It is generally agreed among Biblical students that the Scriptures teach a special relationship between God and Israel. While there is much controversy over the meaning of Israel in the NT, most will agree that the historical Israel of the OT referred to a community of people bound together physically by descent from Abraham through Jacob and religiously by a covenant relationship with God. That this community of Israel also constituted a nation in the usual sense of this term is clear from Scripture. When the question is raised as to the rationale of the unique relationship of the nation of Israel with God, there is likewise the general belief that Israel was elected and brought into a covenant relationship with God for service to the rest of the world. The way of this service, however, and thus the place of the nation of Israel in God’s history evokes diverse explanations. Aside from the understanding that sees Israel and Judaism as a legitimate way to God alongside of Christianity, a position that has traditionally been rejected by Christians, four views regarding the mission of the nation Israel may be noted.