Question: "What is Israelology?"
Answer: Israelology is the area of theological study specifically focused on what the Bible teaches about Israel. The key author on this issue in recent years has been Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Ph.D., founder of Ariel Ministries. His primary focus is to display what the fullness of Scripture teaches regarding the land and people of Israel. Dr. Fruchtenbaum specifically rejects replacement theology (the belief that the Church has replaced the Israel of the Old Testament). As he notes, only dispensationalism, “with its clear distinction between Israel and the Church, can, in fact, provide a systematized biblical doctrine of Israel.”
Fruchtenbaum’s work is often embraced by those holding to dispensationalism and largely rejected by those who do not. However, the study of Israelology offers much insight for all believers. For example, Israelology shows how both the Church and Israel have a role now. The Church is called, as the early apostles and Christians were, to share the gospel message with the Jewish people as one of the many nations included in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
Also, our view of Israel informs our view of the Mosaic Law of the Old Testament. Israelology examines how the early church dealt with the practice of Judaism and advocated the reading and studying of the Old Testament Scriptures.
A final, important result of the study of Israeology is a deeper respect for contemporary Jewish people. Growing anti-Semitism in parts of the world often casts Israel in a highly negative light. However, a proper, biblical view of Israel notes God’s high view of Israel and its future. Christians are called to show love to the people of Israel and to pray for them (Psalm 122:6).
Israelology is an often-neglected study among Christians, perhaps because of preconceived beliefs related to the end times or replacement theology. However, all Christians are called to study to show themselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15). Our study must include what the Bible teaches about Abraham’s people and the land God promised them (Genesis 12:1-3).