Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Coherence Of The Old Testament Covenants

I liked this quotation from a paper by Michael A. Grisanti on "The Davidic Covenant":
Every student of the Bible must realize that the various biblical covenants revealed in the OT are interconnected. One must not keep the promises they contain separate from each other as mutually exclusive sets of covenant provisions (like distinct post office boxes). Rather, throughout the OT God is weaving a beautiful covenant tapestry, weaving each new covenant into the fabric of the former covenants... The recognition of continuity or sameness and discontinuity or differences in God's revelation of the biblical covenants must accompany belief in progressive revelation. As God reveals His will for mankind and Israel in particular, He repeats certain features already presented and introduces other brand-new elements. Students of God's Word must take great care not to ignore either side of that coin. [MSJ 10:2 (Fall 99), 245]
Since Grisanti is from the Master's Seminary, he might perhaps emphasize more discontinuity than I would prefer, but overall I still think the above is a good statement. No doubt the overall message of the Bible is one of renewal and not revolution. Unity, continuity and development are more essential than discontinuity and brand newness. Also, while I don't think there is necessarily a strictly linear development of the 'covenant tapestry', certainly the whole is still teleological and only comes together properly and makes its complete sense in the person of Jesus.

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