Catholic Israelites?

I’m not sure how to word this question…
In Romans, Paul says he is an Israelite of Benjamin, and “God forbid” they are not chosen. Catholics believe they are Israel, does that mean they are Israelites? What does it mean that the Old Testament talks about patrilineal descent to be an Israelite, but the Church is Israel now? How is this consistent with geographic biblical description and prophecy? What does that mean for all Tanakh (Old Testament) prophecy for/of Jesus/the messiah? I have questions for how Christ, as the prophesied descendant of King David, can only be represented by a place that is not at the historic temple of the King, or the land that God set aside for his people. When the Messiah comes to establish the Israel on Earth, it would seem it would be from Jerusalem rather than Rome? Since New Testament authors knew about Rome.

I believe in Jesus Christ, however, my views are somewhat unconventional to the modern Church. (I believe the messiah is at the right hand of God, not identical to ha’Shem; John 1:18, 1 John 4:12; the difference between Theos and ha’Shem/Y’hvh).

Pardon my vagueness.

Let me get this straight …Wait so you don’t believe Jesus is God?

*Bare in mind that Catholic Theology teaches that Jesus is NOT the Father.

I think you are over thinking. Jesus, the Messiah, is clearly foretold by the Prophets. He is the fulfillment of the Law and the founder of a New Covenant for the conversion of the whole world. You should be able to read the Old Testiment and the New Testiment and conclude both to the Messiahship of Jesus, His Divinity, and the institution of the New Covenant. My favorite Bible is the Duay-Rheims with Haydock commentary, principally for its commentary.

I didn’t understand what you were trying to explain about " places. " Don’t get hung up on that. See the following for the historisity of Jesus. :thumbsup:

I’ll leave it to others to address the questions you raise in the first paragraph. I can only say that your views about Jesus are not only unconventional to the Church but also unconventional to Judaism, although for different reasons. That’s perfectly fine with me; you certainly don’t need my approval to believe what you do based on your own search and interpretation of Scripture and tradition. I assume you’re using a metaphor (not a literal location) that the Messiah is at the right hand of G-d to enforce your belief that the Messiah is not identical to G-d. I’m curious then what you believe are the attributes of the Messiah, if not exactly divine in the same sense as HaShem, since you don’t understand the idea of Person in the same way as the Church or the idea of Oneness in the same way as mainstream Judaism. And do you believe at all in the third Person of the Holy Spirit?

There is some confusion, so I see I should clarify my beliefs.

I believe Jesus is the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy and the Moshiach. And that he acts on behalf of God (or the Father). However, his work is not finished. At one point I did not believe this, but now I do. However, my beliefs are basically identical to early Christian theology before the split… Something like Jewish Christianity, or Nazarene Jews. Indeed, I am not referring to an actual position of Jesus next to God.
My view on the Holy Spirit… Ruach Ha’Kodesh exists and was present with ha’Elohim in the beginning. However, as a tool that the elohim used. My views on the elohim is that they are obviously the collective “God,” but only Y’hvh (the word used in the Torah after creation, to distinguish God) is the true God.

My question is concerning the Church being Israel. The Moshiach’s role is to rule in Jerusalem, not simply to establish a ministry prior to his rule. I understand the Church is viewed as “Israel,” but I view this as only partially accurate, given certain “geographic realities” of Tanakh prophecy, and the role of the Moshiach.

From wikipedia:
“The Catholic Church places the New Jerusalem in the eschatological role found in Revelation. Catholicism also holds that the New Jerusalem already exists as a spiritual community in Heaven, the Church triumphant, with an outpost on earth, the Church militant. Together, the Church triumphant, Church militant, and Church suffering form the Church universal. Augustine of Hippo, a Doctor of the Church and Church Father, draws inspiration from John’s account of the New Jerusalem to outline this view in his monumental work The City of God.”

Also, there is no such thing as half-god. The most glorious person God created is Holy Virgin Mary.

I have brought this up on other threads, but I think it would be worthwhile for you to study the blessing that Jacob gave to Ephraim, then follow ‘Ephraim’ throughout the Tanakh and wonder whether the blessings bestowed upon ‘Ephraim’ is representative of the church, or ‘spiritual Israel’.

The blessing that Jacob gave to Ephraim basically seems to be the firstborn blessing that Jacob received from Isaac, and Isaac received from Abraham, and Abraham received from God.

In Jacob’s blessing of Ephraim, Ephraim was told that he would multiply like fish and become a multitude of nations.

The prophet Hosea speaks of Ephraim more than any other book of the Tanakh. Both the apostle Peter and the apostle Paul refer to Lo-Ammi as representing the church.

and I will say to Not My People, (Lo-Ammi) you are my people"
and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’”
(Hosea 2:23)

1 Peter 2:10: Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Romans 9:24-25: even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea,“Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’”

Concerning 'Lo-Ammi: **And the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, that is without measure, and shall not be numbered. And it shall be in the place where it shall be said to them: You are not my people (Lo-Ammi) be said to them: Ye are the sons of the living God. ** (Hosea 1:10)

So what I am suggesting is that the apostles Peter and Paul understood ‘Lo-Ammi’ to represent the children of Israel represented under Ephraim who were to become the church of Jewish and Gentile believers in Jesus Christ, known as ‘spiritual Israel’.

It is my conjecture, that ethnic, or natural Israel, or practicing Jews are of the other eleven tribes with the tribe of Judah representing them.

My personal conviction at this time, is that God has a purpose for both practicing Jews and for the church, and that they will become united in the last days, in a way in which He only knows.

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, take a stickd and write on it, ‘For Judah, and the people of Israel associated with him’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph (the stick of Ephraim) and all the house of Israel associated with him.’ And join them one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand. And when your people say to you, ‘Will you not tell us what you mean by these?’ say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am about to take the stick of Joseph (that is in the hand of Ephraim) and the tribes of Israel associated with him. And I will join with it the stick of Judah,e and make them one stick, that they may be one in my hand. …My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes.
(Ezekiel 37:15-19,24)

(I do not think you will find this as a teaching anywhere, it is simply my own conjecture so take it with a grain of salt).

God’s peace be with you


I think maybe you are confusing a geographical location of ‘Israel’ to the metaphorical biblical sense of ‘Israel’.

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And whosoever shall follow this rule, peace on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.” - (Galatians 6:15-16) Here St. Paul tells his readers that in Christ neither circumcision (Jewish law) nor uncircumcision (Gentile custom) matters. What matters are those who follow the gospel, and those who follow the gospel are the “Israel of God.” It is absolutely essential that Christians (not just Catholics) fully understand this.

We, the Church, are the “Israel of God.” We are Israel. We are the spiritual remnant of ancient Israel, expanded and multiplied, to encompass the whole world. This was (and is) God’s plan of salvation. It has not changed. In the Church, it doesn’t matter whether you are Jew or Gentile. What matters is that you are in full-communion with that one Jew who unites us together. The Jewish rabbi who is both Messiah and King - Jesus of Nazareth. “From the beginning of his ministry, the Lord Jesus instituted the Twelve as ‘the seeds of the new Israel and the beginning of the sacred hierarchy.’” - (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 877)

The Church, particularly the Catholic Church, is Israel. The Church is also Zion. There is no other Zion, in a spiritual sense, than the Church. The Church is also the New Jerusalem. There is no other “Jerusalem,” in a spiritual sense than the Church. This is a fundamental teaching of the New Testament. Without this understanding, everything becomes convoluted.

If you read Israel and the Church as being two separate entities than you’ve missed the point, and one of the most fundamental teachings of the New Testament. In the eleventh chapter of St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans he uses the illustration of an olive tree to make his point. He compares the Church to a tree that has its roots in the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), and its trunk representing the Law and Prophets in the Old Testament. No tree trunk grows upward into infinity. At some point it must sprout branches, and so St. Paul’s “olive tree” does the same. These branches make up the modern Church in Jesus Christ. Some branches are Jewish Christians. Many branches are Gentile Christians. Both are precious in the eyes of God. This is the “Israel of God.”

The privilege of being a Jewish convert to the Church is knowing that God came in the flesh as one of your own kinsmen, and he gave the Gospel to your kinsmen first, and they in turn gave it to the world. That is what it means to be a Jewish Christian - a Hebrew Catholic. Yet there is more, St. Paul tells us that the rejection of the gospel by the majority of Jews is actually a blessing to the world, because by doing so, the gospel has been given to the Gentiles, and it has allowed the Church (God’s Israel) to expand to the farthest reaches of the earth. That is not the end of the story though, St. Paul gives us a prophetic glimpse of the future of the Jewish people.

Catholics believe the Bible is clear that the New Jerusalem of the Book of Revelation is not the historic city of Jerusalem. We do not believe that present day Israel is the same spiritual entity as the historic Israel before the time of Christ. After the crucifixion, the curtain of the Jewish sanctuary was torn in two (Mk 15:37-39, Lk 23:44-46, Mt 27:51) which was God tearing his cloths. At that point, a transfer of authority happened and we believe that the fledgling Church became the New Israel. The Catholic Catechism Article 63 explains:

Israel is the priestly people of God, “called by the name of the LORD”, and “the first to hear the word of God”, the people of “elder brethren” in the faith of Abraham.

After the death of Jesus, the Old Testament prophesies about Jerusalem were clearly understood as a reference to God’s people rather than the historic city of Jerusalem. This means that the seat of the Church could be anywhere on earth.

This doesn’t in any way negate Israel’s place as the Holy Land or the Jews as the Chosen People for the Church founded by Jews, took a turn when it allowed Gentiles into the fold because Jesus had fulfilled the Old Covenant and established a New Covenant.

I hope this is clear or relevant to the question you were asking. Maybe a more senior Forum Member can clarify.

The Catholic Church may have once believed in an absolute ‘replacement theology’, but it is rethinking this position as can be read from this website:

Personally, I lean toward a millenialism of the restoration of creation on earth, and a earthly Jerusalem governed by unresurrected Jewish people on earth with a heavenly Jerusalem of God’s resurrected saints being as the shekinah glory over earthly Jerusalem and Mt.Zion.

(there are many early church fathers who believed in a millenialism of the restoration of God’s creation. In addition The Diadache and Rev. 20 speak of more than one bodily resurrection).

God’s peace be with you



Paul speaks from being from the tribe of Benjamin, a people. Israel is a people. The kingdom is spiritual and not a land although the world is the land of the kingdom.

St. Paul says that the Jews are by no means rejected. The point he makes is that the Jews, despite having opposed God and killed the prophets, are not rejected from the new covenant and entering in communion with the Church, as he is himself a Jew.

“The people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (Kings 1, 19,:10).

“The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers … which they broke” (Jeremiah 31:31, 32).

Accordingly, St. Paul teaches in his Letter to the Hebrews that God “abolished the first in order to establish the second” (10:9).

Catholics believe they are Israel, does that mean they are Israelites? What does it mean that the Old Testament talks about patrilineal descent to be an Israelite, but the Church is Israel now? How is this consistent with geographic biblical description and prophecy?

It means that it is consistent with Jeremiah’s prophecy that God would make a new covenant which will be written on hearts unlike the old.

What does that mean for all Tanakh (Old Testament) prophecy for/of Jesus/the messiah? I have questions for how Christ, as the prophesied descendant of King David, can only be represented by a place that is not at the historic temple of the King, or the land that God set aside for his people.

No land is set aside for the Jews, the first covenant was broken by them and has been abolished. The new covenant, as Jeremiah prophesied in God’s name, will not be “like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.”

When the Messiah comes to establish the Israel on Earth, it would seem it would be from Jerusalem rather than Rome? Since New Testament authors knew about Rome.

Yes, Christ established the Church in Jerusalem. We do not claim that it was established in Rome.

I believe in Jesus Christ, however, my views are somewhat unconventional to the modern Church.

Unconventional too in the Apostolic Church. Christ is referred to as God by Ignatius of Antioch in his letters to the Romans and Ephesians. Ignatius was likely a student of the Apostle John, as we know from Irenaeus that his friend Polycarp was. Other early Christian writers, such as Justin Martyr, all refer to Christ as a deity without controversy. As far as I know, there no evidence to suggest that the belief that Christ is God developed over a period of time.

(I believe the messiah is at the right hand of God, not identical to ha’Shem;

As you probably know, we also believe that Christ, as we say in the Apostles Creed, “is seated at the right hand of the Father.” It is a figure of speech expressing a divine attribute.

John 1:18, 1 John 4:12; the difference between Theos and ha’Shem/Y’hvh).

I do not see how John 4:12 is relevant to your point. Also, read the next verse.

John 1:18

“No man has seen God at any time.” This statement is not concerned with seeing in a physical sense, but with seeing in the sense of understanding. We can have a logically consistent conception of God, but to see God, in the sense of understanding, is impossible because we cannot have a sufficiently complete conception of such a being.

“The Only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”

Which is precisely why Christ is divine, only God can know himself.


I’d like to note that the land, which was given to Abraham’s descendants (not necessarily only Jews) was given in the Abrahamic covenant (not the Mosaic Covenant which is referenced in the verse from Jeremiah). The Abrahamic Covenant was unilateral—God caused Abraham to fall asleep, while He walked through the cut carcasses Himself. For that reason, it’s considered an unconditional covenant.

There are many covenants, the promise of the possession of land had already been fulfilled. As such it is not anymore in effect, regardless the irrevocability of Abraham’s covenant.

Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land; but because of the wickedness of these nations the LORD your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. "Know therefore, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness; for you are a stubborn people (Deuteronomy 9:5, 6).

Thus the LORD gave to Israel all the land which he swore to give to their fathers; and having taken possession of it, they settled there. And the LORD gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers; not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the LORD had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one of all the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass (Joshua 21:43-45).

Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised; not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he uttered by Moses his servant (Kings 1, 8:56).

Thou art the LORD, the God who didst choose Abram and bring him forth out of Ur of the Chaldeans and give him the name Abraham; and thou didst find his heart faithful before thee, and didst make with him the covenant to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite; and thou hast fulfilled thy promise, for thou art righteous (Nehemiah 9:7-8).

Dolezal—Yes, you’re right that God kept His promise to Abraham concerning the possession of the land in the Genesis 15 Abrahamic Covenant; however, the next Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 17 says this: “I will establish My covenant as an everlasting covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now a sojourner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”

This was the covenant of circumcision. Though it did require faithfulness of the part of Abraham’s descendants in order to remain in the land without being periodically exiled, I question whether we can conclude that it is “not anymore in effect.” I believe the whole overarching story of the exiles and returns in the Bible points to a God who disciplines Israel but always with the view toward their ultimate restoration. As the prophets said, they would one day be planted in the land and never again uprooted. That promise—never again being uprooted—has yet to be fulfilled.


I disagree as Paul says in Romans…what is the advantage of Circumcision and then goes on to say that as the Jew believes he is a descendant of Abraham wanting all that Abraham was promised points out that in fact they are descendant of Adam…and in Romans 7 points out that the need for cirucmcision and all it entails is now essentially dead in that the land was not a land but a people…and Israel is fulfilled in Christ and the Church as the body of Christ…the need for land or promise of land is negated insofar as Paul points out in Romans 11 that the remnant, the diaspora would someday come in as well. The land belongs to Christ…and the people do as well. The Kingdom has come as promised to abraham and it has nothing to do with land.

Reading the Book of Revelation my feeling was that those who rejected the sign of the beast were either christians or jews. Does muslims say anything about that sign?

The promises that have already been fulfilled are logically not anymore in effect, but they are none the less part of the irrevocable covenant of Abraham. It is not a difficult concept to grasp.

An effect is by definition fulfilled when it has been executed and brought to an end. Now, it follows that such an effect cannot be everlasting in sense of being of perpetual. In both the English and Hebrew language, everlasting can be defined as continuing for a long time or indefinitely. Now, within the context we are discussing, we can only admit, without committing a contradiction, that the possession of a land was indeed given for an indefinite time. It follows, without committing a contradiction, that the duration of the possession of land was limited, though not for any distinct period of time.

Among certain aspects of Judaism there is the anti-christ known as ‘armilus’ who precedes the coming of Messiah. They do not talk about the ‘mark’.

Within Islam there is the teaching of the anti-christ which shall precede the coming of
‘Isa’, (Jesus), Isa will come as the judge of the earth. This ‘anti-christ’ is known as
‘Dajjal,’ and there is no discussion about a ‘mark’.

God’s peace be with you


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