Month: January 2010

  • The two covenants with Abraham – part 2 (Genesis 15, 17 and 22)

    In the previous post we saw how Genesis 12:1-3 makes two distinct but related sets of promises. The first set of promises involves blessing to Abraham (Gen 12:1-2c). The second set of promises involves blessing through Abraham to the world (Gen 12:2d-3). Following Paul Williamson’s analysis, we will now see how these two sets of […]

  • The two covenants with Abraham – Part 1 (Genesis 12)

    This post, and the next few posts, will examine the way that the word “covenant” (בְּרִית) features in Genesis 12–22, which one of the key foundational texts for Galatians 3. (This post is part of a series. See here for an introduction to the series.) It is common to speak of “the Abrahamic covenant”. However, […]

  • What’s the precise meaning of the word ‘covenant’ in the Old Testament?

    The word “covenant” in the Old Testament has a precise and consistent meaning. It doesn’t just mean ‘relationship’, as is commonly assumed today. Rather, “covenant” refers to a very specific type of relationship. The best definition of the word, which accounts for all of its uses in the Bible, is as follows: Covenant = an […]

  • Some important features of Paul’s use of the word ‘covenant’

    We’ve seen a couple of approaches to the task of detecting ‘covenant’ ideas in Paul. These approaches are, in the end, hopelessly subjective, because they start with an assumed definition of ‘covenant’ which is then read into Paul’s texts. A much better approach is to begin with Paul’s actual use of the word ‘covenant’ and […]

  • How should you look for ‘covenantal’ ideas in Paul?

    How do you look for ‘covenantal’ ideas in Paul when he only rarely uses the word ‘covenant’? (This post is part of a series. See here for an introduction to the series.) Of course, we must admit that “covenantal” concepts may be present in a Pauline passage without the word διαθήκη appearing. Porter, for example, […]

  • What Saint Paul Rarely Said

    Being a Christian is about being in a relationship with God. Few people would deny this statement. But what, exactly, does this statement mean? What does a relationship with God look like? How does it operate? What is the nature of a Christian’s relationship with God? The word “covenant” has often been used as an […]

  • Bibliography for the series on acovenantalism

    (An introduction to this series) Bibliography of Primary Sources Cited Aristophanes. Translated by Jeffrey Henderson. 4 vols. Loeb Classical Library 178, 488, 179, 180. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press, 1998–2002. “The Epistle of Barnabas”. Pages 1–83 in Volume 2 of The Apostolic Fathers. Edited and Translated by Bart D. Ehrman. 2 vols. Loeb Classical Library […]

  • 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 […]

  • More heavy snowfall in Durham – images