Thus a people was made ready to receive the gospel and to propagate it throughout the world, at the very time when the world had become conscious of its needs and, through its greatest philosophers and poets, was expressing its longings for deliverance.
At the junction of Europe, Asia, and Africa, there lay a little land through which passed all the caravan routes from the East to the West. Palestine was ?the eye of the world.? The Hebrews throughout the Roman world were ?the greater Palestine of the Dispersion.? The scattering of the Jews through all lands had prepared a monotheistic starting point for the gospel in every heathen city. Jewish synagogues had prepared places of assembly for the hearing of the gospel. The Greek language ? the universal literary language of the world ? had prepared a medium in which that gospel could be spoken. ?Cesar had unified the Latin West, as Alexander the Greek East? and universal peace, together with Roman roads and Roman law, made it possible for that gospel, when once it had got a foothold, to spread itself to the ends of the earth. The first dawn of missionary enterprise appears among the proselytizing Jews before Christ?s time. Christianity laid hold of this proselytizing spirit, and sanctified it to conquer the world to the faith of Christ.
Beyschlag, N. T. Theology, 2:9, 10 ? ?In his great expedition across the Hellespont, Paul reversed the course which Alexander took and carried the gospel into Europe to the centers of the old Greek culture.? In all of these preparations we see many lines converging to one result, in a manner inexplicable, unless we take them as proof of the wisdom and power of God preparing the way for the kingdom of his Son. All of took place this in spite of the fact that ?a hardening in part hath befallen Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in? ( <451125>Romans 11:25). James Robertson, Early Religion of Israel, 15 ? ?Israel now instructs the world in the worship of Mammon, after having once taught it the knowledge of God.?
On Judaism, as a preparation for Christ, see Dollinger, Gentile and Jew, 2:291-419; Martensen, Dogmatics, 224-236; Hengstenberg, Christology of the O. T.; Smith, Prophecy a Preparation for Christ; Van Oosterzee, Dogmatics, 458-485; Fairbairn, Typology; MacWhorter, Jahveh Christ; Kurtz, Christliche Religionslehre, 114; Edwards? History of Redemption, in Works, 1:297-395; Walker, Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation; Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles of St. Paul, 1:1-37; Luthardt, Fundamental Truths, 257-281; Schaff, Hist. Christian Ch., 1:32-49; Butler?s Analogy, Bohn?s ed., 228-238; Bushnell, Vicarious Sac., 63-66;
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