I am pleased to report that my article, “What Do the Gentiles Have to Do with ‘All Israel’? A Fresh Look at Rom 11:25–27” has (finally!) been published in the summer edition of the Journal of Biblical Literature. This article is a piece of a project that began in the spring of 2003 and is continuing in my dissertation, “Paul, the Gentiles, and the Restoration of Israel.” My article reexamines that difficult passage that sums up Paul’s grand theological argument in Romans:
I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of this mystery (lest you become high-minded yourselves) that a hardening has come upon a part of Israel until the fullness of the nations (τὸ πλήρωμα τῶν ἐθνῶν) has come in—and thus (καἰ οὕτως) all Israel will be saved, just as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will remove ungodliness from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”
The central point of the article involves an exploration of what Paul means by “the fullness of the nations” and how that relates to “all Israel,” a term that refers to a larger group than just Jews/Judaeans and is especially important in light of Jewish apocalyptic hopes of the restoration of (all twelve tribes) of Israel, as the prophets had promised. Essentially, Paul is arguing that Gentile inclusion in the church (קהל ישראל) is inseparable from the promises made to Israel and ultimately to Abraham. For those who don’t have access to JBL, I’ve uploaded an archive copy here.