Monday, 4 January 2016
Fullness of the Gentiles II
Paul and the Torah,
Lloyd Gaston, Wipf & Stock, 2006, page 149-150
Gaston's second answer to his second question - "Why will the fullness of the Gentiles come in?" - is like this:
The second answer is found only in Romans 9-11 and is harder to understand. It is because Israel has stumbled on the stone, not to fall, but nevertheless stumbled, that salvation will come to the Gentiles (9:30-33; 11:11-12,15). It appears that to make this point Paul needs to say "all Israel", without differentiation ... Here again Gentile salvation is from the Jews, but now not just a few Jews but all Jews, who as a whole have stumbled ... From his own account, Paul never tried to convert Jews, and the apostolate to the Gentiles was never for him a second best.
Gaston then talks about who tripped who and why, before picking up the theme again:
If Peter was right i.e. if his mission succeded then in the normal pattern of centripetal mission of the eschatology not only of the prophets but also of Jesus, the Gentiles would join Israel in the end times. Paul, on the other hand, wanted a Gentile church now as an equal co-partner alongside Israel. That would account for the silence of these chapters on the Jerusalem church and Jewish Christianity as such. Of course, if something this is what Paul thought, the "blindness" was necessary only for a generation or two until the Gentile church became established. But he does not reflect on this.
Do we now start to see the raising up of a Jewish church as G-d once again moves for equality between Jewish and Gentile believers?