Reconciliation Prayer

by the Rev. Chris Dow

After General Synod 2016, the Council to General Synod renewed efforts to delete the prayer ‘For the Conversion of the Jews’. At this time, the PBSC began work to draft an alternative prayer. The new prayer entitled ‘For Reconciliation with the Jews’ was completed in late 2018 after extensive consultation and multiple drafts. This article, which explains the new prayer, first appeared in the Lent 2019 edition of the PBSC Newsletter.

O GOD, who didst choose Israel to be thine inheritance: have mercy upon us and forgive us for violence and wickedness against our brother Jacob; the arrogance of our hearts and minds hath deceived us, and shame hath covered our face. Take away all pride and prejudice in us, and grant that we, together with the people whom thou didst first make thine own, may attain to the fulness of redemption which thou hast promised; to the honour and glory of thy most holy Name. Amen.


In the last two issues of the PBSC newsletter, Fr. Gordon Maitland has introduced our project to replace the prayer ‘For the Conversion of the Jews’ (FCJ) with a new prayer entitled, ‘For Reconciliation with the Jews’ (FRJ).1 He has helpfully and thoroughly explained the complex and fraught background of the entire matter and the motivation for our endeavour. I will not repeat his words here, but rather add something supplementary: an analysis of the prayer’s structure and a rationale for its spirit and Scriptural theology.

My aim is threefold: first, to demonstrate that this prayer is in keeping with the form and tradition of the Prayer Book; secondly, to argue that it is necessary in its penitential post-supersessionist attitude toward the Jewish people; and thirdly, to show that it is biblically rooted.

The composition of this prayer is a humble attempt to imitate both the form and style of Thomas Cranmer’s collects in the Book of Common Prayer (BCP). Cranmer’s particular genius was to express deep ‘theological substance with simple and moving clarity’ in words ‘saturated with Scripture.’2

Perhaps the two finest examples of this are the Collect for the First Sunday in Advent and the Collect for Ash Wednesday. In the Collect for Advent I, after the initial address, the prayer echoes the exhortative words of the Epistle (Rom. 13:8-14) and proceeds to tie together the First and Second Comings of Christ with the image of His triumphal entry in the Gospel (Matt. 21:1-13) – all of this in fewer than one hundred words. The Ash Wednesday collect is centered on the petition in which we ask God to ‘create and make in us new and contrite hearts.’ This sums up the spirit and purpose of the Lenten season by blending David’s penitential plea (Ps. 51:10) with Ezekiel’s prophesy of the new covenant and new creation (Ezek. 36:26).

Both collects allow the words and figures of Scripture to give shape and form to our prayers and imaginations. Their incantatory power, haunting majesty and remarkable concision inscribe them into our hearts and minds as we repeat them throughout their respective seasons. These collects are at once exquisitely beautiful works of literature and profound theological statements. Their literary and theological qualities are inextricable and mutually reinforcing. This exceedingly high standard is the model for FRJ and we submit this admittedly feeble imitation with humility and in thanksgiving for the Prayer Book tradition that Cranmer has bequeathed to us.

The Collects for Advent I and Ash Wednesday are Cranmer’s original compositions, but most of the other Prayer Book collects are his adaptations of prayers from earlier sources, such as the Gelasian and Gregorian Sacramentaries. FRJ is neither an entirely new composition nor a revision of a single existing prayer, but rather a pastiche of material from various sources, including the original prayer we propose to replace (FCJ), the Book of the Prophet Obadiah, the 1970 Roman liturgy for Good Friday and the Jewish Mourner’s Kaddish. These sources are identified in the structural analysis below.

In the foreword to their book, The Collects of Thomas Cranmer, Barbee and Zahl outline the basic format that is common to all of Cranmer’s collects3:

  1. The Address – the invocation to God the Father.4
  2. The Acknowledgement – ‘the foundation of doctrine upon which our request is made. It reflects some quality of God related to that which we shall be asking Him in the Petition: His power, His grace, His transcendence, His mercy. In a few cases, however, what is acknowledged is our weakness or frailty or sinfulness.’5 FRJ makes two acknowledgements: the first is of God and His election of Israel (2a); the second is of the Church’s sin of supersessionist ‘arrogance’ and anti-Jewish ‘violence and wickedness’ (2b).
  3. The Petition – the actual request we make of God.
  4. The Aspiration – the higher purpose of the Petition, usually introduced by the conjunction ‘that.’ For example, in the Collect for Ash Wednesday, we petition God for new and contrite hearts, to the end ‘that we worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness.’ Not all of Cranmer’s collects have such an Aspiration following the Petition, but FRJ does.
  5. The Pleading – the appeal that our prayer be heard and granted ‘through Jesus Christ our Lord,’ who is our great High Priest and heavenly Intercessor, the one through whom we draw near to the Father. Those familiar with the Prayer Book will know that there are several different variations of this Pleading, including the doxological conclusion: ‘who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.’

It must be said that the final Pleading of FRJ is a departure from this convention, though not without precedent.6 Earlier drafts of FRJ ended with a standard pleading: ‘through thy well beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ However, in the subsequent draft of the prayer, this has been changed to the following: ‘to the honour and glory of thy most holy Name.’ Below I will explain why this change was made and argue why it is necessary in this unique case.

FRJ follows this five-part Cranmerian structure, although there is some overlap between the parts, specifically between the Address and the Acknowledgment (Pts. 1-2) and between the Acknowledgement and the Petition (Pts. 2-3). These overlaps are indicated below by the use of a) and b) to denote the subsections of Pts. 2 and 3. Let us now examine each part in detail:

Structural Analysis & Rationale

1 & 2a – O GOD, who didst choose Israel to be thine inheritance:

The new prayer (FRJ) retains the opening address of the original it seeks to replace (FCJ). The brief address, ‘O GOD,’ (1) is followed immediately by the acknowledgment that the God to whom we are praying is specifically YHWH, the LORD God, ‘who didst choose Israel to be thine inheritance’ (2a).

This God, the Creator of heaven and earth, has made Himself known by His election of a particular people to be His possession: He is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. As He said to Moses, ‘This is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations’ (Ex. 3:15). The LORD God is ‘the one who determines His eternal identity by His act of election;’ His being is inextricably related to the physical and temporal existence of His elect covenant people Israel;7 and this election is irrevocable (Rom. 11:28-29).

The language of inheritance evokes Deuteronomy 32:9 – For the LORD’s portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance. Also in Psalm 78:72, God is described as the shepherd of Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance. This means that the LORD God has a special and intimate ownership of His beloved covenant people. He cherishes them as His highly-valued treasure – the vessel through whom He will bless and redeem all nations of the world.

3a & 2b – have mercy upon us and forgive us for violence and wickedness against our brother Jacob; the arrogance of our hearts and minds hath deceived us, and shame hath covered our face.

The petition asking God to ‘have mercy upon us and forgive us’ (3a) arises from the Church’s acknowledgment of its history of supersessionist ‘arrogance’ and anti-Jewish ‘violence and wickedness’ (2b). This is an enormous subject with a long and complicated history. Only a few cursory remarks are possible in this paper.

Supersessionism, also known as replacement theology, asserts that the Gentile-majority Church has superseded or replaced the Jews as the sole covenant people of God; thus only the Church can now rightfully claim to be the true Israel because God has rejected the Jews and annulled His covenant with them due to their blindness and hardness of heart in their rejection of Christ. This hard and hostile form of supersessionism never became official dogma, but has had a considerable influence in the Church since the Patristic period.8 The roots of supersessionism were formed even earlier. After the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple by the Romans in A.D. 70, Christians began to think that the Jewish way of life had been providentially replaced in God’s economy of salvation. Thus began a long process ‘de-Judaization’ in Christian thought.9

In its crudest manifestations, supersessionism has demonized and scapegoated the Jews as ‘Christ killers,’ twisting passages such as Matthew 27:25 (‘His blood be on us and on our children’) to assert that the Jewish people as a whole invoked a curse of permanent guilt upon themselves for the Crucifixion. This gave rise to prejudicial fears that incited pogroms against Jews in Medieval Europe, beginning a terrible pattern of banishments, discriminations, forced conversions and persecutions by Church and state that killed hundreds of thousands of Jews even before the twentieth century.10

Then came the Shoah, meaning ‘calamity’ in Hebrew, more commonly known as the Holocaust: the horrific nadir of anti-Semitic violence and wickedness that systematically exterminated six million Jews in Europe.

The Nazi perpetrators of the Shoah were consumed by a toxic ideological concoction that blended in an apostate Christianity as a minor ingredient – and did so only for reasons of political opportunism. This so-called ‘Positive Christianity’ rejected the Jewish origins of the Bible, including the entire Old Testament, and even rejected the Jewishness of Jesus, bizarrely reconstructing Him as an Aryan opponent of Judaism. Though completely antithetical to the Christian faith in its most basic doctrinal tents,11 Nazism’s ‘Positive Christianity’ was the most virulent outcome of ‘hard’ supersessionism, a belief that was originally born of the Church. In the words of the late Jewish theologian Michael Wyschogrod, ‘the Holocaust could probably not have occurred if not for the two thousand years of preparation that took place in the [Church’s] teaching of contempt’ for the Jews.12 Other Jewish scholars write similarly: ‘Without the long history of Christian anti-Judaism and Christian violence against Jews, Nazi ideology could not have taken hold nor could it have been carried out.’13 Furthermore, the Church undeniably committed any number of ‘sins of omission and commission during the Holocaust’ itself, though there were heroic examples of Christian solidarity with European Jewry in the 1930s and 40s.14

The long, dark history of the Church’s supersessionist ‘arrogance’ and ‘violence and wickedness’ towards the Jews is what is acknowledged in this penitential prayer and forms the basis of the petition that pleads for God’s mercy and forgiveness. Thus I propose that FRJ would be the BCP counterpart to the second-last of the Reproaches in the Good Friday liturgy from the Book of Alternative Services (BAS), where the Lord Jesus Christ says to us from the Cross:

‘I grafted you into the tree of my chosen Israel, and you turned on them with persecution and mass murder. I made you joint heirs with them of my covenants, but you made them scapegoats for your own guilt.’15

These shocking words aptly summarize the history I have outlined above. They allude to Romans 11:17-18 – St. Paul’s humbling reminder to Gentile Christians that since they have been graciously grafted into Israel, they ought not to be arrogant towards the Jews. As we have seen, Paul’s warning has been mostly ignored by the Gentile-majority Church for the past 2000 years, as its attitude towards the Jews has been precisely one of arrogance and superiority.

FRJ attempts to locate this fraught history within the particular biblical figure of Jacob and Esau – a figure mysteriously invoked by Paul in Romans 9:10-13, near the beginning of his three chapters of knotty and anguished reflections on the covenant, election, Israel, the Gentiles and God’s providential plan of salvation. But whereas Paul quotes from Malachi 1:2, FRJ uses words taken directly from the Book of the Prophet Obadiah, verses 3 and 10. In this, the shortest book of the Old Testament/Tanakh, Obadiah pronounces God’s judgment on the nation of Edom for siding with the Babylonians during the siege of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. As the descendants of Esau, the neighbouring Edomites should have assisted their brother Jacob, but instead took advantage of his destruction. In the day of Jacob’s calamity, Edom stood aloof, gloated, looted his brother’s wealth, and handed over his survivors (Ob. 11-14). This same dynamic has played out any number of times in the history of Church’s relationship with the Jews and the parallels with the Shoah are particularly striking.

The point here is not to say that the Church should always and only be seen simply as Esau/Edom. Rather, the aim is to deepen our biblical imagination and expand the figural range used for describing the Church and its life, history and mission.

As those who belong to Christ, we are descendants of Abraham and Isaac, heirs according to promise (Gal. 3:29). Thus the Church is Israel, but not in such a way as to replace Jewish Israel;16 and if we are to repent of this supersessionist impulse, we must counterbalance our claim to be Jacob/Israel with the contrite admission that we are also, in some sense, his carnal and violent twin brother Esau. Because of violence to your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame (Ob. 10).

Thus FRJ expresses essentially the same reproach as the BAS Meditation on the Cross. By doing so using the words of Obadiah and the figure of Jacob and Esau, this prayer specifically seeks to counter what Ephraim Radner has called ‘testamental supersessionism’ or Marcionism: the ancient heresy that rejects the validity of the Old Testament as Christian Scripture.17 Marcionism has never really gone away and we have seen it rear its ugly head throughout Church history, especially in the ‘Positive Christianity’ of Nazism. This should inspire us to address the root cause of hostile supersessionism by recovering the Old Testament as Christian Scripture. FRJ is a small step towards this end.

3b – Take away all pride and prejudice in us,

This petition is retained from FCJ and is a most appropriate request given the prior acknowledgment of the Church’s history of anti-Jewish arrogance, violence and wickedness.

4 – and grant that we, together with the people whom thou didst first make thine own, may attain to the fullness of redemption which thou hast promised;

After repentantly acknowledging the Church’s sinful treatment of the Jews and petitioning God for mercy, forgiveness, and humility, we plead that this would all be for a higher purpose. This pleading is based on the prayer for the Jews in the 1970 Roman liturgy for Good Friday, which reads as follows:

‘Let us pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God, that they may continue to grow in the love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant. (Prayer in silence. Then the priest says:) Almighty and eternal God, long ago you gave your promise to Abraham and his posterity. Listen to your Church as we pray that the people you first made your own may arrive at the fullness of redemption. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.’

Whereas this Roman prayer is one in which the Church prays specifically for the Jews, FRJ is a penitential prayer that the Church prays for itself and its attitude toward the Jews. Thus the phrasing of the line we have borrowed has been revised accordingly: ‘grant that we, together with the people whom thou didst first make thine own may attain to the fulness of redemption which thou hast promised.’

The emphasis here is on Jews and Christians together as people of God and siblings in the Lord. This togetherness is not a present reality in this age, but we plead that it would be in the age to come when we attain to the fulness of redemption that God has promised, and so with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. (Rom. 8:25).

Here again, the strained fraternal bond and hope for reconciliation between Jews and Christians can be understood through the biblical figure of Jacob and Esau.18 Following Obadiah, FRJ emphasizes that ‘Jacob and Esau are brothers – ‘your brother,’ he tells Edom – and the history of their relationship is made profoundly problematic precisely in their brotherhood.’19 The story of their relationship in the Book of Genesis involves struggle, rivalry, jealousy, fear and betrayal, but also deep mutual affection. The end of this narrative is somewhat ambivalent: after years of separation, they are reconciled and restitution is made, yet because of Jacob’s lingering mistrust of Esau, they go their separate ways (Gen. 33:1-17).20 They settle in different lands and become the progenitors of distinct peoples (Gen. 36:6-8). The conflict between them continues down through the generations, just as they had struggled primordially in Rebekah’s womb (Gen. 25:22-23). For Jacob and Esau are not only brothers, but twin brothers. They shared the same gestational period and clashed in utero.21 Similarly, the Church and rabbinical Judaism were born at about the same time – in the first century AD around the destruction of the Second Temple. Both are ‘the offspring of a religion based on the Hebrew Bible’22 and are ‘parallel claimants to be Israel after canonical Israel.’23 Perhaps, in God’s infinite mercy and unfathomable providence, the historical struggles between Jews and Christians shall be the birth pangs of a common redemption, ‘as the vision of Revelation 7 indicates.’24

5 – to the honour and glory of thy most holy Name. Amen.

As mentioned in the introduction, FRJ’s final aspiration originally ended with the words, ‘through thy well-beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord.’ This is a standard appeal that the prayer be heard and granted through Jesus Christ in His role as our heavenly Intercessor. Our Jewish consultants for this project felt that this implied that the redemption of the Jewish people is to be achieved through Jesus Christ, thus contradicting the project’s stated aim of renouncing supersessionism.

This raises a vitally important question: can Christian theology ever be entirely non-supersessionist? In my view, this is doubtful. Though hard and hostile supersessionism must certainly be rejected, it would seem that a much softer, irenic and more theologically sophisticated form of supersessionism is inherent to the claims of the New Testament, which presents Jesus Christ as the long-awaited Davidic Messiah, who died for the sins of the whole world and rose again according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4), thus fulfilling the Law and the Prophets and inaugurating a New Covenant that emerges from the Old.

Rabbi David Novak has said that this ‘soft’ kind of ‘Christian supersessionism need not denigrate Judaism. It can look to the Jewish origins of Christianity happily and still learn of those origins from living Jews, whom Pope John Paul II liked to call ‘elder brothers.’ Christian supersessionism can still affirm that God has not annulled his everlasting covenant with the Jewish people, neither past nor present nor future.’25 In fact, it must affirm this, because if God has broken His original covenant with Jewish Israel, then there is no tree onto which the Gentile Church can be grafted (Rom. 11:17-21). Rabbi Novak has even said that Christianity must be supersessionist in this soft way if it is to be truly Christian, otherwise it devolves into a vapid post-Christian pluralism.26 ‘Theological relativism cannot be the way forward, which is why supersessionism cannot be avoided in good faith. It can only be disciplined by nuanced theological reflection.’27

Leaving aside this question for now, the authors of FRJ wanted to take seriously the concern of our highly-valued Jewish consultants. We certainly did not wish to cause offense and so we decided to change the prayer’s aspiration to its current form: ‘to the honour and glory of thy most holy Name.’

This, of course, is not to deny that Jesus Christ is our great High Priest, heavenly Intercessor and the Redeemer of all. But the new aspiration does underscore that, despite major differences regarding the person and work of Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity, both Christians and Jews worship the LORD God of Israel as revealed in the Old Testament/Tanakh. It is to the honour and glory of this particular God that the prayer’s petition is devoted.

Furthermore, ‘to the honour and glory of thy most holy Name’ echoes the first line of the Jewish Mourner’s Kaddish: ‘Magnified and sanctified may His great name be, in the world He created by His will. May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and in your days, and in the lifetime of all the House of Israel, swiftly and soon – and say: Amen.’28

In FRJ, the Church laments its sin of supersessionism and mourns its many Jewish victims; therefore it seems appropriate that our prayer be in harmony with the mourning of ‘our brother Jacob.’ The Mourner’s Kaddish is intriguing. Though it is a prayer to be prayed by those who are mourning the dead, nowhere does it mention death. The focus is rather on the LORD’s creative power, sovereign rule and redemptive promise. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks paraphrases the first line as follows: ‘May the sovereignty of God be ever more widely recognized by human beings.’29

Likewise, may the Church ever more widely recognize that it worships and serves the sovereign God of Israel – not a generic deity of our own idolatrous imagination. May the Church ever more deeply see the Old Testament as Holy Scripture, the living and active Word of God. And may the Church ever more clearly recognize that because the Word-made-flesh, Jesus Christ is Jewish, ‘it must see in Judaism the final consummation of creation and the true vessel of Christ’s saving acts.’30

The Book of Obadiah ends with a prophetic vision of the salvation that the sovereign LORD will bring about in His Messianic kingdom (Ob. 17-21). God’s covenant people will be gathered in to possess that Promised Land. The mount of Esau – interpreted figurally as the Church’s arrogant and hostile supersessionist impulse – will be judged by God and subjugated to mount Zion; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’s (Ob. 21). May that time come swiftly and soon, even in our own day.

The Rev. Chris Dow is Priest-in-Charge of St. James’ Church, Caledon East, in the Diocese of Toronto. He was ordained priest in 2013 in the Dioese of Saskatchewan, and served the parish of Birch Hills, Kinistino and Muskoday First Nation from 2013 to 2018. He holds an M.Div. from Wycliffe College, Toronto.


  1. The Book of Common Prayer (General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, 1962), p. 41.
  2. C. FitzSimons Allison, ‘Introduction,’ in C. Frederick Barbee and Paul F.M. Zahl, The Collects of Thomas Cranmer (Eerdmans, 1999), xv.
  3. Barbee and Zahl, ‘Foreword,’ The Collects of Thomas Cranmer, x-xi.
  4. Some collects in the Prayer Book tradition are addressed to the Second or Third Persons of the Trinity, but these are rare exceptions. In the 1962 Canadian BCP, see for example, prayer #2 on p. 40, ‘For the Unity of all Christian People’ and prayer #9 on p. 44, ‘For the Parish.’
  5. Barbee and Zahl, ‘Foreword,’ The Collects of Thomas Cranmer, x-xi.
  6. The ‘Prayer of Saint Chrysostom,’ which is prayed daily in the Offices and as the collect ‘At a Conference or Retreat,’ also does not have an explicitly Trinitarian or Christological conclusion.
  7. Sang Hoon Lee, ‘God in Jewish Flesh: Michael Wyschogrod’s Theology of Israel,’ Trinitarian Ontology and Israel in Robert W. Jenson’s Theology (Pickwick, 2016), p. 61.
  8. That being said, Robert Louis Wilken has argued that the Patristic view of the Jews was ‘more nuanced than often recognized.’ See his essay entitled, ‘The Jews as the Christians saw them,’ First Things (May 1997).
  9. Jaroslav Pelikan, ‘The True Israel,’ The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600) (University of Chicago Press, 1971), p. 21. Pelikan adds, ‘Christian theologians writing against Judaism seemed to take their opponents less and less seriously as time went on; and what their apologetic works may have lacked in vigor or fairness, they tended to make up in self-confidence. They no longer looked upon the Jewish community as a continuing participant in the holy history that had produced the church. They no longer gave serious consideration to the Jewish interpretation of the Old Testament or to the Jewish background of the New. Therefore the urgency and the poignancy about the mystery of Israel that are so vivid in the New Testament have appeared only occasionally in Christian thought.’
  10. Gerald McDermott, ‘Death at the Tree of Life,’ First Things (1 November 2018).
  11. Nazism’s ‘Positive Christianity’ explicitly rejected the Apostles’ Creed and faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, instead seeing the Führer as the herald of a new revelation.
  12. Michael Wyschogrod, quoted in Sang Hoon Lee, ‘God in Jewish Flesh: Michael Wyschogrod’s Theology of Israel,’ Trinitarian Ontology and Israel in Robert W. Jenson’s Theology, p. 80.
  13. Tikva Frymer-Kensky, David Novak, Peter Ochs, and Michael Singer, ‘Dabru Emet: A Jewish Statement on Christians and Christianity,’ in Carl E. Braaten and Robert W. Jenson, eds., Jews and Christians: People of God (Eerdmans: 2003), p. 180.
  14. Emma Klein, ‘Holocaust,’ Oxford Companion to Christian Thought (Oxford University Press, 2000), p. 303-304.
  15. The Book of Alternative Services (General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, 1985), p. 316.
  16. ‘The statement ‘the Church is Israel’ somehow needs to take into account the fact that the Israel that is made up of Jews is not self-evidently a part of the Christian Church in experiential terms, and that Christians (Jewish and Gentile in national origin) and Jews are clearly two distinct groups with respect to theological claims and the order of common life before God.’ Ephraim Radner, ‘Israel, Jew and Gentile,’ Church (Cascade Books, 2017), Kindle Location 2669.
  17. Ephraim Radner, ‘An Original Theological Wound: Testamental Supersessionism and its Modern Challenge,’ paper presented to the Helsinki Consultation on Jewish Continuity in the Body of Christ (Krakow, 2017). Many would say that the term ‘Old Testament’ is inherently supersessionist, but Radner uses the term despite its problematic connotations. ‘What is important to stress in the Old-New pairing, understood in terms of establishing and renewing rather than chronological replacement, is the essential coupling it constitutes, the ‘two-testamental’ nature of the Scriptures as an integral Word.’
  18. Jews have also deployed the figure of Jacob and Esau to understand their relationship with Christians. See, for example, Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, ‘Confrontation,’ Tradition Vol. 6 No. 2, (Spring-Summer 1964).
  19. Ephraim Radner, ‘The Church and the Nations: Jacob and Esau,’ Church, Kindle Location 2857.
  20. Robert Alter, The Five Books of Moses: a translation with commentary (W.W. Norton, 2004), p. 186.
  21. In a fascinating, albeit speculative analysis of Jacob and Esau from the perspective of obstetrical medicine, Dr. Azila Talit Reisenberger has proposed that they were identical or monozygotic twins who suffered from twin-twin transfusion syndrome, ‘a condition in which identical twins who share an amniotic sac have an abnormal blood circulation.’ Essentially, the blood of one twin is drained to the other, thus the recipient is born with too many red blood cells. This would explain why Esau, as the recipient, was redder at birth and why Rebekah’s pregnancy was complicated and seemingly precarious. See Azila Talit Reisenberger ‘What kind of twins were Jacob and Esau?’ South African Medical Journal, Vol. 87 No. 11 (November 1997).
  22. David Novak, ‘Supersessionism, Hard and Soft,’ First Things (February 2019).
  23. Robert W. Jenson, ‘Toward a Christian Theology of Judaism,’ in Braaten and Jenson, eds., Jews and Christians: People of God, p. 5.
  24. Ephraim Radner, ‘Israel, Jew and Gentile’ Church, Kindle Location 2713. In the great eschatological vision of Revelation 7, the great multitude from every Gentile nation gives praise to God after those sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel.
  25. David Novak, ‘Edith Stein: Apostate Saint,’ First Things, (October 1999).
  26. Gavin D’Costa, ‘A New Zionism,’ First Things (June 2018).
  27. David Novak, ‘Supersessionism, Hard and Soft,’ First Things (February 2019).
  28. Jonathan Sacks, ed., The Authorized Daily Prayer Book of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, 4th ed. (Collins, 2016), p. 37.
  29. Ibid., xxxiii.
  30. David Bentley Hart, ‘A Symposium on Dabru Emet,’ in Braaten and Jenson, eds., Jews and Christians: People of God, p. 189.
Reconciliation Prayer