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Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum

Author of The Footsteps of the Messiah

85+ Works 1,163 Members 14 Reviews

About the Author

Image credit: Logos Bible Software


Works by Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum

The Footsteps of the Messiah (1982) 186 copies
Jesus Was a Jew (1981) 88 copies
Messianic Christology (1998) 67 copies
The Book of Genesis (2009) 36 copies
Judges & Ruth (2007) 31 copies
God's Will, Man's Will (2013) 14 copies
The Sabbath (2012) 6 copies
Maps of Israel (2015) 6 copies
Knjiga o Ruti (2012) 3 copies
Gesetz und Gesetzlichkeit (2010) 2 copies
The Book of Joshua (2021) 2 copies

Associated Works


Common Knowledge




A lifelong non-denominational American Christian, my religious views have been myopic, to say the least, though I accept nearly full responsibility for this shortcoming. Outside of forming off-the-cuff inspirational paroxysms culled ad hoc from Paul's letters, which devolved into wishful thinking more than faith, and putting up a wall against any form of systematic theology in favor of high-energy flights of fancy--because of these attributes, I was very ignorant as to what this big book, the Bible, actually said and completely convinced that it only addressed me, i.e. my perception of life. Now, however, things are much different. Five years ago, I began seriously studying and considering the entire canon of the Scriptures as a system (as opposed to isolated statements) and how this system pertains to all people from all walks of life.

It was with Harold Bloom's book, [b:Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine|20940|Jesus and Yahweh The Names Divine|Harold Bloom|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1386923600l/20940._SY75_.jpg|721862], that it struck me that there was a whole group of people who viewed the New Testament and its chief contributor as a violent appropriation of their religion. Having been raised on Paul's magnificent letters and terrified by the perceived brutality of the Old Testament, this view was a shock. Before studying the history of the development of the Bible (good, brief overview: [b:How We Got Our Bible|29366712|How We Got Our Bible|Chuck Missler|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1456759003l/29366712._SX50_.jpg|46871311]), I didn't even realize the inappropriateness of calling the divisions the Old and New--for orthodox Jews, there is no Old and New; there is only the [b:Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures|901111|Tanakh The Holy Scriptures|Anonymous|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1344674999l/901111._SY75_.jpg|886292]. That they are called Old is indicative of the view: this first half, the largest half, of our Bible is pretty much irrelevant, but we're stuck with it like a scar. Luckily, scars heal and serve as reminders.

Abstract of the book
Fruchtenbaum's main purpose is to prove how one's view of Israel determine's one's theology. He provides a critical analysis of the leading theologians in the 3 different Covenant theologies (pre-, post-, and amillenialism) to show the view of Israel in each. This sets up for the final comparative analysis against Dispensationalism, Fruchtenbaum himself identifying as such. In short, the branches of Covenant theology fall short of integrating a careful account of Israel in the biblical text into their theology.

The structure of the book:
1. Covenant Postmillenialism
2. The Israelology of Covenant Postmillenialism
3. Covenant Amillenialism
4. The Israelology of Covenant Amillenialism
5. Covenant Premillenialism
6. The Israelology of Covenant Premillenialism
7. Dispensationalism
8. The Israelology of Dispensationalism
9. A Dispensational Israelology (Fruchtenbaum's systematic theology)

General Notes
There are some crucial sections of the Bible that determine one's theology, especially as it pertains to Israel and eschatology. These are:
1. Revelation 20 (millenialist views)
2. Romans 9-11 (Israel views)

Dispensationalist - Views the whole of Scripture as a household that God manages with different economies and dispensations. Distinctly premillenial. Keeps the Church (as in the Church of Acts) and Israel separate.

Covenantalist - Views the covenants of law/works and grace as guiding everything in Scripture. No distinction between Israel and the Church; Israel has been supplanted by the Church.

Summary of the Covenant Postmillenialism section (read 10 Feb-21 Feb 2017)
The whole world will become almost completely Christianized, which will then prompt the second coming of Jesus. Towards this end of this Christianized and peaceful period that precedes the return of Christ, there will be a brief period of backlash termed the Great Tribulation. At the commencement of the return, the first resurrection is a spiritual one that results in the regeneration of the soul. The second resurrection is of the body: the general resurrection in which the dead participate.

Some more points of covenant postmillenialism:
- Christ will appear for the second coming after the millennium (not literally a thousand years).
- The Jews have been cast off, and the Church is the New Israel, the new people of God.
- The Church was founded in the Old Testament.
- No earthly kingdom promised to the Jews.
- The Christian Church is the fulfillment of all OT prophecy.

Summary of the Covenant Amillenialism section (read 13 Mar-18 Mar 2017)
- Amillenialism is a misnomer because Amillenialists do believe in a Millenium period, but we are in it now: it is the period between the 2 advents of Christ.
- There will be no literal reign of Christ upon the earth; the Millenium is our present age.
- Some Amillenarians believe that the Millenium is being fulfilled by the Church on earth (Augustinian), and other believe it is being fulfilled now in heaven (Kliefoth's view).
- Everything in the Bible is governed by the Covenant of grace (there are no other distinct covenants).
- The Abrahamic, Sinaitic Moabic, Davidic, and New Covenants are just the Covenant of Grace under different administrations.
- Faith in Jesus Christ was always the means of salvation for all saints of all times.
- One way in which it is shown that there is no different between the Christian Church and Israel is that in the Septuagint the Greek word ekklesia is used to translate the Hebrew word qahal (but ekklesia simply means an assembly; it is even used in Acts to refer to an assembly of pagans).
- Uses the allegorical mode of interpretation, especially in the area of Israel and prophecy.
- There will be no future national restoration of Israel.
- Of the 3 Covenental schools, Amillenialism offers the narrowest Israelology.

Summary of the Covenant Premillenialism section (read nn Aaa-nn Aaa 2017)

Summary of the Dispensationalism section (read nn Aaa-nn Aaa 2017)

Summary of Dispensational Israelology (Fruchtenbaum's systematic theology) (read nn Aaa-nn Aaa 2017)
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chrisvia | 1 other review | Apr 29, 2021 |
An interesting book, but deeply flawed. Some flaws are more relevant than others. My guts & personal theological preferences would have me give only three stars, but for the questions it raised it gets four, even when I disagree with the answers.

The major flaw is that it pressuposes dispensationalism. It would be a oh-so-much better book if it dealt with different escathologies and covenantalisms. Specially fruitful would be explorations of new covenantalism, progressist covenantalism and Baptist 1689 federalism.

A minor irk is its use of Jewish forms of New testament names, such as Messiah instead of Christ. But that is understandable given both the Hebrew origins of the Greek names, and the propensity of Jews to use Hebrew names for religious concepts.

Another irk is the amount of text about legalism, which is relevant perhaps to US fundamentalism but feels like a surpassed issue already.

Perhaps it would need a third edition.
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leandrod | Mar 17, 2021 |
Isaiah prophesies that the Messiah is not to be merely human, but He is also to be God
kijabi1 | Oct 22, 2018 |
Fruchtenbaum is a Messianic Jew.

Next to the Bible, this book has helped shape my hermeneutics and therefore my theology as much as any other book. His thesis is that Dispensationalism is the only system of theology that can accurately interpret Israel in the Scriptures.

The first half of the book is an overview of Covenant Amillenialism, Covenant Postmilllenialism, Covenant Premillenialism, and Dispensationalism and how each of those systems has failed in its interpretation of Israel in Scripture.

The second half of the book is a corrected view of Dispensationalism with the addition of Israelology. The book also has helpful appendixes.

Dispensationalists have been unwittingly influenced by the books and commentaries of Covenant Theologians. This book will challenge you to an accurate interpretation and APPLICATION of Scripture. For example, you will be challenged about the three divisions in the law (moral, civil, ceremonial) that you have always been taught; those are man made divisions which facilitate selective application of the Law to N.T. believers. You will also be helped to an accurate interpretation and application of the Jewish Epistles (Hebrews, James, 1st & 2nd Peter and Jude).

If you are Covenant in your theology, you are unlikely to appreciate this book. It is not written in order convert Covenant Theologians to Dispensationalism, but I suppose it could happen if one was already questioning their system.

Though I give 5 stars, I don't agree 100% with Fruchtenbaum. He seems to turn the narrative of Romans 15:27 into a mandate for Gentile Christians. I also question his interpretation of some of the parables related to the Jews. However, over all, I have great appreciation for this work and would certainly recommend it.
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LeviDeatrick | 1 other review | Oct 6, 2016 |

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