body of persons who, however patriotic, able and industrious, however much they threw themselves into the national life, remained a people apart, and not merely held a religion differing from the vast majority of their fellow-countrymen, but only intermarried among themselves.’

    Gilad Atzmon writes:

    ‘In his invaluable book, The Pity of it All, Israeli historian Amos Elon suggests that the 1917 Balfour Declaration was at least partially motivated by the British government’s desire to win the support of pro-German American Jews so that they would help to pull the USA into the war. Elon argues that at the beginning of the war, German-American Jewish financiers sided with the Germans and would reject any possible alliance between the USA and England. “Jacob H. Schiff, head of Kuhn, Loeb—at the time the largest private bank in the United States after J P Morgan—declared that he could no more disavow his loyalty to Germany than he could renounce his own parents. Schiff prayed for Germany’s victory. In a statement to the New York Times on November 22, 1914, he charged the British and the French with attempting to destroy Germany for reasons of trade.”’

    Not only would Britain be victorious in war but her population of Jews would be substantially reduced, ‘to the advantage of the civilisation’.

    • Anton

      There were multiple reasons for the Balfour Declaration, and nobody knows how strongly each of the weighted on Lloyd George’s War Cabinet. That has not stopped over-confident historians from assigning weighting, but such assertions should be taken with a pinch of salt. Nor are War Cabinet minutes necessarily definitive as the men involved were aware that they were being minuted and the real discussion could have taken place beforehand privately. Lloyd George’s memoirs, written two decades later, are not to be taken at face value either.

      The political factors are as follows. Britain would wish to occupy Palestine as a buffer zone in order to protect its interests in the Suez Canal. The British were also aware that a pipeline from the oilfields of Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean would be an important strategic asset; this was built after the war, and it terminated at Haifa. Britain also wanted diplomatic pretexts to keep the French, who had their own forces in the Middle East, out of Palestine. A motivation for occupying Palestine that did not appear purely selfish would suit the British, who invited Jewish leaders to make a proposal. Britain was further aware of the influential Jewish community (including financiers) inside its enemy, Germany, and its allies, the USA and Russia, the latter convulsed by revolution.

      But almost all of that War Cabinet had a strong evangelical Christian background and had heard the promise to Abraham again and again when they were growing up. It is inconceivable that the Balfour Declaration would ever have been made under Asquith and Lord Grey and their earlier War Cabinet.

    • Hi

      Huh? Last time you penned an opinion on Jews , you claimed we were Bolshevik communists? Now pro German Americans? Sesh we can’t win. Why not just say we’re Martians too?

      • Anton

        Or lizards – the most surreal sight I have viewed on TV was David Icke arguing with an angry bunch of B’nai Brith Jews, who were convinced that when Icke was saying giant lizards disguised as humans were taking over the world, it was code for Jews; and Icke insisting back that he really did mean lizards.

      • @ Hannah Out Loud—Jews in Russia believed it would be to their advantage to remove the Tsar and his government and then carry out an ethnic and religious cleansing of the population. Jews in America who retained a loyalty to Germany believed their advantage would be best served by a German victory. One of the major themes of Kevin MacDonald’s trilogy—A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy, Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism and The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements—is the vigour with which Jews pursue their best interest, regardless of whether their best interest coincides with that of the host population, which it does only rarely and by sheer accident.

        • Anton

          Jews in Russia believed it would be to their advantage to remove the Tsar

          Not an unreasonable belief given that the main organisation fomenting the pogroms of 1881-4 and 1903-6 was the Russian Orthodox Church.

          • @ Anton—It’s noteworthy how Christians believe the worst about each other. Andrew Joyce writes:

            ‘Eschewing Jewish communal victimhood narratives, [John Doyle] Klier, professor of modern Jewish history at University College London, pioneered a clinical approach to the study of Russian-Jewish relations by employing a methodology based purely on verifiable archival records. The result was a body of findings that disproved almost every aspect of the existing Jewish narrative. The “repressive” May Laws were found to be overwhelmingly benign. The “pogroms” were almost non-existent, and were largely the fictional products of Jewish propaganda networks stretching from Kiev to Vienna, and from Vienna to London and beyond. Jews were found to have been heavily involved in a large number of socially antagonistic behaviors (from draft-evasion to rampant usury), while no evidence could be found that Russians had an irrational hatred of the Jewish religion. Klier found that the mass exodus of Jews from Russia to the United States in the late nineteenth century had no link to violence, but very strong links to economic slumps and population growth. In total, Klier’s work was a rejection of the myth of Tsarist oppression. Perhaps most controversially, it implicitly suggested that there was a strong logic to Russian anti-Jewish feeling and, by extension, to anti-Semitism more generally.’

            Perhaps Jews took against the Russian Orthodox Church because of its teaching that the Antichrist will be a Jew (see Brother Nathanael’s video The Coming Of The Anti-Christ), a teaching which is never going to endear the church to God’s Chosen.

          • Anton

            It is on the basis of Daniel 11:37 that some Christians believe the Antichrist will be a Jew and a homosexual. The verse states that he “will show no regard for the Elohim of his fathers or the desire of women”. Elohim means “gods” but despite being plural is also used of the Creator in the Old Testament (which Christians take to be a hint at the Trinity). So this man might be a Jew, if Elohim refers to the Creator, or he might be a pagan if Elohim refers to a plurality of gods such as the pagan Greek gods of Mt Olympus. He comes “out of the sea” in the book of Revelation (ch. 13) whereas his False Prophet comes “out of the land”. Some take this to mean that he comes out of the sea of nations, whereas his prophet comes out of the land, ie Israel. So the interpretation you give is not necessarily correct; what can safely be said is that we have been given enough clues to recognise him when the time comes.

            A sizeable Jewish population came under Russian governance for the first time in the 18th century, and Jews faced pogroms. How, if not from its church, had the Russian people learnt anti-semitism? The traditional argument is that the Jews crucified Jesus, although Jews were on both sides, for Jesus’ disciples and consequently the first church was Jewish.

            Some 2000 Jews were killed in the pogrom of 1903-6 although Jews were not behaving violently. As for the pogrom of 1881-4, it broke out in response to the assassination of Tsar Alexander II, which was not conducted by Jews.

          • @ Anton—we have been given enough clues to recognise [the Antichrist] when the time comes

            Brother Nathanael would argue that the degradation of Western civilization is proof that the Antichrist is already among us, staunchly defended by Christians who refuse to believe he is capable of wrongdoing and will not have a word said against him.

          • Anton

            I can’t tell from what you say if Nathanael regards him as a man or a spirit, but if a man then I would not rule it out given my understanding of timescale. I repeat that we have been given enough clues to recognise him whenever the time comes.

          • @ Anton—Brother Nathanael’s feet are firmly on the ground. He makes it clear in his videos that the West is being degraded by human (specifically, Jewish) effort.

          • Anton

            That’s an opinion I don’t share.

          • Palmoni

            Bro Nathanael {never heard of him} is correct, Globalism is its popular name and its epicentre is New York {Mystery Babylon} .Destabilisation of the Mid East was no accident with its subsequent invasion of Europe. Given that antichrist is a denial of the Son {John1/2} it is no surprise that Islam is the other entity currently much in vogue. The good news 2Ths 2 v8 that Wicked is close to being revealed

          • Anton

            Someone who didn’t know how to read the Bible a generation ago started using the phrase “Mystery Babylon” when the meaning of Rev 17:5 is obviously on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “Babylon the Great, Mother of Harlots…”

          • Palmoni

            V 18 is what i had in mind, The Woman is that great city etc The mystery being in the name of the city, that being New York home of World capitalism {love of money = idolatry} . WTO complex consisted of 7 buildings {hills} The recent Brexit referendum was framed totally by the remainers in terms of the economy/money, it worked in the Scottish ref but came as a massive shock to the globalists with Brexit hence their increasing desperation

          • @ Palmoni—Do follow Brother Nathanael, a breath of fresh air if ever there were one. Most of the Christians who post comments on these threads prefer Jewish lies to Brother Nathanael’s truth. Islam is just one of the weapons being used against the West, along with attacks on the family, the nation state, free speech and societal cohesion.

  • Richard B

    A biblical prophecy?? Have just blogged an interesting fact about this anniversary’s possible relevance to biblical prophecy. In my opinion it’s prophetically signaled by the fact that today’s top news in World Watch Daily has sandwiched this centenary between two Gog-Magog (Ezekiel 38-39) relevant headlines on Iran! Then the next relates to technological developments in ‘the mark of the beats (Rev 13:13-16) Fascinating combination of news directly connected to both testaments of the Bible. (For overview see https://wp.me/p1Y1yB-arK)

    • Hi

      Any thoughts on planet Nibiru?

      • Richard B

        None whatsoever Hannah (noted sensationalist claims about it some years ago).

        • Hi Richard

          Cool. There is a possibility of a ninth planet according to NASA , but that’s about it (poor Pluto got downgraded and isn’t a planet anymore).

          P.S. : I liked the picture of on your blog of the lion ripping up the EU flag and was intrigued by the essay “the bible case for Brexit”.

          • Anton

            The Bible case for Brexit is simply that God divided humanity by language and the people over the water don’t speak English. There are many many political arguments but that is the Biblical one.

    • TropicalAnglican

      Thanks very much, I couldn’t read Boris Johnson’s article in The Telegraph as it was a Premium item, but it was very heartening to see the following paragraphs that you had in your blog post:

      ‘I served a stint at a kibbutz in my youth, and (though I was mainly washing up) I saw enough to understand the miracle of Israel: the bonds of hard work, self-reliance and an audacious and relentless energy that hold together a remarkable country.

      ‘Most of all, there is the incontestable moral goal: to provide a persecuted people with a safe and secure homeland. So I am proud of Britain’s part in creating Israel and Her Majesty’s Government will mark the Centenary of the Balfour Declaration on Thursday in that spirit…’

  • Zionism is not in fulfilment of prophecy. Restoration was promised to a repentant covenant people. Jews today are an unrepentant covenant rejecting nation. We look for a new Jerusalem coming down from heaven not an earthly one. I reject Zionism but am no anti-semite. Israel has a right to exist but not a divine one.

    • Ray Sunshine

      I reject Zionism … Israel has a right to exist …

      Isn’t that a contradiction? What is Zionism, if not the recognition that Israel has the right to exist?

      • Zionism is the belief that Israel has a DIVINE right to exist.

        • Anton

          Herzl was secular.

        • Ray Sunshine

          No mention of the word divine in the online Oxford Dictionaries definition:

          1 A movement for (originally) the re-establishment and (now) the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel. It was established as a political organization in 1897 under Theodor Herzl, and was later led by Chaim Weizmann.

          https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/zionism

          There’s a nice knock-down argument for you, eh, Humpty?

          • OK. Christian Zionism is the belief that Israel has a DIVINE right to exist. It is also the view of non-secular Jews.

        • Hi

          There’s different forms of Zionism, both secular and religious.

    • Anton

      Restoration was promised to a repentant covenant people.

      Not in Ezekiel 37:21-3; the order is different.

      • What order? No repentance there but regeneration.

        • Anton

          Restoration followed by repentance. Jews are turning to Christ in a mass movement now that they are back in the Land. By mass movement I do not mean in large numbers (yet) but a concerted movement of Jew converting Jew, a chain reaction. That never happened in the previous 1800 years.

          • The text shows regeneration then restoration like the Christian ordo salutis of regeneration prior to repentance and faith. I rejoice if there is a considerable number of Israelis being saved but I have not heard it. What I hea is strong Israeli opposition to Messianic Jews.

          • Anton

            I don’t know what you mean by regeneration in this context; please clarify.

            There is only weak opposition to Messianic Jews, because Israel is secular. The ultra-Orthodox are virulently opposed but they don’t even believe that the State of Israel should exist so who cares what they think? (They put a tradition that Messiah must come first, in order to lead them back, above scripture – nothing new for them.) Messianics are estimated at a bit under 0.5% of Israel’s population but not one has been killed for his faith by another Jew there and only one nearly has.

          • That is encouraging. I know the Lubavich are anti-zionist believing Messiah must come before restoration to the land. Regeneration – basic term in theology. God regenerates us then we believe, repent and are converted.

          • Chefofsinners

            Roll up roll up. Ringside seats to see Calvinism disproving itself by taking itself to its absurd logical conclusion.

          • Nonsense. What lack in logic?

          • Chefofsinners

            Not a lack of logic, too much logic.
            Remove freewill from the equation and apply logic, like a Calvinist always will, and you are forced to assert that regeneration occurs before belief, repentance and conversion. But regeneration is evidently the result of belief, repentance and conversion.

          • But Jesus did not tell Nicodemus to repent and believe. He told him he must to be born again. Impossible replied Nicodemus. He did not understand he needed regeneration which is God’s initiative. Is your salvation because of your free will or God’s initiative?

  • Dolphinfish

    Without consulting my books –

    The Zionist immigrants may have purchased the land “from Arab owners”, but these “owners” were mostly members of the Effendi class, local Arabs with a couple of goats more than their neighbours who were registered as owners under the Ottoman Land Act of 1857 for legal purposes, but were only regarded as such because Ottoman law demanded all land must have a legal owner. As far as the indigenous population were concerned, the land was held under “communal usufruct”, the communal right of a group to use property which was not itself theirs. It’s analogous to the Native American concept that one could no more own land than they could own a parcel of sea water. The immigrants knew this perfectly well when they bunged the effendis for a song, reasoning that once they had the so-called legal possession, they could strong-arm the locals out. If they’d dug deep and actually paid the natives themselves, there might not be a problem now.

    The land was not “a run down colonial outpost”. Most of it was farmed and productive (why would anyone want it if it weren’t?). The Jaffa orange groves were planted, nursed, harvested, their produced boxed, exported and sold abroad by Arabs long before the Zionists showed up.

    The “most dynamic economic centre in the Middle East” was not Israel, it was Lebanon, which is why the Israelis bombed, attacked and destabalized it.

    The odds against Israel in 1947 were not “overwhelming” or anything like it. They put comparable forces to the Arab armies in the field on the first day, and outnumbered them three to one by the end of the war. Nor did the Arabs invade immediately the British withdrew. The British withdrew to barracks six full months BEFORE official withdrawal from Palastine and allowed massacres like Deir Yassin to take place in order to drive Arabs out of the Jewish sector, since the population of those areas was about 45% Arab, which would make a “Jewish state” impossible. They had to be got rid of. The American proposed ceasefire during that period was accepted by the Arabs, but rejected by the Jews. We never hear about this now because it doesn’t fit the narrative.

    I could pick this apart like a clock, but what would be the point? On the Israeli problem, it’s special rules for special people, and their apologists in the west have no answer but to start screaming anti-semite. The term “useful idiots” comes to mind.

    • Anton

      I could pick this apart like a clock

      Go on mate, try it. I’ll be correcting the errors in this post of yours later today.

      • Dolphinfish

        Presumably, you can’t correct them right away because you don’t know what they are until you consult the Israeli embassy. But they must be there because, well, special rules for special people. Like I say, useful idiots.

        • Anton

          People resort to insult when they run out of argument. I’ve a few other things to do today and you may look forward to hearing from me in good time.

    • Hi

      Mark Twain once that Israel was a “desolate country… We never saw a human being on the whole route… There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere.”

      Most Arab “Palestinians” are not indigenous to Israel. Most “Palestinian”-Arabs immigrated into Israel from Arab nations and northern Africa (Algeria, etc.) after waves of Jewish communities started rebuilding Israel in the mid-to-late 1800s through mid-1900s. “Palestinian” Arab last names such as “al Masri” (meaning “from Egypt”) and “Mugrabi” (“North African”) reveal some of the Palestinian Arabs’ origins. And actually, the world always understood that “Palestinian” meant “Jew.”

      • Anton

        Indeed. Palestine had been invaded and administered by Egypt from 1831 to 1840, when many Egyptians settled and many local Arabs left to avoid high taxes and conscription into Egyptian armed forces.

        When Britain unfortunately began to limit Jewish migration to Mandatory Palestine in the 1930s, there remained relatively unrestricted illegal Arab immigration into it, upon which the British Governor of the Sinai, C.S. Jarvis, passed dry comment to the effect that: “This illegal Arab immigration was not only going on from Sinai, but also from Transjordan and Syria, and it was very difficult to make out a case for the misery of the Arabs if at the same time their compatriots from adjoining states could not be kept from going in to share that misery.” (Report of a discussion, in United Empire magazine, London, vol. 28 pp. 632-3; 1937.)

    • Anton

      According to the Shaw Commission which reported for Britain on the riots of August 1929 concerning access of Jews to the Wailing Wall, the underlying issue was concern by the Arab community that the Jewish community was growing in size and purchasing land. Most of this land was purchased from absentee Arab owners, who received offers; in the 1920s it consisted mainly of marginal land that was not used for agriculture and was therefore cheaper, such as sand dunes, or swamp which the Jews drained and made productive. But Arab tenant families were given notice to quit, because Jews generally lived on – or employed only other Jews on – land that they owned. This trend increased in the 1930s when no more dunes or swampland was available, and Jewish agencies made purchases of smaller plots that were already in agricultural use.

      At the time of the UN partition vote in November 1947, Jews owned outright 7% of the area of Mandatory Palestine, but by no means all of the rest was in Arab hands. I’d like a reference for your claim that all of the land area was registered to somebody under the Ottomans, as I’d thought that there was extensive public land.

      It is not accurate to claim that “The immigrants knew this perfectly well when they bunged the effendis for a song, reasoning that once they had the so-called legal possession, they could strong-arm the locals out. If they’d dug deep and actually paid the natives themselves, there might not be a problem now.” First, there is no point in paying people who don’t own the land for it, is there? Second, the Jews who purchased land paid several times more than an Arab would, because the sellers knew that Jews had far more money and that some Jews had a fund behind them. That’s simply market forces and the Jews never complained that they were being ripped off. Third, the reason that there is a “problem now” is to do with who has jurisdiction in the land far more than who holds title deeds to parts of it.

      • carl jacobs

        Once of the principle arguments raised against a Jewish state was the lack of economic opportunity in Palestine. There was great concern that Jewish immigration would rapidly exceed the ability of the local economy to sustain them. Palestine was a poor backwater at the time.

        • Hi

          That’s what the Arab counties hoped to achieve when a million Jewish refugees were air lifted and or forced to flee to Israel after being made stateless and stripped of any kind of wealth. It almost succeed. One small anecdote from my family was the the Ashkenazi administrators of the transit and refugee camps , tried to feed Mizrahi and Sephardi schmaltz herring ( unknown to us non European middle eastern Jews) for breakfast, which caused a mini riot as people were convinced it was sub standard rotting fish or positioned ….

          • Anton

            Yes, and you integrated them, in contrast to Arab countries adjacent to Israel which keep their ethnic and religious brethren, who fled in 1948, in camps down to the third generation, so as to maintain the resentment against Israel. Says it all.

          • Hi

            I feel a song coming on;

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GYkk_NQZ7CQ

            “God will fulfill your heart’s desire
            Take you to the place you want to go”
            Keep dreaming of the land of your history
            And you’re walking the streets before you know

            On wings of eagles they took to the sky
            Not sure how this magic carpet would fly
            Then cries of joy at the first Shalom
            50,000 Yemenites coming home!

            My heart is dancing in Jerusalem

            Next came Ezra and Nechemia
            Redeeming our brothers of Babylon
            2000 years in the shuq of Bagdad
            Soon every last soul would come along

            Though it seemed impossible to achieve
            Morocco’s Jews were the next to leave
            They’re a pillar of the temple of Solomon
            Hear the sound of French ringing through Zion

            My heart is dancing in Jerusalem

            Soon we’ll be dancing in Jerusalem
            The whole world dancing in Jerusalem

            V’lirushalayim ir’cha
            B’rachamim tashuv
            V’tishkon b’tocha
            Ka’asher dibarta

            Beta Israel watched in awe
            From the tribe of Dan in Ethiopia
            Slipping through the border of the Sudan
            They crossed the desert to reach their land

            We marched for the rights of refusnikim
            To help them realize their aliyah dream
            After 70 years of a living hell
            See the celebration when that curtain fell

            My heart is dancing in Jerusalem

            Soon we’ll be dancing in Jerusalem
            The whole world dancing in Jerusalem
            Your heart is dancing in Jerusalem
            Time to come home to Jerusalem

            Verse 1 depicts aliyah from Yemen, verse 2 from Iraq and Morocco, verse 3 Ethiopia and the former USSR.

            “And to Jerusalem, Your city, may You return in compassion, and may You rest within it, as you have spoken.”
            –Liturgy

          • carl jacobs

            schmaltz herring … for breakfast, which caused a mini riot as people were convinced it was sub standard rotting fish or poisoned

            [Looks at Avi]

            BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    • carl jacobs

      Great Moments in Dolphinfish history:

      1. 1932. Chinese Terrorists blow up railroad and trigger Japanese defensive occupation of Manchuria.

      2. 1941. FDR and Churchill pay Japanese to bomb Pearl Harbor.

      3. 1969. Americans fake first of several Apollo “Moon Landings”.

    • Chefofsinners

      Without consulting my books –
      A dolphin ain’t a fish.

    • Royinsouthwest

      The “most dynamic economic centre in the Middle East” was not Israel, it was Lebanon, which is why the Israelis bombed, attacked and destabalized it.

      A ludicrous conspiracy theory. The only reason the Israelis attacked Lebanon was because it was being used as a base to attack Israel.

    • Rhoda

      Try consulting the Bible.

  • carl jacobs

    The creation of the State of Israel owed very little to either Britain or the Balfour Declaration. In fact the creation of Israel occurred in the face of active opposition from the FCO. The creation of Israel occurred because:

    1. FDR died and Harry Truman became President.
    2. Truman was sympathetic to the plight of and desires of Jewish refugees in Europe.
    3. Truman was willing to push the issue against the active opposition of his own State and Defense Depts.

    Without the confluence of the Holocaust and the presidency of Truman there would be no state of Israel today.

    • Anton

      Had Mandatory Palestine not been in place as a direct result of the Balfour Declaration, the Jews of Europe would have had no foothold in Palestine to expand upon. What do you think would have happened had FDR continued in good health another five years?

      • carl jacobs

        Absolutely nothing. FDR had no intention of honoring any pledge to create Israel. The State and Defense Depts wanted good relations with the Arabs to prevent Soviet encroachment in the region. The advent of the Truman Presidency was the key enabling moment for the existence of Israel. He personally made it happen because he personally forced the power of the US behind it.

        • Anton

          “Absolutely nothing” is not accurate, because Britain would still have quit Mandatory Palestine, tired of being shot at by Arabs for letting Jews in, and being shot at by Jews for not letting enough Jews in, and having no further interest in the Suez Canal after India was granted independence. Something would have happened in Palestine when the Brits quit even if FDR had remained in place. What?

          • carl jacobs

            When I said “Nothing” I meant “There would not have been a state of Israel created”. The FCO wanted the vote in ’47 to fail. That way the Palestine question would have reverted to Britain and the Americans would have been out of it.

            What would have happened if the vote had failed? Interesting question. We’ll never know. But I don’t see an Israeli state emerging from that circumstance because there was too much geostrategic commonsense against it.

            That’s why Truman was so critical. He pushed for it against US interests.

          • Anton

            Why do you think he did that? I’m genuinely interested.

          • carl jacobs

            Truman had a very close friend (I think from the Army) who was Jewish. Zionists used that connection to get direct access to the President to make their case. Truman was also bothered by the plight of Jewish refugees in Europe. Remember the general attitude of the time towards them was “Just go away.”

          • Ray Sunshine

            That’s a difficult (for me, impossible) question to answer in a sentence or two on a comments thread. Carl has already said as much as I know about it, and more. For a full analysis, if you’re interested, this would be the place to find it:

            http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Truman/David-McCullough/9780671869205

          • Anton

            This is a situation in which I think it isn’t too hard to see what would have happened. Even if FDR had remained dominant, the Brits would have quit for the reasons in my preceding post; with the Brits gone, the Arabs would have turned on the Jews (they actually boasted at the UN of starting it – Jamal Husseini on 16th April 1948); and the Jews would have fought back and won, just as they actually did. The State of Israel would have been declared. It is what would have happened next that is unclear, as both sides sought a superpower partner.

    • Ray Sunshine

      “I am Cyrus” — said to have been Truman’s own summing-up of his role in the creation of the State of Israel. If FDR had lived to serve his full fourth term, the outcome would have been very different, I think. He put oil first.

    • IanCad

      Strange bird, that Truman; but then again, the essence of politics is to affect an illusion of solidity while steering the ship of state among the reefs and rocks of uncertainty.
      From his diaries:

      “The Jews, I find, are very, very selfish,” Truman wrote in July 1947, 10 months before the British mandate in Palestine expired and David Ben-Gurion declared Israel’s independence.

      “They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as D[isplaced] P[ersons] as long as the Jews get special treatment.”

      He continued: “Yet when they have power, physical, financial or political neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the underdog.

      “Put an underdog on top and it makes no difference whether his name is Russian, Jewish, Negro, Management, Labor, Mormon, Baptist he goes haywire. I’ve found very, very few who remember their past condition when prosperity comes.”

    • Royinsouthwest

      On the contrary, without the British victory over the Ottoman Empire in the First World War and the Balfour Declaration do you think Truman would have given the slightest thought to the issue of a Jewish homeland? He only did so because one had already been created even though it was not independent at the time.

      Your comment is rather typical of the sort of American who imagines that nothing of any importance ever happens before teh United States gets involved.

      • carl jacobs

        My comment reflects reality. What happened in WWI did not dictate the flow of events in 1947. For example, the initial vote in the UN on Israeli statehood was headed for failure until Truman got it postponed and actively started lobbying. Ask the Israelis what they think of Truman if you think I am wrong.

        In any case, the institutional forces in the US were all aligned against statehood. The State Dept was worried about Arab relations and Soviet inroads. The Defense Dept was worried about getting sucked into a war to establish Israeli independence. George Matshall (then Sec’y of State) almost resigned over the issue. Truman was fighting his own bureaucracy – which was actively trying to subvert his efforts.

    • Chefofsinners

      Other great American inventions include:
      William Shakespeare
      The Reformation
      Christianity
      Hillary Clinton

      • carl jacobs

        You are free to explain to me how Britain facilitated the creation of the state of Israel while it was busy locking up Jewish immigrants in camps. The Balfour Declaration was a piece of paper. What was actually Britain doing in 1947?

        I’ll say this however. I think Britain should have hunted down the people who kidnapped and hung those two British Sargeants. Jack wouldn’t approve, of course.

        • Anton

          How I hope that they were Christian zionists and preached the gospel in their last minutes and finished with “Forgive them Lord for they know not what they do”.

        • Maybe he would, Carl. Maybe he would.
          My father finally abandoned the religion of his family because of events in Palestine after the war. He despised Irgun and all their works.

  • Hi All,

    * newsflash*

    Jews are the indigenous people of Israel, including Judea/Samaria and Jerusalem. The word “Jew” comes from “Judea” – because this is where the Jewish people lived. (Jordan renamed Judea/Samaria “the West Bank” during Jordan’s 19-year (1948-67) illegal occupation of the area.

    Jewish kings and kingdoms reigned in Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria for hundreds of years (c.920 BCE – 597 BCE). For over 3,000 years, there was always a Jewish presence in Israel, even after conquests and dispersions of the Jewish people.

    Moreover, Jerusalem was never the capital of any country except Israel. Jews were also the largest religious group in Jerusalem since at least the first census in the 1840s. Jerusalem is mentioned almost 700 times in Judaism’s holy books. Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Koran. For millennia, Jews pray for Jerusalem and pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray facing Mecca, and have no prayers for Jerusalem. No Arab leader except Jordan’s King Hussein ever visited Jerusalem.

    By contrast, there has never been a Palestinian Arab state or kingdom in Israel, Jerusalem or Judea/Samaria. Ever. “Palestine” is not an Arab name but is a Roman name, named by the Romans in 135 CE for the geographic area, to attempt to de-Judaize Israel and Judea/Samaria, after destroying the Second Temple in 70 CE and crushing the Jewish Bar Kochba Revolt (133-135 CE).

    Israel thus does not “occupy” land belonging to any Palestinian-Arab foreign sovereign – for no Palestinian-Arab foreign sovereign ever existed.

    • I agree – except Canaanites were there before the Israelites invaded, so not exactly indigenous. But the rest of your argument stands.

      • Anton

        Well they wouldn’t have been there afterwards if they’d done what God said!

  • Anton

    That’s the second big x100 anniversary this week. Both the Reformation and the Balfour Declaration are reasons for celebration. Next week’s 100th anniversary, the Russian revolution, isn’t.

    • betteroffoutofit

      Well there’s also the Guy Fawkes thing —- though perhaps, today, fewer feel like celebrating his defeat . . . .

  • Murti Bing

    Amen to that!

  • Manfarang

    The other national home- the Jewish Autonomous Oblast.

    • Anton

      As mentioned copiously throughout the Old Testament as the Jewish homeland.

      • Manfarang

        I don’t think so. An oblast is an administrative division or region in Russia and the former Soviet Union, and in some of its former constituent republics. The Jewish Autonomous Oblast is in Siberia.

        • Anton

          O blast, I hadn’t known that.

  • Inspector General

    One is somewhat unconcerned about any god granting any people eternal rights to land. Are we not all equal before God. Jew and Gentile alike now.

    A recent report has it that Ayres Rock is to be closed off to tourists. Apparently, the local aborigine people consider the place ‘sacred’. One has no idea who these fellows used to worship or maybe still do. Kangaroos for all one cares. Why such a move is to be taken is mystifying. Ayres Rock is no longer the aborigine’s to do with what they want. It belongs to the Australian state. Everyone then, not just humanity’s stone age relics.

    Land belongs to whoever holds it and is prepared to use force to keep it. That’s it, really. It’s so basic. With Israel, we can give thanks it’s in Jewish hands, not Islamic.

    • Royinsouthwest

      I am glad I walked up to the top of Ayres Rock and, after coming back down, all the way around it about 29 years ago.

      • Inspector General

        You won’t be doing it again unless you’re prepared to forsake Christianity, strip down to a loincloth, develop an alcohol problem and live in a corrugated iron shed…

      • Anton

        I walked up Ayers Rock, which some call Uluru, and was amused by the statistics for the number of tourists who had perished of heart attacks en route. The impressive thing about it is how it rises straight out of the desert floor, so that if you have your back against it you would not even know it was there if the sun was before you. I also remember deciding that we should take a flight over it at dusk and asking the barman if we could use his phone to make a call to the local number given in the tourist ad. He said Yes. About 5 minutes later his assistant emerged from a backroom and whispered in the ear of a man drinking at the far end of the bar, who promptly finished his beer and went out to his car. We did the same. Whenever he turned, we did, and as the airport approached it occurred to me that this man was our pilot. Indeed he was!

        Alice Springs is in a bowl, and if you drive a few miles out of that bowl at night you are shielded from its light and there is no other artificial light source for hundreds of miles. Also the air is dry, as it is desert – water vapour is the main disperser and scrambler of starlight – and the Milky Way is brighter in the Southern Hemisphere. I shall never forget that night sky.

        The heavens declare the glory of God.

      • betteroffoutofit

        Me too – I was there a bit before your time.

    • Hi Inspector,

      So why does the Catholic church need a massive st Peters / the Vatican? What if they was reduced to rubble and a mosque was built on the ruins , you wouldn’t care?

      Let’s change this to

      “One has no idea who these Catholic fellows used to worship or maybe still do. A wafer representing a dead Jew for all one cares. Why such a move is to be taken is mystifying. The Sistine Chapel is no longer the Catholics to do with what they want. It belongs to the European State. Everyone then, not just the Catholic church”.

      • Inspector General

        While you have your ‘social justice’ head on, Hannah, why not come out with “there’s so so much the aborigines can teach us, apart from poverty, alcoholism and sartorial minimity…”

        • Chefofsinners

          Come on, Inspector, who doesn’t love bone-through-the-foreskin chic.

        • Hi

          My beef wasn’t about the Aussie stuff ( incidentally I’ve just been sent pics of an ANZAC renactment of the 100th anniversary of the battle Beersheba, where the British Empire and colonial forces thrashed the Turks) .

          I was objecting to your comparison of Ayres Rock with the Beit HaMikdash in respect of ownership and function . One is a pagan place of worship and the other is the place of Shekhinah and God’s dwelling place on Earth, a place of prayer for ALL nations . Even of there’s a mosque on it and it’s in ruins.

          • Anton

            I presume Kelvin Crombie organised that re-enactment? He’s a fine teacher/preacher.

      • Catholics don’t believe God mandated the Vatican State to Christians, nor do we believe God physically resides there and nowhere else. The Church is where the Eucharist is and where Bishops reside.

        • Anton

          And there I was thinking it was where two or more gathered in Christ’s name! (Matt 18:20)

        • Hi

          Is it time for your Talmud burning ?

  • Chefofsinners

    Britain’s role in establishing the nation of Israel is possibly the greatest of all our achievements. For this our empire was raised up and for this we were brought by God through two world wars.
    What a tragic shell we are today of the nation we once were.
    The Jewish diaspora blessed the world for almost two millennia. The present Arab diaspora is having other results. Some day our nation will turn and rise with others against Israel and against the Lord’s anointed. But some greater day we shall dwell in a new Jerusalem, which is the home of righteousness.

    How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?
    If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
    If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.

    • Anton

      The British Empire facilitated the State of Israel and spread the gospel worldwide. We may be glad that we were used of God and we should pray for repentance, that we may be used again.

      • Chefofsinners

        Amen

    • The modern state of Israel is a “strange land” to God.

      • Chefofsinners

        The Catholic Church is a “strange land” to God and just about everyone else.

        • To heathens and heretics, yes.

          But you change the subject. Israel is a secular state with laws contradicting the Law of Moses and Jews still reject Jesus Christ. It’s no more “Holy” than any other nation.

          • Anton

            Now that is true. But it will be made holy. No other nation has that promise.

          • All Christians (except protestants) have that promise being descendants of Abraham in Christ.

          • Anton

            Yes, absolutely true, but only one ethnos, one nation, does.

          • Anyone can live in the Holy Land, regardless of race or religion. Modern Jews (religious and secular) have no more Biblical right to the Holy Land than modern Arabs (Christian, Muslim and secular), but of all people who would have the most right, based on the Biblical mandate of a divine title, it would be Christians (both Jewish Christians and Arab Christians). A Christian cannot use the promises to Abraham and his descendants to justify Zionism.

          • Anton

            False – I would not be able to migrate to Israel. Anybody can live in *England* today regardless of race or religion, it seems!

            As for who has the right to jurisdiction in the Holy Land, please engage with my reply to you above about that.

          • Jack was referring to biblical right – not secular laws.
            Jack did reply – the descendants of Abraham are Christians.

          • Anton

            I meant “As for who has the biblical right to jurisdiction in the Holy Land, please engage with my reply to you above about that.”

          • Jack has answered that. The descendants of Abraham In faith are now the inheritors of the promises made to him – not his physical descendants. The Jews have no divine, biblical authority to exercise political and religious authority in the Holy Land. The right is purely a secular right as an established nation secured through a variety of ways .

          • Anton

            You are just repeating yourself and now, it is clear, deliberately declining to engage with the responses of many to you about the difference in status between the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants since the Crucifixion. That makes things largely pointless, but I shall ask you this: Do you think there is a possibility of another Flood, given that this is in the covenant with Noah and you reckon all of the OT covenants have been fulfilled in Christ in some way and no longer apply? The favour of a clear Yes or No included in any reply is politely requested.

          • Hi
            There are many Catholic , Christian and Islamic states. There is ONE Jewish state which is relatively tiny and that’s too much for some it seems .

            But why this fuss? If Israel ( the people and the land ) are an inconvenient irrelevance just leave it to the people it does matter.

          • Who has said that Israel is an “inconvenient irrelevance”? Who has claimed the State of Israel is illegitimate? Who’s making a fuss?

          • Anton

            You are doing your utmost to delegitimise it on this thread.

          • Chefofsinners

            But it is still Israel.

          • It’s not the Israel God desires.

            “For not all Israelites truly belong to Israel, and not all of Abraham’s children are his true descendants; but ‘It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named after you.’ This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as descendants.” (Romans 9:6-8)

          • carl jacobs

            It’s not the Israel of the Mosaic Covenant. There is no Temple. There is no Priesthood. There is no sacrifice. It’s all gone and it will never be restored.

          • Chefofsinners

            For much of Old Testament history these things were true. The people left the Mosaic Covenant and rejected or ignored the sacrifices. It has not all gone and it is in the process of being restored, not ultimately to end in glory, but to end in terrible persecution and judgment.

          • Hi

            Yet however much happy Jack wants to piss on Israel , Israel excels in medicine , technology, agriculture and sciences, alongside traditional industries such as diamond cutting , like I was told of an Israeli invention- an exo suit – that gives hope to wheel chair users to be able to walk . Just one example . A real light unto the nations.

          • Who’s pissing on Israel? Jack is just stating the blatantly obvious – that Israel’s existence cannot rest on a series of mysterious and disputed bible prophecies. It’s a very dangerous basis on which to support her right to survive.

          • Anton

            Disputed by those who have no eyes to see.

  • Royinsouthwest

    The 6 o’clock news on BBC1 TV this evening had a rather grudging report on the centenary and the dinner that Mrs. May will be attending tonight. However, I suppose that the BBC’s reaction is better than that of Labour’s shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, who is calling on the UK to mark the centenary of the Balfour declaration with a formal British recognition of the state of Palestine.

    Recognise Palestine to mark Balfour centenary, says Emily Thornberry
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/30/mark-balfour-declaration-anniversary-centenary-recognise-palestine-emily-thornberry-labour

    • Inspector General

      Well done, Emily. That’s the way to keep your massive muslim vote on side.

      By the way, Emily is a really popular name among men who wear dresses full time. One doesn’t suppose…

      • Hi

        Her official title is Lady Nugee ? Incidentally filling in for Corbyn who’s refused to attend the Balfour celebratory dinner….

    • Anton

      I wouldn’t recognise Emily Thornberry.

    • Chefofsinners

      It’s time for a formal declaration that the whole of Jerusalem should become part of Israel.

      • What about the whole of ancient Israel too – encompassing modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria? And how about the construction of the Third Temple?

        • Anton

          Just the area specified in Numbers 34. It approximates Mandatory Palestine, plus a bit to the north, the eastern slopes of the Jordan valley, and minus the southernmost bit of the Negev desert running down to Eilat. In case of any confusion about the rivers referred to, get back to me and I’ll gladly explain.

        • Chefofsinners

          The Third Temple? Yes, splendid, splendid. How shall we pay for it? Perhaps I could interest you in this indulgence, good for a couple of sodomisings? What am I bid?

          • Oh, there are plenty of Evangelical Zionists willing to cough up financial support for the project before their long awaited rapture. One hears a supply of red heifers are ready and waiting.

          • Anton

            Not me. No Christian should support the building of a Temple for animal sacrifice to God for sin. Don’t conflate that with support for a State of Israel though.

          • There are plenty of Christians who do.

            Jack supports the existence of the State of Israel but not because the land belongs by Divine right to them as the biological descendants of Abraham. Arabs too are descendants of his.

          • Anton

            Genesis 17:19-21: “Your wife Sarah will bear you a son and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you, and I will surely bless him… and make him into a great nation [the Arabs, as all agree]. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac.”

          • But establish which covenant? He’d already made His promise to Abraham. Surely this refers to the (future) Mosaic covenant established at Sinai – and that was conditional.

          • Anton

            No, it is the continuation of the Abrahamic covenant.
            EDITED Genesis 26:3-4 (to Isaac, in Canaan): To you and your seed I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your seed all nations on earth will be blessed.

          • Okay but get around this:

            “For not all Israelites truly belong to Israel, and not all of Abraham’s children are his true descendants; but ‘It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named after you.’ This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as descendants.” (Romans 9:6-8)

          • Anton

            Easy: from the same source, Romans 11:28-29 speaks to Christians about the Jews, saying that as far as the gospel is concerned, “they are enemies on your account, but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.”

          • Indeed, God loves all peoples and has a special love for those He first called. However, are you suggesting Jews, regardless of faith in Christ, are among the elect? That there are two distinct covenants?

          • Anton

            There is only one covenant for being saved from hell and being redirected to heaven. That covenant is through Jesus Christ. The Jews alone retain a national covenant that, among other things, their race will not be erased from history (as plenty of others have).

          • Well obviously one accepts there will be Jews and they will convert to Christ before His return. However, it does not follow that the secular political state created in 1948 is a necessary precondition for this, nor indeed, that Israel will be in control politically of the Holy Land at this time.

          • Anton

            God’s hand will a second time recover a remnant of his people… he will lift up a standard for the nations and assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth (Isaiah 11:11-12).

          • The secular Israeli state created in 1948 by warfare, assisted by terrorism, and supported thereafter for politico-geographical reasons by the USA, is hardly a standard for the nations.

          • Anton

            God uses unlikely people to fulfil his prophecies. Cyrus, Nebuchadnezzar, etc. What you can’t do is deny that Isaiah 11 fits the present return like a glove.

    • Hi

      Makes sense : after all Caligula recognised a horse as a Senator…..

  • Note to all Christian Zionists:

    One can support the right of Israel to exist without embracing the heretical and unbiblical idea that support for Israel is mandated by the bible as opposed to international law.

    • Anton

      First, you might reserve the word heresy for views of the divine rather than different opinions on exegesis.

      Second, you are wrong. Whatever be the status of the covenant with Moses since the crucifixion, the covenant with Abraham is no more altered in status than the covenant with Noah. When did you last argue that there could be another Flood?

      That covenant with Abraham is explicit, and (Psalm 105:8-11): He remembers his covenant forever… the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac; he confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: “To you I will give the land of Canaan, as the portion you will inherit.”

      We need to understand that the last 18 centuries were the exception, not the rule. How loving is God, to let the Jews back in even after they took part in murdering his Son and continue to deny Him! He NEVER breaks his word. Now they are back there they will come to Him through His son and it is starting.

      • CliveM

        As jesus died for all of us, we all have a part in his killing, we are all quilty. The idea that Jews are somehow uniquely quilty lies at the heart of so much anti semitism.

        • Anton

          In a sense they are. But what the anti-semites forget, and what I do my best to remind such people, is that Jews were on both sides, for the disciples and the first church were Jewish.

          Among the Jews you will find every trait and paradox of human nature magnified. “We are human; only more so” as one Jew said. (Don’t bother to google it; this was in a private conversation between a friend of mine and a Jew in Israel.) It is a superb comment.

          • CliveM

            And in a sense we all are.

          • Hi

            The idea that Jews are ” Christ killers ” is typically antisemitic and has been used by Christians and for centuries to hate and kill Jews.

          • Anton

            I know. It is factually true but the antisemites wilfully ignore the fact that it is only part of the truth – which is that there were other Jews who were pro-Jesus and comprised the first church. I insist on telling the whole truth. And it doesn’t make me hate anybody or want to avenge anything.

          • Hi

            The Romans executed Jesus according to the holy book of Christianity , the new testament.

          • Anton

            Both the Roman authorities and the Jewish authorities wanted him out of the way – for differing reasons – but the Roman authorities alone claimed the authority to execute people. They connived. Both are responsible.

          • CliveM

            It was the Romans that crucified him. It was our sins that put him there, 99.9% of the jews at the time had no say in the matter.

            No the jews arent uniquely quilty.

          • magnolia

            the jews arent uniquely quilty”

            Nope, that would be the Amish who are uniquely quilty 🙂

          • Hi

            Right. Yes I know we’ve been “replaced” by God and instead holy mother church and the virgin Mary or the chosen elect is the new Israel is Israel.

            And as Martin says

            “Hannah
            You don’t believe God, else you would be a Christian.”

          • Anton

            You know I reject replacement theology or I wouldn’t be saying repeatedly on this very thread that the Jews have a right to live in he Holy Land.

          • CliveM

            Tbh the Jews I’ve met have bèen very human with the usual range of types.

      • The Snail

        I believe the geography of the land given to Abraham was from the Med. to the Euphrates. I guess that might be problematical these days?

        Deuteronomy 1

        “6 The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7 Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites; go to all the neighbouring peoples in the Arabah, in the mountains, in the western foothills, in the Negev and along the coast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the Euphrates. 8 See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore he would give to your fathers – to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – and to their descendants after them.”

        What do you think?

        • Anton

          Abraham was given “land between the Nile and the Euphrates”. It is an interpretation to suppose that this means ALL of the land between them, and it is manifestly wrong because in fulfilment of this covenant the Israelites are portrayed as trekking *towards* – implying that they are not in – the Promised Land during the Exodus, even though they are between the Nile and the Euphrates.

          So how much of the land between the Nile and the Euphrates? It is specified as the territory of certain tribes; then, finally, when precision is needed, as lines on a map (in Numbers 34). Please see my comment below about the “wadi of Egypt” (in Numbers 34) being distinct from the “water of Egypt” (ie the Nile) in the Book of Exodus.

    • Chefofsinners

      Note to all Christians:

      One can support the right of the Vatican state to exist without embracing the heretical and unbiblical idea that support for the Vatican is mandated by the bible.

      • dannybhoy

        Bingo!

    • carl jacobs

      International what? Have you been reading the UN charter under the influence again?

      • Okay, have it your way. It’s a nation state because it has the strength to preserve (and expand) its borders, maintain internal law and order and is backed by the USA.

        • carl jacobs

          You are learning, Jack.

          • But why was it and why is it supported by the USA?
            Please don’t deny views have been coloured by “end time” speculation combined with geo-strategic issues.

          • carl jacobs

            Lots of reasons:

            1. The Holocaust. There is a direct line from the Holocaust to the State of Israel. Simply put, no Holocaust from 1941 to 1945, no state of Israel in 1948.

            2. Geopolitics. They are part of the cultural West and they were a Cold War ally. We can identify with them. And they were surrounded by hostile nations which made them the underdog.

            3. Electoral Politics. Jewish voters are a critical constituency in important electoral states – NY and Florida. There are also a lot of Christian voters who care because of their Eschatology.

            4. Attitudes towards Arabs and Muslims in the US. In a phrase, not good. Israel had the perfect enemy in terms of engendering US support.

          • Jack agrees with that list but would suggest a critical factor before the Holocaust that lay behind the Balfour Declaration and subsequent politics was this:
            “There are also a lot of Christian voters who care because of their Eschatology.”
            And not just voters but, more importantly, key decision makers. It’s no coincidence that as Dispensationalist ideas swept the West that support for the return of the Jews to Palestine gathered strength.

          • Anton

            It’s not only eschatology. Lloyd George’s War Cabinet that enacted the Balfour Declaration was packed with evangelicals who had heard Genesis 15 for year after year during their formative years, and they drew the correct conclusion without necessarily thinking much about the Second Coming.

          • carl jacobs

            What key decision makers? The only influence Dispensationalism possessed was indirect influence through the ballot box.

          • For a realist with cynical predispositions, that’s a terribly nave statement about how politics and influence works.

          • Anton

            Rather than a chancel statement?

  • The Snail

    Wasn’t the Land promised to Abraham and his ‘SEED’. ? How many of the inhabitants are of Abraham’s seed? Does that mean genetically?
    So who or what is Abrahams ‘seed’

    Galatians 3:16New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

    16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say ‘and to seeds’, meaning many people, but ‘and to your seed’,[a] meaning one person, who is Christ.

    Any thuoghts?

    • The promise was originally made to Abraham in Genesis 13, and it specifically says the land would be given to the descendants of Abraham. It doesn’t specify which descendants, it just says his “offspring.” That’s important because Abraham had two sons by two different women — Hagar and Sarah — who gave birth to Ishmael and Isaac. Now Isaac became the father of Jacob and Esau, while Jacob became the father of the twelve Israelite tribes, otherwise known as the Hebrew people, later to be called “Jews.” Ishmael became the father of the Arab peoples.

      • Anton

        Genesis 17:19-21: “Your wife Sarah will bear you a son and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you, and I will surely bless him… and make him into a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac.”

        • Chefofsinners

          And Genesis 21:12 “And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.”

          • That didn’t rule out Ishmael as a descendent, did it?

          • Chefofsinners

            Yes it did. The Hebrew word used for descendant or ‘seed’ in Genesis 13 is the same as that used in chapter 21.

          • Ishmael was the seed of Abraham too.

          • Chefofsinners

            No, because Genesis 21 says Abraham’s seed will be reckoned through Isaac.

          • dannybhoy

            He’s winding you up….

          • Chefofsinners

            No, he’s just wrong.

      • The Snail

        I believe that the idea that the Arab peoples are descended from Ishmael was put about by Mohammed when the Jews refused to accept that he was a prophet, in line with the prophets of the Old Testament. The argument of the Jews was that he couldn’t be such a prophet since he wasn’t Jewish – ah he said but the Arabs are descended from Abraham through Ishmael.

        The ishmaelites were just one of the peoples in the middle East – there wer moabites, hivites, hittites, Jebusites etc – not to mention Assyrians Egyptians, Babylonians etc.. and I doubt they all died out and were replaced by the descendants of Ishmael.

    • Chefofsinners

      Ultimately the land is promised to the Israel of God, which is all those of Israel who will be saved through Christ, plus the ingrafted gentile branches. This is not to say that the Church has replaced Israel, for whom God still has distinct plans and promises, but that in the eternal state the heavenly Jerusalem will contain Jew and gentile united in Christ.

      • What “distinct plans and promises” does God have for Israel in salvation history?

        • Anton

          Read Romans 11.

          • Jack has …. What are the distinct plans and promises still to be fulfilled?

          • Anton

            They are yet to become a nation in which faith in Jesus is the rule rather than the exception. This will happen. No other nation has such a promise.

          • Promise? Where does Romans II state this?

          • Chefofsinners

            Verse 26.

          • “I want you to be quite certain, brothers, of this mystery, to save you from congratulating yourselves on your own good sense: part of Israel had its mind hardened, but only until the gentiles have wholly come in; and this is how all Israel will be saved. As scripture says: From Zion will come the Redeemer, he will remove godlessness from Jacob. And this will be my covenant with them, when I take their sins away. As regards the gospel, they are enemies, but for your sake; but as regards those who are God’s choice, they are still well loved for the sake of their ancestors. There is no change of mind on God’s part about the gifts he has made or of his choice.”

            In context, verse 26 can be understood in a variety of ways.

          • Chefofsinners

            Surely it means whatever the Magisterium says it means?

          • carl jacobs

            Would that be what the Magisterium said on Tuesday or what the Magisterium said on Wednesday?

          • The Catholic Church believes and teaches the “end times” are not known to us no matter how much bible gazing takes place. That the Jews have a special place in God’s heart, have not been cast aside, and that Israel will be converted before Christ’s return, is certainly scriptural. It does not follow this was the secular-political one created by man in 1948 or that this state is deserving of unconditional support.

          • Chefofsinners

            So what does the Catholic Church believe is the point of the many scriptures which describe the end times?

          • magnolia

            Most of the mainstream churches in the UK hold to the same view Jack has described, though lurid and fringe attitudes to the Parousia are commonplace elsewhere. If less time was spent contemplating the dire theology (and film!) attached to, and represented by the “Left Behind” series and more to preparing to die (individually) in a state of grace, as our ancestors did, the world would improve greatly.

          • Chefofsinners

            Most of the mainstream churches in the UK are dying. The rest are dead. Yet the cure you prescribe is to leave ‘fringe’ beliefs which they do not hold. In the next breath these ‘fringe’ attitudes are called ‘commonplace’ – presumably you mean in places where the church is thriving.
            Your comment is riddled with logical inconsistencies and bereft of meaning.

          • Ray Sunshine

            A quick look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church suggests that the expression “end times” occurs there only once, and even so, enclosed in scare quotes:

            686 The Holy Spirit is at work with the Father and the Son from the beginning to the completion of the plan for our salvation. But in these “end times,” ushered in by the Son’s redeeming Incarnation, the Spirit is revealed and given, recognized and welcomed as a person. Now can this divine plan, accomplished in Christ, the firstborn and head of the new creation, be embodied in mankind by the outpouring of the Spirit: as the Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

            http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c3.htm#686

          • To show the majesty of God and demonstrate He is in control of the affairs of man and that His will prevails? That His justice, love and mercy are constant and He never abandons us? That all things work together for the good of those who love Him? That history is moving towards an end point that will culminate in man being brought to the point of despair where there s a wholescale abandonment of God and Christ will return? There certainly not there as a tool to be used like a broadsheet horoscope to show which side we should support in political and military disputes or to require us to give unconditional support to one nation and disregard justice and peace for other peoples.

          • Chefofsinners

            Scripture answers my question unambiguously:
            Luke 21:28-31 “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
            And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
            So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.”

            When we see God’s prophecies being fulfilled, we know He is at work. We affirm this when we say Israel has a God-given right to exist.

          • You know how to read the “signs of the times”?!

            Scripture teaches in the Gospel of Mark to reject the seeking of signs of the end. Jesus predicts the destruction of the Temple in Mark 13, and the disciples ask, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?”
            Jesus tells them not to seek signs. He speaks of the coming of false Christs, warfare, earthquakes, and famines. He speaks of persecution and even the abomination of desolation. In doing so, however, he warns the disciples, “the end is not yet.” He even tells them to “flee to the mountains” when the abomination becomes apparent and “pray that [their] flight may not be in winter,” because it’s hard to run away in winter. Jesus isn’t talking about the end of the world in that section. He’s talking about the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple at the hands of the Romans, which in fact happened in A.D. 70. If it’s the end of the world, where are they going to run to? Where would they hide?

            Parts of Mark 13 deal with the end of the world, but there it’s obvious: the sun and moon fail, stars fall, heavenly powers are shaken. “Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory” (v. 26). There’s also the Parable of the Doorkeeper, which concerns the End and closes the chapter. Jesus tells the disciples, “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (v. 32). And because not even Jesus Christ knows, the disciples are to “Watch, keep alert,” precisely because “[they] do not know when the time will come.” They are to be ready every single moment instead of looking for obscure signs. So too with us, today, as Jesus makes explicit in v. 37: “What I say to you I say to all—watch.” Perpetual vigilance, not speculation, is Jesus’ final watchword.

          • Chefofsinners

            “You know how to read the “signs of the times”?!”
            Yes. Read again what Jesus said about the fig tree.

          • Hardly a detailed description of events in the Middle East involving the construction of a secular Israeli state in 1948.

          • Anton

            Your Magisterium compels you not to look or think about these things. Small wonder you don’t expect to be able to do what Jesus said his faithful could.

          • dannybhoy

            So the Catholic Church doesn’t examine what the Scriptures have to say on this very important issue?
            Would this have anything to do with the Catholic assumption that they -or the Pope of the day- represent God’s interests on the earth, and therefore God Himself will check with the Vatican before implementing the next stage in His divine purposes for Israel?

          • Hi

            My take is more simpler. If you believe at some point in history as you Christians do that Jesus is going to come back and after all the death and destruction , create a utopia on earth, why would the current self proclaimed guardians of that religion want to talk about the time when it will be made redundant and irrelevant?I could be wrong but I don’t see where a majestrium or pope would fit into this scheme if Jesus was physically in front of you. No need for a broker then as you’d get things straight from him and then they’d be out of a job ? So why encourage anyone to think about that time you won’t need popes and stuff?

          • dannybhoy

            Hm,
            If I understand you correctly you are assuming I accept the idea of a Pope, a Vatican, an Archbishop of Canterbury etc. etc.
            I don’t.
            I expect to meet all the great patriarchs, Avraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses, Shmu’el (not the one you know who owes me a shtreimel), David haMelekh, and the prophets right up through to Paul and Peter and the other disciples.
            Messiah will reign from Jerusalem.. (Zechariah 12:10 etc.)
            As has been quoted many times here Hannah, salvation ( ישועה) is of the Jews.
            But we believe that ישועה came the first time as the ‘Passover Lamb’, the suffering Servant of Isaiah 53, surrendering His life for the sins of all mankind.
            The next time He comes He comes as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to reign over ALL the earth with righteousness and justice.
            Have a read of Zechariah 14…
            Consider chapter 31 of the prophet Jeremiah…
            It’s going to be centred on Israel baby!

          • The Pope is the Vice-regent of Christ building His Kingdom of believers here and providing stewardship of His people until His return.
            And Christians don’t believe in an earthly Kingdom or a “utopia on earth” – that’s a Jewish believe and why He was rejected and killed.

          • dannybhoy

            http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/wwfeatures/wm/live/1280_640/images/live/p0/3l/cp/p03lcphh.jpg
            Heresy!!! The Pope is vice regent of nothing. Sometimes he has been a godly man, and sometimes an ungodly one. Do you realise how many caveats, ‘get out’ clauses and ‘terms and conditions apply’ would have to be inserted in Scripture to make this idea float??
            Of course we believe in an earthly kingdom ruled by Messiah Jesus!
            (Don’t listen to him Hannah, he’ll lead you astray..)

          • There’s one passage that states it clearly:

            “And I tell thee this in my turn, that thou art Peter, and it is upon this rock that I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

            The promise there made finds its explanation in Isaiah 22, in which “the key of the house of David” is conferred upon Eliacim, the son of Helcias, as the symbol of plenary authority in the Kingdom of Juda. Christ by employing this expression clearly designed to signify his intention to confer on St. Peter the supreme authority over His Church.

          • Don’t be so silly!

            There’s no agreement on what scripture has to say about the means and methods by which the Jews will be converted to Christ before His second coming. Who could have fathomed before the event that the long awaited Messiah would be rejected by Israel and so unjustly and brutally murdered?

            Man cannot force God’s Hand by reading his own predictions into world events and then determining the actions of other states. The bible isn’t a horoscope. The Catholic Church does not speak on matters that God has not revealed and it will not offer unconditional support to the State of Israel because of some partially understood prophecies about the “end times” misconstrued and peddled by Evangelical Zionist Christians and Dispensationalists.

            Do you support Israel’s “right” to reclaim the whole of the land promised to Abraham, i.e. an area encompassing modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria? Would you see the reconstruction of the Temple and animal sacrifices as required too? Where in the prophecies does it state that in returning to the Promised Land the Jews will regain political control of the region before their conversion to Christ or, indeed, reinstate the Temple system?

          • Anton

            Abraham’s descendants were promised “land between the water of Egypt ie the Nile, and the Euphrates. There is no implication that all of the land between was promised, just some of it, and God later got more specific – specifying the tribes who were to be dispossessed – who did not occupy all of the region you refer to – and then lines between points on a map (in Numbers 34).

            The proof that this is the correct meaning is that throughout the Exodus the Israelites were portrayed as being *outside* the Promised Land even though their trek was between the Nile and the Euphrates.

          • So what precisely is the area promised and mandated to fall under Israel’s political control that is set forth in scripture?

          • Anton

            Read Numbers 34:1-12. One or two places don’t exist any more or have been renamed, and some have been refounded under the same name using only guesswork as to where the original was, but there is still sufficient extant geographical information to infer reliably from this passage that the Covenant area was British Mandatory Palestine plus a little land to the north, plus the fertile land adjacent to the east bank of the Jordan river, and minus the southernmost bit of the Negev desert stretching to Eilat. It’s a great exercise to do with a map and google!

          • dannybhoy

            “Do you support Israel’s “right” to reclaim the whole of the land promised to Abraham, i.e. an area encompassing modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria?”
            That was the original promise but it was contingent on the Israelites claiming the land -which they obviously didn’t although King David got the closest to realising it.
            ” Would you see the reconstruction of the Temple and animal sacrifices as required too?”
            I don’t think that’s going to happen, although there are devout Jews who want to see a new temple built; but there is now no need for sacrifices.
            “Where in the prophecies does it state that in returning to the Promised Land the Jews will regain political control of the region before their conversion to Christ?”

            Lol!
            Have you ever read Elie Wiesel? Do you know how many Jews lost their faith in God because of the Holocaust? Much like many Europeans lost their faith in God because of two world wars.
            So if indeed God is the Sovereign God and has an endtime plan for this world, it will most assuredly revolve around the nation, the people of Israel. They remain His chosen people.
            The re-establishment of the nation of Israel is a miracle of the first order, and the full extent of the area of Israel will not be realised until Messiah Jesus returns to reign.

          • “The re-establishment of the nation of Israel is a miracle of the first order, and the full extent of the area of Israel will not be realised until Messiah Jesus returns to reign.”

            You believe that when Christ returns He will establish an earthly Kingdom with the centre being in Jerusalem and a much expanded Israel? That He will rule through the earth through Israel?

          • dannybhoy

            Yes, but Israel will be made up of Jews and Gentiles who received salvation through Christ. I believe the ‘saints who believed and persevered will reign with Him in some capacity. When our Lord returns it will be to Jerusalem. There is more to come i.e. a new heavens and a new earth, but the most immediate thing will be the return of Christ.

          • You believe in an earthly reign that precedes the new heaven and earth?

          • The Snail

            Agreed the modern state of Israel cannot be conflated with the ancient Hebrews – after all 10 of the tribes got ‘lost’ and never returned . As for the other two tribes only a remnant returned. Even until the time of jesus there was a premiere Rabbinic school in Babylon. Where is all this missing ‘seed of Abraham’ now? Is the answer in DNA analysis?

          • dannybhoy

            The Jews (as a whole) are in unbelief until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled
            Luke 21:24.
            God’s Covenant was with the people he made into a nation (Israel) but not all Israelites were faithful (Numbers 26:10)
            So God’s dealings with Israel were conditional on their faithfulness (as a whole) to the Covenant. They also had the promise of being a light unto the nations, and that Messiah would come, etc etc.
            So as we know they went into exile, they returned to the land, in the fullness of time
            (Hannah, close your eyes) Messiah came and Israel (as a whole rejected Him.
            They went into exile again, endured persecution culminating in the Holocaust; then the nation of Israel was reborn 1948 although as a secular state.
            There are many prophecies around the return of the Jews to their homeland and future events leading up to the return of Messiah. There are some good books on the subject.
            Ultimately though, there will be a nation of Israel made up of both believing Jews and Gentiles who will worship and serve Him who is spoken of in Micah 5:2…

          • And none of that is a solid basis for seeing events in 1948 as Divinely endorsed by God. It’s like saying events in Palestine in AD33, with all their human injustice and deicide, were “approved” of by God, as opposed to an evil permitted by God. Jesus said “Father forgive them” for a reason.
            If you were standing in the square before Pilate and given the choice between freeing Jesus and Barabbas, would you have shouted “Crucify him” because Christ had to die to fulfil prophecy?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Unless you deny the sovereignty of God EVERY event is Divinely endorsed.

          • Jack isn’t Calvinist and believes God permits evil rather than approving of or being the author of evil.

          • Dominic Stockford

            So God, despite being the Creator of all things, isn’t the creator of all things. Interesting concept. Not entirely comfortable with the words of Genesis:
            “Genesis 50:20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

          • You maintain that God actually initiates and causes evil? Seriously?

            As Jack said, God permits evil good or to avoid a greater evil. He is not the author of evil. He does not cause evil. In His mysterious way – and predetermination is a mystery beyond the finite reason of man – in all things God works for the good of those who love him.

            God’s Sovereign Plans existed from the beginning, and free will and God’s Sovereignty co-exist. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out in paragraph 600:

            “To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination”, he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: “In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” [Acts 4:27-28] For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness. [Mt 26:54; Jn 18:36; 19:11; Acts 3:17-18]”

            Without free will cooperating with God’s grace, we’re left with a God who determines not only to save a person ‘unconditionally’ but also to damn the rest ‘unconditionally’, meaning for no other reason than His good pleasure. This is an abomination.

          • Anton

            You maintain that God actually initiates and causes evil? Seriously?

            I see both sides of this but do tell me what you understand by Isaiah 45:7.

          • God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:8, Numbers 23:19); “he cannot deny himself” (2 Tim. 2:13) or act contrary to His nature. If God’s nature is one of love and pure being, it is absurd to say that He can “do” evil, which is by nature a lack of some perfection that ought to be present in a given nature. In fact, James 1:13 tells us that God cannot even tempt anyone with evil. That is contrary to His nature. “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.”

            When Isaiah 45:7 says God “creates evil” this must be seen only in a sense which does not contradict God’s nature and what is revealed to us about God in Scripture. God can directly cause physical evil, such as the ten plagues He released against Egypt in Exodus. But this was an act of justice, which was morally upright and justified.

            The verse can have no reference to moral evil for such is opposed to the infinitely Holy nature of God (Isaiah 6:3). “God of faithfulness and without iniquity”(Deuteronomy 32:4). He is “not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness” (Psalm 5:4). The context of Isaiah 45:7 reveals the truth of the matter. God, through the prophet Isaiah, prophetically announced His intention of using King Cyrus, a pagan king, as an instrument of His holy will. Within Isaiah 45:1-7 is a majestic affirmation of the universal sovereignty of the Almighty God; indeed, there is none like Him (vs. 5). He affirms: “I form light, and create darkness [i.e., control nature]; I make peace, and create evil [i.e., exercise control over the nations]; I am the Lord that doeth all these things.”

            Jack’s bible translates it thus: “I, the fashioner of darkness, the creator of light, I, the maker of peace, the author of calamity. I, the Lord, am the doer of all this.” The New International Version has: “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.”

            The word “evil/calamity/disaster” is used in contrast to “peace/prosperity.” Isaiah is stating that God has the power to cause peaceful conditions to exist, or to bring about evil i.e., destruction or calamity. Consider another verse. God warned the Israelites that if they made an alliance with Egypt, He would bring evil/disaster upon them (Isaiah 31:1-2). Again, in describing the coming judgment upon ancient Babylon, the prophet declared: “Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know.” (Isaiah 47:11). Some translations have: “Disaster will come upon you …” “Evil” can and is being used with a secular meaning to denote physical injury or times of distress- not moral evil.

            We can say that God permits evil in view of the fact that he chose to create us with freedom. But even there, God permits evil only in view of his promise to bring good out of that evil, as is most profoundly demonstrated through the greatest evil in history: the Crucifixion of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Through this greatest evil God brings about the greatest good: the redemption of the world. God did not kill Christ, nor did he “impel” anyone to kill Christ. But by virtue of his omnipotence, He brings good out of the evil acts committed.

          • Anton

            All that isn’t God is his creation. God isn’t evil. Evil exists. Therefore…

        • Chefofsinners

          Read Ezekiel 37-48

    • Royinsouthwest

      The Earth is the Lord’s, not just one tiny part of it.

    • Lots of them.
      first, we should be using the NT to help us interpret the OT. ‘Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham……….and if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise’ (Gal. 3:7, 29).
      The land promises to Israel were all fulfilled (Josh. 21:43 etc.), and so have the warnings been (e.g. Deut. 4:26ff etc.), but Israel is only a type or foreshadowing of the blessings promised to Abraham’s true seed. ‘For the promise that he should be the heir of the world was not to Abraham and his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith’ (Rom. 4:13).
      .
      There is only one people of God– believing Jew and believing Gentile inheriting the promises to Abraham. Read Eph. 2:14-18. This is not ‘Replacement Theology’ but Inclusion Theology: ‘That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel” (Eph. 3:6; c.f. John 10:16).
      .
      What Israel most needs is exactly what Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Iraq need: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    • dannybhoy

      His seed – his descendants.

  • not a machine

    Your grace runs through the history which has various thoughts, the ending of ww2 when the situation became imperiled and looked so very different to what we might think about today. Today’s re supporting of the Balfor declaration perhaps makes most people think of borders, my thoughts are to Jordan and its role.The tombs and places, many not really on the holy land visits easy to see list, still act as a sort of map and the history is still being uncovered. Tourism gives income but even then it must be safe tourism. Some interesting points are on this blog and yet none of the 3 religions will be confirmed until the return of what they prophizise

  • carl jacobs

    To whom it may concern.

    Why did Hannah delete her account?

    • Hi

      I was trying to delete a few apps and accidentally deleted my discus app as well.

      • Chefofsinners

        You don’t expect us to believe that? Obviously a Mossad / Lizard people conspiracy.

        • Hi

          My labs didn’t help matters either….

        • carl jacobs

          Yes. Is this in fact really Hannah? Or does Mossad just want us to think it’s Hannah? And what does this have to do with destroying Beirut as a center of economic competition?

          One begins to see the dark outlines of a nefarious Mossad plot.

          • It’s the return of Linus.

          • Hi

            That’s pretty bad of you to say that.

          • The Snail

            So you haven’t gone – I am so glad _@/”

          • carl jacobs

            Linus is a Mossad plot?!

          • Clever buggers aren’t they.

          • Chefofsinners

            Mossad is an angiogram of Sodom.

      • dannybhoy

        Clumsy..
        But how did Carl know you had accidentally deleted your account anyway?

        • Hi

          Because this is a new account. The sections below where “this comment is deleted” were my comments from yesterday on the deleted one.

          • dannybhoy

            ?????
            Don’t get it. I have deleted comments before now but it didn’t close the account. I thought you had to go into your Discus profile to do that.

          • Hi

            Because I did delete the account . I’m close to deleting this one as well. Actually I’m off now for good .

          • Ray Sunshine

            Why, Hannah? Is the environment here so hostile? Please reconsider.

          • Hi

            I think I’m going to be taking a break from commenting for a while , to recharge my batteries.

          • Ray Sunshine

            Only a short break, I hope.
            Shabbat shalom!

          • dannybhoy

            Take no notice Hannah and keep on commenting here,, Shabbat Shalom.

  • Manfarang

    The Balfour Declaration was aimed at poor Jews leaving Russia. In the UK there was a backlash against Jewish immigrants and it was hoped that those Jews coming could be settled in the Middle East.

    • Anton

      There was indeed a reaction against the number of Jews migrating to England to get away from the pogrom of 1903-6, but restrictions were enacted by the Aliens Act passed by the Conservative government in 1905. By 1917 Britain was in the midst of an existential and terrible war and that war and its consequences were overwhelmingly the concern of the Cabinet. Look there for the political reasons behind the declaration.

  • Hi

    here’s a question : if Jews are now a replaced irrelevant lot of heathens and have no scriptural right to the land Israel and the Church is so wonderful and has replaced Jews in a convenient reinterpretation of Jewish scriptures ( that’s us told!) , why have a Vatican and indeed why do you actually need a state for its elite clerics ?And why not sell it and all its vast assets and accumulation of wealth , which must run into billions of dollars , then give it to the poor? Especially as the Church is strongest in dirt poor areas of this globe, why does it need to accumulate such a vast amount of earthy treasures? Same for the Church of England and it’s assets.

    • Anton

      That’s exactly why I am not a Roman Catholic or an Anglican. You could also ask what the Roman Catholic church is doing setting up its own State when Jesus said that his kingdom is not of this world.

      PS Yes the Bible affirms the Jews’ right to the Holy Land.

      • Hi

        I did ask that question and happy Jack replied:

        “Catholics don’t believe God mandated the Vatican State to Christians, nor do we believe God physically resides there and nowhere else. The Church is where the Eucharist is and where Bishops reside.”

      • “That’s exactly why I am not a Roman Catholic or an Anglican.”
        Well that and another minor point e.g. you reject Apostolic Episcopalism.

        • dannybhoy

          As any bible believing Christian must. Even Peter in his two epistles made no mention of an apostolic succession…

          • Funny how all the early Church was filled with “bible believing Christians” – having written the scriptures and taught the Gospel before doing so, and then putting in the place the very structures you now consider so faulty. Thank God their errors only lasted 1500 years before Luther put us all straight.

          • Anton

            A few centuries less than that, actually; the problems really started with Establishment in the 4th century. Subsequently, you had the chance to heed Waldo, Wycliffe and Hus but didn’t.

          • So what about the 300 years before Constantine? The Apostolic Church and Apostolic succession were all in place before the 4th century.

          • Anton

            Establishment is when many informal customs hardened into formal rules and a network into a formal hierarchy.

          • So for 300 years all the Church had to go were “informal customs” and these were then “hardened into formal rules”? What the Church actually had and immediately put into place within the lifetime of the Apostles, were Jesus’ words and the teachings of His Apostles.

          • Anton

            Yes, absolutely, and we see the writings of the apostolic generation in the New Testament and the church is described there as a network rather than a hierarchy. We’ve done all this before, of course, but if you want to go round again…

          • The Church was a “network” but unity in truth came through their communion the Bishop of Rome. This is clearly demonstrated in the early writings of the Church.

          • Anton

            Unity in truth comes through the Holy Spirit. To deny that is to deny St Paul.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Wickliffe…..

          • Anton

            Wyclif…

          • Dominic Stockford

            Wiclif…

          • Anton

            Y?

          • dannybhoy

            Oh no Jack no Jack, no…
            The New Testament records the need for salvation -all men, both Jews and Gentiles are sinners and under condemnation
            The source of salvation is the eternal Son of God who took on human form and died in our place on the cross.
            The fruits of salvation are outlined, the results of salvation are outlined, basic doctrine is outlined and the basics of ‘the kehilah’ the congregation based on the synagogue is outlined.
            Yes the early (in the process of being) established church wrestled with various aspects of the faith, but the essentials were all there in the Tenach, and fleshed out in the New Testament.
            All the rest is human sourced tradition; as you have illustrated Jack by writing,

            “The Pope is the Vice-regent of Christ building His Kingdom of believers here and providing stewardship of His people until His return.
            And Christians don’t believe in an earthly Kingdom or a “utopia on earth” – that’s a Jewish believe and why He was rejected and killed.”
            There is absolutely no support for this in Scripture.

          • Setting aside Papal authority and its scriptural evidence – which is clear – are you actually maintaining Christ will return to establish an earthly Kingdom?

          • dannybhoy

            Of course I am. I became a Christian in 1968, I have attended various churches and been involved with various missionary groups.
            All have accepted the teaching that Christ will return to earth, to Jerusalem, that the Jews will look on Him whom they have pierced and mourn.. Except some of the established churches who believe the Church replaced the Jews as God’s Chosen People.
            Jesus has never stopped being Jewish..

          • No Christian disputes Christ’s Second Coming. No one claims Jews have been rejected by God – it is Mosaic Judaism that has been fulfilled in Christ and is now defunct.

            But what Church teaches Christ will establish an earthly Kingdom?

          • dannybhoy

            All the sound non conformist Churches I know of do.

          • And who will run this Kingdom and to what end?

          • dannybhoy

            Christ Jesus of course, and as I understand it the saints of all the ages will be involved in administration art one level or another.

          • Jack thought you too sensible to be a Dispensationalist – an invention of the 19th century by the ex-Anglican priest, John Nelson Darby.

            According to this “theory”, God is pursuing two purposes in history: one involving an earthly people (Israel) and the other, a heavenly people (the Church). You believe that when Jesus Christ came, He offered the earthly people, Israel, a physical, earthly kingdom, but that they rejected Him as their Messiah. Consequently, Jesus formed a heavenly people, the Church, who are not meant to reign here on earth, but will reign with Him in heaven.

            However, God will still fulfil the many Old Testament promises to Israel, His earthly people, because, Dispensationalists insist, those promises were unconditional. When Christ founded the Church, all of those promises were “put on hold” until the heavenly people were removed from the earth in the Rapture. Since Israel has now been re-established as a nation, Dispensationalists believe that the removal of the Church via the Rapture can occur at any moment.

            The Christian Church has always understood herself to be the New Israel (Gal 6:16; Eph 2:11-12) and the new People of God (1 Pet 2:9-10) — the recipients of the New Covenant given through Christ (Heb 8:8-13). The Old Covenant was not rejected by Christ, but fulfilled and taken up into the New Covenant. Even Martin Luther and John Calvin understood the Church to be the true heir of Israel.

          • dannybhoy

            Is that what I am, a Dispensationalist? I never understood or got excited about having a label describing my theology.. ☺️
            I never knew that. I was content to be a simple Christian, a lowly and unworthy cell in some less seemly part of the body…
            I don’t like labels because they inevitably lead to pigeon holing and stereotyping..
            I was not surprised that you would be a Christian member of a Church which practiced simony, the worship of relics, the infallibility of Popes, transubstantiation and a celibate priesthood…
            It doesn’t bother me. We shall all give an account of ourselves before our Lord.
            From what you have said about yourself I regard you as a brother in Christ, and l wouldn’t willingly fall out with a Christian brother over things I do not completely understand.

          • Well you picked up the heresy somewhere – and a popular heresy it is too. You should become more aware of the ideas you subscribe to.

          • Chefofsinners

            You should become more aware of the ideas you are so quick to call heresy.

          • Another Dispensationalist?

          • Chefofsinners

            For what it’s worth, I think some of it is right, some is possible and some is tenuous. That’s a view likely to please no-one and therefore all the more likely to be correct.

          • dannybhoy

            Presumably presumably you have read Revelation chapter 20..?
            I remember now that in my younger years the Brethren often used a bible known as the Scofield Bible.. but in subsequent years
            I kind of lost interest in the interpretation of prophecy, except the parts that seem pretty clear – like Revelation 20, and Zechariah 12, 13, 14. Isaiah Messiah, Jeremiah New Covenant, Gospels Christ’s return etc etc.

          • Anton

            Don’t take Jack’s word for it that you are a dispensationalist. Have a glance at my summary immediately above!

          • Chefofsinners

            Par 1: “an invention of the 19th century”. Belief in a literal millennium can be found in the very early writings of Papias, Eusebius, Hippolytus, Justin Martyr and Tertullian among others. It was Augustine of Hippo who did the most to promulgate amillennialism around 400AD and it became mainstream until the reformation.

            Par 2: “Jesus formed a heavenly people, the Church, who are not meant to reign here on earth, but will reign with Him in heaven.” No, standard dispensationalism holds that they will reign with Him on earth for 1000 years. The eternal state, the heavenly Jerusalem, is not in heaven either, it is on earth.

            Par. 3: Accurate enough.

            Par. 4: “The Christian Church has always understood herself to be the New Israel” – clearly not all of the church. Replacement theology has its proponents, but Romans 3 and 9-11 do it no favours.

          • Replacement theology? The Old Covenant was not rejected by Christ, but fulfilled by Him and all the early promises given to Abraham and Moses were taken up into the New Covenant.

            It appears to have been the writings Papias stating that there will be a period a thousand years after the resurrection of the dead and that the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on earth that started this. Eusebius (340), critiques this and gives an insight as to the extent of these beliefs: .

            “I suppose he got these ideas through a misunderstanding of the apostolic accounts, not perceiving that the things said by them were spoken mystically in figures.

            For he appears to have been of very limited understanding, as one can see from his discourses. But it was due to him that so many of the Church Fathers after him adopted a like opinion, urging in their own support the antiquity of the man; as for instance Irenæus and any one else that may have proclaimed similar views.”

            There were various unsystematised views in the early Church about various dogma. It was Clement of Alexandria (215), Origen (254), and Augustine (430) who contributed to amillennialism becoming the standard view of the church. Augustine believed that the millennium of Revelation 20 referred to the church age seeing the thousand year reign as representing a spiritual reign of the Church.

            That’s how dogma and doctrine develop.

          • Anton

            The covenant with Moses was fulfilled in Christ and by all who are in Christ. The covenant with Abraham has been widened but its original meaning still applies as well, or else God would have been intentionally misleading Abraham; perish the thought that God would deceive a man of faith! The covenant with Noah remains unchanged; if you think it has been fulfilled in Christ and no longer applies in its original form then you have no reason to suppose that God will not flood the earth again. This is sufficient to disprove the indiscriminate view that “all of the OT covenants are superseded today thanks to Christ” which you and many others hold. Think again!

          • Chefofsinners

            To most dispensationalists the assertion that God ‘treats people differently in different eras’ means approximately the same thing as ‘they have different covenants with Him’. Covenants and dispensations are largely synonymous.
            What practical distinctions do you see?

          • Anton

            Covenants give a *reason* why God treats certain people differently in different eras, whereas Dispensationalism portrays God as having mood shifts every few centuries contrary to Hebrews 13:8. We have to be able to trust God not to be capricious. And the boundaries between the Dispensations are temporal and not the same as the boundaries between the people in and out of various covenants. Whether that difference shows in any biblical situations, I’d need an hour or so to check.

          • Chefofsinners

            Do covenants give a reason? Or are they initiated by God in His inscrutable wisdom, for reasons largely beyond our comprehension? God does not change, of course, but His ways of dealing with mankind undoubtedly have, covenant by covenant. Dispensationalism would see this as a result of mankind’s successive failures rather than God changing.

          • Anton

            I meant that the existence of covenants provide the reason why god treats people differently, not the small print of those covenants. I agree that it is up to God to initiate covenants for His purposes which we are not to question.

          • “The covenant with Abraham has been widened but its original meaning still applies as well, or else God would have been intentionally misleading Abraham; perish the thought that God would deceive a man of faith!”

            Where’s the “deception”? Faith being the key ingredient to inheritance of the promises as revealed by Christ to Nicodemus. The promises to Abraham and Noah still stand. Why wouldn’t they? God’s promise made through Noah, was to all of mankind and not to a specific people.

            Jack did not use the word “superseded”. The Old Covenant was not rejected or superseded by Christ, but fulfilled by Him and all the early promises given to Noah, Abraham and Moses were taken up into the New Covenant.

          • Anton

            Tel me what you think Abraham understood by God’s words, and don’t forget that God, being God, knew what meaning Abraham would take from them.

          • Chefofsinners

            You persist in conflating the Mosaic and Abramic covenants. This has been pointed out to you multiple times.
            Jesus fulfilled the Mosaic covenant. The promises of the Abramic covenant remain.

            It is not the writings of Papias which ‘started this’. Papias died before AD 170. His writings are very early, but it is John’s apocalypse which ‘started it’. But glad to see you backing away from the assertion that it was a 19th century invention.

          • Anton

            Have a glance at my next comment below. If that doesn’t clarify it for Jack then I don’t think anything will. I do reckon him a fellow believer in Christ despite all this Catholic stuff.

          • The promises of Abraham passed to Abraham’s descendants in faith, not genetics, i.e. Christians, once Christ had fulfilled the Mosaic covenant.

          • Anton

            Mark 8:21.

          • Matthew 13:16

          • dannybhoy

            “Jack thought you too sensible to be a Dispensationalist – an invention of the 19th century by the ex-Anglican priest, John Nelson Darby.”
            ‘Invention’ is as misleading as saying the discourses and deliberations of the early Church Fathers were an ‘invention.’
            This man Darby simply tried to organise the prophecies relevant to the end times.
            Having read a bit more about Dispensationalism I can confirm that I agree with a lot of it, but not all of it.
            Which is as it should be.. :0)
            Perhaps you were brought up in the Catholic tradition, and so imbibed the notion of Papal authority with your mother’s milk.
            And being an educated and intelligent chap, you have sought to defend those things which you firmly believe.
            This can be the case with Protestants – Carl or Martin for instance.
            But many of us who came from a non conformist or atheist or agnostic background, had no interest in defining Protestantism or Roman Catholicism. It was through the persevering grace of God that we came to realise that we
            were rebellious sinners and gratefully received the salvation made possible by our Lord’s sacrifice of His glorious life on the Cross.
            Such as we usually took on board the principle that the Good Book is the manual, the guide book that explains where Christianity comes from, and what it means to be a Christian, and how we should conduct ourselves individually and corporately. It’s all there in the New Testament.
            As I read my Bible it seems to me that the established Catholic Church and her wayward daughter the Anglican Church, adopted Replacement theology;
            hence the adaptation and modification of the Levitical priesthood ritual, apparel
            and separateness -the celibate priesthood for example?
            That it seems to me is where so much of this stuff comes from, coupled with the idea that because the Jews failed in their faithfulness or even lost the plot entirely, that therefore God gave up on them.
            Enter stage left ‘The Church!’
            the bright and shiny new vehicle by which God would achieve His purposes…
            Even though ‘The Church’ has made just as many mistakes and sins as the Jewish people…

          • There are many things the Catholic Church has not defined and Catholics are free to debate and disagree about – within certain parameters. Predestination and the operation of grace and free will is one such area. The future role of Jews in God’s plan is another. The sequence of events that will precede Christ’s return is another. These are Divine mysteries as yet unrevealed to man and they may never be. The Church only defines a dogma or doctrine when debates threaten division and schism or when she believes God has chosen to reveal a hitherto unrevealed or only partially disclosed truth.
            Do you question that Christ instituted an New Covenant that fulfilled the Mosaic Covenant? That whilst salvation came from the Jews, in Jesus Christ, the Mosaic Law is now redundant and that the way to salvation for His first chosen people in through faith in Jesus Christ?

          • Anton

            Well what do you think he’s going to do at the Second Coming?

          • Judge us.

          • Anton

            And?

        • Anton

          Fair enough Jack. That is another reason. I also reject Roman Catholic Marianism. And papal infallibility.

          • Of course. If you reject Apostolic authority and succession, it follows you reject the teachings of the Church and their indefectibility.

          • Anton

            I am a member of the church of Christ and part of His body. And so, based on your confessions of Christ here, are you. Grand !

          • Pretty odd “Body of Christ” if it’s scattered and divided amongst independent parts all claiming to be the “Head” and working against the other parts.

          • Anton

            Christ is not divided and he knows who his own are.

          • Another truism. It doesn’t answer the charge that Christ intends His Mystical Body to be united in Truth under Apostolic authority until His return, as clearly demonstrated in Mathew 16:19.

          • dannybhoy

            And this verse has been worked out through the Catholic Church?
            There are many interpretations of this verse, but remember our Lord was born a Jew, salvation is of the Jews, He preached to Jews and His disciples were Jews…
            their world was the Jewish world, not the Gentile one…

          • There’s only one rational interpretation of this verse.
            What has Jesus being born a Jew got to do with it?

          • dannybhoy

            God’s purposes for the earth are to be worked out through the (earthly) chosen People. We Gentile believers are grafted into the (Jewish) olive tree, not the other way around.

          • Meaning what? That only Jews can have leadership roles in the Kingdom? The establishment of the worldwide kingdom of God on earth is known as the Church.

            This is confirmed for us by St. Peter in Acts 3:25:
            “You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God gave to your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’”

            And by St. Paul, in Galatians 3:8:
            “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed.’”

          • dannybhoy

            I’m talking about salvation, but as the Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ, there is neither Jew nor Gentile, male nor female.

          • Well obviously. A Jew is free to convert to Christianity at any time, by the grace of God. This doesn’t rule out leadership roles in the Church, does it?

          • dannybhoy

            You mean for ‘neither Jews’ or ‘neither Gentiles’?
            Jesus said that he who would be greatest must become a servant to his brethren.
            So I personally can not reconcile that with being deferential to men of rank in a Church hierarchical system.
            I cannot reconcile the verses that tell us we are a nation of kings and priests unto God with robes, rings and rituals worn by a few..
            I can respect men like Michael James Nazir Ali not because of their title but because of their faith. Or Gavin Ashenden, because of his faith and witness.
            Or some of the faithful Catholic priests who serve their congregations in Syria or Iraq..

          • The royal priesthood of all believers doesn’t exclude a sacerdotal priesthood who receive the unique gifts first given by Christ to the Apostles.
            What you’re actually saying, like all protestants, is that you listen to and accept the preaching of clerics you personally happen to agree with and conform to your reading of scripture.

          • dannybhoy

            Jack, you yourself admitted that Popes through the ages haven’t always got things right, that they have been fallible.
            Therefore on what basis do you assert that Protestant Christians accept the preaching of clerics they happen to agree with?

          • Danny, do try to pay attention.

            Pope are human. They are sinful, just like thee and Jack. And when making prudential decisions about running and administering Church and political affairs, they are flawed and too.

            When it comes to matters of doctrine and dogma, the Church and Popes are infallible, through the Extraordinary Magisterium (Councils and ex-cathedra decisions) and indefectible (through the Ordinary Magisterium).

            As for Protestant’s. It’s simple. They deny the truths delivered, preserved and developed through Christ’s appointed Church, His Mystical Body. They follow false and heretical preachers and teachers and deny the sacraments as channels of grace. The “five sola” are a recipe for confusion and division. As witnessed on this blog, there is disagreement within and between Protestants and, apart from a shared antipathy towards “Papists”, much division.

            Before you say it. Yes, there is discord between Catholics and a mighty struggle taking place at present within the Body of Christ. Jack is confident this will be resolved eventually and the Church will emerge stronger and purer as a result – or, failing that, she will fall and Christ will return as He promised. As one concerned priest recently wrote to Pope Francis:

            “I have often asked myself: “Why has Jesus let all of this happen?” The only answer that comes to mind is that Jesus wants to manifest just how weak is the faith of many within the Church, even among too many of her bishops. Ironically, your pontificate has given those who hold harmful theological and pastoral views the license and confidence to come into the light and expose their previously hidden darkness. In recognizing this darkness, the Church will humbly need to renew herself, and so continue to grow in holiness.”
            (Father Thomas G. Weinandy)
            He was sacked for his troubles. The point being, one remains in the Church and prays and struggles for the preservation of the Catholic Church and Catholic Church as many have down through the ages. One doesn’t defect and set up schismatic churches.

          • dannybhoy

            “When it comes to matters of doctrine and dogma, the Church and Popes are infallible, through the Extraordinary Magisterium (Councils and ex-cath edra decisions) and indefectible (through the Ordinary Magisterium).
            As for Protestant’s. It’s simple. They deny the truths delivered, preserved and developed through Christ’s appointed Church, His Mystical Body. ”
            Sez who?
            (Danny smacks forehead)
            Oh! Sez the Roman Catholic Church of course!!
            Look Jack from my point of view I have insulted you and your treasured beliefs enough. I hate saying things that may hurt another, but when it comes to what we believe I have to defend my understanding of the faith. I continue to try building fellowship with the Catholics I know in this area, and that’s it.
            You and I will answer to our Lord Jesus Christ, not the Roman Catholic Church.

          • You’re not insulting Jack and his “treasured beliefs”.

          • dannybhoy

            Well I feel I am, because I find myself saying things that I believe but I am reluctant to say, because true fellowship is built on appreciation of the person, not comparison and analysis of doctrinal differences.
            If you have been watching ‘Bad Habits’ you will see how these young girls change and become less artificial by being with the nuns 24/7; not by discussing doctrine.

          • Why be “reluctant”? Best to get it all out in the open.

          • dannybhoy

            Not really. It is better as I have already said (pay attention Jack), to build relationships. You can then if you wish discuss doctrine as friends, not rivals.

          • …. and then fall out?

          • dannybhoy

            You may indeed continue to disagree, but that doesn’t have to end a friendship or cooperation between you. If anything it puts things in perspective.
            Our Lord said “Love one another” not “Agree with one another”.

          • Anton

            Charge? It’s a pity that you are unable to think beyond legalism.

          • The charge is the correct term as we’re dealing with a direct denial of Christ’s clearly stated intent.

          • Anton

            You are not my Inquisitor. You say it is Christ’s clearly stated intent but I disagree. You tack the apostolic succession on to scripture as a matter of faith and I do not share that faith even though I share faith in Christ with you.

          • The union that Christ prayed for in John 17 is spiritual, not organizational and the prayer has, of course, been answered (John 11:41-42), in that Bible-believing Christians are united across the denominations. The truth you speak of is the truth of the Bible, given by the Holy Spirit to the people of Christ. The Bible contains that Apostolic authority, not the ‘Pope’ or the ‘magisterium.’
            Matthew 16:19 is repeated in 18:18 in the context of all Christian disciples (c.f. 18:1). When the Gospel is preached, the gates of heaven are opened to those who will believe its message and closed against those who will not (John 3:17-18).

          • Chefofsinners

            Christ is the head. That’s your problem, right there.

          • It was Henry VIII who claimed this title not the Catholic Church.

            The Pope, in Apostolic succession to Saint Peter, is the steward of God’s people until He returns.

            “And I tell thee this in my turn, that thou art Peter, and it is upon this rock that I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

            This mandate and promise finds its explanation in Isaiah 22, in which “the key of the house of David” is conferred upon Eliacim, the son of Helcias, as the symbol of plenary authority in the Kingdom of Juda. Christ by employing this expression clearly designed to signify his intention to confer on St. Peter the supreme authority over His Church.

          • Chefofsinners

            Perhaps. You know the arguments. But to extrapolate from this that the keys were given to Benedict IX to sell is a stretch.

          • The Church is not a paradise for saints who are already perfected. The sins of individual Church leaders do not invalidate the authority of the positions those leaders hold. These sins do not undermine the legitimate authority of the Catholic Church and do not provide an excuse for those who refuse to acknowledge and obey her. The authority given by God to the Church and the office of the Papacy is the same today as it was in the days of Peter, Linus, Anacletus and Clement because God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

          • Chefofsinners

            But how do you derive the authority of later popes from what Jesus said to Peter?

          • By the practice of the very early Church who appointed Apostolic successors and looked to the Bishop of Rome to resolve disputes over doctrine and dogma between local Churches.

          • Chefofsinners

            So not from scripture then, but from a history written and edited by, er, the Catholic Church.

          • The Catholic Church wrote the scriptures and practiced the faith as handed on to them by the Apostles. The early Church lived these teachings out and the Church Fathers studied both the written and spoken Gospel and helped develop the revelations they contained.

          • Chefofsinners

            Popped this comment into Papal Translate and it came out as: “Jack asserts he is right on the basis that he is right.”
            Thanks, but I prefer to follow what the bible says.

          • What you think and reason the bible says.

            The Ethiopian eunuch story (Acts 8:26-40) demonstrates the need for scripture to be explained; as does the Emmaus journey (Luke 24:13-35).

          • Chefofsinners

            Yes, for those who do not have the Holy Spirit, scriptures must be explained by someone who does. Both your examples illustrate that. However, once the Spirit is imparted at salvation, He is able to guide us into all truth.

          • ….. and so many “truths”!
            The promise of the Holy Spirit was not given to individuals but to the Church.

          • Chefofsinners

            Do you not think that the Holy Spirit indwells Christians?

          • Not in all who call themselves Christians, no. Jack believes that through Baptism all Christians are reborn in Christ, yes. However, this regeneration, the infusion of grace it entails and the gifts of the Holy Spirit given, can be lost.

          • Chefofsinners

            Your answer is slipping away from the point. This is not about those who call themselves Christians, nor about ‘saved and lost’. It is ‘Do you think the Holy Spirit indwells Christians?’
            And if you can answer that, is not His work to ‘Guide you into all truth’? (John 16:3)

          • As the Catechism says:

            “Because the Holy Spirit is the anointing of Christ, it is Christ who, as the head of the Body, pours out the Spirit among his members to nourish, heal, and organize them in their mutual functions, to give them life, send them to bear witness, and associate them to his self-offering to the Father and to his intercession for the whole world. Through the Church’s sacraments, Christ communicates his Holy and sanctifying Spirit to the members of his Body.

            These “mighty works of God,” offered to believers in the sacraments of the Church, bear their fruit in the new life in Christ, according to the Spirit.”

            And, as Jack stated, this indwelling of the Holy Spirit can be lost through sin.

            “Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth” are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: “the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.” Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to “Catholic unity.”

            Toward unity

          • Chefofsinners

            Two things stand out there;
            1) The Catholic Church claims to control the gift of the Holy Spirit ‘Through the Church’s sacraments’. Yet:
            2) The gifts of the Holy Spirit are found outside the Catholic Church
            How so?

          • The Church doesn’t claim to “control” the Holy Spirit. It merely accepts that Christ wanted one sacerdotal Church to be His Mystical presence on earth to dispense God’s gifts. This doesn’t restrict God. Baptism is a sacrament that s available to other Christian churches and through this gifts of the Holy Spirit are received. The existence of the Church means: Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church.”

          • Rhoda

            You make it sound like a collective wrote the scriptures!

          • Well, the authors certainly weren’t individuals sharing private, personal opinions. The writers of the New Testament were all members of the Body of Christ and scripture was inspired by the Holy Spirit.

          • Rhoda

            But they weren’t a writers’ collective; they each wrote their inspired words with a specific first readership in mind.

          • Rhoda

            According to my Bible the early church resolved its disputes in Jerusalem not Rome.( see Acts ch 15)

          • That’s because the first Council was held there to resolve the differences between Peter and Paul. It set the template for future Councils.

          • Rhoda

            So if a template, why a pope and why Rome?
            The template has a council of respected christian men(Jew and gentile) meeting in Jerusalem.

          • It has bishops meeting in Jerusalem with Peter clearly taking the lead role.

          • Rhoda

            So why Rome?

            James made the final decision at Jerusalem (Acts 15:19).

          • Why not Jerusalem?

            This council is presented as having the following stages:

            1. There is “much debate” (v. 7a).

            2. Peter gets up and says, “you know that in the early days God made choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe” (v. 7b). He points out that God accepted the gentiles without the Law of Moses and so it should not be imposed on them now (v. 8-11).

            3. Barnabas and Paul relate the signs and wonders God has been doing through them as they preached to the gentile (vv. 12).

            4. James says, “Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name” (v. 14), he cites a corresponding Old Testament proof text (vv. 15-18), endorses the idea of not imposing the Mosaic Law on the gentiles (v. 19), and goes on to make several proposals to keep Jewish Christians from being scandalized by the behavior of gentiles, because “from early generations Moses has had in every city those who preach him” (v. 21).

            This text does not show that James was more authoritative than Peter, for several reasons:

            · Peter, along with Barnabas, Paul, and James, are viewed together as the debate closers. It is “after much debate” that Peter speaks. He initiates the process of closing the debate and coming to a conclusion.

            · Peter reminds people of his unique role in how the question was originally settled.

            · James also refers to how the question was originally settled through Peter.

            · James makes his comments about not scandalizing Jewish believers as a pastoral way of implementing a decision that he, Peter, and Barnabas and Paul are all in agreement on.

            The thing Luke is here concerned to stress for us is that all four of these figures are in agreement. That’s his main message.

            Some have tried to claim a special authority for James because, in some translations, he says, in verse 19, “Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God.”

            The fact he uses the phrase “my judgment” is taken to imply that he is acting as a judge, as the final authority, but this is far too much to hang on this single word (Greek, krino), which also means, “I think.”

            Indeed, even in English, saying, “In my judgment we ought to do this . . .” in no way implies that the one expressing this view is a judge, much less the final authority on the matter.

            Matthew 16 is a central and key passage attesting to Peter’s unique position, the rest of the New Testament provides ample evidence for it. For example:

            1. Peter’s name occurs first in all lists of apostles (Mt 10:2, Mk 3:16, Lk 6:14, Acts 1:13), except Galatians 2. Matthew even calls him the “first” (10:2).

            2. Peter alone receives a new name, Rock, solemnly conferred (Jn 1:42, Mt 16:18).

            3. Peter is regarded by Jesus as the Chief Shepherd after himself (Jn 21:15-17), singularly by name, and over the universal Church, even though others have a similar but subordinate role (Acts 20:28, 1 Pt 5:2).

            4. Peter alone among the apostles is mentioned by name as having been prayed for by Jesus Christ in order that his “faith may not fail” (Lk 22:32).

            5. Peter alone among the apostles is exhorted by Jesus to “strengthen your brethren” (Lk 22:32).
            6. Peter first confesses Christ’s divinity (Mt 16:16).

            7. Peter alone is told that he has received divine knowledge by a special revelation (Mt 16:17).

            8. Peter is regarded by the Jews (Acts 4:1-13) as the leader and spokesman of Christianity.

            9. Peter is regarded by the common people in the same way (Acts 2:37-41; 5:15).

            In Acts, Peter gave the sermon at Pentecost (Acts 1:14-36), led the replacing of Judas (1:22), worked the first miracle of the Church age (3:6-12), and condemned Ananias and Sapphira (5:2-11). His mere shadow worked miracles (5:15); he was the first person after Christ to raise the dead (9:40), and he took the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10). Peter’s name appears at least 54 times in Acts; James appears a total of four times.

          • Rhoda

            James was making the decision; κρίνω means to decide, make a judgement, according to Liddell and Scott which is the standard reference work and includes every variant meaning of κρίνω. If you disagree please provide a counter example from LXX or Greek NT.

          • dannybhoy

            This all proves what all Christians acknowledge Jack, that Peter was the prominent personality/leader amongst the Apostles, and that as you say our Lord said said in Luke 22…

            “31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you,[d] that he might sift you[e] like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.”
            But let’s look at the whole passage here…

            “24 A dispute also arose among them, which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves.

            28 “You are those who have continued with me in my trials; 29 as my Father appointed a kingdom for me, so do I appoint for you 30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel!!

            Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
            31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you,[d] that he might sift you[e] like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.” 33 And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” 34 He said, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you three times deny that you know me.”

            Then let’s have a look at the two pastoral letters Peter wrote..
            Ist Peter..
            ” Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,”
            An apostle; not “The Apostle appointed to be Head of the Church in Rome”,
            simply ‘an apostle’.
            Then in chapter 2 he says..
            “9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people,[a] that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were no people but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy.”

            and in verses 13-17…
            “13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution,[b] whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing right you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God. 17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.”

            Here he is talking about various positions of authority and leadership. If there was anywhere one would expect St Peter would ask Christians to respect the position bestowed upon him as ‘The Rock upon whom Christ would build His Church’, it would surely be here.
            But no mention Jack; none at all.
            We all love the character of Peter and can identify with him in his failings. He was indeed the leader of the Apostles despite his failings, but can we then jump from recognising him as the prominent Apostle to the founder and first Pope of Rome?
            I don’t think so. There is no Biblical evidence for making such a step.

          • “There is no Biblical evidence for making such a step.”

            As Jack keeps reminding you, sola scriptura is itself unbiblical and actually contradicts Saint Paul. One has to consider how the early Church understood and implemented the he written scriptures and the teachings of the Apostles.

            Jack has posted biblical evidence that Peter was appointed as first amongst the Apostles by Christ and shown from scripture how he demonstrated this authority. The “keys” were given to him and with this the power to loose and bind.

            Jack then posted evidence about how this was understood and put into practice by the early Church i.e. accepting the Bishop of Rome as having universal authority over local churches and that Christian unity came through this office.

            Plus, it all make perfect sense. Do you really suppose that Our Lord, possessing Divine foresight about the heresies ahead, would leave the Church rudderless and without a way to preserve unity in truth?

          • dannybhoy

            “One has to consider how the early Church understood and implemented the he written scriptures and the teachings of the Apostles.”
            Which means you cannot explain the disparity between your Church assertions re St. Peter and what St Peter himself says in his pastoral letters. so Boinggg! you move away from quoting Scripture to
            make your case to appealing to “perfect sense”.
            Our Lord and the apostles continually quoted Scripture as the source of authority.
            This is why I at any rate cannot accept the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.

          • Mathew 16:18-19 has always sufficed for Happy Jack.

            Saint Peter referred to himself as a “fellow elder” and not as “pope” in 1 Peter 5:1. But in this passage Peter is demonstrating humility that he is encouraging other priests to practice. He wrote, “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another” (5:5), so exalting his status would have contradicted his message. Besides, St. Paul often referred to himself as a mere deacon (see 1 Cor. 3:5, 2 Cor. 11:23) and even said he was “the very least of all the saints” (Eph. 3:8)—but that did not take away from his authority as an Apostle. Likewise, Peter’s description of himself as an elder does not take away from his authority as being “first” among the apostles (Matt 10:2).

            You might ask if Peter and his successors had special authority, why didn’t Christ say so when the Apostles argued about “who was the greatest” (Luke 22:24)? The reason is that Christ did not want to contribute to their misunderstanding that one of them would be a privileged king. Jesus did say, however, that among the Apostles there would be a greatest who would rule as a humble servant. “Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.” (Luke 22:26) That’s why popes call themselves “servus servorum Dei” or (“servant of the servants of God.”)

            According to Scripture, Christ founded a visible Church that would never go out of existence and had authority to teach and discipline believers (see Matt. 16:18-19, 18:17). St. Paul tells us this Church is “the pillar and foundation of truth” (1 Tim. 3:15) and it was built on “the foundation of the apostles” (Eph. 2:20). Paul also tells us the Church would have a hierarchy composed of deacons (1 Tim. 2:8-13); presbyters, from where we get the English word priest (1 Tim. 5:17); and bishops (1 Tim. 3:1-7).

            Paul even instructed one of these bishops, Titus, to appoint priests on the island of Crete (Titus 1:5). In A.D. 110, St. Ignatius of Antioch told his readers, “Follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop.”

            Unlike the Apostles, Christ’s Church would exist for all ages, so the Apostle’s passed on to their successors the authority to bind and loose doctrine (see Matt. 18:18), forgive sins (see John 20:23), and speak on behalf of Christ (see Luke 10:16). Acts 1:20, for example, records how after Judas’s death Peter proclaimed that Judas’s office would be transferred to a worthy successor. In 1 Timothy 5:22, Paul warned Timothy to “not be hasty in the laying on of hands” when he appointed new leaders in the church.

          • dannybhoy

            Thanks for that Jack, and the gracious manner behind it.
            “Paul also tells us the Church would have a hierarchy composed of deacons (1 Tim. 2:8-13); presbyters, from where we get the English word priest (1 Tim. 5:17); and bishops (1 Tim. 3:1-7).”

            The hierarchy or the pattern of oversight? That may sound like me quibbling, but here’s why I think there’s a distinction.
            A hierarchy implies a human structure, and structures can go astray..
            As for example instituting a celibate priesthood when Scripture talks about being the husband of one wife.
            But more importantly, a hierarchy can become overbearing and corrupt, as we see in the Middle Ages.
            Personally I have had dealings with Christian groups who have gone off at tangent, have become controlling, have preached wrong doctrine etc., and I have discussed, debated and disagreed..
            Sometimes it is obvious where the error is (Biblical), and sometimes it is something sensed –
            I think the Holy Spirit within us when something is wrong, and that is how He helps to keep the Church ‘on track.’
            In any case Jack, when you consider how many groups do pray together and study the Word of God and do accept the need for leadership what is the difference between us?
            Doesn’t it all boil down to how we see that leadership working?
            When we talk about respecting the position even if the holder of that position is in wilful error, aren’t we really saying that it is more important that we obey the hierarchy than obey the clear teachings of Scripture?

          • dannybhoy

            The Pope, in Apostolic succession to Saint Peter, is the steward of God’s people until He returns.
            There was no apostolic succession. It’s not there in black and white in the New Testament.
            What we have is Jesus saying,
            “11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” Matthew 21
            Then in Acts 6..
            ” 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.’

            No mention anywhere of a succession; only a replacement chosen for Judas in Acts 1 ..
            {15 In those days Peter stood up among the believers}
            “20 ‘For,’ said Peter, ‘it is written in the Book of Psalms:

            ‘“May his place be deserted;
            let there be no one to dwell in it,”[e]
            and,

            ‘“May another take his place of leadership.”[f]
            21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.’
            The replacement of Judas required someone who was a witness to Christ’s ministry and death on the cross….

          • Why do you suppose that everything Jesus said and did is written in scripture? The Apostolic Church is all there in seed form. The Gospels are primarily concerned with Our Lord’s revelation about God and salvation. There are not a text book or blueprint for an organisation that was commissioned to go throughout the world, gather God’s people together and build the Kingdom of God. Look to the actual practice of the early Church and its evident their was a sacerdotal priesthood with bishops and a pope maintaining Christian unity and settling dogmatic divisions as the Church grappled with understanding Jesus’ message. .

          • dannybhoy

            ?
            I don’t.
            It says in John 21:25
            “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”
            So no, we don’t know everything that Jesus said, but there is more than enough information recorded in Scripture that Jesus did say to know what He required of us.
            “There are not a text book or blueprint for an organisation that was commissioned to go throughout the world, gather God’s people together and build the Kingdom of God.”
            Did you know – I’m sure you do, that this is an argument similar to that used in defending rabbinical Judaism?
            “Oh, the Mosaic laws weren’t clear enough, and we don’t know exactly what the Oral Law says, but our most learned rabbis can interpret it for us…”
            And out pops a code of conduct far removed from the spirit of the Law..

            All that the Church needed to know and follow is there in the New Testament; church structure, church leadership and essential doctrine. We don’t need anything more.
            That is the sin of Control Jack. A hierarchy and priesthood which claims divine endorsement for their authority and can be quite devious and ruthless in seeking to impose it.

          • Scratch a protestant and not far below the surface is venom towards the Catholic Church. Why is this? Jack suspects it is deep felt anxiety and insecurity about the protestant revolt and its fruit.

          • dannybhoy

            So what was untrue about what I wrote Jack?
            Did I express ‘venom’?
            When I talk to my Catholic acquaintances do I secretly hate them?
            Of course not.
            It’s all about our relationship with Christ Jesus, our salvation. If He is central in our life we have true fellowship courtesy of the Holy Spirit.
            Whether we be Baptist, Methodist, Anglican or Catholic we have unity through Him.

          • dannybhoy

            That’s a very kind gesture Hannahle, made me smile!

          • Anton

            Why is this? Why do you expect? Rome’s track record is why. We don’t take the same attitude to Catholics as we do to their church, of course; just as we distinguish between Islam and Muslims.

          • Catholics love the Church – we are the Church.

          • Anton

            So there is no church in Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan? That’s rather odd, because I’ve met Afghan Christians.

          • Not sure what point you’re trying to make.

            There is a small Catholic community in Afghanistan and Mass is celebrated there. There’s a the single church in the Italian embassy with 4 priests (religious) and 16 lay religious (4 brothers, 12 sisters) who serve these members.

            So far as Saudi Arabia is concerned, the Catholic Church is officially barred. The government does not permit clergy to enter the country for the purpose of conducting religious services.Catholics and other Christians enter the country as foreign workers for temporary work, but practising their faith openly is forbidden. Catholics and Christians of other denominations only worship in secret within private homes. Proselytizing can lead to the death penalty.

            Besides, as the Catechism teaches:

            “Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: “the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements.” Christ’s Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him, and are in themselves calls to “Catholic unity.”

          • Anton

            I think you know what point I am making.

          • You failed to make it.

          • Anton

            So you did know what point, even though you said you didn’t. As to whether I made it, I’m content for readers to judge.

          • dannybhoy

            But there is no indication of such an arrangement in the books and letters of the Brith haKhadasha, the New Testament. Even Peter gives no hint of it.
            In fact we had to wait until the Roman Catholic Church was established for it to be revealed..
            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1582585/St-Peter-was-not-the-first-Pope-and-never-went-to-Rome-claims-Channel-4.html

            https://www.gotquestions.org/Peter-first-pope.html

          • It was the practice from the beginning of the early Church to look to Peter and his successors as having primacy over the local Churches. Peter’s primacy is so clear in the New Testament as to be obvious.

            The Jerusalem Council:

            1. There is “much debate” (v. 7a).

            2. Peter gets up and says, “you know that in the early days God made choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe” (v. 7b). He points out that God accepted the gentiles without the Law of Moses and so it should not be imposed on them now (v. 8-11).

            3. Barnabas and Paul relate the signs and wonders God has been doing through them as they preached to the gentile (vv. 12).

            4. James says, “Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name” (v. 14), he cites a corresponding Old Testament proof text (vv. 15-18), endorses the idea of not imposing the Mosaic Law on the gentiles (v. 19), and goes on to make several proposals to keep Jewish Christians from being scandalized by the behavior of gentiles, because “from early generations Moses has had in every city those who preach him” (v. 21).

            This text does not show that James was more authoritative than Peter, for several reasons:

            · Peter, along with Barnabas, Paul, and James, are viewed together as the debate closers. It is “after much debate” that Peter speaks. He initiates the process of closing the debate and coming to a conclusion.

            · Peter reminds people of his unique role in how the question was originally settled.

            · James also refers to how the question was originally settled through Peter.

            · James makes his comments about not scandalizing Jewish believers as a pastoral way of implementing a decision that he, Peter, and Barnabas and Paul are all in agreement on.

            The thing Luke is here concerned to stress for us is that all four of these figures are in agreement. That’s his main message.

            Some have tried to claim a special authority for James because, in some translations, he says, in verse 19, “Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God.”

            The fact he uses the phrase “my judgment” is taken to imply that he is acting as a judge, as the final authority, but this is far too much to hang on this single word (Greek, krino), which also means, “I think.”

            Indeed, even in English, saying, “In my judgment we ought to do this . . .” in no way implies that the one expressing this view is a judge, much less the final authority on the matter.

            Matthew 16 is a central and key passage attesting to Peter’s unique position, the rest of the New Testament provides ample evidence for it. For example:

            1. Peter’s name occurs first in all lists of apostles (Mt 10:2, Mk 3:16, Lk 6:14, Acts 1:13), except Galatians 2. Matthew even calls him the “first” (10:2).

            2. Peter alone receives a new name, Rock, solemnly conferred (Jn 1:42, Mt 16:18).

            3. Peter is regarded by Jesus as the Chief Shepherd after himself (Jn 21:15-17), singularly by name, and over the universal Church, even though others have a similar but subordinate role (Acts 20:28, 1 Pt 5:2).

            4. Peter alone among the apostles is mentioned by name as having been prayed for by Jesus Christ in order that his “faith may not fail” (Lk 22:32).

            5. Peter alone among the apostles is exhorted by Jesus to “strengthen your brethren” (Lk 22:32).
            6. Peter first confesses Christ’s divinity (Mt 16:16).

            7. Peter alone is told that he has received divine knowledge by a special revelation (Mt 16:17).

            8. Peter is regarded by the Jews (Acts 4:1-13) as the leader and spokesman of Christianity.

            9. Peter is regarded by the common people in the same way (Acts 2:37-41; 5:15).

            In Acts, Peter gave the sermon at Pentecost (Acts 1:14-36), led the replacing of Judas (1:22), worked the first miracle of the Church age (3:6-12), and condemned Ananias and Sapphira (5:2-11). His mere shadow worked miracles (5:15); he was the first person after Christ to raise the dead (9:40), and he took the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10). Peter’s name appears at least 54 times in Acts; James appears a total of four times.

          • dannybhoy

            Here’s a good article entitled ‘The Apostle Peter in Rome..’
            https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/people-in-the-bible/the-apostle-peter-in-rome/
            But there’s also this in Galatians 2..
            “6 As for those who were held in high esteem – whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favouritism – they added nothing to my message. 7 On the contrary, they recognised that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised,[a] just as Peter had been to the circumcised.[b] 8 For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. 9 James, Cephas[c] and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognised the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. 10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.”
            and further from verse 11
            “11 When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

            14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, ‘You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

            There is no Biblical evidence for Peter going to Rome and no Biblical evidence for establishing a Papal succession.

          • “Biblical evidence”?! That’s sola scriptura for you. Itself unbiblical. Just look at the practice of those succeeding the Apostles and what they did and taught.

          • dannybhoy

            Jack, consider the following verses on leadership in the New Testament..
            1 Timothy 3:1-16 ESV / 33 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful

            The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? …

            Acts 14:23 ESV / 24 helpful votes

            And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

            Titus 1:5 ESV / 20 helpful votes

            This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—

            Acts 6:1-15 ESV / 20 helpful votes

            Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. …

            1 Timothy 3:1-6 ESV / 18 helpful votes

            The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? …

            Titus 1:1-16 ESV / 14 helpful votes

            Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior; To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— …

            1 Timothy 3:2 ESV / 13 helpful votes

            Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

            1 Timothy 3:2-7 ESV / 10 helpful votes

            Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. …

            1 Timothy 5:22 ESV / 9 helpful votes

            Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure.

            Ephesians 5:11 ESV / 9 helpful votes

            Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

            1 Timothy 5:17 ESV / 8 helpful votes

            Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.

            Acts 6:3 ESV / 8 helpful votes

            Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.

            Where is there any mention of succession or of hierarchy?
            You seem to be saying that Church tradition is of equal value to, or in come cases more authoratative than Scripture itself.
            I confess I haven’t read all of this article, but it purports to describe the state of the Church in the Middle Ages.
            http://www.thirdmill.org/newfiles/jac_arnold/CH.Arnold.RMT.1.html

          • How does any of that exclude an Apostolic Church? And as Jack said, sola scriptura is a human invention from the 15th century and is not biblical.

            St. Clement was a pope near the end of the first century (d. ca. 96 A.D.). He had sat at the feet of the apostles in his youth, and according to one of his contemporaries, he “still had the apostles’ teachings ringing in his ears”. Clement received a letter from a church in Corinth in Greece. The letter informed him that the Corinthians had deposed their clergy.

            St. Clement responded: “Because of sudden and repeated calamities and misfortunes [here in Rome] we think [pontifical “we”] our attention has been slow in turning to the things debated among you.” He then reprimanded them for deposing their clergy and insisted, under penalty of sin, that they restore their clergy to their rightful places. He wrote, “If some are disobedient to the things [Jesus] has spoken through us, they should know that they are enmeshing themselves in sin, and in no small danger.”

            In short, Pope St. Clement intervened in the affairs of faraway Corinth at his own initiative, and settled their dispute by the authority of the Church of Rome. St. Clement’s pontificate was celebrated in the ancient liturgy of the Eastern Church by singing these words: “Peter, Prince of the Apostles, left thee [Clement] as worthy successor of himself; after him, thou didst rule the Church most capably.”

            What does all this tell us about the attitude of the earliest Christians to the authority of the Bishop of Rome? That he has authority to intervene even in far away churches o settle divisive disputes.

            St. Irenaeus of Lyons had learned the Catholic faith from St. Polycarp, a man who had known the apostle John personally. St. Irenaeus became bishop of Lyons, France, in the mid-2nd century A.D. In response to strange and secret doctrines put forward by some Christian fringe-groups, St. Irenaeus wrote these words:

            “We do put to confusion all those [heretics] by indicating that tradition [of doctrine] derived from the apostles of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul…for it is a matter of necessity that every church should agree with this church, on account of its pre-eminent authority, that is, the faithful from everywhere…”

            Later in the same book, St. Ireneus provides us with a list of the early popes, the Bishops of Rome, stretching right back to St. Peter himself, and he finishes by writing: “In this order, and by this succession…the tradition from the apostles and the truth has come down to us.” And, “The blessed apostles [Peter and Paul], having founded and built up the church [of Rome] . . . handed over the office of the episcopate to Linus”

            What do these words imply about the attitude of 2nd century Christians to the authority of the Bishops of Rome? That his office is descended from St. Peter; the Church of Rome and its bishops therefore have pre-eminent authority, and teach the truth from the apostles.

            By the third century we have Cyprian of Carthage confirming:

            “The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. . . . ’ [Matt. 16:18]. On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. . . . If someone [today] does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?”

          • dannybhoy

            From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
            Pope Saint
            Clement I
            Pope Clement I (Latin: Clemens Romanus; Greek: Κλήμης Ῥώμης; died 99), also known as Saint Clement of Rome, is listed by Irenaeus and Tertullian as Bishop of Rome, holding office from 88 to his death in 99.[2] He is considered to be the first Apostolic Father of the Church.[3]

            Few details are known about Clement’s life. Clement was said to have been consecrated by Saint Peter,[3] and he is known to have been a leading member of the church in Rome in the late 1st century. Early church lists place him as the second or third[2][4] bishop of Rome after Saint Peter. The Liber Pontificalis states that Clement died in Greece in the third year of Emperor Trajan’s reign, or 101 AD.

            Clement’s only genuine extant writing is his letter to the church at Corinth (1 Clement) in response to a dispute in which certain presbyters of the Corinthian church had been deposed.[2] He asserted the authority of the presbyters as rulers of the church on the ground that the Apostles had appointed such.[2] His letter, which is one of the oldest extant Christian documents outside of the New Testament, was read in church, along with other epistles, some of which later became part of the Christian canon. These works were the first to affirm the apostolic authority of the clergy.[2] A second epistle, 2 Clement, was attributed to Clement, although recent scholarship suggests it to be a homily by another author.[2] In the legendary Clementine Literature, Clement is the intermediary through whom the apostles teach the church.[2]

          • Not sure how any of that counters Jack’s post. It hardly excludes Apostolic succession. Are you suggesting a priest or bishop must be married – as opposed to not having more than one wife? 1 Timothy 3 is not requiring bishops to be married. This would have rued out Our Lord and Saint Paul. This text is placing a limitation on the number of marriages a bishop could have in his lifetime. He could only have been married once. If a man has been married more than once he cannot be admitted to the episcopacy. Both Catholic and Protestant scholars generally agree St. Paul is not making marriage a requirement for the bishopric. If Paul had meant that the elder must be married, the reading would have been ‘a’ not ‘one’ wife or it would have said, “The bishop must be married.” The term one indicates that he is limiting the number, not mandating marriage.

            As for Clement I, Jack is not sure what your point is. He used his authority as the Bishop of Rome to confirm the authority of local Bishops – as he does so from Rome, some

            St. Clement then reprimanded them for deposing their clergy and insisted, under penalty of sin, that they restore their clergy to their rightful places. He wrote, “If some are disobedient to the things [Jesus] has spoken through us, they should know that they are enmeshing themselves in sin, and in no small danger.”

            Jack repeats, Pope St. Clement intervened in the affairs of faraway Corinth at his own initiative and settled their dispute by the authority of the Church of Rome. His pontificate was celebrated in the ancient liturgy of the Eastern Church by singing these words: “Peter, Prince of the Apostles, left thee [Clement] as worthy successor of himself; after him, thou didst rule the Church most capably.”

            St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote: “all should respect the deacons … [and the] bishop as representing the Father and the priests as the council of God and the college of the Apostles. Apart from these there is nothing that can be called a church.”

            If you are in a denomination that does not have bishops, priests, and deacons that can trace their ordination back to an Apostle, the early Christians would not recognize you.

          • dannybhoy

            Sorry Jack,
            I was getting somewhat tired when I wrote that post.
            My main points were a) the Church was the whole Church; no clergy -laity divide. It was an organic whole, the Body of Christ exhibiting the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit. So the Holy Spirit moved through individuals and congregations who were open to Him.
            b) It could be argued that St Clement became a spiritual leader through that same process outlined in a); the whole Church recognised his saintliness and dedication and agreed he should be a bishop as defined by the New Testament.
            There is no evidence that his appointment was according to the process of ecclesial succession.
            What I think we have to accept is that every human institution – even one that claims to be God ordained, can become corrupt; as we see in the Old Testament.

          • dannybhoy

            Who’s claiming to be the Head??
            Only the Catholic Church.

          • Christ is the Head. The successor of Peter is His appointed steward until His return.

          • Dominic Stockford

            And transubstantiation? (given that was what the English Reformers were all executed for denying…)

          • Ray Sunshine

            Calvin seems to have stopped short of givng his own explanation of what takes place in the Eucharist – at least, as far as I can tell from this short excerpt that turns up on the internet from time to time:

            If anyone should ask me how this (partaking of the whole Christ) takes place, I shall not be ashamed to confess that it is a secret too lofty for either my mind to comprehend or my words to declare… I rather experience than understand it.

          • Dominic Stockford

            “For Calvin, sacraments are

            an aid to our faith related to the preaching of the gospel…an outward sign by which the Lord seals on our consciences the promises of his goodwill toward us in order to sustain the weakness of our faith; and we in turn attest our piety towards him in the presence of the Lord and of his angels and before men…” (Institutes IV.xiv.1)

            Against Luther and Rome, Calvin denies physical presence, which necessarily involves a christological heresy:

            “[W]e must establish such a presence of Christ in the Supper as may neither fasten him to the element of bread, nor enclose him in the bread, nor circumscribe him in any way, [nor] parcel him out to many places at once, [nor] invest him with boundless magnitude to be spread through heaven and earth. For these things are plainly in conflict with a nature truly human.” (Institutes IV.vii.19)

            Christ is locally and physically in heaven. Nevertheless,

            “There is no ground…for any individual to charge us with holding that he is absent from us, and thus separating the head from the members…but, dwelling in us by his Spirit he raises us to heaven to himself, transfusing into us the vivifying vigour of his flesh.” (‘Mutual Consent in Regard to the Sacraments; between the Ministers of the Church of Zurich and John Calvin, Minister of the Church of Geneva’)

            Thus, contra Luther, there is no need for Christ to be physically present in the bread and wine in order to be gracious to us. For, if we are united to him by his Spirit, he is never absent from us, we are never outside of him.The Spirit raises us to heaven to feed spiritually on Christ, even as we feed physically on the bread and wine. Thus, a double feeding takes place: ‘our souls are fed by the flesh and blood of Christ in the same way that bread and wine keep and sustain physical life.

            The bread and the wine are visible signs, which represent to us the body and blood, but…this name and title of body and blood is given to them because they are as it were instruments by which the Lord distributes them to us. (Calvin ‘Short Treatise’ §18)

            Therefore,

            “We must confess…that if the representation which God gives us in the Supper is true, the internal substance of the sacrament is conjoined with the physical signs [Note, Calvin does not say that the physical signs become the internal substance] and as the bread is distributed to us by the hand, so the body of Christ is communicated to us in order that we may be partakers of it. (Calvin ‘Short Treatise’ §19)

            However, rather than speaking of Christ’s presence to the believer in the Supper, it may be more helpful to speak of the believer’s presence to and with Christ; it is not that Christ comes down and makes himself present to the believer, but rather, the believer is lifted up by the Spirit and made present with Christ.

          • Ray Sunshine

            Thank you, Dominic. It’s very kind of you to take the trouble to post such a detailed answer. Inevitably, though, there are one or two things in your answer that raise further questions. This is a book (link below) that somebody recommended to me once, on another website, but I never got round to reading it. Are you familiar with it? Simply from the starting point – four qualified academics, each from a different Church, engage in an exchange of ideas – it sounds to me like just the place to go for the kind of information that I lack.

            John H. Armstrong (ed.), Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper, Zondervan, 2007

            http://www.zondervan.com/understanding-four-views-on-the-lord-s-supper

            The four contributors are named as Russell D. Moore (Baptist), I. John Hesselink (Reformed), David P. Scaer (Lutheran), and Thomas A. Baima (Catholic). The book is divided into four sections, each approx. 30 pages, split half-and-half between a presentation by one of the four contributors (about 15 pages), followed by replies from the other three (about 4 to 5 pages each).

          • Dominic Stockford

            I have had a quick search – Zondervan is normally reliable, and the reviews by the more reform minded Christians are happy that this book presents things fairly. So I’d get a copy. I’d also agree with one reviewer who said that he fell somewhere between the ‘full’ reformed position and the Baptist ‘memorialist’ position.

          • Ray Sunshine

            Thank you for your recommendation. I’ll get it.

          • Anton

            Yes, I don’t believe transubstantiation but the trouble with it is not the doctrine itself but the fact that it is reserved for the ordained priesthood.

    • magnolia

      Same for the Church of England and its assets.

      Selling off village churches? Or the assets in its (effective) pension funds? Already retired clergy, not on an abundant pension, frequently work into their 70s and 80s, conscientiously, to “help out” because they know the real situation. And still the myth of the mega-rich church persists.

      Where I am the C of E has no surplus funds, and when it has even a whisker of any, gannets and fraudsters and infiltrants (seriously), tend to descend and vapourise it. Congregations give sacrificially to keep a building up for the community and the community who give nothing frequently think it is their right to park or use the church for whatever, or even filch funds or assets from it because the church is rolling in money from taxes, innit? It is a toxic myth.

      The Church cannot afford to pay anyone very well, and rates of pay are notoriously low, and volunteers frequently give lots of time without asking for expenses, or petrol money, and are given a sandwich lunch at best. And still the myth persists.

      Yes we have some nice art, but it is religious art, and do you really think there is a market for it unless there is the underlying belief which appreciates the value? Do you really think there is a better place for Christian art than a place of worship? Is it intended for a sterile art gallery amongst 100 similar paintings to be appreciated merely for the technique and not the underlying emotion and worship? Despite the myth a flooded secular market with no real use for religious paintings would soon massively devalue them. And still these myths persist.

      Yes, we have some nice buildings, but how does it serve the community to give away their place of worship, and sell it to a nice middle class couple who think the architecture cool?. That is called ceasing to function for most people. in order to make extravagant gestures to those who have got into dire circumstances, often precisely through the secularisation of society. It is a nonsense. And still the myth persists….

      • Hi,

        Yet the Church of England’s income is greater than the UK subsidiaries Starbucks or McDonalds . In 2013 the c of e ‘s income was £1.41billion (McDonald’s £1.3 billion, Starbucks £339 million).

        So if it cannot manage, as you say, on that income then it is clearly mismanaged and any private company would have sacked the CEO by now.

        It is also a massive fund holder, this is just the central fund run by the church commissioners and doesn’t include assets from dioceses or parishes , total assets under management are £8 billion and generate income of £260 million a year :

        “Its assets include many historic landholdings plus Queen Anne’s Bounty, a fund set up in the early 1700s to help poor clerics and now worth billions.
        Among its stock holdings at the end of last year was £325million in Treasury bonds. The portfolio also had £48.5million worth of Royal Dutch Shell; £36.6million in HSBC; £31.2million in BP and £25.1million of drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline.
        Property holdings include the Hyde Park Estate in London and the Metrocentre mall in Tyneside. The Church sold the Pollen Estate in the capital’s West End last year for almost £400million, buying 17,000 acres of forests and enjoying controversial tax breaks. It is the largest UK forest owner.”

        Furthermore :

        “In addition to consecrated buildings, the Church of England also controls numerous ancillary buildings attached to or associated with churches, including a good deal of clergy housing. As well as vicarages and rectories, this housing includes residences (often called “palaces”) for each of the church’s 114 bishops. In some cases, this name seems entirely apt; buildings such as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lambeth Palace in London and the Old Palace at Canterbury have truly palatial dimensions, while the Bishop of Durham’s Auckland Castle has 50 rooms, a banqueting hall and 30 acres (120,000 m²) of parkland. ”

        We are also told on other threads that the church owns and profits from an insurance company to the tunes of millions of pounds a year.

        Incidentally when I’ve been to a few cathedrals they often display silver and gold goblets , collection plates and the crooks are often embedded with what look like diamonds or gemstones .

        If this is what constitutes a nonsense , a myth or poverty then I’m genuinely shocked.

        I don’t ,incidentally , have any issue in principle with this temporal holding of cash or wealth. Nor do I seek to judge. What I do find issue with is reading the discussions here and as they often revolve around the interpretation of the new testament , so I go and have a look at it, and there’s clearly a gap between that ideal and reality . The contrast with an eight billion fund, palaces for bishops and a wandering Jewish Rabbi who often talks about wealth and poverty and who told his group followers to give up everything is difficult to reconcile . Is this because of secularism?

        Sources :

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3316421/Church-makes-money-Starbucks-McDonald-s-Income-1-41bn-tops-fast-food-giant-s-earnings-1-37bn-three-times-higher-coffee-chain.html

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Properties_and_finances_of_the_Church_of_England

        • dannybhoy

          I personally think it is due to Replacement theology (if you haven’t heard of it look it up).
          Anyway it is the idea that the Church replaced Israel in God’s divine plan, and the Church literally replaced the Roman Empire, becoming an earthly power claiming to represent God and build His kingdom on earth.
          Most true Christians reject this idea, pointing out that Rabbi Yeshua’s followers would know persecution, should share what they have with those in need, come together for study, fellowship and worship, etc.
          The CofE is ‘an estranged daughter’ of the Church of Rome, but continues to express itself in an earthly authority and priestly hierarchy. Most Christians accept the synagogue style congregations; ‘kehiloth’ as they are called in Israel, which act both independently and interdependently..

  • Anton

    Quilty is a character in Lolita.

  • The Snail

    Perhaps one or two of you, or even more could answer this question which puzzles me. I must admit to being rarher slow – as my name would suggest, but the quicker amongst you ( not as in quick and the dead) but those more speedy than a mere gastropod, who doesn’t really know his foot from his stomach -so to speak.

    The New testament quotes from the Septaguint – i.e. a translation of the OT into Greek – it does not go back much to the Hebrew – hence Jonah’s big fish becomes in the septaguint a whale and the Reed Sea (Yam Suph) in Hebrew becomes the Red Sea in the NT. Matthew in his Gospel sometimes quotes from something other than the Septaguint.

    Having said that the Congregation of Israel is called the ecclesia in the septaguint. In the NT this is the word used for the church. At least linguisitically there seems to have been some replacement going on.

    All very confusing to someone as slow as I am.

    • Anton

      “Ecclesia” just means “a gathering”, with some connotations of being different by being called out from other people(s).

      The NT quotes direct from the Septuagint because the NT was written in Greek and the Septuagint was a ready made (and at that time fairly recent) Greek translation of the Hebrew OT.

      • The Snail

        Hi Anton – you are not French are you? Your name sounds as if it might be – naturally I have some serious misgivings about the French! _@/”

        • Ray Sunshine

          Here’s something that may perhaps make you feel a little bit better about yourself. “… the giant triton sea snail (Charonia tritonis), which reaches up to half a meter in length and could be the reef’s long-term savior.”

          https://asia.nikkei.com/magazine/20171019/Life-Arts/Giant-sea-snails-are-ready-to-fight-for-the-Great-Barrier-Reef

          • The Snail

            Thank you for that – I just read Psalm 58 and that spooked me.

            Psalm 58:8 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)

            8 Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime;
            like the untimely birth that never sees the sun.

            I didn’t like the thought of dissolving into slime!!

            I am not sure that I liked the following in the same Psalm either:

            10 The righteous will rejoice when they see vengeance done;
            they will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.

            But then I remembered that it is poetry and one can say all kinds of things in poetry with a great deal of hyperbole and that started to set my mind at rest!!

          • dannybhoy

            Snails are easily disturbed….

        • Anton

          I am careful how much I say on blogs but I’m English born and bred, and I live in England.

    • Rhoda

      Liddell and Scott Greek dictionary [1940],
      ἐκκλησία (ecclesia)
      in LXX, the Jewish congregation, De. 31.30,al.
      in NT, the Church, as a body of Christians, Ev.Matt. 16.18,

    • Ray Sunshine

      The words red and reed are similar in English, but not in Hebrew. Has anybody ever traced the origin of the mistranslation in the Septuagint? How did the Reed Sea in Hebrew morph into the Red Sea in Greek? I’m puzzled.

      • The Snail

        According to a Bible Dictionary I have here – the REED see refers to the body of water East of the Nile Delta not the red Sea as in the gulf of Suez.

        • Jonathan

          As far as I understand the ancient Hebrew it isn’t “sea of reeds” either as that would be ‘yam kaneh’, it is “sea of rushes” that is ‘yam suph’. It looks like no one seems to know for sure why the Greeks (and others) called the Red Sea red.

          • Anton

            They do – see my comment just above.

      • Anton

        This was settled recently by the evangelical Christian (and professor of materials science) Colin Humphreys, in his book The Miracles of Exodus. The original Hebrew YAM SUPH means ‘sea of reeds’ but this was translated into Greek shortly before Christ’s time, in the ‘Septuagint’, as ERUTHRA THALASSA, which means Red Sea. (The later Latin Vulgate Bible also has the Latin for “red sea”.) The Septuagint translation was made in Alexandria, not far from the Red Sea, so the translators were not ignorant of the geographical facts. And 1 Kings 9:26 states that King Solomon built his ships at Ezion Geber, near Elath in Edom. Since Edom is adjacent to the Gulf of Aqaba, which is part of the Red Sea, today’s Red Sea is clearly meant.

        So: Why is the Red Sea called red, even though it apparently isn’t; and where are the reeds? (The meaning of SUPH as ‘reeds’ has caused many to suppose that the Israelites crossed some marsh, not the Red Sea.) Humphreys found that at the exceptionally low tides which occur twice a year, red coral is so close to the surface that it looks red. This phenomenon is an accident of the coral species and tidal depth in the Red Sea, specifically. As for reeds – which cannot grow in salt water – Humphreys found abundant reeds a little further inland from the head of the Gulf of Aqaba, consistent with where sea level would have been a few thousand years ago, while an array of springs insulates the reedy area from the saltwater even at sea level. Remarkable.

        • Ray Sunshine

          Thank you, Anton. You have cleared up a mystery which has been vaguely nagging at the back of my mind for many years. Elath (Eilat) at the northernmost tip of the Gulf of Aqaba is still there, of course, and is a flourishing seaside resort where one of the main attractions in no other than the Coral World Underwater Observatory:

          http://www.coralworld.co.il/en/about/

    • Anton

      Please see the reply I’m just writing to Ray, immediately below.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Hurray, I’m a shallow, cultic biblical literalist. So pleased to know at last.

    • As am I.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Fabulous. Shall we found a Society, hows about the ‘Sscubbles’?

  • prompteetsincere

    ” ‘All have decided: the Jew must die, but England nevertheless will have mercy upon us.’
    (Chaim Weizmann, 1917). Lloyd George had an instinctive sympathy for small nations, to one of which he himself belonged. He was, as Weizmann wrote, deeply religious. To him and to others of his contemporaries the return of the Jewish people to Palestine was not a dream, since they believed in The Bible…”
    ‘A History of Zionism.’ 1972, pp. 181/2/3 Walter Laqueur ( b. May 26, 1921, Breslau;
    ** parents murdered at Izbica Lubelska, Poland, June 1942 )

    • dannybhoy

      Thus our God works in human history; nations rise and nations fall, and depending on their state of grace either work with Him or are used by Him in fulfilling His purposes…

  • Anyone with a Schofield Reference Bible and/or who attended Baptist churches.

    • carl jacobs

      OK. I admit that was clever and witty. In fact, that’s exactly the kind of response I make when I want to be obnoxious less than serious. But a couple of things:

      1. Darby was English after all.
      2. It’s a false stereotype to presume every Baptist is a Dispensationalist.

      Mostly you have just assumed the case that you want to prove. “They must have been there so they must have influenced things.”

      • It was sheer laziness, Carl. Jack simply didn’t want to make the effort.

        William Blackstone was far more influential in spreading Dispensationalist ideas than Darby and his association with Theodor Herzl brought secular Zionism, Christian Zionism and Dispensationalist ideologies together.

        This is an interesting run-down on Dispensationalist ideas and their influence on American foreign policy. It doesn’t directly support Jack’s claim but does hint at the general cultural support among Christians for a Jewish homeland, and amongst political elites, driven by premillennial beliefs. It is an interesting read too about President Truman.

        The American Palestine Committee (APC) was founded in 1932 by Emanuel Neumann, a staunch Zionist. This was in response to the British Passfield White Paper which itself was in response to growing tensions between Jews and Arabs in the Palestine. The Passfield paper made it clear that a Jewish homeland was not central to the Palestine Mandate, effectively hinting that the British were willing to broker a deal with both sides with a territorial and political compromise. APC was composed of some very prominent governmental figures including Supreme Court Justice Harlan Stone, House Leader Henry Rainey, and New York Senator Robert Wagner. Its statement echoed that of Blackstone: “The fulfillment of the millennial hope for the reunion of the Jewish people with the land of its ancient inheritance, a hope that accords with Biblical prophecy… ” There is no strong evidence to suggest that Neumann and the many prominent supporters of the APC were theologically tied to Dispensational doctrine. Their reiteration of Blackstone-type support of Jewish resettlement by invoking the millennial concept helped continue the tradition of Zionism based in part on Dispensationally oriented prophetic hopes …….

        A major question that historians sometimes ask is whether Truman’s recognition of Israel was according to national interest. Irvine Anderson (2005) offers three main accounts for Truman’s decision to recognize Israel. First, Truman desired to secure the New York Jewish vote, 1948 being an election year; second, the pressure of Zionist lobbying; and third, a less popular but perhaps equally influential was Truman’s own upbringing, the latter being advocated by Anderson. While Anderson asserts that Truman’s Christian upbringing was an important part of his hasty decision to recognize the sovereignty of Israel, this assertion seems to be too general. Was it simply a Christian upbringing, or rather a Dispensational exposure which allowed Truman to view his role in Israel’s existence under the umbrella of divine purpose and fulfillment?

        As a child, Truman was part of both Baptist and Presbyterian churches and was well acquainted with the Bible. In his adult life he was a member of the APC and met socially with Justice Brandeis. He seemed by many accounts to have a predisposition to favoring Jewish sovereignty over Palestine. He seemed by many accounts to have a predisposition to favoring Jewish sovereignty over Palestine. White House Counsel, Clark Clifford said of Truman that, “he [Truman] felt the Jews derived a legitimate historical right to Palestine” It was also said that Truman even quoted an Old Testament verse to support this claim. In fact, this predisposition is a major factor for Anderson’s explanation of how the Jewish state came to be. Anderson writes that “so many people in Britain and the United States have been influenced by childhood stories from the Bible about Abraham, Joshua and, the Promised Land…that much of the electorate in both countries has been predisposed to support the return of the Jews to Palestine.” Anderson also claims that Truman was quoted as saying, “I am Cyrus. I am Cyrus”, in reference to the ancient Persian King who exiled the Jews from Babylon back to their homeland in the 6th century B.C.E. Whether or not Truman offered his recognition contrary to national interest is debatable, with people on both sides presenting compelling arguments. Whatever the case, Truman chose to listen to his domestic advisor Clark Clifford instead of his Secretary of State George Marshall, the latter advocating a U.N. trusteeship over Palestine.

        Truman was likely exposed to a form of “soft” Dispensationalism throughout his upbringing. Associating the Israel of the Old Testament with Jewish people and a Jewish Homeland is quite common. This is one aspect of Dispensationalism which permeates Christian understanding. When Anderson writes of the influence of childhood stories of the Promised Land and how people may see this manifested in the state of Israel, he is effectively pointing to an idea, not monopolized by Dispensational teaching, but still very central to Dispensational theology. Whereas “soft” Dispensationalism may include elements unique to Dispensationalism, it does not include the full knowledge of what these elements mean and how they are important to Dispensational understanding.

        One may speculate on a myriad of reasons as to why Truman acted as he did in his haste to recognize Israeli sovereignty. One reason may have been the influence of his friend Eddie Jacobson and the meeting Truman had with Chaim Weizmann, the president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the World Zionist Organization in March of 1948. After this meeting Truman affirmed that the U.S. would recognize Israel immediately provided the U.N. trusteeship stalled.

        The relationship Truman had with Jacobson and the meeting with Weizmann certainly helps explain the Truman’s position on Israel.

        https://uta-ir.tdl.org/uta-ir/bitstream/handle/10106/919/umi-uta-2003.pdf?sequence=1

        • carl jacobs

          so many people in Britain and the United States have been influenced by childhood stories from the Bible about Abraham, Joshua and, the Promised Land…that much of the electorate in both countries has been predisposed to support the return of the Jews to Palestine

          That I think is true. There is a sense that Islam is an illegitimate usurper. This isn’t so much about Dispensarionalism as it is about a proper place for things. Islam is the perpetual thief who conquered and killed and converted by the sword. It took what it never had any right to possess.

          As I said. Islam was the perfect enemy.

          • Jack wonders how many people in the 1940’s and 1960’s actually thought much about the Arabs, Palestinians and Islam when things kicked off . It never occurred to Jack to do so (in the late 1960’s) and he instinctively supported Israel because it was the place Moses had led the Hebrew people to and was the home of Jesus. As you say, this background was important.
            However, it doesn’t explain the rise of Christian Zionism as an ideological movement based on biblical prophecy and the success of the movement. There was more to it. One also wonders what the implications are of the decline of Christianity in the West for the politics of the future. Do we need the ideology of Islamism to hate and fear in order to continue supporting Israel?