Review of Irvine Anderson’s “Biblical Interpretation and Middle East Policy”

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Ulyana Chernyak Review of Irvine Anderson’s “Biblical Interpretation and Middle East Policy” POL 3990: Middle Eastern Politics In his book “Biblical Interpretation and Middle East Policy: The Promised Land, America and Israel, 1917-2002”, Anderson discusses 2 major topics that actually intertwine: the Bible and the influence of its interpretations on the emergence of the Christian Zionist movement along with the factors that influence British and American policy toward Middle east. Although “officially” Christian, I was not brought up in a religious setting; the only Bible I had was an abridged child version with a lot of pictures in it. Therefore, it is safe to say I am not closely familiar with the content of the Holy Book. This fact posed a great obstacle to me, when I was reading the book by Irvine Anderson, because the author certainly assumes that the reader has at least a minimal religious background. When talking about the roots of the Christian Zionist movement, Anderson places a great emphasis on the Bible. He says that the territory of Palestine (now Israel) is thought (by Jews and many Christians) to be a “promised land”. According to the Bible, Jews inhabited the land a long time ago, and God in a certain way “granted” that land to them; somehow, as time passed, many other peoples, including the Palestinians, were occupying the territory. Anderson even provides paragraphs from the Genesis, in which God promises the land to Abraham and his descendents. Biblical critics argue that the story, told in the Bible, should not be taken literally. In fact, to my knowledge, there is an approach, which advocates the study of the Bible on 3 levels: literal, historical, and spiritual. Somehow, what the critics say is that the historical sequence of events might be

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