Thursday, July 9, 2015

"In-Grafting" as Conversion in Rabbinic Terminology

"In truth, the converts could not decide to come to Israel if Israel had not already been first chosen by God.  Israel's election, to use a rabbinic term, is 'the root' (iqqar); the converts' conversion is 'grafted' (tafel) onto it," Novak, The Election of Israel, pg. 188

Hmm, this sounds a little bit like...

"But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree," Romans 11:17


  1. Great comparison.

    Paul's analogy of the olive trees is interesting, because when he describes the tree that Jews are naturally part of, in saying they are naturally part of the tree and gentiles are not naturally part of it, implies Romans 9:4 (all that belongs to Israel, inheritance, covenant relationship, elect, etc). So, this is just like the example you gave above, the idea is the olive tree that Jews are naturally part of, is the elected and through God's grace and mercy, gentiles have been allowed in, just like during the Exodus and just like during Solomon's time, it is not a new concept, however it is certainly expanded and realized in even greater fulfillment with Yeshua.

    In the analogy, some come to invalid conclusions as to what the tree represents, and that is because they ignore the fine details, that being, "what are Jews naturally part of, that gentiles are not naturally part of, but are able to be grafted in?" and the answer is not faith, so of course, some wrongly attribute the tree to be faith (insert Christian theology), instead Faith is what maintains one on the tree or allows one to be grafted into the tree, or in the negative, the removal from the tree (not having faith), but the tree is not faith, its simply the glue that holds the branches on or breaks them off (no faith). Jews are not naturally born faithful to God, just look at most Jews today, instead they are naturally born into covenant, and through belief they remain on the tree and through disbelief, the branches are broken off, thus, the tree is not faith. Gentiles are not naturally born into covenant, however through faith they can be grafted in and thus be in covenant with God, we already see this all through the Tanakh, however with Yeshua and His works, more "grafting in's", have been accomplished.

  2. Before Paul, came "one greater than the temple" and he said "I am the vine, you are the branches"

    I wonder if the "vine" Yeshua spoke of is greater than the "tree" Paul spoke of? If I'm "abiding in the vine" was I "grafted into the tree"?

    1. If I'm "abiding in the vine" was I "grafted into the tree"?

      Absolutely, however, these are two different metaphors, as to answering your question, assuming you are a gentile, faith is how one is grafted in. Paul uses the expression, "in Messiah", all through his writings, this is the key.