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date: 24 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter begins by exploring the dilemma: How can there be an ecclesiology of the Hebrew Scriptures in the absence of a church? We might say that the theological account of ‘the people of God’ in the Old Testament informed and shaped the Christian sense of ‘the people of God’ in the New. Or we could go further and affirm that there was indeed a church in or of Israel. The chapter then reviews Christian attempts to provide (a) a synthesis of historical and theological interpretations of the Old Testament (Hanson and Goldingay) and (b) canonical approaches (Childs, Lindbeck, and Radner). The remainder of the chapter offers a reading of selected Old Testament passages, seeking to bring together Israel and the church according to the three themes: vocation and assurance; warning and challenge; failure and hope. These readings of the biblical text are followed by reflections on their theological and ecclesiological implications.

Keywords: canonical criticism, church and Israel, exile, Hebrew Bible, historical criticism, Jews and Judaism, judgement, mission of Israel, Old Testament, prophetic critique

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