I recently had the honor of reading a book published by an attendee of thebridge. Dr. Mark Anderson’s work “History of the Zionist Movement and the Impact Upon Jewish Church Relations Today” was both an educational and timely read for me.
As one who both reads and teaches from the Bible, the subject matter of Israel is always present. The person, Jacob, and thus offspring which became the people group Israel, also known as the Jews is first mentioned in Genesis 32 and is referenced as a nation in every book of the Old Testament but 3. This people group, what God says to them, and how they obey (and more often disobey) Him is the emphasis of the Old Testament. So why are they the subject matter? Because they are God’s chosen people from whom He will use to bring hope to the world and that hope is more than a message it is a person, Jesus. So the New Testament picks up with the promise one of Israel, Jesus, living, dying, resurrecting, and finally ascending. This message is then proclaimed and thus the subject matter of the rest of the New Testament. Although Jesus came, not all believed and received Him as the promised messiah and the Jewish people in the land of Israel continued on for another century. It was at this time that Rome came in and utterly destroyed the nation of Israel and although a small gathering of Jews remained most were scattered. They continued on as a people group but the land that had thus far been associated with them no longer was home.
This is where Dr. Anderson’s book comes in. The Jewish people remained a people without a land until 1947 when Israel, by mandate of the United Nations, was reestablished as a land for the Jewish people. What Mark does in his book is chronicle the history of events that led up to the 1947 decision and how those events have shaped where we are today. Beyond this he analyzes the relationship between Christians, Jews, and the displaced Palestinians.
What struck me in Dr. Anderson’s work is the clarity in which he outlines the tremendous complexity of the situation that leaves our present situation with dismal hope for a winnable solution. As always, revisionist history, reveals a number missteps along the way by many different countries and people that could have lessened the magnitude of the current clash and Dr. Anderson is able to point those out along the way.
If you have been intrigued by the the most recent events involving Israel and the Gaza strip this book would serve you well. Using a vast number of resources Dr. Anderson has put together a work that is highly beneficial to those who wish to better understand the tension of the middle east.
I would recommend this book for its insight, readability, and historical perspective.
You can buy the book at Amazon here.