Professor Ariel of the University of North Carolina traces the history of Christian, especially Evangelical Christian, ideas about and policies toward Israel and Jews since the nineteenth century, as well as various Israeli and Jewish responses to these developments. Ariel communicates the complex issues and various developments clearly without making value judgments. One can learn a lot very quickly, and draw conclusions armed with facts.
The chapter titles provide a helpful sense of the scope of the volume. Beginning with “The Roots and Early Beginnings of the Evangelical-Jewish Relationship,” Ariel then moves through eleven chapters tracing “Evangelical” or “Evangelicals” and such topics as their “Messianic Faith and the Jews,” their views on “Jewish Restoration,” “the Holy Land,” “Missions to the Jews,” their production of “Christian Literature in a Jewish Language”; and followed by topics such as “Anti-Jewish Conspiracy Theories”; “Understanding the Holocaust”; “the Birth of the Jewish State”; “the Building of the Temple”; and “the Rise of Messianic Judaism.”
When Christians exclaim their love for “the Jews” such a remark gives many Jews pause, and all the more when an explanation is attempted. Did the way that the objectification of “Jews” was declared somehow create suspicion even if also gratitude? Did it feel like it was less about loving Jews than loving the idea of Jews (in antiquity and at the end of times, but now?), maybe if not certainly related to an impulse to “save” Jews? This carefully researched historical treatment will help to explain the paradoxical ideas and emotions that are likely at work. I think many readers will find it interesting, enlightening, and relevant. Index.