I recently read a post that a Christian friend of mine wrote on Facebook pertaining to how much they like the New Covenant versus the Old Covenant.
The first paragraph of this persons post is as follows:
Regarding God’s covenants with man, the New Covenant is much different. It is not an invitation that asks for a decision to believe, but rather an invitation that calls us to a “covenant” life of faith and surrender. After “counting the cost” (see Luke 14:25-33) as a precursor to entering into a covenant with God – we must totally surrender our lives to him.”
This person went on to say that this statement came from a study class on, “the 8 covenants in the Scriptures”. It isn’t my desire to criticized another persons beliefs, but rather present what is in the Tanach with minimal commentary.
Several years ago I did an extensive study on the various covenants in Scripture.
I searched each one for a common thread between them. As a result there are 5 common threads that I discovered as follows:
- to whom the covenant is presented to, and the person that is presenting the covenant
- the time frame of the covenant
- the covenant seal
- what the presenter requires from the person receiving the covenant
- what the presenter will do for the person if they accept the covenant
The covenants were ether accepted or rejected, never negotiated. The presenter, presents it, and the receiver has a choice to accept it or not.
The study in question is referring to what is commonly called in Christian circles “the New Covenant”. Typically, as a rule, if you mention the “New Covenant”, in a Christian setting, you are referencing the “New Testament”, and if you say the “Old Covenant”, you are referring to the “Old Testament”. It becomes obvious that neither of these are covenants in themselves. The Old Testament, or Tanach, contains several covenants, and the New Testament makes a misquote to a covenant in the book of Hebrews. If the New Testament is a covenant in itself, where are the various points that are present in all other covenants? The New Testament is a compilation of letters written in the second to later half of the first century, with a common theme. Most of the letters are written by Paul, pertaining to his teachings and beliefs. In fact Paul wrote the oldest letter in the New Testament, 1Thessalonians around 50 ACE, all other books came after that. It is not known who the author of the book of Hebrews or 1&2 Peter are, since Peter was already deceased at the time of its writing.
What many refer to in the Tanach as the “New Covenant”, is found in Jeremiah 31:30. This Scripture does not mention nor elude to replacing any other covenant. The Scripture says that He will place His Torah or teachings within the children of Israel, and Judah. And then He says that He will write His Torah or teachings onto their hearts. No longer will they need to “teach his fellow man”, because Torah will be already within us. I fail to see any mention of this in the referenced excerpt I wrote above from my friends post.
It is my belief that the covenant mentioned in Jeremiah is a totally a new covenant, that builds on the Mosaic covenant, in that the teachings of Hashem on how he desires for us to live our lives will be within us, and become natural for us. We won’t need to be taught by another, because these teachings are already within. It is my belief that this has not occurred yet. I am still learning, and welcome learning from others. How about you?
by, Jim Behnke