Genre: Contemporary Issues/Israel
Derek Prince (1915-2003) provides a layman’s guide to understanding Israel as the central foundation of the Bible. As he emphasizes, the Bible was written by Jewish authors (both Old and New Testament), takes place primarily in Israel (including all the events within the gospels save the brief flight to Egypt), and both historically and thematically is focused on the people of Israel, even into the future city described in Revelation (16-19). Prince describes the history of Israel, God’s plan in scattering and regathering the people, the Christians’ role in the midst of this, and also shares from his own experiences as a Briton who lived for a time in Israel.
This was previously published twice before under different titles, and has been updated by the staff of Derek Prince Ministries. I am not familiar with either of the earlier editions, but do like this one. The writing is conversational, and tends toward only the basics; but even so, I did learn a few things (and this is a topic I have read quite a bit about).
Most interesting to me was Prince’s view on “the times of the gentiles”. I have read differing scholarly opinions on whether the “times of the gentiles” have been fulfilled–some saying that the Six-Day War marked the fulfillment of this prophecy, and others insisting (or simply assuming) it has not. Prince describes that the Six-Day War “marked the beginning of the end of those times” (101), which is to say that the fulfillment is a gradual process. This is intriguing, and something I will want to explore in more depth.
I also loved Prince’s note that Jeremiah 31:10 reads: “He who scattered Israel will regather them in kibbutzim” (125), which–as he describes in more detail–is just what we are seeing today!
This book is thought-provoking throughout without being too much for readers who are completely new to exploring how an Israel-centric view of Scripture can transform the Word and bring richness and cohesiveness to the Bible as a whole. In fact, those who know little about Israel will glean the most from reading this. There is also a “Chronology of Events in Israel”–a thorough and beneficial list of events between 1947-2012.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Chosen Books.