The return of the Twelve Tribes
A chap called David asks Brant Pitre, author of one of my two favourite books – together with Wright's – on the historical Jesus thus far (though I'm yet to work through Bird's offering – someone annoyingly ordered it back to the library before I could read it) a good question about the prophesied return of the Twelve Tribes and the supposed start of its fulfilment in Jesus and his ministry:
"If Jesus seeks to bring about the restoration of Israel, then what happens to God's promise to gather the lost tribes of Israel back to the land (cf. Isa 11; Ezek 37; Mic 4, etc.)? Is this promise simply abandoned? Or does the New Testament "over-spiritualize the gospel" (David's words) it by referring it to the heavenly Jerusalem (e.g., Heb 12)? As he said, "Doesn't there have to be a bit more to it than that?""
Brant's shot at an answer is really worth reading!