Episode Details: We're digging back into the archives to the very beginning to bring you this inaugural OnScript episode from 2016, which features Dr. Munther Isaac of Bethlehem Bible College in Bethlehem, Palestine. He discusses his book From Land to Lands, From Eden to the Renewed Earth: A Christ-Centered Biblical Theology of the Promised Land (Langham Monographs, 2015). I (Matt Lynch) met Munther in Bethlehem back in 2011, when we met to discuss the relationship between land in the Bible and the current strife over land in Israel/Palestine. Among the various texts we discussed, I remember him pointing me toward Ezek 47:21-23:
"So you shall divide this land among you according to the tribes of Israel. You shall allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the sojourners who reside among you and have had children among you. They shall be to you as native-born children of Israel. With you they shall be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel. In whatever tribe the sojourner resides, there you shall assign him his inheritance, declares the Lord GOD.'
Emphasizing this text illustrates just one way that Palestinians have re-examined the Old Testament to bring to life those passages that have often been overlooked by those eager to legitimate a certain perspective on the land. But Isaac's reading of land in the Bible is far more comprehensive and holistic than pinpointing such key texts, and it is well worth the read. This interview discusses his book and its relevance to the current socio-political situation in Palestine. Enjoy and pick up a copy of his book!
Guest: Dr. Munther Banayout Isaac is Academic Dean and Professor of Biblical Studies at Bethlehem Bible College in Bethlehem, Palestine. In addition to From Land to Lands he's also the author of The Other Side of the Wall: A Palestinian-Christian Narrative of Lament and Hope (IVP 2020). He's also an Evangelical Lutheran Pastor. He completed his Ph.D. at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, and has an MA from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and Bachelor of Science from Birzeit University in Civil Engineering. He is also actively involved in Musalaha, a reconciliation ministry and he organizes the Christ at the Checkpoint conference which typically happens every other year.
Book Details: The land is an important theme in the Bible through which the whole biblical history in the Old and New Testaments can be studied and analyzed. Looking at the land in the Bible right from its beginnings in the garden of Eden this book approaches the theme from three distinct perspectives - holiness, the covenant, and the kingdom. Through careful analysis the author recognizes that the land has been universalized in Christ, as anticipated in the Old Testament, and as a result promotes a missional theology of the land that underlines the social and territorial dimensions of redemption. Get your copy of his book today!
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