Peter Leithart wrote the first sections of this response, while Mike Bull is responsible for the “The End of Israel?” and “Conclusion” sections.

Unlike Gerry McDermott and Alastair Roberts, I (Peter) don’t have an “anti-supersessionist” conversion story. At least, I don’t think I do. I’m uncertain because I’m not sure what counts as supersessionism. Gerry offers two definitions. First, he describes it as the belief that “the gentile church has superseded Israel in God’s affections”; a few paragraphs later, he summarizes the “supersessionist story” as “the true Israel is no longer the Jewish Israel but the church which has accepted Jesus, made up of gentiles and Jews alike.”

Those aren’t the same. The first describes a transfer of privilege from Jew to Gentile. The second describes a transfer from Israel to the new humanity of the church, which consists of Jews and Gentiles, and this is consistent with Paul’s image of engrafting, where Gentiles are narrated into the story of Israel, plugged into the tree whose roots are the Patriarchs. I may have once unthinkingly held to the first position, but I now hold the second. From Gerry’s perspective, I imagine that looks like a shuffling of chairs on a supersessionist deck.

Church and Israel

Gerry counters supersessionism2 by claiming the New Testament never describes the church as the new Israel. I’m not convinced by his argument about Galatians 6:16. Suppose Paul does allude to the Amidah: Who is “us” in the Jewish prayer for mercy “upon us and upon all Israel your people”? Surely it’s Israel, which means that the final phrase isn’t an additional category but an epexegetical elaboration: “upon us, even upon all Israel your people.”

But I’ll let Gerry have Galatians 6:16, and I’ll grant the New Testament doesn’t contain the statement “the church is the new Israel.” Still, the New Testament is abundantly clear that Israel’s role among the nations is now fulfilled in the (very different) role of the church (on that role, see below).

In the old covenant, Israel was the royal priesthood, the family of Abraham, the people of the circumcision, Judahites/Jews. Each of these titles and roles is taken over by the church in the New Testament. Peter quotes Exodus 19 when he tells the church, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession” (1 Peter 1:9-10). The church’s mother is Jerusalem above, analogous to Sarah, and those born of the Spirit are children of Abrahamic promise (Galatians 4:21-31). Abraham believed and was justified while uncircumcised, so he could be father of a nation that includes both circumcised and uncircumcised (Romans 4:1-13). For Jews who abandon Torah, their circumcision becomes uncircumcision (Romans 2:25), while uncircumcised Gentiles who keep the law are regarded as circumcised (Romans 2:26). Who is the Jew? Paul asks. Not those who are circumcised in the flesh, but those who are circumcised in the heart by the Spirit (Romans 2:28-29).

Jesus Is Israel

This redefinition of identity categories isn’t a tangential issue in the New Testament. On the contrary, it goes to its Christological center. Jesus is Himself Israel. Matthew’s Gospel shows Jesus living through the history of Israel – escaping from Egypt, passing through the waters, teaching from a mountain, suffering exile on the cross, returning from the exilic grave in His resurrection. Jesus is Yahweh’s Son Israel in person (cf. Exodus 4:23), as the Davidic king was the son of Yahweh embodied in a single man (2 Samuel 7). The promises to Abraham are to this one seed, Christ (Galatians 3:16), the eternal Son who becomes Israel to deliver Israel.

As N.T. Wright has argued, “seed” in Galatians 3 has a corporate sense. The “one seed” isn’t the individual Jesus, but the “one people” Jesus forms through His death and resurrection. Unlike Moses, who was not mediator of “the one,” Jesus mediates a unified people suitable to be the people of the one God (Galatians 3:20). By His death, He broke down the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile, forming one new man in Himself (Ephesians 2:15). The church is Abraham’s seed, heir to the promises to Abraham, because she is united to the Son of Abraham, the new Isaac.

All this sounds like Gerry’s second definition of supersessionism, which seems to make Paul, Peter and the others supersessionist.

But it isn’t really “supersessionist” at all, because the new covenant extends a trajectory that’s already at work in the Old Testament. At the time Abraham entered the covenant of circumcision (Genesis 17), he had exactly one physical descendant, Ishmael. By contrast, he had 318 fighting men (Genesis 14:14) in his company, and other male servants and sons of servants, many from Egypt (cf. Genesis 12:16). That was the household Abraham circumcised (Genesis 17:23). From the very moment Israel existed, it united (a very few) blood relations with others who had no genetic connection to Abraham. The same occurs after the exodus, when the “mixed multitude” (Exodus 12:38) from Egypt is circumcised into Israel after they cross the Jordan.

Gentiles are regularly “engrafted” into the tree of Israel long before Jesus. Jesus does bring a change, and a radical one: In the new covenant, the boundaries and regulations of Torah are fulfilled, so that the “united nations” Israel always was opens out further to include Gentiles on an equal footing. No one has to be circumcised in flesh to share in the Abrahamic promise, be regarded as circumcised, and bear the name “Jew.” By union with Jesus – the one circumcised on the cross, the seed of Abraham, the Jew – Jews and Gentiles share the promises and vocation of Israel.

Who Inherits the Land?

Gerry’s arguments concerning the land don’t persuade either, and even support the position he rejects. Pointing to the New Testament’s “concern” for land doesn’t prove much. We need to ask, What does the New Testament assert about the land? Grant, for instance, that ge should be translated as “land” in Matthew 5:5, and that it specifically refers to the Promised Land. What follows? Certainly not that Jews inherit the land; the meek do, and meekness isn’t a monopoly of any ethnic group. The meek who inherit the land of Israel are those who imitate the meekness of Jesus, the King of meekness who inherits all nations. The meek are disciples of Jesus, who hear His words and keep them. That is, if ge means “land,” Matthew 5:5 promises the land of Israel to the church.

Gerry’s other references to land support his position only if we accept his futurist reading of these texts. If Revelation predicts that two witnesses “will be killed in Jerusalem,” then it provides evidence of continuing focus on the city of Jerusalem. But what Revelation predicts as future may be (and we think is) long past for us. After all, John tells us repeatedly that the visions he records depict things that are “shortly to take place” (Revelation 1:1-3; 22:6, 20).

All that raises a broader objection to Gerry’s construction: He misconstrues the vocation of Israel and the purpose of the New Testament. Israel’s was called to be priest to the nations, and the New Testament reveals the founding of a new order. The gospels and Acts narrate the once-for-all events Paul interprets: Jesus and His church fulfill Israel’s unique vocation as a nation.

The End of Israel

Since origins determine destiny, discerning whether God has any future plan for the Jewish people begins with understanding why He needed to set them apart in the first place. We can only figure out the “end” of Israel by understanding the telos, the ultimate goal, of Israel.

The question of whether God still favors the Jewish people and has a future plan for them cannot be answered without understanding why God created Israel, and that act was the outcome of His repeated strategy throughout the Old Testament: divide and conquer. From the events at the tower of Babel, and from Jesus’ prayer in John 17, we know that unity is strength. Our desire for unity is God-given, but any attempt to unite the nations while evading the integrating work of the Spirit of God will be shattered by the jealous God Himself. Division brings confusion, and confusion brings weakness.

Why does God curse us with weakness? To give us the gift of humility. The division between Jew and Gentile also relates to Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7:5, concerning the temporary separation of a husband and wife for the purpose of devotion to prayer.

By this principle, we can also understand the temporary nature of the Levitical Law, its strange “divisions” between clean and unclean, holy and common, linen and wool, different kinds of seed, but especially its prohibition of kingly foods. The principle also explains the humbling of Israel in the wilderness, being fed with manna from heaven in anticipation of the possession of the cities and vineyards of the Land, whose promise was manifested in a taste of the glorious grapes from Eshcol.

In the big picture, the history of Israel was a temporary time of separation and humbling which contained a promise of kingdom, a preparation of a godly “firstfruits” that was meek before God, meek enough to rule over the entire earth (Psalm 37:11; Matthew 5:5).

The circumcision culminated in the enthronement of Jesus at God’s right hand. Even though the High Priest himself was wrapped only in “burial” linen on the Day of Atonement, for any other ministry he wore a “holy mixture” of materials—animal, vegetable, mineral—because “from him and through him and to him are all things” (Romans 11:36). Robed in this “integrated” way, even the “one nation” Aaronic priesthood (that is, half of the bifurcated Edenic Man, Leviticus 14:14-18) was invested with a promise, a glimpse of the coming “all nations” Melchizedekian priest-kingdom that would come once Israel’s calling was fulfilled and its priestly work had been completed.

Sending division that results in weakness and humility is always done with the goal of bringing true unity and strength for the purpose of conquest and exaltation. God divided the nation of Israel from Egypt and prepared them as a priestly people to conquer Canaan and establish a holy kingdom. Israel was set apart from the nations and only restored—in a new and better way—after a period of preparatory discipline in the wilderness. Likewise, Moses was temporarily divided from Israel, David was temporarily divided from Israel, the Ark of the Testimony was temporarily divided from the Tabernacle, Elijah was temporarily divided from Israel, John the Baptist was temporarily divided from Israel, Jesus was temporarily divided from Israel, and even Paul was temporarily divided from Israel. For Moses, Elijah, and Paul, the separation meant a sojourn at Mount Sinai in Arabia.

When Israel’s kings exalted themselves and their syncretism with paganism had filled hearts, houses, and hills with idols, God divided the nation into two kingdoms, a microcosm of the division between Israel and the Gentiles. Judah—with its God-given vocation of Temple and sacrifice—mediated for all Israel in the same way that Israel mediated for all nations. God creates—and thus works—in “fractal” layers. That is why the author of Hebrews alludes to the reunion of Israel and Judah as combined “Jews” via the humiliation of exile (Jeremiah 31:31-40) to illustrate the greater reunion of Jew and Gentile occurring in the first century (Hebrews 8:6-13). The division and the captivity were a necessary humiliation. The Jewish and Gentile ringleaders of idolatry—Manasseh and Nebuchadnezzar—both went through similar processes of exile/division and exaltation/reunion in their personal lives.

It is no coincidence that the roots of Israel’s history coincided with the division of the nations at the tower of Babel, and the end of Israel quickly followed the sign of the “Babelic” tongues of Jews and Gentiles united in a single testimony by the Spirit of God. The New Covenant age is the age of Gospel conquest. But why were the nations divided in the first place?

The division meant that sacrificial offerings on behalf of all nations would continue, despite whatever evil the nations were getting up to. Seventy Israelite elders represented the seventy nations listed in Genesis 10, dining with Yahweh on the mountain of God, and He did not lay His hand upon them (Exodus 24). The judgment of these seventy nations took place in the substitutionary slaying of seventy bulls in a bloody countdown over seven days at the Feast of Booths (Numbers 29:12-34). In this way, God could overlook the sins of the Gentiles. They were “covered,” for now.

But after the resurrection of Christ, God would no longer overlook the sins of the nations (Acts 17:30). The limited shema (“Hear O Israel”) had been changed into an unlimited Gospel (“Go and tell”). All nations are now commanded to hear, because all nations are under the rule of Christ. All men everywhere were now commanded to repent because Israel’s work was no longer efficacious. The removal of the circumcision in the cross of Christ also removed the wall of enmity between Jew and Gentile. The mystery of the Gospel was the reunion of Jew and Gentile.

The New Testament is about that foundational reunion, the end of Yahweh’s covenant of division. The first-century ingrafting of Gentiles was a once-for-all event, part of the establishment of the new covenant, because it was a marriage. A farmer does not continually graft branches into a tree. Instead, he waits for fruit. The process which Paul describes was completed before the destruction of the Temple. God always completes the new house before He destroys the old one. Thus, all believers since AD70 are not “Gentile” branches grafted into some “Jewish” tree but the fruit of that foundational act of grafting together the believers from the priestly nation and the believers from the kingly nations. The two Edenic trees—priestly and kingly stock—were now permanently united as “one flesh” in the consumption and mingling of bread and wine.

Conclusion

The purpose of Israel (set apart socially by circumcision and then, once mature, for holy, accountable office by the Law of Moses) was its own obsolescence. It was an era to be outgrown (Hebrews 8:13).

The division was temporary, but the result is not. The meaning of Romans 9-11 is inseparable from the purpose of the New Testament, which puts to death the weakness and impermanence of the old covenant, passing it through the purifying fire of the Spirit to transform it into something mighty and permanent, something that would even outlast heaven and earth (Matthew 24:35).

The final piece in this conversation by Gerry McDermott will be posted in two weeks on Thursday, November 14.


Peter Leithart is President of Theopolis Institute.

Mike Bull is a graphic designer in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney in Australia, and author, most recently, of Schema Volume 4: A Journal of Systematic Typology. For the beginning of his long-form essay on the "End of Israel," click HERE.

Next Conversation

 Peter Leithart wrote the first sections of this response, while Mike Bull is responsible for the “The End of Israel?” and “Conclusion” sections.

Unlike Gerry McDermott and Alastair Roberts, I (Peter) don’t have an “anti-supersessionist” conversion story. At least, I don’t think I do. I’m uncertain because I’m not sure what counts as supersessionism. Gerry offers two definitions. First, he describes it as the belief that “the gentile church has superseded Israel in God’s affections”; a few paragraphs later, he summarizes the “supersessionist story” as “the true Israel is no longer the Jewish Israel but the church which has accepted Jesus, made up of gentiles and Jews alike.”

Those aren’t the same. The first describes a transfer of privilege from Jew to Gentile. The second describes a transfer from Israel to the new humanity of the church, which consists of Jews and Gentiles, and this is consistent with Paul’s image of engrafting, where Gentiles are narrated into the story of Israel, plugged into the tree whose roots are the Patriarchs. I may have once unthinkingly held to the first position, but I now hold the second. From Gerry’s perspective, I imagine that looks like a shuffling of chairs on a supersessionist deck.

Church and Israel

Gerry counters supersessionism2 by claiming the New Testament never describes the church as the new Israel. I’m not convinced by his argument about Galatians 6:16. Suppose Paul does allude to the Amidah: Who is “us” in the Jewish prayer for mercy “upon us and upon all Israel your people”? Surely it’s Israel, which means that the final phrase isn’t an additional category but an epexegetical elaboration: “upon us, even upon all Israel your people.”

But I’ll let Gerry have Galatians 6:16, and I’ll grant the New Testament doesn’t contain the statement “the church is the new Israel.” Still, the New Testament is abundantly clear that Israel’s role among the nations is now fulfilled in the (very different) role of the church (on that role, see below).

In the old covenant, Israel was the royal priesthood, the family of Abraham, the people of the circumcision, Judahites/Jews. Each of these titles and roles is taken over by the church in the New Testament. Peter quotes Exodus 19 when he tells the church, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession” (1 Peter 1:9-10). The church’s mother is Jerusalem above, analogous to Sarah, and those born of the Spirit are children of Abrahamic promise (Galatians 4:21-31). Abraham believed and was justified while uncircumcised, so he could be father of a nation that includes both circumcised and uncircumcised (Romans 4:1-13). For Jews who abandon Torah, their circumcision becomes uncircumcision (Romans 2:25), while uncircumcised Gentiles who keep the law are regarded as circumcised (Romans 2:26). Who is the Jew? Paul asks. Not those who are circumcised in the flesh, but those who are circumcised in the heart by the Spirit (Romans 2:28-29).

Jesus Is Israel

This redefinition of identity categories isn’t a tangential issue in the New Testament. On the contrary, it goes to its Christological center. Jesus is Himself Israel. Matthew’s Gospel shows Jesus living through the history of Israel – escaping from Egypt, passing through the waters, teaching from a mountain, suffering exile on the cross, returning from the exilic grave in His resurrection. Jesus is Yahweh’s Son Israel in person (cf. Exodus 4:23), as the Davidic king was the son of Yahweh embodied in a single man (2 Samuel 7). The promises to Abraham are to this one seed, Christ (Galatians 3:16), the eternal Son who becomes Israel to deliver Israel.

As N.T. Wright has argued, “seed” in Galatians 3 has a corporate sense. The “one seed” isn’t the individual Jesus, but the “one people” Jesus forms through His death and resurrection. Unlike Moses, who was not mediator of “the one,” Jesus mediates a unified people suitable to be the people of the one God (Galatians 3:20). By His death, He broke down the dividing wall between Jew and Gentile, forming one new man in Himself (Ephesians 2:15). The church is Abraham’s seed, heir to the promises to Abraham, because she is united to the Son of Abraham, the new Isaac.

All this sounds like Gerry’s second definition of supersessionism, which seems to make Paul, Peter and the others supersessionist.

But it isn’t really “supersessionist” at all, because the new covenant extends a trajectory that’s already at work in the Old Testament. At the time Abraham entered the covenant of circumcision (Genesis 17), he had exactly one physical descendant, Ishmael. By contrast, he had 318 fighting men (Genesis 14:14) in his company, and other male servants and sons of servants, many from Egypt (cf. Genesis 12:16). That was the household Abraham circumcised (Genesis 17:23). From the very moment Israel existed, it united (a very few) blood relations with others who had no genetic connection to Abraham. The same occurs after the exodus, when the “mixed multitude” (Exodus 12:38) from Egypt is circumcised into Israel after they cross the Jordan.

Gentiles are regularly “engrafted” into the tree of Israel long before Jesus. Jesus does bring a change, and a radical one: In the new covenant, the boundaries and regulations of Torah are fulfilled, so that the “united nations” Israel always was opens out further to include Gentiles on an equal footing. No one has to be circumcised in flesh to share in the Abrahamic promise, be regarded as circumcised, and bear the name “Jew.” By union with Jesus – the one circumcised on the cross, the seed of Abraham, the Jew – Jews and Gentiles share the promises and vocation of Israel.

Who Inherits the Land?

Gerry’s arguments concerning the land don’t persuade either, and even support the position he rejects. Pointing to the New Testament’s “concern” for land doesn’t prove much. We need to ask, What does the New Testament assert about the land? Grant, for instance, that ge should be translated as “land” in Matthew 5:5, and that it specifically refers to the Promised Land. What follows? Certainly not that Jews inherit the land; the meek do, and meekness isn’t a monopoly of any ethnic group. The meek who inherit the land of Israel are those who imitate the meekness of Jesus, the King of meekness who inherits all nations. The meek are disciples of Jesus, who hear His words and keep them. That is, if ge means “land,” Matthew 5:5 promises the land of Israel to the church.

Gerry’s other references to land support his position only if we accept his futurist reading of these texts. If Revelation predicts that two witnesses “will be killed in Jerusalem,” then it provides evidence of continuing focus on the city of Jerusalem. But what Revelation predicts as future may be (and we think is) long past for us. After all, John tells us repeatedly that the visions he records depict things that are “shortly to take place” (Revelation 1:1-3; 22:6, 20).

All that raises a broader objection to Gerry’s construction: He misconstrues the vocation of Israel and the purpose of the New Testament. Israel’s was called to be priest to the nations, and the New Testament reveals the founding of a new order. The gospels and Acts narrate the once-for-all events Paul interprets: Jesus and His church fulfill Israel’s unique vocation as a nation.

The End of Israel

Since origins determine destiny, discerning whether God has any future plan for the Jewish people begins with understanding why He needed to set them apart in the first place. We can only figure out the “end” of Israel by understanding the telos, the ultimate goal, of Israel.

The question of whether God still favors the Jewish people and has a future plan for them cannot be answered without understanding why God created Israel, and that act was the outcome of His repeated strategy throughout the Old Testament: divide and conquer. From the events at the tower of Babel, and from Jesus’ prayer in John 17, we know that unity is strength. Our desire for unity is God-given, but any attempt to unite the nations while evading the integrating work of the Spirit of God will be shattered by the jealous God Himself. Division brings confusion, and confusion brings weakness.

Why does God curse us with weakness? To give us the gift of humility. The division between Jew and Gentile also relates to Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7:5, concerning the temporary separation of a husband and wife for the purpose of devotion to prayer.

By this principle, we can also understand the temporary nature of the Levitical Law, its strange “divisions” between clean and unclean, holy and common, linen and wool, different kinds of seed, but especially its prohibition of kingly foods. The principle also explains the humbling of Israel in the wilderness, being fed with manna from heaven in anticipation of the possession of the cities and vineyards of the Land, whose promise was manifested in a taste of the glorious grapes from Eshcol.

In the big picture, the history of Israel was a temporary time of separation and humbling which contained a promise of kingdom, a preparation of a godly “firstfruits” that was meek before God, meek enough to rule over the entire earth (Psalm 37:11; Matthew 5:5).

The circumcision culminated in the enthronement of Jesus at God’s right hand. Even though the High Priest himself was wrapped only in “burial” linen on the Day of Atonement, for any other ministry he wore a “holy mixture” of materials—animal, vegetable, mineral—because “from him and through him and to him are all things” (Romans 11:36). Robed in this “integrated” way, even the “one nation” Aaronic priesthood (that is, half of the bifurcated Edenic Man, Leviticus 14:14-18) was invested with a promise, a glimpse of the coming “all nations” Melchizedekian priest-kingdom that would come once Israel’s calling was fulfilled and its priestly work had been completed.

Sending division that results in weakness and humility is always done with the goal of bringing true unity and strength for the purpose of conquest and exaltation. God divided the nation of Israel from Egypt and prepared them as a priestly people to conquer Canaan and establish a holy kingdom. Israel was set apart from the nations and only restored—in a new and better way—after a period of preparatory discipline in the wilderness. Likewise, Moses was temporarily divided from Israel, David was temporarily divided from Israel, the Ark of the Testimony was temporarily divided from the Tabernacle, Elijah was temporarily divided from Israel, John the Baptist was temporarily divided from Israel, Jesus was temporarily divided from Israel, and even Paul was temporarily divided from Israel. For Moses, Elijah, and Paul, the separation meant a sojourn at Mount Sinai in Arabia.

When Israel’s kings exalted themselves and their syncretism with paganism had filled hearts, houses, and hills with idols, God divided the nation into two kingdoms, a microcosm of the division between Israel and the Gentiles. Judah—with its God-given vocation of Temple and sacrifice—mediated for all Israel in the same way that Israel mediated for all nations. God creates—and thus works—in “fractal” layers. That is why the author of Hebrews alludes to the reunion of Israel and Judah as combined “Jews” via the humiliation of exile (Jeremiah 31:31-40) to illustrate the greater reunion of Jew and Gentile occurring in the first century (Hebrews 8:6-13). The division and the captivity were a necessary humiliation. The Jewish and Gentile ringleaders of idolatry—Manasseh and Nebuchadnezzar—both went through similar processes of exile/division and exaltation/reunion in their personal lives.

It is no coincidence that the roots of Israel’s history coincided with the division of the nations at the tower of Babel, and the end of Israel quickly followed the sign of the “Babelic” tongues of Jews and Gentiles united in a single testimony by the Spirit of God. The New Covenant age is the age of Gospel conquest. But why were the nations divided in the first place?

The division meant that sacrificial offerings on behalf of all nations would continue, despite whatever evil the nations were getting up to. Seventy Israelite elders represented the seventy nations listed in Genesis 10, dining with Yahweh on the mountain of God, and He did not lay His hand upon them (Exodus 24). The judgment of these seventy nations took place in the substitutionary slaying of seventy bulls in a bloody countdown over seven days at the Feast of Booths (Numbers 29:12-34). In this way, God could overlook the sins of the Gentiles. They were “covered,” for now.

But after the resurrection of Christ, God would no longer overlook the sins of the nations (Acts 17:30). The limited shema (“Hear O Israel”) had been changed into an unlimited Gospel (“Go and tell”). All nations are now commanded to hear, because all nations are under the rule of Christ. All men everywhere were now commanded to repent because Israel’s work was no longer efficacious. The removal of the circumcision in the cross of Christ also removed the wall of enmity between Jew and Gentile. The mystery of the Gospel was the reunion of Jew and Gentile.

The New Testament is about that foundational reunion, the end of Yahweh’s covenant of division. The first-century ingrafting of Gentiles was a once-for-all event, part of the establishment of the new covenant, because it was a marriage. A farmer does not continually graft branches into a tree. Instead, he waits for fruit. The process which Paul describes was completed before the destruction of the Temple. God always completes the new house before He destroys the old one. Thus, all believers since AD70 are not “Gentile” branches grafted into some “Jewish” tree but the fruit of that foundational act of grafting together the believers from the priestly nation and the believers from the kingly nations. The two Edenic trees—priestly and kingly stock—were now permanently united as “one flesh” in the consumption and mingling of bread and wine.

Conclusion

The purpose of Israel (set apart socially by circumcision and then, once mature, for holy, accountable office by the Law of Moses) was its own obsolescence. It was an era to be outgrown (Hebrews 8:13).

The division was temporary, but the result is not. The meaning of Romans 9-11 is inseparable from the purpose of the New Testament, which puts to death the weakness and impermanence of the old covenant, passing it through the purifying fire of the Spirit to transform it into something mighty and permanent, something that would even outlast heaven and earth (Matthew 24:35).

The final piece in this conversation by Gerry McDermott will be posted in two weeks on Thursday, November 14.


Peter Leithart is President of Theopolis Institute.

Mike Bull is a graphic designer in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney in Australia, and author, most recently, of Schema Volume 4: A Journal of Systematic Typology. For the beginning of his long-form essay on the "End of Israel," click HERE.

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