The terms “Hebrew”, “Israelite”, and “Jew” are often conflated and they do, indeed, have overlapping meanings, but they are also distinct terms that sometimes reference diametrically opposed things. A “Jew” can be one who is religiously a Jew, ethnically a Jew, or even one who truly believes (for Scripture speaks in this way). “Israel” can mean the man, the nation, or the Church. It is incumbent on Christians to make careful and correct use of these terms, not to be incautious or sloppy.
Many heresies have arisen in the history of the Church due to deliberate or careless misuse of terms — and many of these heresies persist into the present. For instance, without a false understanding of what the terms “Israel” and “Church” mean, there would be no such thing as ‘Christian’ Zionism. In this episode, we go over the Scriptural (and a bit of the historical) case with regard to the Jews — who they are, what they’ve done, and what that means for Christians.
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- Targum [Wikipedia]