Zionism, founded by Theodor Herzl, is a movement for reestablishing a political nation for the Jewish people. Thus, what are the theological reasons why some Protestants are Zionists, especially in the U.S.?

(cf. this question)

  • I think they see the establishment of the secular nation of Israel as the fulfillment of some sort of prophecy (Eze. 37?).
    – user900
    Apr 4, 2016 at 0:05
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    To be fair the vast majority of Protestants are not Zionists, even in the US. Sometimes it just seems like it. Apr 4, 2016 at 0:29
  • @DJClayworth Do you have a source for that? thanks
    – Geremia
    Apr 4, 2016 at 1:43
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    It seems to have more political rather than religious grounds. And it seems to come more from the secular media rather than church doctrine.
    – vsz
    Apr 4, 2016 at 6:14
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    @Geremia: I think your last ¶ is quite related, but makes the question more broad, as the answers to the questions there may not all tie to the answer to your primary question. Perhaps narrowing to a specific group of Christian Zionists, and asking how they answer those questions would be sufficient? I'm not an expert in this area, to really know how the topic ought to be split apart, honestly.
    – Flimzy
    Apr 5, 2016 at 18:58

4 Answers 4


It would be wrong to think that a majority of Protestants are Zionists, but Christian Zionism is nevertheless a substantial movement, especially in the United States. There is a belief among some Christians that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land, and the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, is in accordance with Biblical prophecy. The idea that Christians should actively support a Jewish return to the Land of Israel, along with the parallel idea that the Jews ought to be encouraged to become Christians, as a means of fulfilling a Biblical prophecy has been common in Protestant circles since the Reformation.

Some Christian Zionists believe that the gathering of the Jews in Israel is a prerequisite for the Second Coming of Jesus. This belief is primarily, although not exclusively, associated with Dispensationalism, a movement begun by John Nelson Darby in the 1830s. For those who eagerly await the coming of Jesus, it is important to accomplish the return to Israel as quickly and as thoroughly as possible so that Jesus can return and establish his kingdom on earth.

Barbara R. Rossing says, in The Rapture Exposed, page 23, that Darby invented 'dispensations' – intervals of time ordering God's grand timetable for world events. She says (pages 55-56) the dispensationalist's script ca1ls “these things” absolutely necessary for Jesus to come again to reign on earth:

  • The rebirth of the nation of Israel;
  • The Rapture of born-again Christians off the earth;
  • The emergence of an evil Antichrist (and his one-world currency), probably from Europe;
  • The Antichrist signs a seven-year peace treaty with Israel, setting in motion the seven years of tribulation – but the Antichrist will break the treaty after three and one half years;
  • The rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem and resumption of animal sacrifices there;
  • The desecration of the temple by the evil Antichrist, followed by the second half of the seven-year period of tribulation;
  • Jesus' return in the "Glorious Appearing" exactly seven years after the Rapture, beginning with his touch-down on the Mount of Olives, which will split the mountain into two.

One of the resolutions adopted during a series of Bible and Prophetic Conferences held across North America beginning in 1868 states:

We believe that the world will not be converted during the present dispensation, but is fast ripening for judgment, while there will be fearful apostasy in the professing Christian body; and hence that the Lord Jesus will come in person to introduce the millennial age, when Israel shall be restored to their own land, and the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord; and that this personal and premillennial advent is the blessed hope set before us in the Gospel for which we should be constantly looking.

  • Are you sure that the last bullet states "after the Rapture"? Instead of 'at the end of the seven year period', or 'seven years after the signing of the treaty'? I remember some studies mentioning a possible time-gap of unknown length between the rapture and the seven years.
    – Mixxiphoid
    Apr 4, 2016 at 17:04
  • @Mixxiphoid There is now a whole range of competing views on this. I think Rossing provides the version invented by Darby. Apr 4, 2016 at 22:53
  • Ok, thanks for clarifying. Just wanted to know for sure which version comes from who.
    – Mixxiphoid
    Apr 5, 2016 at 4:49

When I investigated this matter (at a time when my American Baptist church was exploring this in some depth), the conclusion to support the modern state of Israel rested upon these pillars:

1) A reading of Scripture

2) A view of eschatology

3) An interpretation of history

4) A decision to accept the modern state of Israel as the spiritual continuation of ancient Israel.

The Bible includes promises to Israel and blessings and curses on people and nations that either help or hurt her. Only if modern Israel is the continuation of ancient Israel do those promises, blessings and curses apply.

First, Scripture. Roman 11 says:

I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.

17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

All Israel Will Be Saved

25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written:

“The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. 27 And this isf my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”g 28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may nowh receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

And what are the gifts and calling that are irrevocable? Genesis 12 says:

2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.a 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Thus if Israel of today possesses the same promises, then we are bound by God's promise to bless Israel.

One can believe that the church is the new Israel, but Romans says that we were grafted into Israel, not the other way around.

Among the eschatological reasons for believing this is the association of the time of Jacob's Trouble with the Holocaust of Nazi times, as written in Jeremiah 30:

“ ‘Cries of fear are heard— terror, not peace. 6 Ask and see: Can a man bear children? Then why do I see every strong man with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor, every face turned deathly pale? 7 How awful that day will be! No other will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it.

8 “ ‘In that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘I will break the yoke off their necks and will tear off their bonds; no longer will foreigners enslave them. 9 Instead, they will serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.

If the Holocaust - certainly the worst genocide against the Jews in all of History - is the tragedy of which Jeremiah spoke, then the liberation of the Jews such that foreigners will no longer enslave them - the recovery of their own country - must be the follow-up that Jeremiah also spoke of.

One careful student of both history and Biblical prophecy predicted in the early 1700's that the Jews would resettle their homeland in the 1940's, and his prediction came true. Considering that as a physics major I considered him to be worthy of respect, I consider his opinion worthy of consideration. His name was Sir Isaac Newton.


Zionism, founded by Theodor Herzl, is a movement for reestablishing a nation for the Jewish people. Thus, why are some Protestants Zionists, especially in the U.S.? Is there a theological reason for this?

With the doctrine of the rapture and tribulation is the future reestablishment of the nation of Israel and the completion of the prophecies for Israel that have yet to be fulfilled including the establishment of a 1,000 year kingdom over which Jesus will directly rule.

There are some of those who hold this view who are more inclined to hurry things along through the use of political, economic, and even military methods. In the run up to the establishment of Israel as a political nation in 1948 there were similar divisions within Judaism regarding the extent to which people should act versus those who felt they should wait on God.


It's not about being a Zionist.

It's about an (everlasting Promise) made to his friend Abraham. Just because Christians support Israel does not make them a zionist.

I support Israel because my God our Father is not a liar! He is not unfaithful to the promises he makes. He is always faithful to those that he loves and considers a friend.

Why was the Land of Canaan was renamed Israel? Because that was the Land he Chose for Abraham and his descendants through Isaac. Jacob was renamed Israel because God's plan was to show the World that His Word never fails. If you keep reading the story of Jacob being renamed Israel, you will see that God promised Israel that he would become a Great Nation and that this promise will be fulfilled in the land he gave Abraham and Isaac as the blessing for the nation we would come to know as Israel.

How was God able to cement his promise as an everlasting promise?

Was it the Temple of Solomon? No! Was it the 10 commandments? No! Was it due to the efforts of former King of Israel David son of Jessi? No! Was it all the Prophets who Fought for the Nation of Israel? No! Was God merely just speaking words for no reason? No.

The everlasting promise given to Abraham, Isaac and Israel was fulfilled by the blood of Jesus Christ.

The Nation of Israel is where Christianity was born. It is the nation where the Message of our Messiah was first taught.

The Nation of Israel were the only people that God sent Jesus Christ to save. Jesus Christ said this himself in Matthew 15:24

He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."

But the Jews/Israelites failed to recognize their Messiah and with the Help of the Gentiles crucified our Savior. And with this, fulfilled the prophecy that through the Blood of Jesus Christ and his Resurrection, Sin(Death) has no power over man any longer, and that we now have a way to the Father.

The Nation of Israel is very important to Christians who acknowledge the importance of the Old Testament. It is our way of remembering the history of our God. The God of Israel the True Living God. Without this. We will never understand why The Nation of Israel is very important to us.

Simply put, Israel exists because our God is not a liar, and our God has kept his promise to Abraham,Isaac and Israel.

Israel one day will be saved by Jesus Christ and all of the tribes of Israel will know that Jesus Christ was the one whom they pierced. They will mourn just as the Scriptures say.

And the Zionist never established the Nation of Israel.

How can a Nation not exist yet Her people exist. How can man say these people established the Nation of Israel when the Jews/Israelites continued to live throughout the World! And if they continued to live throughout the World than the Nation of Israel was always Alive.

Geremia. I am 100% Supporter of the Nation of Israel. My God our Father the God of Israel the True Living God is not a God of Confusion.

He is not looking for Believers who are easily hooked in to lies fed by the world to the Churches. Like Jesus Christ has created a New Israel. Tell me where in the Bible does God say Jesus Christ will create a New Israel? If God say's he is a Faithful God. Than how can God go back on his Promises to Abraham? How can he be Unfaithful? That's why I Believe that Jesus Christ is the Reason why Israel still exist.

I look at it this way. When Jesus Christ died their was sign that not even the People in his time understood.

It was a Title that God alone gave his Son regarding the Nation of Israel. A Title that the Jews/Israelites and Gentiles of that time were witnesses to. But did not understand the full meaning behind it. A title that would Be the Reason why the Nation of Israel would continue to exist.

And that Title is Yeshua Hamashiac (King of the Jews, King of Israel)

So now you understand why I am a supporter of The Nation of Israel. Because my God our Father is not a liar. What he day's is True and as long as the Nation of Israel exist than the world can never say that the God of the Christians does not exist why? Cause God himself said. I Am the God of Israel the True Living God :)

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    The Church that Jesus Christ founded is the New Israel, so when you say you support Israel, do you mean you support the New Israel? Or do you mean you support the State founded in the 20th century by Zionists?
    – Geremia
    Apr 5, 2016 at 16:02
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    @Geremia Really? Here I thought we we just grafted onto the promises of the old Israel? Romans 9-11. Replacement theology would not have much room for Zionism, and you can hold to that, but clearly this answer is not from that position. Therefore, asking questions based upon another position won't make much sense. While I'm not sure it's presented well, I find it difficult to disagree with most of this answer. I might have a slight addition, but essentially I agree. +1
    – Joshua
    Apr 5, 2016 at 16:29
  • @JoshuaBigbee Yes, there's only one Israel, from Abraham, to Moses, to Jesus, to present-day Christians. Modern-day Judaism, established after the Romans destroyed their temple in 70 A.D. and based on the Talmud, is younger than Christianity. My question is then: "Why do some Protestants think Zionists are real Jews and not "them that say themselves to be Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan" (Apoc. 2:9)?
    – Geremia
    Apr 5, 2016 at 17:15
  • @Geremia Ah yes well that is why I'm not truly a Zionist though I am supportive of the Jews. I agree that to see the Jews as representative of all the tribes of Israel is wrong, that would be the addition I mentioned. But I think they are still part of it, the 1-3 tribes of the stick of Judah. A political Jewish Israel is only a partial fulfillment in my mind. But still a step closer. The OP may need to clarify what makes a Protestant *Zionist"? And it's odd to ask a Protestant based question and then quote apocrypha :)
    – Joshua
    Apr 5, 2016 at 17:24
  • Which Christian denomination's position are your presenting, Gali? Apr 5, 2016 at 17:51

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