Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Israel, the True Humanity

I started N.T. Wright's The Climax of the Covenant: Christ and the Law in Pauline Theology. In what I read today, Wright argued and documented that intertestamental Judaism (and, to an extent, the Hebrew Bible) interpreted Israel in light of Adam. In this view, Israel, like Adam, was to rule over God's creation, and the Gentiles would one day submit to Israel as the beasts submitted to Adam. The world was created for the sake of Israel, which possessed God's wisdom in the Torah. My impression is that Israel was to put right what Adam and Eve did wrong (disobedience of God). But, according to Wright, Paul ascribed to Christ the role that Judaism ascribed to Israel, for Paul believed that Israel botched up her mission through her disobedience of the Torah.

These issues are relevant to my interest in whether Judaism viewed the Torah as universal or for Israel only. Wright appears to be saying that many elements of Judaism viewed the Torah as for humanity, but they held that Israel was the true humanity.

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