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Replacement Theology

“Supersessionism (also sometimes called ‘replacement theology’) is the claim, expressed in its starkest form, that by rejecting Jesus and then killing him, the Jews have lost their role as a people in covenant with God, and that the promises made to Abraham now apply only to the followers of Jesus. In other words, this view regards Jews and Judaism as having been superseded by or replaced with Christians and Christianity.”[1]

Old English capital letter If a poll were to be conducted among today’s Christian pastors asking, “Do you teach Replacement Theology?” the overwhelming response would be a resounding, “Of course not!” But the plain fact the matter is that all Churches teach Replacement Theology.[2] But, unfortunately, so do many self-proclaimed “Messianic” Synagogues! Replacement Theology comes in many forms and has many aspects. For example:

Replacement Theology also dismisses the idea of any literal fulfillment of the prophecies about the restoration of the Jewish people in the land of Israel.[3] In effect, God has done away with the old and replaced it with the new. So the “Good News” for Israel is that Jesus died and rose from the dead to replace all the old systems with the new systems, Israel has been replaced, the Torah has been abolished, God’s covenants with Israel have been canceled, and He’s sending them all to hell!

In a nutshell, Replacement Theology is the substitution of Jewish religious institutions and elements of faith with Christian ones. The closely-related term “supersessionism” means to supersede, to take the place of, or to supplant. So ”theological supersessionism” is the set of assumptions behind Replacement Theology, or the paradigm of interpretation that results in Replacement Theology. That is, the Church supersedes Israel and Christianity supersedes Judaism.[4]

Another way of defining Replacement Theology is that it is the heretical teaching that the Church has replaced Israel in God’s plan for humanity. It teaches that HaShem, Who cannot lie and Who never changes, has arbitrarily cancelled the “everlasting covenants” that He made with Avraham, Yitz’chak, and Ya`akov, and with “their descendants forever” (Gen 15:18, Gen 17:1-21, Gen 26:2-5, Exod 6:4-8, Exod 19:5-6, Exod 34:10-27, Lev 26:41-45, Deut 4:31, Deut 5:3, Deut 7:9-12, Judges 2:1, 1Kings 8:23, 2Kings 13:23, 2Kings 17:38, 1Chron 16:15-17, 2Chron 6:14, Neh 1:5, Ps 89:34, Ps 105:8-10, Ps 111:9, Isa 42:6, Isa 49:5-10, Isa 59:21, Jer 31:31-34, Jer 32:40, Jer 33:20-27, Ezek 16:59-62, Ezek 37:21-26, Luke 1:67-75, Acts 3:24-25, Rom 11:1-32), and has transferred those promises to the Gentile “Church.” This is a lie straight from the pit of Hell that is particularly detestable to all Believers in Israel’s Messiah because it makes God a liar, and makes the Bible just another book of legends and fables. This heresy is taught, at least in some degree, by every Christian church and denomination, and it teaches that God is a liar who does not honor His word.

If God did not honor His everlasting covenant with Israel, than the Church has no hope for salvation, for if God has broken His word with Israel, He cannot be trusted to save those Gentiles who call on His name!

When God selected Avraham to be the one through whom He would work out His plan of redemption, He made a series of “everlasting covenants” with Avraham, his son Yitz’chak, and grandson Ya`akov. These unconditional covenants included these provisions:

“I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” … ADONAI appeared to Avram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” [all the land from the Nile River in Egypt to the west to the Euphrates River in what is now Iraq in the east]” (Gen.12:1-7; cp. Gen. 22:15-18)

God later confirmed that covenant to Avraham’s son Yitz’chak …

“But I will establish my covenant with Yitz'chak, whom Sarah will bear to you at this time next year." ” Gen. 17:21; cp. Gen 26:1-5

… and to his grandson Ya`akov, whom God later named Yisra'el.

Ya'akov went out from Be'er-Sheva and traveled toward Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed the night there, because the sun had set. He took a stone from the place, put it under his head and lay down there to sleep. He dreamt that there before him was a ladder resting on the ground with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of ADONAI were going up and down on it. Then suddenly ADONAI was standing there next to him; and he said, "I am ADONAI, the God of Avraham your [grand]father and the God of Yitz'chak. The land on which you are lying I will give to you and to your descendants. Your descendants will be as numerous as the grains of dust on the earth. You will expand to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. By you and your descendants all the families of the earth will be blessed. Look, I am with you. I will guard you wherever you go, and I will bring you back into this land, because I won't leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Gen. 28:10-15)

After Ya'akov arrived from Paddan-Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. God said to him, “Your name is Ya'akov, but you will be called Ya'akov no longer; your name will be Isra'el.” [“God prevails” ] Thus he named him Isra'el. God further said to him, “I am El Shaddai. Be fruitful and multiply. A nation, indeed a group of nations, will come from you; kings will be descended from you. Moreover, the land which I gave to Avraham and Yitz'chak I will give to you, and I will give the land to your descendants after you.”  (Gen 35:9-12)

God later made specific provisions that Gentiles could also participate in these covenants, but only by becoming part of the holy community of Israel.

“If a foreigner stays with you in your land, do not do him wrong. Rather, treat the foreigner staying with you like the native-born among you — you are to love him as yourself, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt; I am ADONAI your God. … I am ADONAI your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. Observe all my regulations and rulings, and do them; I am ADONAI.” (Lev 19:33-37)

ADONAI said to Moshe and Aharon, “This is the regulation for the Pesach lamb: no foreigner is to eat it. But if anyone has a slave he bought for money, when you have circumcised him, he may eat it. Neither a traveler nor a hired servant may eat it. … The whole community of Isra'el is to keep it. If a foreigner staying with you wants to observe ADONAI’s Pesach, all his males must be circumcised. Then he may take part and observe it; he will be like a citizen of the land. But no uncircumcised person is to eat it. The same teaching [i.e., the entire Torah] is to apply equally to the citizen and to the foreigner living among you.” (Ex. 12:43-49)

Until the Jerusalem Council ruling over 15 years after Pentecost, the only way for a Gentile to enter into fellowship with the Messianic Community was to be circumcised and “convert” to Judaism. The Messianic Believers who were Pharisees felt that the Gentiles should also be required to obey not just the written Torah, but the Oral Tradition as well. However, the Jerusalem Council — the Shliachim [Apostles], who were all Messianic Jewish Rabbis — deliberated the issue and came to the conclusion (through the guidance of Ruach HaKodesh [the Holy Spirit]) that since the act of circumcision did not play a role in the salvation process (as evidenced by the fact that Ruach HaKodesh had already indwelt hundreds of uncircumcised Gentiles), it would no longer be a required part of the “conversion” process. They also ruled that it would be too great a “culture shock” for a new convert to Messianic Judaism to be required to immediately become fully Torah-observant in order to be accepted into the holy community.

They therefore arrived at an acceptable compromise position. If the newly-converted Gentiles would refrain from those activities that the Jews considered particularly reprehensible (abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality), there could be immediate fellowship while the Gentiles gradually were taught to walk Biblical halakhah (according to the teachings of Moses as recorded in the Tanakh [the Hebrew Bible], not according to the oral traditions) as they participated in synagogue life and learned over a period of several years how to live a fully Torah-observant Jewish lifestyle (Acts 15:1-29, with particular attention to v.21).

This continued to be the pattern for the Holy Community until approximately 311 C.E. when Emperor Constantine decided to consolidate his political and religious power into a new state religion that he created by blending the Roman form of the pagan Babylon Mystery Religion (the worship of Nimrod, the great grandson of Noah who founded Babylon, and his wife/mother Ishtar, the “Queen of Heaven”) with the Messianic sect of Judaism. He made this new religion, which has come to be called “Christianity,” the official religion of the Roman Empire, forcibly uniting “church” and state. Everybody who was then born into the empire was also born into the “church.” While retaining his position and title of Pontifex Maximus as head of the Babylonian mystery religion in Rome, he also claimed the right to be the “head” of the “church.”

Because everyone born in the Empire was also born into the “church,” Gentiles soon became the “ethnic majority” in the “church.” In 325 Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea, which none of the Jewish bishops were invited to attend, at which the “church’s” new “official position” on the “church’s” relationship to the Jews was published over Constantine’s signature:

“We ought not therefore to have anything in common with the Jews, for the Savior has shown us another way. And consequently in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews. How can they be in the right, they who, after the death of the Savior, have no longer been led by reason but by wild violence as their delusion may urge them? It would still be your duty not to tarnish your soul by communications with such wicked people as the Jews. It is our duty not to have anything in common with the murderers of our Lord.”[5]

The “adopted” children of Avraham, Yitz’chak, and Ya`akov had effectively stolen the birthright of the natural-born children, and had now driven the natural-born children out of the Holy Community. It was the Council of Nicaea which took the birthright from Israel and gave it to the Gentile church. In 325 C.E. the church (in their dogma) replaced Israel in God’s plan — but God had nothing whatsoever to do with it!

Replacement theology is particularly detestable to Jews because it is the theology that many government and religious leaders have used for over 1,700 years to excuse their attempts to exterminate the “Jewish vermin” from the earth. It is the excuse for every atrocity that has been committed against the Jewish people from the Inquisition to Hitler’s “final solution” and America’s “Road Map for Peace.” It says that God, Who hates divorce, has divorced His bride and married another. (Isa. 49:18; Isa. 61:10; Isa. 62:5; Ps. 127:2; the entire book of Hosea, the entire Song of Solomon) [MORE]

Not to beat a dead horse, but if one says, “I don’t teach Replacement Theology. The Jews are still God’s chosen people. But without Christ they are still under the Law.” By “under the Law” he means “going to hell.” Or one might say, “Christians don’t replace Jews, but Jews need to come to Christ and be saved.” What can that possibly mean but that Christians are saved and Jews are damned, and for a Jew to be saved he must bcome a Christian?[6] Is this not the very substance of Replacement Theology?

Israel, the Church, and Replacement Theology
What is it, and why is it wrong? | City Church Rockford

  1. Amy-Jill Levine; Marc Zvi Brettler. The Jewish Annotated New Testament (p. xiv). Oxford University Press. [BACK]

 2. If they did not, in fact, teach at least some form of Replacement Theology, they would be a synagogue, not a church. [BACK]

 3. As demonstrated by the huge number of Protestant denominations who have embraced the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, which works to end international support for Israel's alleged “oppression” of “Palestinian” arabs and effectively oppose Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation. [BACK]

 4. Daniel Lancaster lecture “Dismantling Replacement Theology” at First Fruits of Zion’s Malchut 2019, Session1: Redefining the New Testament church and locating it within Judaism and the Jewish people. [BACK]

 5. The Nicaean and Post-Nicaean Fathers, p. 54. [Click HERE for more anti-Semitic decrees from the pagan “church.”] [BACK]

 6. Paraphrased from Lancaster (op. cit.[BACK]

Page revised (minor) on Thursday, 21 September 2023

Page last updated on Wednesday, 26 June 2024 03:42 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

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