Discussion All Areas Of Systematic Theology
Was wondering your take on the word "world" in Rom.11:12 & 15. Could it be talking about Non-Israelite Gentiles, or do you think this might be some type of poetic language used by Paul to refer to the dispersed Israelite Gentiles - hence - I see "world" and "Gentiles" as a double reference to the same people.
"Now if the fall of them (Jews) be the riches of the world (?)
And the diminishing of them (Jews) be the the riches of the Gentiles(dispersed Israelites)
How much more their (Jews) fullness."
"For if the casting away of them (Jews) be the reconciling of the world (dispersed Israelites), what shall the receiving of them (Jews) be but life from the dead"
I think Paul defined his understanding of "the whole world" as "those who are under the Law" (Romans 3:19). This could only be referring to the Israelites since no other people were ever accountable to the Law (Amos 3:1-2; Psalms 147:19-20). In the context, Paul was also assuming that those he called "the whole world" had "Abraham as forefather according to the flesh" (Romans 4:1).
Thus, it seems to me that "the whole world" referred to all the Israelites regardless of whether or not they were "Jewish" in the sense that they were strictly following the customs of Moses prescribed by the Pharisees in Jerusalem (Acts 15:1).
The problem with most people who interpret the NT is that they assume that "Jews" and "Israel" were the same general group of people instead of realizing that a "Jew" was simply one religious sect of "all Israel" and specifically referred to the minority of Isarelites who strictly followed the teaching of the scribes and Pharisees in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus.