Europeans Are Descendants of the Ancient Hebrews: New Testament Evidence
By Reed Benson
The Lost Ten Tribes are found! Caucasian Europeans are the physical, literal descendants of the tribes of Israel. Many Israelites had been taken into captivity by the Assyrians in the eighth century B.C. and subsequently made their way to Europe. Others had migrated there in even earlier times. There is solid evidence from ancient historical documents and archaeology that prove these claims. There is also excellent linguistic evidence showing this connection. Additionally, Old Testament prophetic clues build a tight case that point to the Caucasian Christian people of Europe as genetic Israelites.
But setting all such evidence aside, if the only source of information one possessed was the New Testament, the same conclusion must be drawn. There are enough New Testament clues that the Israelites of old are the direct ancestors of the people of Europe that any objective analysis will allow no other verdict. The key to observing this truth, so often overlooked, is to simply read the New Testament in the plainest sense, without assuming that things literal must be somehow "spiritualized." It is commonly assumed that the idea of "spiritual Israel" is the pre-eminent theme of the New Testament. But that term appears nowhere in the text of the entire Bible, nor is that idea taught by any writer of the New Testament. Indeed, the concept is completely unnecessary if one can correctly identify the descendants of the tribes of Israel in the New Testament era.
Let the reader now peruse the New Testament and witness for himself the evidence showing that the two great European peoples profiled in the New Testament, the Romans and the Greeks, were genetic Israelites in the most literal sense.
As an appetizer, consider the words in Matthewís Gospel, when Jesus stated, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 15:24). Later, Jesus reminded His twelve disciples that if they are faithful, they will receive an outstanding commission in His new order: "Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Matthew 19:28). So you see, Jesus was quite interested in the people of Israel; indeed, He was concerned with no others.
Consider now Paul, the apostle to the Greeks and Romans, nations who many assume to have been non-Israelites. Is this right? Or could it be that Paul went to genetic Israelites who had, many hundreds of years before, come to be known by other names. Is this possible?
In the book of Acts, Paul finds himself in trouble, accused of being a rabble-rouser, and must defend himself before King Agrippa. It is commonly assumed that since Paul spent most of his ministry taking the gospel to the Greeks and Romans, he had abandoned the idea that the covenants were uniquely and exclusively for the Israelites. Yet, here, in Acts 26:6-7, near the very end of his life, Paul identifies the animating thrust of his entire ministry: "And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hopeís sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews." It is clear that Paul anticipates the twelve tribes of Israel being central to Godís plan. Why would he believe such a notion if ten of the tribes had been irreparably lost eight centuries earlier? Clearly that genetic stream must have still existed and Paul must have known where to find them if he harbored such a clear expectation
So, where were these tribes? The people of Rome comprised some of them. The Roman nation was genetic Israel whose forefathers had migrated to the Italian peninsula. God had divorced them from His covenant, but had not forgotten them. Now the time was ripe for their reintegration into the body of believers, and Paul was the man to spearhead this effort. He knew what he was doing and to whom he was speaking. Thus, we find clues laced into the text of the book of Romans. Let us consider some of them.
Remember now, the book of Romans was written to whom? The church at Rome, which was comprised of . . . Romans! Beginning in Romans 4:1, Paul wrote: "What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?" Notice he said to the Romans that Abraham was "our father," not my father. Paul repeats this in Romans 4:12, referring to "our father Abraham." And in case one missed it, just a few verses later Paul says the following: "Therefore it is of faith that it might be of grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (as it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations) . . ." (Romans 4:16-17). Speaking to the Romans, Paul said that Abraham was the father of us all, and the father of many nations, not just those of the law (that is, the Jews or Judeans, of whom Paul was a part), but to others who no longer had the law, that is, nations like the Romans, and as we shall see, the Greeks.
In Romans chapter 9, Paul begins a detailed discussion of Godís elective choice in salvation. Imbedded in this discussion are more excellent clues. Consider Romans 9:4-5: "Who are the Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen." Please observe that Paul tells the Romans that all of these valued blessings are for Israelites, even the adoption, which many theologians assume is the vehicle by which non-Israelites would become part of Godís plan. But consider this: why would any Israelite need to be adopted? It is only because they had been previously cut off from the covenant. Who was cut off? The ten tribes of the Israel that were dispersed, only later to form into heathen nations in Europe, one of which was the Roman state. Thus, Paul is clueing the Romans in on the fact that God elected them out of Israel (Jacob) for future benefits. Romans 9:10 contains another simple clue showing that Paul knew who the Romans were: "And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac." You see? Again, Paul stated to the Romans that Isaac was our father.
Roman 11 is an interesting section. Here Paul discussed the wild olive being grafted in, referring to the Romans as "you Gentiles" (verse 13). He said that "thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them," and should not boast (verses 17-18). What was Paul talking about? It is not difficult. The small Judean nation was the natural olive. The wild olive was divorced and dispersed Israel who had formed new nations in their eight-hundred-year hiatus from contact with Jehovah. These nations were called gentiles. (remember that the word gentiles simply means nations). The olive was a symbol of Israel in the Old Testament. The context of this chapter is framed by Paulís prior comments when he said, "Hath God cast away his people? God forbid" (verse 1) and, "God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew" (verse 2). Who had been seemingly cast away? Divorced, dispersed, ten-tribed Northern Israel. What Paul was telling the Romans is simple: God has neither lost nor forgotten you! He went on and declared that "blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" (verse 25). What part of Israel was blinded? Many of the Judeans. Why? So the gentiles, who were Israel in their divorced, pagan condition, could rejoin the covenant. Paul then immediately concluded with the statement, "And so all Israel shall be saved" (verse 26). How could all Israel be saved? Paul meant both parts, undivorced Judea (the natural olive) and the previously divorced ten-tribed Israel (the wild olive).
Let us continue the trek through the New Testament and move on to the Greeks. Paul wrote a number of epistles to Greek churches in Greek cities. Like the Romans, the Greeks were direct descendants of Israelites separated long before from their ancestral faith in Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. While the majority of the Greeks had no knowledge of their roots, it is seen from this passage in the Apocrypha that not all had forgotten: "This is a copy of the letter they sent to Onias: ĎKing Arius of the Spartans, to the high priest Onias, greetings. It has been found in writing concerning the Spartans and the Jews that they are brothers and are of the family of Abrahamí" (1 Maccabees 12:19). But let us look at the clues we derive from the writings of Paul as he writes to churches in various Greek cities of that time.
To the church in Corinth, one of the leading Greek cities and the host of the popular athletic Corinthian games, Paul stated: "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:1-4). Did you notice? Paul said "all our fathers." That is, the ancestors of the Corinthians were with Paulís ancestors in the wilderness after they left Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, were preserved by the cloudy pillar of Godís presence, and received water from the rock that Moses struck. Paul was telling them that they are genetic Israelites.
To another group of people that lived in the Greek-speaking world Paul had a similar message. These are the Galatians. Paul wrote: "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith are the children of Abraham" (Galatians 3:7). Note that Paul did not say that people of faith are the spiritual children of Abraham, although that is what many theologians today incorrectly assume. He simply said they were the children of Abraham. What people of faith was Paul talking about? The church of the Galatians, that is, believers who were from Galatia. Paul was not stating or implying that such a notion as a spiritual Israelite existed. He was telling them that they were literal, genetic Israelites. If you need further proof of the identity of the Galatians, the go to Galatians 4:28-29: "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now." This passage is often misinterpreted, but it need not be. Most assume that Isaac was the child of the flesh in that he was a genetic descendant of his father Abraham, and that Paul was like Isaac in that he also was a genetic descendant of Abraham. Allegedly, the children of the Spirit are non-Israelites who are "adopted" or "grafted in." But that is all completely wrong. Look at Galatians chapter 4 more closely. This chapter contrasts the child of the flesh with the child of the Spirit/promise. It contrasts Ishmael to Isaac. Which was which? Of course, both were children of Abraham genetically, so what is really being discussed? The topic is the means by which each was brought into the world. Ishmael was the child of the flesh in that he was conceived through ordinary lustful means, involving the fears and passions of Abraham and Sarah. But Isaac was the child born through the miraculous work of Godís Spirit who made pregnancy possible in an old woman. Isaac was the child of promise, born after the Spirit. Now look closely again at what Paul wrote to the Galatians in verse 28: "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise." He is telling them that they are descendents of Abraham through Sarah. This is emphasized further in verse 31: "So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free." The bondwoman was Hagar. But the free woman was Sarah, and the Galatians were her descendants.
Leaving Paul, consider the plain and unmistakable words of James when he addressed his letter, "to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting" (James 1:1). If the ten tribes had been lost forever, how and why would James have written an epistle to them? Obviously, he had some idea about who the descendants of the twelve tribes were.
Now turn your attention to Peterís writings. He wrote his first epistle to, "the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bythynia" (1 Peter 1:1). These were all provinces of the land mass today called Turkey, or Asia Minor, but was then a core part of the Greek world. Now, who were these strangers? He lets us know more in chapter 3 in the midst of his exhortation to ladies regarding their duty to their husbands. Peter wrote: "For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord: whose daughters ye are . . ." (1 Peter 3:5-6). Please observe that Peter has helped identify the strangers to whom he has written by narrowing their identity to the offspring of Sarah. These ladies are the daughters of Sarah and Abraham!
John received the great vision of Jesus Christ known as the book of Revelation. Does this book provide clues on our topic? Indeed it does. One cannot honestly read Revelation without discerning that Israel plays a uniquely central role. Three quick illustrations of this fact will be useful: First, the four remarkable beasts of Revelation 4:7 are in the image of the four ancient symbols of Israel: the lion, the calf, the man, and the eagle. Second, it is people from the tribes of Israel that are providentially sealed in chapter 7. Third, in chapter 21, we see that the bride of Christ, which is the New Jerusalem, is built in such as manner that only the twelve tribes of Israel can enter into its precincts: "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband . . . And had a great wall and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel" (Revelation 21:2, 12). Do you see the significance? Only those who are of he twelve tribes can enter the New Jerusalem: the bride of Christ. Wow!
The people of Europe, many of them the direct descendants of the Romans and Greeks, have carried Christianity for two thousand years. Without Europe, Christianity would have died. Indeed, it would have never really been born. The people of Europe are genetic Israel, and Israel plays a uniquely central role in the New Testament.
As a final passage proving this point, consider Hebrews 8:7-10, which reads: "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their minds, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people." The word "testament" simply means covenant. When we speak of the New Testament, we are speaking of the New Covenant. And according to St. Paul in the book of Hebrews, whom did God make the New Covenant with? Israelóonly the twelve tribes of Israel comprised by its two houses, Judah and Israel. How does this prove that Europeans are descendants of Israel? Because with only the fewest of exceptions in two thousand years of Christian history, only the genetic offspring of Christian Europeans have borne New Testament fruit. It is the people descended from Christian Europe who have copied the Bible, translated the Bible, incorporated Bible law into their national framework, sent out masses of missionaries, built the great churches of the world, developed biblical theology, written the profound books of the faith, composed great biblical pieces of music, and created stunning works of biblical art. The people descended from Christian Europe alone have the fruit that proves they are Israel of old. After all, Jesus said, "for the tree is known by his fruit" (Matthew 12:33).
It is thus concluded that the writers of the New Testament knew that the people of Europe, including the Romans and the Greeks, were the literal, genetic offspring of ancient Israel. Paul, Peter, James, and John wrote with that thought in mind. It is clear that throughout the Christian era, these same people have had a uniquely high-profiled role in Godís work in the earth. No longer do theologians need to strain to create a "spiritual Israel" that can be the inheritors of the New Covenant through "adoption" or "grafting in." The real, bona fide, genetic Israel has been active all along, doing the work of God and maintaining the culture of the Bible.