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Were the Disciples Stupid or will Jesus Restore Israel? Or . . .

July 3, 2014 | by: Sam Storms| 3 Comments


John Peters

Jul 8, 2014

What about the times of the Gentiles coming to an end and why would Jesus need to return to a literal Israel and literal Mount of Olives. And will no literal knees bow? Is it all going to be spiritualised away in the manner of The Greeks rather than The Hebrews? I think your article is really weak. As for Gary Burge... Enough said!

Josef Urban

Jul 4, 2014

Great insights. The parallels from Isaiah are very convincing. The dispensational view doesn't account for an inaugurated eschatology in the establishment of the Kingdom and its expansion to the ends of the earth in Acts, yet Jesus' own words point to the initial fulfillment of precisely what the prophets had spoken regarding Israel's restoration. Thanks!

Peter Goeman

Jul 3, 2014

I thoroughly enjoyed your thoughts here. I have a couple thoughts which help me make sense of Acts 1:6 in light of its context.

1. Acts is a continuation of the kingdom program from Luke. Hence, the kingdom that is portrayed in Luke is what is taught in Acts. In Luke it is clear that the disobedience of Israel has put the kingdom on hold during the "times of the Gentiles," after which time Israel will embrace their Messiah and the kingdom will come (cf. Luke 13:35; 21:24).

2. Acts 3:19-21 helps solidify that a national kingdom is in view here. The word for "restoration" in Acts 3:21 is the same cognate for Acts 1:6. These are the only 2 places in acts where this word occurs. Hence, Peter's message clearly states (through a double purpose clause) that repentance by Israel will lead to the "time" (same word as Acts 1:6) of "restoration" (cognate of 1:6) which is accomplished through the Messiah's return. Hence, the Messiah's return and the restoration to Israel are contingent upon Israel's repentance (Zech 14:1-3).

3. Interestingly, the OT clearly teaches a national repentance of the people of Israel in the latter days (cf. Deut 4:30; Hos 3:5; Zech 12-14). Additionally, 2nd Temple literature had a full expectation of a national repentance of Israel which would lead to the kingdom's installment. (See Keener's commentary for a vast list of sources on this). Acts 1:6 and 3:19-21 confirm that the natural reading of the OT was indeed what Israel should expect.

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