To the Jew First or to the Jew at Last?: Romans 1:16c and Jewish Missional Priority in Dialogue with Jews for Jesus

By Antoine X.J. Fritz

A critical evaluation of the ‘missional priority’ intepretation of Paul’s description of the gospel as being ‘to the Jew’.

ISBN: 9780227174517


Many missions to the Jewish people, such as Jews for Jesus, use Romans 1:16 as a proof text to encourage the evangelisation of the Jewish people as a priority: “to the Jew first, and then to the Greek” (Jewish Missional Priority). Is this interpretation of the text legitimate? After considering when this priority first appeared, the author exposes and evaluates the arguments commonly used to promote it. His thorough exegesis of Romans 1:16-17 ultimately resolves the question. He takes the opportunity to explore some possible eschatological implications developed from Romans 9-11 and the parables of Jesus. Will the first also be the last?

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 278

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Antoine X.J. Fritz (MTh, PhD) is Facilitations Team Leader at Compassion UK. He was also Office Manager of the Paris branch of Jews for Jesus from 2003 to 2009.


Foreword by Henri A.G. Blocher
Abbreviations and Acronyms


I. Wirkungsgeschichte
II. Status Quaestionis
III. Propositio
IV. Heilsgeschichte


Author Index
Biblical Reference Index
Subject Index


Endorsements and Reviews

Antoine Fritz provides us with a unique, exhaustive survey of past and contemporary writing on the use of Romans 1:16 to support making positive mission to Jews a priority for Christians today. He then subjects the arguments he surveys to rigorous historical, biblical, and theological critique.
Steve Motyer, Lecturer in New Testament and Hermeneutics, London School of Theology

Antoine Fritz has produced the most thorough investigation available to date of the priority of Jewish people in the evangelization of humanity. … Fritz argues a correct understanding of Romans 1:16 is a prerequisite for evangelical mission to Jewish people today.
Mark Beaumont, Senior Lecturer in Islam and Mission, London School of Theology

Antoine Fritz’s provocative and well-argued thesis is a pioneering study of the history of the interpretation of Romans 1:16 … His own radical proposals for its interpretation and missiological application must be taken seriously by all who are concerned for the meaning of the gospel, the salvation of Israel and the nations, and the right response to the scriptural mandate, ‘to the Jew first’.
Richard Harvey, Associate Lecturer in Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies, All Nations College