Israelite Interactions with Gentiles in the Old Testament and the Implications Regarding Missions
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SubjectGentiles in the Old Testament
Gentiles (Jewish law)
Gentiles in rabbinical literature
Jews--HistoryTo 70 A.D.
ISRAELITE INTERACTIONS WITH GENTILES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT AND THE IMPLICATIONS REGARDING MISSIONS Nancy Jane Eavenson, Ph.D. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2011 Chair: Dr. Russell T. Fuller This dissertation examines the missional implications of teaching regarding Israelite interactions with Gentiles found in the Hebrew Scriptures. Chapter 1 defines what is meant in this study concerning mission and Israelite interactions with Gentiles. In addition, foundation is laid for the study by detailing presuppositions, history of perspectives on the topic, and the methodology. Chapter 2 surveys the witness present in the Hebrew Scriptures concerning God's expectations for Israel's interactions with Gentiles. First, principles are highlighted for interactions from the Torah narratives and legislation. Next principles are identified in passages outside of the Torah. Finally, principles are outlined that are derived from key phrases and overall themes spanning the entire body of Hebrew Scriptures. Chapter 3 studies specific examples of Israelite and Gentile interactions throughout the Hebrew Scriptures. Analysis is provided of the interactions in view of the foundational principles identified in chapter 2. Chapter 4 examines how the intertestamental Jews interpreted and applied teaching from the Hebrew Scriptures concerning their interactions with Gentiles. Primary attention is given to the Jewish writings of the Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Josephus, and the Tannaim with references to NT opinion. Chapter 5 synthesizes the data from the Hebrew Scriptures and intertestamental witness and draws conclusions about God's intention for Israel in relation to the Gentiles. In addition, observations are made concerning Israel's application of principles from the Hebrew Scriptures concerning their interactions with Gentiles. Finally, implications of the study are drawn for current application. This work maintains that although many Israelites in the Hebrew Scriptures were unaware of God's intention for mission to Gentiles, some existed who understood God's desire and cooperated with God's mission. In addition, during the intertestamental period while many Jews failed to understand and act on God's mission to have His name glorified by Gentiles, others felt called to intentionally interact with Gentiles and actively sought to bring Gentiles to know and worship Yahweh as God.