Identify and evaluate both the exegetical and theological problems raised by supersessionism.
Supersessionism can be defined as the view that the New Testament (NT) Church is the replacement, continuation or fulfilment of the nation of Israel as the people of God (Vlach, 2007, p. 217), with Old Testament (OT) promises and covenants transferred from ethnic Israel to the Church (Diprose, 2004, p. 2), now seen as the new or true Israel (Marshall, 2012).
There is a variety of views within supersessionism (Vlach, 2010, p. 13-14), such as punitive supersessionism (Israel was punished for their rejection of the Messiah), and economic supersessionism (Israel fulfilled its pre-established role in God’s plan and is now obsolete). Within both camps we may find moderate supersessionists (p. 20), who would hold to a future nationwide conversion of the Jews. All supersessionists, however, reject the future restoration of Israel in their land as God’s chosen covenant nation (p. 19-20), as well as its implications for God’s plan for humanity.
If supersessionism is wrong, the theological repercussions could be vastly deleterious, since a major theological entity (Israel), seemingly central to God’s programme, would be erroneously displaced.
Our thesis is that the hermeneutics of supersessionism is the cause of widespread exegetical issues, which lead to a theological avalanche affecting several areas of systematic theology. In order to show this, we shall divide our work in three major sections: first, we shall introduce the foundation of supersessionism, namely its hermeneutics; second, we shall analyse their exegesis of passages commonly used as prooftexts; third, we shall outline the wider theological implications.Continue reading