Hi Nathan, I was wondering if you’ve read any of the writings of Arnold Kennedy? After reading some of your writings on the word Gentiles I was doing some web searches and ran across his free ebook book “The Exclusiveness of Israel” where he has a chapter regarding this same topic. As far as I gather so far, he is saying that scripture including Paul’s writings pertains exclusively to the twelve tribes. Have you ever heard this?
There is a lot of truth in what Mr. Kennedy is pointing out. Israel is God’s chosen people in much of the New Testament. However, he is totally missing the mystery and the fact that all nations are now equal and joint before God according to Ephesians 3:6. His explanation of the Gentiles grafted in in Romans 11 is wrong and shows a lack of knowledge of what Paul was talking about there. He denies that Gentiles means non-Jews, but doesn’t understand that it does mean “nations.”
While he is right in pointing out the exclusiveness of Israel in much of the New Testament, he is wrong in that he does not recognize the great dispensational change of Acts 28:28 and how that altered everything. The reality is that the majority of Christians who believe that anyone from any nation can be a believer today are more right than he is for they come to the right conclusion, even though they would interpret much of the New Testament wrongly to get there.
He also makes a big deal of Israel AS A RACE. But Israel never was a “race,” which is really a Darwinian concept, not a Biblical one. In the Bible, there is only one race, Adam’s race. Israel was not a “race,” but a family that grew into a nation. He is missing the fact that it is possible to marry into a family if the patriarch allows it. This is not possible with a race.
This man appears to be severely mixed up, and in quite a selfish way. He literally is arguing that only Israelites can be saved. Then, he argues that the Jews are not Israelites at all. Finally, he argues that those from Britain are actually Israelites, and that they are the only ones who can be saved! This is pretty silly.
Sadly, while he has found a truth in the fact that Israel is in view in much of the New Testament, his final conclusions are false, and extremely self-serving. He reminds me of Paul’s admonishment to Timothy not to “give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.” (I Timothy 1:4) Those who get all caught up in this “who is Israel” thing are just the type Paul is warning against. In our dispensation, it no longer matters if one is descended from Israel or not. It really is not possible to confirm who is descended from Israel today after all the confusion that has gone on. Regardless, I would think that those who are called “Jews” today are more likely part of Israel than anyone else, including people from Britain!