|Part of a series on|
The New Covenant (Hebrew ברית חדשה
Biblical Hebrew, also called classical Hebrew, is an archaic form of Hebrew, a Canaanite Semitic language spoken by the Israelites in the area known as Israel, roughly west of the Jordan River and east of the Mediterranean Sea. The term "Hebrew" was not used for the language in the Bible, which was referred to as שפת כנען or יהודית, but the name was used in Greek and Mishnaic Hebrew texts.
Koine Greek, also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the common supra-regional form of Greek spoken and written during the Hellenistic period, the Roman Empire, and the early Byzantine Empire, or late antiquity. It evolved from the spread of Greek following the conquests of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC, and served as the lingua franca of much of the Mediterranean region and the Middle East during the following centuries. It was based mainly on Attic and related Ionic speech forms, with various admixtures brought about through dialect levelling with other varieties.
Generally, Christians believe that the promised New Covenant was instituted at the Last Supper as part of the Eucharist,which in the Gospel of John includes the New Commandment. Based on the Bible teaching that, "For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth," Protestants tend to believe that the New Covenant only came into force with the death of Christ. The commentary to the Roman Catholic New American Bible also affirms that Christ is the "testator whose death puts his will into effect." Christians thus believe that Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant, and that the Blood of Christ shed at his crucifixion is the required blood of the covenant.
Christian theology is the theology of Christian belief and practice. Such study concentrates primarily upon the texts of the Old Testament and of the New Testament, as well as on Christian tradition. Christian theologians use biblical exegesis, rational analysis and argument. Theologians may undertake the study of Christian theology for a variety of reasons, such as in order to:
The Last Supper, also known as the Passover meal is the final meal that, in the Gospel accounts, Jesus shared with his Apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion. The Last Supper is commemorated by Christians especially on Maundy Thursday. The Last Supper provides the scriptural basis for the Eucharist, also known as "Holy Communion" or "The Lord's Supper".
The Eucharist is a Christian rite that is considered a sacrament in most churches, and as an ordinance in others. According to the New Testament, the rite was instituted by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper; giving his disciples bread and wine during the Passover meal, Jesus commanded his followers to "do this in memory of me" while referring to the bread as "my body" and the cup of wine as "the new covenant in my blood". Through the Eucharistic celebration Christians remember both Christ's sacrifice of himself on the cross and his commission of the apostles at the Last Supper.
There are several Christian eschatologies that further define the New Covenant. For example, an inaugurated eschatology defines and describes the New Covenant as an ongoing relationship between Christian believers and God that will be in full fruition after the Second Coming of Christ; that is, it will not only be in full fruition in believing hearts, but in the future external world as well. The connection between the Blood of Christ and the New Covenant is seen in most modern English translations of the New Testament such as in the statement: "this cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood".
Christian eschatology is a major branch of study within Christian theology dealing with the "last things." Eschatology, from two Greek words meaning "last" (ἔσχατος) and "study" (-λογία), is the study of 'end things', whether the end of an individual life, the end of the age, the end of the world or the nature of the Kingdom of God. Broadly speaking, Christian eschatology is the study concerned with the ultimate destiny of the individual soul and the entire created order, based primarily upon biblical texts within the Old and New Testament.
Inaugurated eschatology is the belief in Christian theology that the end times were inaugurated in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and thus there are both "already" and "not yet" aspects to the Kingdom of God. George Eldon Ladd suggests that the Kingdom of God is "not only an eschatological gift belonging to the Age to Come; it is also a gift to be received in the old aeon."
God in Christianity is the eternal being who created and preserves all things. Christians believe God to be both transcendent and immanent. Christian teachings of the immanence and involvement of God and his love for humanity exclude the belief that God is of the same substance as the created universe but accept that God's divine nature was hypostatically united to human nature in the person of Jesus Christ, in an event known as the Incarnation.
The key New Testament chapter for the Christian concept of the New Covenant is Hebrews chapter 8, a portion of which is quoted below:
The New Testament is the second part of the Christian biblical canon, the first being the Old Testament. The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as sacred scripture.
Hebrews 8 is the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The author is anonymous, although the internal reference to "our brother Timothy" causes a traditional attribution to Paul, but this attribution has been disputed since the second century and there is no decisive evidence for the authorship. This chapter contains the exposition about the better ministry of the New Covenant.
But now Jesus has obtained a superior ministry, since the covenant that he mediates is also better and is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says: "Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more." In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
That full quotation, with partial quotations of the same text in other New Testament passages, reflects that the authors of the New Testament and Christian leaders generally, consider Jeremiah 31:31–34 to be a central Old Testament prophecy of the New Covenant.Here is the key text:
The Old Testament is the first part of Christian Bibles, based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible, a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites believed by most Christians and religious Jews to be the sacred Word of God. The second part of the Christian Bible is the New Testament.
Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Some Christians claim[ who? ] that there are many other passages that speak about the same New Covenant without using this exact wording. Some passages speak of a "covenant of peace", others use other constructions; some simply say "covenant", but the context may imply that the New Covenant is at issue; and some claim metaphorical descriptions, for example that "Mount Zion" is really a metaphor for the New Covenant.[ citation needed ]
Mount Zion is a hill in Jerusalem, located just outside the walls of the Old City. The term Mount Zion has been used in the Hebrew Bible first for the City of David and later for the Temple Mount, but its meaning has shifted and it is now used as the name of ancient Jerusalem's Western Hill. In a wider sense, the term is also used for the entire Land of Israel.
The occurrence of the phrase "new covenant" varies in English translations of the Greek New Testament. The King James Version sometimes uses "testament," for "covenant," with the words "new covenant" together only occurring in Hebrews 8:8, 8:13 and 12:24 while in the New International Version "new covenant" occurs at Luke 22:20 , 1 Corinthians 11:25 , 2 Corinthians 3:6 , Hebrews 8:8 , Hebrews 9:15 and Hebrews 12:24 as a translation of some form of διαθήκη and καινός or νέας.
Luke 22:17–20 (part of the Last Supper) is disputed. Six forms of the text have been identified; for example, the Western text-type such as Codex Bezae omit verses 19b–20.
The Daniel 9:27 commentary found in the 1599 Geneva Bible connects the verse with the NKJV translation of Matthew 26:28. In this interpretation, the Angel Gabriel reveals the coming New Blood Covenant of the Messiah, which is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Promise that through Abraham's seed all the nations would be blessed. Galatians 3:16, 26-29
The Christian view of the New Covenant is a new relationship between God and humans mediated by Jesus which necessarily includes all people,both Jews and Gentiles, upon sincere declaration that one believes in Jesus Christ as Lord and God. The New Covenant also breaks the generational curse of the original sin on all children of Adam if they believe in Jesus Christ, after people are judged for their own sins, which is expected to happen with the second arrival of Jesus Christ.
In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Thus as the Apostle Paul advises that the Mosaic Covenant of Sinai does not in itself prevent Jews from sinning and dying,and is not given to Gentiles at all (only the Noahic covenant is unique in applying to all humanity), Christians believe the New Covenant ends the original sin and death for everyone who becomes a Christian and cannot simply be a renewal of the Mosaic Covenant since it seemingly accomplishes new things. See types of Supersessionism for details.
Also based much on what Paul wrote, a dispensationalist Christian view of the nature of Israel is that it is primarily a spiritual nation composed of Jews who claim Jesus as their Messiah, as well as Gentile believers who through the New Covenant have been grafted into the promises made to Israelites. This spiritual Israel is based on the faith of the patriarch Abraham (before he was circumcised) who was ministered by the Melchizedek priesthood, which is understood to be a type for the Christian faith of believing Jesus to be Christ and Lord in the order of Melchizedek. The Apostle Paul says that it is not "the children of the flesh" who are the children of God, but "the children of the promise".
Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
Among Christians, there are significant differences on the question of membership in the New Covenant. These differences can be so serious that they form a principal reason for division i.e., denominationalism. Christian denominations exist because of their answer to this question. The first major split is between those who believe that only believers are members of the New Covenant, and (reflecting the idea of the Jewish covenants as national or community covenants) those who believe that believers and their childrenare members of the New Covenant.
These differences give rise to different views on whether children may be baptised: the credobaptist view and the paedobaptist view . Secondarily, there are differences among paedobaptists as to the nature of the membership of children in the covenant.
Another difference is between those who believe the New Covenant has already substantially arrived (Preterists), and that this knowledge of God that the member of the New Covenant has is primarily salvific knowledge; and those that believe that the New Covenant has not yet substantially arrived, but will in the Second Coming, and that this knowledge is more complete knowledge, meaning a member of the New Covenant no longer has to be taught anything at all regarding the Christian life (not just that they lack need for exhortation regarding salvific reconciliation with God).
This division does not just break down along Jewish v. Christian lines (as the previous difference did). In general, those that are more likely to lean toward the "already view", or salvific knowledge view, are those Christians that do not believe in the indivisible Church (the indivisible Church is a belief of Catholics and Orthodox) and Christians that practice believer's baptism, because both believe the New Covenant is more present reality than future reality. Also in general, those that lean toward the "not yet view", or complete knowledge view, practice infant baptism for covenantal reasons, and dispensationalistic Christians (even though they tend to practice believer's baptism), because they believe the New Covenant is more future reality than present reality.
Supersessionism is the view that the New Covenant replaces, fulfills or completes God's prior covenants with the Israelites.[ citation needed ] The most common alternatives to Supersessionism are abrogation of old covenant laws and dual covenant theology.
Writers who reject the notion of supersessionism include Michael J. Vlach,Walter Brueggemann, Roland Edmund Murphy, Jacques B. Doukhan.
The only reference in the Hebrew Bible that uses the wording "new covenant" is found in Jeremiah 31:31-34:
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; forasmuch as they broke My covenant, although I was a lord over them, saith the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the LORD, I will put My law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people; and they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying: 'Know the LORD'; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.
This prophet's word refers to the Messianic Age to come (or World to come), in which the eternal Mosaic covenant with Israel will be confirmed. Of this Mosaic covenant between God and Israel the Shabbat is declared to be the sign forever (Exodus 31:13–17). [ citation needed ]The Tanakh describes Shabbat as having the purpose as a "taste" of Olam Haba (the world to come, the Hereafter) following the Messianic Age (the End of Days).
The Jewish view of the mere wording "new covenant" is no more than a renewed national commitment to abide by God's laws. In this view, the word new does not refer to a new commitment that replaces a previous one, but rather to an additional and greater level of commitment.
Because Jews view the Mosaic covenant as applying only to Jews and any New Covenant merely a strengthening of the already existing one, Jews do not see this phrase as relevant in any way to non-Jews. For non-Jews, Judaism advocates the pre-Sinaitic Seven Laws of Noah. "Unlike Christianity, Judaism does not deny salvation to those outside of its fold, for, according to Jewish law, all non-Jews who observe the Noahide laws will participate in salvation and in the rewards of the world to come".
In his 1962 work The Prophets Abraham Joshua Heschel points out that prophecy is not the only instrument of God to change the hearts of Israel, to know that he is God. He tells how the prophet Jeremiah complains that Israel is circumcised in body but "uncircumcised in heart" (9:26), that Jeremiah says "wash your heart from wickedness" (4:14). Heschel analyses that, while the prophet can only give Israel a new word, it is God himself who will give man a new heart: The "new covenant" will accomplish the complete transformation of every individual.
And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh; that they may walk in My statutes, and keep Mine ordinances, and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep Mine ordinances, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God. And I will save you from all your uncleannesses; and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye may receive no more the reproach of famine among the nations. Then shall ye remember your evil ways, and your doings that were not good; and ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Not for your sake do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you; be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.
The Jewish Encyclopedia's "New Testament" article states:
The idea of the new covenant is based chiefly upon Jeremiah 31:31–34 (comp. Hebrews 8:6–13 , 10:16 ). That the prophet's words do not imply an abrogation of the Law is evidenced by his emphatic declaration of the immutability of the covenant with Israel ( Jeremiah 31:35–36 ; comp. 33:25 ); he obviously looked for a renewal of the Law through a regeneration of the hearts of the people.
It is mentioned several times in the Mishna and Talmud, and had been used extensively in kabbalistic literature due to the gematria value of 135 being equal to the word HaSinai (הסיני) in Genesis 10:17 . Brit also has the numeric value of 612, which is suggested by some to mean that it is the 'first' mitzvah which is true for the Jewish life cycle. The other use is in relationship to the merit of Ruth being an ancestor to King David, with the name again having same gematria as Brit, linking Davidic covenant with that of all previous, since Ruth was a Moabite by birth, and related to Noah also.
Christianity is rooted in Second Temple Judaism, but the two religions diverged in the first centuries of the Christian Era. Christianity emphasizes correct belief, focusing on the New Covenant as mediated through Jesus Christ, as recorded in the New Testament. Judaism places emphasis on correct conduct, focusing on the Mosaic covenant, as recorded in the Torah and Talmud.
Messianic Judaism is a modern syncretic religious movement that combines Christianity—most importantly, the belief that Jesus is the Jewish messiah—with elements of Judaism and Jewish tradition. It emerged in the 1960s and 1970s.
Antinomianism is any view which rejects laws or legalism and argues against moral, religious or social norms, or is at least considered to do so. The term has both religious and secular meanings.
According to the Bible, the Tribe of Levi is one of the tribes of Israel, traditionally descended from Levi, son of Jacob. The descendants of Aaron, who was the first kohen gadol of Israel, were designated as the priestly class, the Kohanim.
Covenant theology is a conceptual overview and interpretive framework for understanding the overall structure of the Bible. It uses the theological concept of a covenant as an organizing principle for Christian theology. The standard form of covenant theology views the history of God's dealings with mankind, from Creation to Fall to Redemption to Consummation, under the framework of three overarching theological covenants: those of redemption, of works, and of grace.
A biblical covenant is a religious covenant that is described in the Bible. All Abrahamic religions consider biblical covenants important.
The Great Commandment is a name used in the New Testament to describe the first of two commandments cited by Jesus in Matthew 22:35–40, Mark 12:28–34, and Luke 10:27a.
The New Testament frequently cites Jewish scripture to support the claim of the Early Christians that Jesus is the Messiah, and to support faith in Jesus as the Christ and his imminent expected Second Coming. The majority of these quotations and references are taken from the Book of Isaiah, but they range over the entire corpus of Jewish writings. Jews do not regard any of these as having been fulfilled by Jesus, and in some cases do not regard them as messianic prophecies at all. According to modern scholars, there are no Old Testament prophecies about Jesus, since these either were not prophecies or the verses do not explicitly refer to the Messiah.
The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law is an idiomatic antithesis. When one obeys the letter of the law but not the spirit, one is obeying the literal interpretation of the words of the law, but not necessarily the intent of those who wrote the law. Conversely, when one obeys the spirit of the law but not the letter, one is doing what the authors of the law intended, though not necessarily adhering to the literal wording.
The Mosaic covenant or Law of Moses – which Christians generally call the "Old Covenant" – has played an important role in the origins of Christianity and has occasioned serious dispute and controversy since the beginnings of Christianity: note for example Jesus' teaching of the Law during his Sermon on the Mount and the circumcision controversy in early Christianity.
This is a glossary of terms used in Christianity.
Biblical Sabbath is a weekly day of rest or time of worship given in the Bible as the seventh day. It is observed differently in Judaism and Christianity and informs a similar occasion in several other faiths. Though many viewpoints and definitions have arisen over the millennia, most originate in the same textual tradition of "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy".
In religion, a covenant is a formal alliance or agreement made by God with a religious community or with humanity in general. The concept, central to the Abrahamic religions, is derived from the biblical covenants, notably from the Abrahamic covenant.
New Covenant Theology is a Christian theological position teaching that the person and work of Jesus Christ is the central focus of the Bible. One distinctive result of this is that Old Testament Laws have been abrogated or cancelled with Jesus' crucifixion, and replaced with the Law of Christ of the New Covenant. It shares similarities with, and yet is distinct from, Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology.
Malachi 4 is the fourth chapter of the Book of Malachi in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies spoken by the prophet Malachi, and is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets.
Yom HaAliyah is an Israeli national holiday celebrated annually according to the Jewish calendar on the tenth of the Hebrew month of Nisan and also observed in schools on the seventh of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, to commemorate the Jewish people entering the Land of Israel as written in the Bible, which happened on the tenth of the Hebrew month of Nisan. The holiday was also established to acknowledge Aliyah, immigration to the Jewish state, as a core value of the State of Israel, and honor the ongoing contributions of Olim to Israeli society.
Zechariah 2 is the second chapter of the Book of Zechariah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies spoken by the prophet Zechariah, and is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets.
Zechariah 8 is the eighth chapter of the Book of Zechariah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Zechariah, and is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets. This chapter contains a continuation of the subject in the seventh chapter.
Jeremiah 31 is the thirty-first chapter of the Book of Jeremiah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. It is numbered as Jeremiah 38 in the Septuagint. The book contains prophecies attributed to the prophet Jeremiah, and is one of the Books of the Prophets (Nevi'im). This chapter is notable for the passage about the "New Covenant" (31:31-34) of God with His restored people and the quoting of 31:15 in the “Massacre of the Innocents" narrative. The Jerusalem Bible refers to chapters 30 and 31 as "the Book of Consolation", and Lutheran theologian Ernst Hengstenberg calls these two chapters "the triumphal hymn of Israel’s salvation".