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Acovenantalism – the series

A few years back I investigated the use of the word ‘covenant’ in the Old Testament and in Paul’s letters, as a project for my final year at Moore College. The whole thesis is available in PDF here, but I thought it would be a good idea to break it down into bite-sized pieces, massaging and tweaking it to make it a bit more readable and updating it in places, and to publish it as a series of blog posts.

To summarise: A lot of weight has been placed on the idea of ‘covenant’ as an overarching concept describing Christian salvation, Christian community, and God’s plans for the world. My project argues that this weight is much more than the actual biblical word ‘covenant’ can bear. The biblical term ‘covenant’ has some importance, especially in the Old Testament, but it has to be understood according to its quite specific biblical meaning, rather than used as a catch-all term to describe “relationship with God” or “community”, etc. This helps us to understand why Paul only ever rarely uses the word in his letters. I call my view an ‘acovenantal’ perspective, to distinguish it both from bicovenantalism and from the New Perspective on Paul.

Here are the posts so far:

  1. What Saint Paul Rarely Said (posted January 20, 2010)
  2. How should you look for ‘covenantal’ ideas in Paul? (posted January 21, 2010)
  3. Some important features of Paul’s use of the word ‘covenant’ (posted January 22, 2010)
  4. What’s the precise meaning of the word ‘covenant’ in the Old Testament? (posted January 26, 2010)
  5. The two covenants with Abraham – Part 1 (Genesis 12) (posted January 28, 2010)
  6. The two covenants with Abraham – part 2 (Genesis 15, 17 and 22) (posted January 29, 2010)
  7. What is the significance of circumcision in Genesis? (posted February 2, 2010)
  8. Two kinds of covenant at Sinai: law and mediation (posted February 7, 2010)
  9. The two-fold covenantal relationship in the prophets: with Israel, for the nations (posted February 12, 2010)
  10. Covenants in Cloudcuckooland and the Greek Old Testament (posted February 23, 2010)
  11. Covenants in Second Temple Judaism (posted February 25, 2010)
  12. The sectarian covenants of Qumran and the New Perspective (posted February 26, 2010)
  13. The covenants in the background to Paul’s letters – a summary (posted March 2, 2010)
  14. The covenants in Galatians 3:15-22 – Introduction (posted March 3, 2010)
  15. The word ‘covenant’ in Galatians 3:15 (posted March 4, 2010)
  16. The singular seed of Galatians 3:16 (posted March 16, 2010)
  17. The ratification of the covenant in Galatians 3:17 (posted March 26, 2010)
  18. The mediator in Galatians 3:20 (posted April 20, 2010)
  19. The Purpose of the Law in Galatians 3 (posted May 19, 2010)

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