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Title: Dispensations%20


1
Dispensations Covenants
  • Robert Thurman, MA
  • Fall 2013

2
Presuppositions
  • Everyone has presuppositions. Here are the ones
    I am bringing to this course
  • I presuppose that we agree that the Scriptures
    are our ultimate authority and that they are
    uniquely sufficient to provide answers to the
    questions we will wrestle with during this course.

3
Presuppositions
  • Everyone has presuppositions. Here are the ones
    your instructor brings to this course
  • I presuppose that you are willing to engage in
    hard work and study to learn the Word of God.
  • I presuppose that you expect to get your moneys
    worth out of this class, and that you expect me
    to challenge your thinking and to stretch you
    academically.

4
Presuppositions
  • Everyone has presuppositions. Here are the ones
    your instructor brings to this course
  • I presuppose that you will not always agree with
    my understanding of the Scriptures. You are
    always free to disagree, but if you want to
    debate, I expect you to make your case using the
    Scriptures and with a loving and respectful
    spirit.

5
Presuppositions
  • Everyone has presuppositions. Here are the ones
    your instructor brings to this course
  • I presuppose that you will not always understand
    everything in the assigned readings. Read them
    anyway and get what you can.
  • I presuppose that you will not always understand
    everything I communicate during lectures. Ask me
    questions and dont stop until Ive made myself
    clear.

6
Presuppositions
  • Everyone has presuppositions. Here are the ones
    your instructor brings to this course
  • I presuppose that you want to do your best work,
    and that you want me to tell you how you can
    improve the work you submit to me.
  • I presuppose that you will face many challenges
    as you seek to complete this course. Please
    communicate with me if theres something I can do
    to help.

7
Presuppositions
  • Everyone has presuppositions. Here are the ones
    your instructor brings to this course
  • I presuppose that we will grow in Christian love
    and in mutual respect for each other.
  • I presuppose that you are not here for mere
    intellectual stimulation, but to grow in the
    grace and knowledge of our Savior.

8
Why this course matters
  • Learning about the dispensations and covenants
    of Scripture is essential if you want to
  • Interpret Scripture-
  • In particular this course will help you to
    understand the promises God made to His people in
    the Old Testament.
  • It will help you understand how the New Testament
    uses the Old Testament.
  • it will also teach you how to approach passages
    dealing with the doctrines of the people of God
    and passages dealing with the end times.

9
Why this course matters
  • Learning about the dispensations and covenants
    of Scripture is essential if you want to
  • Understand the present nature of Gods kingdom
    and to anticipate the future nature of Gods
    kingdom (the Millennial Kingdom and Gods overall
    purposes for the future).

10
Why this course matters
  • Learning about the dispensations and covenants
    of Scripture is essential if you want to
  • Identify the people of God and to understand
    Gods relationship and obligations to Israel, to
    the Church, to the Gentiles, and to the nations.

11
Why this course matters
  • Learning about the dispensations and covenants
    of Scripture is essential if you want to
  • Relate the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ
    (the Mosaic Covenant and the New Covenant).
  • Discern how New Testament believers should
    respond to Old Testament Law.

12
Why this course matters
  • Learning about the dispensations and covenants
    of Scripture is essential if you want to
  • Recognize and trace Gods overarching purpose for
    history.
  • Evaluate the teachings of Dispensationalism and
    the teachings of Covenant Theology.

13
Why this course matters
  • Learning about the dispensations and covenants
    of Scripture is essential if you want to
  • Appreciate Gods sovereign rule over all creation
    and His faithfulness in keeping the promises He
    has made.

14
What Is A Dispensation?
  • General Sense-
  • The English word dispensation is an Anglicized
    form of the Latin word dispensatio.
  • The Latin verb is a compound, meaning "to weigh
    out or to dispense.
  • Tertullian, a North African Christian, in the
    early third century used the Latin word
    dispensatio to translate the Greek word oikonomia.

15
What Is A Dispensation?
  • In ancient Greek culture, an oikonomos was a
    servant in charge of a household.
  • Oikonomia referred to his activity of managing
    the house.
  • These words came to be used broadly to describe
    any kind of manager or management activity.

16
What Is a Dispensation?
  • The management activity of an oikonomos usually
    involved financial transactions. The manager
    would receive money from his master, and he would
    be expected to use that money to run the
    household.
  • The financial aspect of oikonomia gives us our
    English word economy.

17
What Is a Dispensation?
  • Oikonomia and oikonomos appear in the Septuagint,
    the Greek translation of the Old Testament.
  • The individual in charge of the King of Judahs
    palace is called an oikonomos and his management
    responsibility over the kings household is
    called an oikonomia (1 Kings 46 169 183 2
    Kings 1818, 37).

18
What Is a Dispensation?
  • Oikonomia and oikonomos also appear in the New
    Testament.
  • In Romans 1623, Erastus is the oikonomos of the
    city of Corinth. This probably means he was the
    chief treasurer or the C.F.O. for the city.

19
What Is a Dispensation?
  • Jesus also used these terms in some of His
    parables.
  • In Luke 1242 there is an oikonomos responsible
    for making sure all his masters servants were
    properly fed.
  • In Luke 161-13, there is an unjust oikonomos who
    is called in to have his oikonomia evaluated by
    his master.

20
What Is a Dispensation?
  • From these references we can summarize the
    general sense of oikonomos and oikonomia.
  • Oikonomos refers to any type of manager or
    administrator.
  • Oikonomia, the word we translate dispensation,
    refers to the activity of a manager and to the
    way the manager organizes his activity (his plan,
    order, structure, etc.)

21
What Is a Dispensation?
  • Theological Sense-
  • The parables of Jesus are not just stories about
    managers and households. Jesus told these
    parables to teach about the coming kingdom of
    God.
  • They speak to the relationship between God and
    Israel and to the fact that God will call Israel
    to account in the judgments that will precede
    Gods kingdom.

22
What Is a Dispensation?
  • Through this teaching, oikonomia acquired a
    theological sense it came to designate the
    relationship between God and the world.
  • Paul uses both oikonomia and oikonomos in his
    writings to describe Gods management or plan for
    the world.
  • Most of these uses refer to Pauls own office as
    an apostle.

23
What Is a Dispensation?
  • God, the Master of the world, entrusted to Paul
    and the other apostles the responsibility of
    proclaiming new revelation- the mysteries of God
    and Christ (1 Cor. 41-2 Eph. 32-6 Col.
    125-29)
  • Pastors and teachers were also part of this
    stewardship (Titus 17).
  • Peter says that all Christians are all oikonomoi
    of the grace of God (1 Peter 410).

24
What Is a Dispensation?
  • In Ephesians 39, Paul speaks of the dispensation
    or oikonomia of the mystery of Christ.
  • Reading this in the context of verses 4-6, we see
    that Paul uses dispensation to refer to a new
    order or a new arrangement in the relationship
    between God and humanity.

25
What Is a Dispensation?
  • The relationship between God and human beings
    should be thought of as a dispensation, a
    management relationship, God has instituted.
  • We now live in a dispensation which has been
    established through the death and resurrection of
    Jesus Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit.

26
What Is a Dispensation?
  • This current dispensation or management
    relationship between God and humanity is
    different from the arrangement which had been
    previously in effect.
  • The previous arrangement was also a dispensation
    (Galatians 323-47).

27
What Is a Dispensation?
  • Significance-
  • What is the significance of God calling His
    relationship with humanity or His management of
    our relationship to Him, a dispensation?

28
What Is a Dispensation?
  1. God is sovereign over human affairs. Just as the
    master of an estate, God has the authority to
    manage, structure, or design human affairs in any
    way that He desires and He has the authority to
    hold His servants accountable.
  2. God has a purpose and a plan. Management activity
    always has a vision or a plan or a purpose in
    view. There is a planned and purposeful order to
    whatever arrangement God institutes.

29
What Is a Dispensation?
  1. A dispensation involves an ordered set of
    relationships. In any management plan there is
    organization, delegation, and accountability.
  2. A dispensation involves responsibilities and
    requirements.
  3. Dispensations can change. Managers often change
    their management plan when theyve accomplished
    the goals set in the previous plan.

30
What Is a Dispensation?
  • Summary-
  • A dispensation is a management relationship
    between God and humanity, in which God manages
    the way human beings are to relate to Him and to
    one another. God has progressively revealed
    Himself and His plans through successive
    historical dispensations and He is leading us to
    a future dispensation in which all of His
    promises and covenants will be eternally
    fulfilled.

31
What Are the Dispensations?
  • All Christian theologians admit the existence of
    identifiable dispensations in redemptive history,
    but not all use the term dispensation.
  • Charles Hodge, a Covenant Theologian, believed
    that there are four dispensations after the Fall
    -- Adam to Abraham, Abraham to Moses, Moses to
    Christ, and Christ to the end.
  • Berkhof, another Covenant Theologian believed
    that there were two dispensations -- the Old and
    the New, but within the Old he saw four distinct
    periods wherein God managed His relationship to
    humanity in distinctive ways.

32
What a Dispensation Is Not
  • Strictly speaking, a dispensation is not an age
    or an era.
  • Dispensations do exist in time- they begin and
    they end, but a dispensation is more than a
    distinct period of time.
  • We dont talk about the dispensation of the
    Judges or the dispensation of the Divided
    Monarchy, or the Dispensation of the Exile.

33
What a Dispensation Is Not
  • All would qualify as distinct eras in Biblical
    history, but none are referred to as
    dispensations.
  • A dispensation is characterized by new revelation
    from God that changes the way in which He is
    managing humanity.

34
What a Dispensation Is Not
  • A dispensation is not a different way of
    salvation.
  • Some have suggested that people were saved by the
    works of the law in the Old Testament, but now
    they are saved by grace in the New Testament.
  • Unfortunately, that error was taught in the first
    edition of the Scofield Study Bible.

35
What A Dispensation Is Not
  • "As a dispensation, grace begins with the death
    and resurrection of Christ. The point of testing
    is no longer legal obedience as the condition of
    salvation, but acceptance or rejection of Christ,
    with good works as a fruit of salvation."
  • Scofield Reference Bible (New York Oxford,
    1909)

36
What a Dispensation Is Not
  • The error in the original Scofield Study Bible,
    has unfortunately caused many people to associate
    dispensations with different ways of salvation.
  • This also leads to the charge that
    dispensationalism teaches that there have been
    multiple ways of salvation.

37
What a Dispensation Is Not
  • According to Ryrie, the most frequently heard
    objection against dispensationalism is that it
    supposedly teaches several ways of salvation.
    John Wick Bowman made this accusation in 1956
    when he said that dispensationalists are clearly
    left with two methods of salvation. In 1960,
    Clarence Bass argued that dispensational
    distinctions between law and grace and Israel and
    the church inevitably result in a multiple form
    of salvationthat men are not saved the same way
    in all ages.

38
What a Dispensation Is Not
  • In his 1991 book, Wrongly Dividing the Word of
    Truth A Critique of Dispensationalism, John
    Gerstner accused all dispensationalists of
    teaching more than one way of salvation. He said,
    We must sadly accuse dispensationalists (of all
    varieties) of teaching, always implicitly and
    sometimes explicitly, that there is more than one
    way of salvation and, in the process of
    developing that theology, excluding the one and
    only way even from this dispensation of grace.

39
What a Dispensation Is Not
  • However, the dispensations are not to be seen as
    different ways of salvation.
  • The error in the Scofield Bible was corrected in
    later editions.
  • No one is saved apart from faith in Christ.
  • The Old Testament saints were saved by believing
    in what Christ would do, and we are saved by
    looking back at what Christ has done (Hebrews
    11).

40
What a Dispensation Is Not
  • Paul makes it very clear that no one can be saved
    by keeping the Old Testament law (Romans 320)
  • A dispensation is not evidence that God has
    changed or that He is reacting to human events.
    God is sovereign and His purposes cannot be
    thwarted.
  • The attributes of God remain consistent in each
    dispensation.
  • God is sovereign and has a plan.

41
Characteristics of a Dispensation
  • What are the primary characteristics of a
    dispensation?
  • A dispensation is characterized by
  • New revelation
  • A distinct management relationship between God
    and humanity (or a portion of humanity)
  • Responsibilities for humans

42
The Dispensations
  • Some theologians have added secondary features to
    the dispensations.
  • A test
  • A failure
  • A judgment

43
The Dispensations
  • Throughout the centuries many dispensational
    schemes for understanding the progress of Gods
    revelation have been developed (See handouts)
  • Traditional dispensationalist have typically
    pointed to seven distinct dispensations.

44
The Dispensations
  • Innocence or Freedom- Genesis 128-30 215 217
  • What is the new Revelation?
  • What are the specifics of the management
    arrangement instituted by God?
  • Is there a covenant?
  • Is there an obvious test or tests?
  • Is there a failure?
  • Is there a judgment?

45
The Dispensations
  • Conscience- Genesis 314-19 321 41-5
    (possibly Jude 14-15)
  • What is the new Revelation?
  • What are the specifics of the management
    arrangement instituted by God?
  • Is there a covenant?
  • Is there an obvious test or tests?
  • Is there a failure?
  • Is there a judgment?
  • Is there a continuation of any divine principles
    from the previous dispensation?

46
The Dispensations
  • Human Government- Genesis 91-17
  • What is the new Revelation?
  • What are the specifics of the management
    arrangement instituted by God?
  • Is there a covenant?
  • Is there an obvious test or tests?
  • Is there a failure?
  • Is there a judgment?
  • Is there a continuation of any divine principles
    from the previous dispensation?

47
The Dispensations
  • Promise- Genesis 122 1316 1513 172-6
    (seed) 121 7 1314, 15, 17 1518 1818-21
    (land) Genesis 122-3, 132 2217-18 264
    2814 (to be a blessing).
  • What is the new Revelation?
  • What are the specifics of the management
    arrangement instituted by God?
  • Is there a covenant?
  • Is there an obvious test or tests?
  • Is there a failure?
  • Is there a judgment?
  • Is there a continuation of any divine principles
    from the previous dispensation?

48
The Dispensations
  • Law- The Mosaic Law (Exodus 19 -gt Leviticus
    Numbers Deuteronomy)
  • What is the new Revelation?
  • What are the specifics of the management
    arrangement instituted by God?
  • Is there a covenant?
  • Is there an obvious test or tests?
  • Is there a failure?
  • Is there a judgment?
  • Is there a continuation of any divine principles
    from the previous dispensation?

49
The Dispensations
  • Grace- Crucifixion-gt continuing at present (John
    117 Acts 2 Rom. 614 722, 1 Cor. 619-20 2
    Cor. 33-11 Heb. 88-12
  • What is the new Revelation?
  • What are the specifics of the management
    arrangement instituted by God?
  • Is there a covenant?
  • Is there an obvious test or tests?
  • Is there a failure?
  • Is there a judgment?
  • Is there a continuation of any divine principle
    from the previous dispensation?

50
The Dispensations
  • Tribulation (Revelation 5-18)
  • What is the new Revelation?
  • What are the specifics of the management
    arrangement instituted by God?
  • Is there a covenant?
  • Is there an obvious test or tests?
  • Is there a failure?
  • Is there a judgment?
  • Is there a continuation of any divine principles
    from the previous dispensation?

51
The Dispensations
  • Kingdom (2 Sam. 7 Ps. 2 Is. 96-7 11 657-25
    Ez. 36 37 Revelation 20-21)
  • What is the new Revelation?
  • What are the specifics of the management
    arrangement instituted by God?
  • Is there a covenant?
  • Is there an obvious test or tests?
  • Is there a failure?
  • Is there a judgment?
  • Is there a continuation of any divine principles
    from the previous dispensation?

52
Why Study Dispensationalism?
  • Because Dispensationalism addresses some of the
    most significant doctrines in Scripture
  • Hermeneuticsit provides a framework for
    interpreting the Bible consistently
  • KingdomGods kingdom purposes (including the
    millennial Kingdom and Gods purposes for the
    future)
  • People of Godthe relationship between Israel,
    Gentiles, Church, the Nations
  • Law of Godthe relationship between the Mosaic
    Covenant and the New Covenant (Law of Moses and
    Law of Christ)

53
Why Study Dispensationalism?
  • If you care about these important topics and
    their relationship to each other then you should
    be interested in Dispensationalism since
    Dispensationalism makes a serious attempt to
    address these doctrines.
  • Because Dispensationalism presents a rival system
    to Covenant Theology that also addresses many of
    these same important issues.

54
Why Study Dispensationalism?
  • Because Dispensationalism is a solid fixture and
    influential force in Protestant theology.

55
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • One way to define Dispensationalism is to call it
    theological framework for viewing the Bible.
  • Another way to define Dispensationalism is to
    call it a system of Biblical interpretation.
  • Both definitions are helpful.

56
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Dispensationalism is built upon four essential
    components
  • The Scriptures must consistently be interpreted
    literally (normally), grammatically, and
    historically.
  • There is an ongoing distinction between Israel
    and the church and this distinction involves an
    eschatological future for Israel.

57
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • God has ruled and continues to rule over the
    earth in successive dispensations. (Some
    definitions of Dispensationalism do not include
    this, because almost all Christians agree that
    the Bible speaks of at least two or three
    dispensations.)
  • Gods overarching purpose for history is His
    glory.

58
What Is Dispensationalism
  • Many non-dispensationalist affirm that
    consistently interpreting the Scriptures with a
    literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic will
    lead to a belief in an ongoing distinction
    between Israel and the Church, a future for
    national Israel, and a belief that Gods purpose
    for history is His own glory.
  • Look at the following quote from a
    non-dispensationalist

59
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • "Now we must frankly admit that a literal
    interpretation of the Old Testament prophecies
    gives us a picture of an earthly reign of the
    Messiah as the premillennialist pictures.  That
    was the kind of Messianic kingdom that the Jews
    of the time of Christ were looking for, on the
    basis of a literal interpretation of the Old
    Testament promises (Floyd Hamilton, The Basis of
    the Millennial Faith), 38

60
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Therefore, the debate over Dispensationalism is
    largely a debate over hermeneutics.
  • Many non-dispensationalists claim to use a
    literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic, but
    in reality, they do not. They use a different
    hermeneutic when interpreting prophecy
    (especially Old Testament prophecy).

61
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Non-dispensationalists actually use a hermeneutic
    that is better described as grammatical-historical
    -theological because they interpret Old Testament
    prophecies with the theological pre-assumption
    that all are either fulfilled in Christ or the
    church.
  • Covenant theologian, Anthony Hoekema, affirms
    this when he states The Old Testament must be
    interpreted in light of the New Testament and
    that a totally and exclusively literal
    interpretation of Old Testament prophecy is not
    justified.1
  • 1Anthony A. Hoekema, An Amillennial Response
    to Dispensational Premillennialism, in The
    Meaning of the Millennium, Four Views, ed. Robert
    G. Clouse (Downers Grove, IL InterVarsity,
    1977), 55

62
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Mythical Distinctions of Dispensationalism
  • Dispensationalism teaches multiple ways of
    salvation.
  • Dispensationalism is inherently Arminian.
  • Dispensationalism is inherently antinomian.
  • Dispensationalism is opposed to Lordship
    salvation.
  • Dispensationalism is all about land.

63
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Mythical Distinctions of Dispensationalism
  • Dispensationalism is mostly about believing in
    dispensations.
  • Dispensationalism is all about believing in seven
    dispensations.
  • Dispensationalism is all about a Pre-Tribulation
    Rapture.
  • Dispensationalist dont believe the Sermon on the
    Mount is applicable today.

64
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Mythical Distinctions of Dispensationalism
  • Dispensationalism is new.
  • Dispensationalism leaves people unconcerned about
    current events and uninvolved in politics.
  • Dispensationalism is causing its adherents to
    push the world toward the horrors of Armageddon.
  • This list is based upon Busting Myths about
    Dispensationalism, by Michael Vlach

65
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • History
  • Opponents of Dispensationalism often assert that
    its ideas are new and didnt exist until the 19th
    Century.
  • J.N. Darby is often credited as the inventor of
    Dispensationalism.
  • It is true that Darby popularized some facets of
    Dispensationalism, but he did not create it.

66
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • History
  • The concepts vital to Dispensationalism existed
    very early in Church History.
  • The writers of the early post-Apostolic Church
    era (e.g., Clement of Rome, Barnabas, Papias),
    were pre-millennial and held to a distinction
    between Israel and the Church.

67
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • History
  • It was not until around AD 160 that any of the
    church fathers blurred this distinction. The
    first to do this was Justin Martyr.
  • Irenaeus (130-200) spoke of the various
    dispensations of God and specifically mentioned
    the Christian dispensation.
  • Clement of Alexandria (150-220) saw four
    dispensations in Scripture.

68
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • History
  • Augustine (4th century) spoke of successive
    epochs, dispensations and various ages
    through which an immutable Creator ruled His
    mutable creation.
  • Augustine did not find contradiction in the
    teaching that the diversity of Gods work within
    the creation was in any way incompatible with the
    immutability of His character.

69
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • History
  • Though each of these authors alluded to
    dispensational-like concepts, these early
    references should not be claimed as the beginning
    of Dispensationalism.

70
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • History
  • The first systematic presentation of
    Dispensationalism was by a Frenchman named Pierre
    Poiret (1649-1719).
  • He wrote a book titled LOEconomie Divine which
    was published in 1687.

71
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • History
  • The title, when translated, is The Divine
    Economie which is a direct reference to the
    recognition of economies or dispensations
    from the Divine viewpoint.
  • His six volumes are pre-millennial and
    dispensational in perspective,
  • Poiret identified seven dispensations.

72
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • History
  • John Edwards (1637-1716) wrote an immense work
    titled A Compleat History or Survey of all the
    Dispensations, in which he developed a
    dispensational scheme.
  • Isaac Watts (1674-1748), the hymn writer defined
    dispensations and developed a six-fold
    dispensational scheme almost identical to the one
    used by many modern dispensationalists.

73
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • History
  • 1687, the date of Poirets work may seem recent
    in terms of church history, but consider that
    Johnanees Cocceius didnt systematize Covenant
    Theology until 1647.
  • Covenant Theology is only 40 years older than
    Dispensationalism as a theological system.

74
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • History
  • John Darby is known as the father of systematized
    Dispensationalism.  A trained lawyer at the age
    of 22, he became an ordained clergy in the Church
    of England in 1826. 
  • After only one year, Darby became dissatisfied
    with the state church religion and began seeking
    a closer walk with God that involved more
    intimate bible study. 

75
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • History
  • Darby left the Church and gathered with a group
    of believers in Plymouth, England (1831), a group
    later known as the Plymouth Brethren. 
  • He systematized seven dispensations  1)
    Paradisaical state to the Flood 2) Noah 3)
    Abraham 4) Israel 5) Gentiles 6) The Spirit and
    7) The Millennium.  . 

76
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • History
  • Darbys written ministry incorporates some forty
    volumes of six hundred pages each, including a
    translation of the Bible. 
  • His works show a breadth of scholarship in his
    knowledge of the biblical languages, philosophy,
    and ecclesiastical history"
  • (Ryrie, Dispensationalism), 68.

77
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • History
  • James Hall Brookes is the father of American
    Dispensationalism.  He was a Presbyterian who
    studied at Princeton Theological Seminary and
    United Presbyterian Seminary at Oxford, Ohio. 
  • He was pastor of the Walnut Street Presbyterian
    Church in Saint Louis, Missouri

78
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • History
  • Brookes became a Dispensationalist through
    personal Bible study alone. 
  • Brookes was a very popular pastor in America and
    was a featured speaker at the Niagara Bible
    Conference (1857-1900)
  • Though the conference was not about
    Dispensationalism, Brookess teaching gained
    popularity through it.

79
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • History
  • Brookes was influential in teaching C.I.
    Scofield, a lawyer turned pastor, who went on to
    develop and publish the Scofield Study Bible in
    1909.
  • Brookes was also influential in the life of Lewis
    Sperry Chafer who founded Dallas Theological
    Seminary.

80
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • A literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic
  • The dispensational hermeneutical method is
    literal in that it seeks to understand the normal
    or plain sense of each Bible passage.
  • Robert Thomas describes this method when he
    states Take each statement in its plain sense
    if it matches common sense, and do not look for
    another sense.1
  • 1Robert L. Thomans, Evangelical Hermeneutics
    The New Versus the Old (Grand Rapids, MI Kregel,
    2002), 155

81
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • A dispensationalist interprets every Bible
    passage, regardless of genre, according to the
    same method.
  • The passage is interpreted normally according to
    the normal laws of human language.
  • This hermeneutical approach is unique to
    Dispensationalism.

82
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • The dispensationalist takes the biblical text
    literally, but this does not mean that he ignores
    symbols, figures of speech, or types.

83
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Charles Ryrie states Symbols, figures of
    speech, and types are all interpreted plainly in
    this method, and they are in no way contrary to
    literal interpretation. After all, the very
    existence of any meaning for a figure of speech
    depends on the reality of the literal meaning of
    the terms involved. Figures often make the
    meaning plainer, but it is the literal, normal,
    or plain meaning that they convey to the
    reader.1
  • 1 Ryrie, 80-81

84
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Roy Zuck concurs when he states Figurative
    language then is not antithetical to literal
    interpretation it is a part of it.  Perhaps it
    is better not to speak of figurative versus
    literal interpretation, but of
    ordinary-literal versus figurative-literal
    interpretation.1
  • 1 Roy B. Zuck, Basic Bible Interpretation, A
    Practical Guide to Discovering Biblical Truth
    (Wheaton, ILVictor, 1991), p. 147

85
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctives
  • The dispensational hermeneutical method is
    grammatical in that it pays close attention to
    the normal rules of grammar and communication
    when interpreting the Bible.
  • The dispensationalist interprets the Bible as he
    would any other form of written communication.

86
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctives
  • Dispensationalism assumes that Gods revelation
    follows the rules of the human language it
    employs, and he assumes that God communicated his
    word in a way that would be clear and
    understandable to humanity.

87
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Charles Ryrie states If God is the originator
    of language and if the chief purpose of
    originating it was to convey His message to
    humanity, then it must follow that He being
    all-wise and all-loving, originated sufficient
    language to convey all that was in His heart to
    tell mankind. Furthermore, it must also follow
    that He would use language and expect people to
    understand it in its literal, normal, and plain
    sense.1
  • 1Ryrie, 81

88
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • The dispensational hermeneutical method is
    historical in that it seeks to understand each
    Bible passage in its historical context.1
  • The dispensationalist seeks to understand each
    passage as the human writer and the original
    readers would have understood it.
  • Using the rules of grammar and the facts of
    history, the dispensationalist looks for a
    singular meaning in each passage that is
    determined by what the human writer intended to
    communicate.2
  • 1Thomans, 242
  • 2 Ibid., 242

89
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctives
  • "The aim of grammatico-historical method is to
    determine the sense required by the laws of
    grammar and the facts of history. Thus, the
    grammatical sense is the simple, direct, plain,
    ordinary, and literal sense of the phrases,
    clauses, and sentences.  The historical sense is
    that sense which is demanded by a careful
    consideration of the time and circumstances in
    which the author wrote.  It is the specific
    meaning which an author's words require when the
    historical context and background are taken into
    account"
  • Kaiser, Toward an Exegetical Theology), 88.
  •  

90
What Is Dispenstionalism?
  • The Old Testament is taken as direct, plain, and
    literal- A dispensationalist understands the Old
    Testament just like the New Testament, that is, 
    literal and historical. 
  • Old Testament passages (unless addressed in the
    New Testament) must be believed and understood
    without applying New Testament revelation. 
  • Therefore, when the Old Testament speaks of
    eschatology, it is operative and binding. 

91
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctives
  • "The most fundamental principle in
    grammatico-historical exposition is that words
    and sentences can have only one significance in
    one and the same connection"
  • This does not mean that later revelation cannot
    provide a fuller meaning for Old Testament
    prophecies, but it is to say that later
    revelation doesnt change the original plain
    meaning of the older revelation.
  • The principal of a single meaning for Biblical
    passages is also a hallmark of Dispensationalism.
  • Kaiser, Toward an Exegetical Theology), 88  

92
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • A dispensationalist interprets the Old Testament
    in the same way that he interprets the New
    Testament. He believes and understands the Old
    Testament on its own merits, and allows it to
    stand on its own as the authoritative word of
    God. Therefore, the dispensationalist takes Old
    Testament prophecies literally and does not see
    the New Testament as a hermeneutical manual for
    interpreting them.1
  • 1 Ligon Duncan, Dispensationalism A
    Reformed Evaluation http//www.fpcjackson.org/reso
    urces/apologetics/Covenant20Theology2020Justif
    ication/Ligons_covtheology/09.htm accessed
    4/9/2006

93
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • This approach is a hallmark of Dispensationalism.
  • George Ladd states Here is the basic watershed
    between a dispensational and a nondispensational
    theology.  Dispensationalism forms its
    eschatology by a literal interpretation of the
    Old Testament and then fits the New Testament
    into it. A nondispensational eschatology forms
    its theology from the explicit teaching in the
    New Testament. 1 
  • 1George
    E. Ladd, Historic Premillennialism in The
    Meaning of the Millennium, Four Views ed. Robert
    G. Clouse (Downers Grove, IL InterVarsity,
    1977), 28

94
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • A dispensationalist interprets the Old Testament
    in the same way that he interprets the New
    Testament. He believes and understands the Old
    Testament on its own merits, and allows it to
    stand on its own as the authoritative word of
    God. Therefore, the dispensationalist takes Old
    Testament prophecies literally and does not see
    the New Testament as a hermeneutical manual for
    interpreting them.1
  • 1 Ligon Duncan, Dispensationalism A
    Reformed Evaluation http//www.fpcjackson.org/reso
    urces/apologetics/Covenant20Theology2020Justif
    ication/Ligons_covtheology/09.htm accessed
    4/9/2006

95
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • George Ladd states Here is the basic watershed
    between a dispensational and a nondispensational
    theology.  Dispensationalism forms its
    eschatology by a literal interpretation of the
    Old Testament and then fits the New Testament
    into it. A nondispensational eschatology forms
    its theology from the explicit teaching in the
    New Testament. 1 
  • 1George
    E. Ladd, Historic Premillennialism in The
    Meaning of the Millennium, Four Views ed. Robert
    G. Clouse (Downers Grove, IL InterVarsity,
    1977), 28

96
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • The New Testament is taken as direct, plain and
    literal- "Christ's own predictions of His passion
    were exactly fulfilled (cf. Matthew 1240, 1621,
    1722-23, 2017-19), and the general pattern of
    fulfillment of Bible prophecy is quite striking
    (John Urquhart, The Wonders of Prophecy, 2 vols),
    1931.

97
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • The second distinction of Dispensational theology
    is the idea that there is an ongoing biblical
    distinction between the Church and national
    Israel.
  • In the Old Testament, this distinction stands out
    when one considers the nature of the
    unconditional covenants that God made with
    Israel. God made each of these covenants to the
    physical descendents of Abraham, and promised in
    each covenant literal, tangible blessings.

98
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • That God made the land promise of the Abrahamic
    Covenant to Abrahams physical descendents
    becomes evident in Genesis 1523, where we read
    that Abraham questioned the reality of Gods land
    promise on the basis that he had no physical
    descendents.

99
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • God responded to Abrahams concern in Genesis
    154, by promising that Abraham would indeed have
    an offspring, and ultimately numerous
    descendents, from his own body. It is also clear
    that God made this covenant to Abrahams physical
    descendants because he passed this covenant down
    through Abrahams bloodline. God reaffirmed it to
    Isaac, to Jacob, to the sons of Jacob, and to the
    descendents of the sons of Jacob.

100
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • Likewise, in the land covenant recorded in
    Deuteronomy 2930, God made unconditional
    promises to the ethnic citizens of Israel and to
    their progeny. The Davidic Covenant recorded in 2
    Samuel 71216 is an unconditional promise by God
    to the descendents of David and to the ethnic
    nation of Israel.

101
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • Furthermore, in Jeremiah 3131, God made the New
    Covenant with the house of Israel and the house
    of Judah. Interpreted normally, this promise
    seems to be for the physical descendents of these
    two kingdoms.

102
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • In each of these four covenants, God promised
    physical tangible blessings. For instance, in
    Genesis 151821, God defined his land promise to
    Abraham by giving Abraham specific geographical
    boundaries.

103
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • The Abrahamic Covenant also included Gods
    promise of a son for Abraham, in Genesis 154 and
    a promise of numerous descendents in Genesis
    155. Likewise, in the Davidic Covenant, God
    promised physical, tangible blessings. He
    promised David an everlasting dynastic political
    reign over an actual nation. He also promised
    David in 2 Samuel 7 a physical offspring who
    would build a physical Temple.

104
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • In the New Covenant, recorded in Ezekiel
    342530, God again made physical tangible
    promises. He promised the people of Israel that
    he would drive the wild beasts from their land,
    that He would make them able to dwell in safety,
    and that He would give them good weather and good
    crops.

105
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • Interpreting these passages normally, one sees
    that they contain physical, tangible promises to
    a specific ethnic nation. One has to allegorize
    or spiritualize these promises to make them
    applicable to the New Testament Church.

106
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • David Larsen agrees when he states The Old
    Testament prophecies, if literally interpreted,
    cannot be regarded as having been fulfilled or as
    being capable of fulfillment in this present
    age.1
  • 1David Larsen, Jews, Gentiles, and the Church,
    (Grand Rapids, MI Discovery House, 1995), 39

107
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • These four covenants show that Israel and the
    Church are not the same entity and should not be
    confused. Seeing the eternal promises given to
    Israel, one cannot help but to conclude that the
    Church has not replaced Israel or become a
    spiritual Israel, but rather that it is a
    distinct national group that still stands to
    inherit literal, tangible, blessings from God.

108
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • In the New Testament, the distinctions between
    Israel and the Church become evident when we
    consider the teachings of Jesus and Paul.
  • For instance, in Matthew 161819, when Jesus
    spoke of establishing the church he did so in the
    future tense.

109
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • In Colossians 11824, Paul explained that the
    Church is the Body of Christ. In 1 Corinthians
    1213, Paul wrote that God makes people a part of
    the Body of Christ through the baptism of the
    Holy Spirit. During his earthly ministry, Jesus
    made it clear in John 167 that the baptism of
    the Holy Spirit had not yet come and would not
    come while he was on earth.

110
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • On the day of his ascension into heaven, Jesus
    commanded his disciples to wait for the baptism
    of the Holy Spirit (Acts 145).
  • In Acts 214, we read that God gave the Baptism
    of the Holy Spirit ten days later on the day of
    Pentecost.

111
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctives
  • The book of Acts also gives us further evidence
    that the Israel and the Church are distinct.
    Arnold Fruchtenbaum observes In the Book of
    Acts, both Israel and the church exist
    simultaneously.  The term Israel is used twenty
    times and ekklesia (church) nineteen times, yet
    the two groups are always kept distinct.1
  • 1Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Israelology The Missing
    Link in Systematic Theology, (Tustin, CA Ariel
    Ministries Press, 1993), 118

112
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • In Ephesians 220, Paul wrote that the Church is
    built on the foundation of the apostles and
    prophets. Since the apostles did not exist in
    Old Testament times, it seems unlikely that the
    Church did. It seems illogical that God would
    build his Church in the Old Testament, but not
    lay a foundation for it until New Testament
    times.

113
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctives
  • In Colossians 126, Paul describes the Church as
    a mystery which has been hidden from ages and
    from generations, but now has been revealed to
    His saints.

114
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Paul's passionate argument in Romans 9-11 that
    God has not rejected His people (Romans 111-2)
    reflects a sensitivity to Israel's place and
    purpose in the plan of God.
  • God's honor (Jeremiah 3017) and God's fidelity
    to His promises, both then and now, are on the
    line in the resolution of this issue" (Larsen,
    Jews, Gentiles, the Church), 47.

115
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctions
  • Weve already spent time discussing the
    distinctive of dispensationalism sees that God
    has managed humanity in different ways at
    different times
  • The fourth distinction of dispensationalism that
    that Gods ultimate purpose for history is His
    own glory.

116
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctives
  • Other systems of biblical interpretation limit
    Gods purpose for history to be merely a
    redemptive one.1
  • Dispensationalism correctly recognizes that God
    gets glory through all things that he has made.
    1Showers, 50-51

117
What Is Dispensationalism?
  • Distinctives
  • For instance, God gets glory through nature
    (Psalm 191)
  • God gets glory through his rule over the nations
    (Ezekiel 391721)
  • God gets glory through His headship over human
    kings and authorities (Daniel 428-36)
  • God gets glory through Israel (Isaiah 6013).
  • God gets glory through the Church, and through
    individual members of the Church Ephesians
    (32021).
  • God gets glory through the eternal punishment of
    those who are not elect (Romans 91718).

118
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • Covenant Theology also has four essential
    elements.
  • First, Covenant theology employs a
    grammatical-historical-theological
    hermeneutic.1
  • 1Thomas, 66

119
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • When studying the Old Testament, especially Old
    Testament prophecies, a covenant theologian does
    not ignore grammar or history, but he does not
    allow them to be the ultimate determining factor
    in his interpretation.1 Instead, he filters the
    results of a grammatical and historical exegesis
    through a set of theological pre-understandings.2
  • 1Duncan, Dispensationalism A Reformed
    Evaluation
  • 2Thomas, 66

120
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • This theological method assumes that Christ or
    the New Testament Church has brought fulfillment
    to every Old Testament prophecy.1 Therefore,
    the covenant theologian does not see the original
    contextual meaning of the Old Testament author as
    conclusively authoritative. He believes that the
    New Testament often changes the clear contextual
    meaning of Old Testament passages.2
  • 1Duncan, Dispensationalism A Reformed
    Evaluation
  • 2Thomas, 66

121
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • "In Covenant Theology there is the tendency to
    impute to a passage a meaning which would not be
    gained merely from their historical and
    grammatical associations
  • (Daniel P. Fuller, The Hermeneutics of
    Dispensationalism), 147.

122
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • In other words, the covenant theologian gives the
    New Testament hermeneutical control over any
    interpretation of the Old Testament.1 Covenant
    theologian, Ligon Duncan, affirms this when he
    states Later revelation, by definition,
    controls the final Systematic Theological
    understanding of earlier revelation.2 
    1Duncan, Dispensationalism A Reformed
    Evaluation
  • 2Ibid.

123
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • Since covenant theologians see all Old Testament
    prophecies as ultimately fulfilled in either
    Christ or the church, their theological
    hermeneutical method frequently forces them to
    spiritualize Old Testament promises to
    Israel.1
  • 1Showers, 24

124
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • Covenant theologian, Anthony Hoekema, affirms
    this when he states The Old Testament must be
    interpreted in light of the New Testament and
    that a totally and exclusively literal
    interpretation of Old Testament prophecy is not
    justified.1
  • 1Anthony A. Hoekema, An Amillennial Response
    to Dispensational Premillennialism, in The
    Meaning of the Millennium, Four Views, ed. Robert
    G. Clouse (Downers Grove, IL InterVarsity,
    1977), 55

125
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • Covenant theologian Lorraine Boettner provides an
    excellent example of what it means to
    spiritualize an Old Testament prophecy when he
    gives his commentary on Isaiah 1169.
  • A normal literal-grammatical-historical
    interpretation of this passage would conclude
    that this is a prophecy about the restoration of
    creation to a pre-fall state that will take place
    during the yet future millennial reign of Christ
    on the earth. However, using his theological
    presuppositions to interpret this text, Boettner
    says that it refers to a spiritual
    transformation as in Saul of Tarsus, who was
    changed from a vicious wolf-like persecutor to a
    lamb-like follower of Christ.1
  • 1Lorraine Boettner, The Millennium (Grand
    Rapids, MI Baker Book House, 1958), 90

126
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • The second essential feature of Covenant Theology
    is the belief that two or three covenants unify
    and give meaning to the whole message of the
    Bible.1
  • 1Ryrie, 183-184

127
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • Many covenant theologians believe that there was
    a covenant of redemption made before Creation.
  • This covenant was instituted between God the
    Father and God the Son. The Father promised to
    redeem an elect people. In turn the Son
    volunteered to earn the salvation of this people
    by becoming incarnate...by acting as surety of
    the covenant of grace for and as mediator of the
    covenant of grace to the elect.

128
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • There are a few problems with believing in a
    covenant of redemption
  • There is no such covenant mentioned anywhere in
    Scripture.
  • The oneness in nature, essence, and will
    possessed by the members of the Trinity would
    seem to negate the need for a covenant. The idea
    of a covenant between the Father and the Son
    could lead some to tri-theism.

129
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • There are a few problems with believing in a
    covenant of redemption
  • The authority for this teaching is our inference
    (it could be that something akin to this covenant
    took place) and not Gods stated Word. This
    submits the Bibles teaching to us, instead of us
    submitting to the Bibles teaching.

130
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • Beyond the Covenant of Redemption, most Covenant
    Theologians believe in two additional covenants-
    the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace.
  • Covenant theologians consider every covenant made
    after Adams sin to be a different administration
    of the covenant of grace. For instance, the
    covenant theologian sees the Mosaic Covenant as a
    new administration of the Abrahamic Covenant, and
    as an earlier administration of the New
    Covenant.1 1Robert L. Reymond, Five
    Arguments for the Unity of the Covenant of Grace,
    http//www.gospelpedlar.com/articles/Bible/five_ar
    guments.htm accessed 4/9/05

131
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • This theological presupposition also serves to
    bias their interpretations of Old Testament
    passages. Since they see the sum and substance of
    the covenant of grace to be salvation through
    faith in Christ, the covenant theologian must
    spiritualize many historical details of the Old
    Testament covenants to give them New Testament
    meanings. For instance, Covenant theologians
    believe that the original meaning of
    unconditional land promises made by God to Israel
    in the Old Testament are changed by the New
    Testament into spiritual promises to all
    believers. To the covenant theologian the land
    promise to Abraham is a mere shadow or type of
    the eternal state.1
  • 1Ibid.http//www.gospelpedlar.com/articles/Bible
    /five_arguments.htm accessed 4/9/05

132
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • The Covenant of Works.- Ostensibly, this covenant
    was enacted between God and Adam in Genesis
    between Adams creation and Fall.
  • In the Covenant of Works God required perfect
    obedience from Adam.
  • Adam was placed on probation temporarily in order
    to determine if he would willingly subject his
    will to Gods.

133
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • Covenant theologians say that God promised Adam
    eternal life (not natural life) in return for
    perfect obedience. If Adam disobeyed, he and his
    progeny would receive eternal spiritual death.
  • There are also problems with believing in the
    covenant of works

134
What Is Covenant Theology?
  1. The covenant of works is not mentioned in
    Scripture and there is no covenantal language
    recorded between God and Adam.
  2. It seems that this covenant would be issued in
    bad faith by God, because the New Testament tells
    us that it was decreed for Christ to die before
    the foundations of the earth were laid.

135
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • The Covenant of Grace- Covenant theologians say
    that after Adam sinned, God made a new covenant
    with Adam and with all the elect. They call this
    covenant the covenant of grace.
  • In this covenant of grace, God promises the elect
    salvation through faith in Christ.1 Covenant
    theologians are not unanimous when asked when
    they believe God made this covenant. Some argue
    that God made this covenant in Genesis 315,
    while others argue that God did not establish it
    until his covenant with Abraham in Genesis.
    1Showers, 11

136
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • Again believing in covenant of works is
    problematic because there is no universal
    agreement on where in the Bible this covenant can
    be found.
  • While it is correct to say that God is always
    gracious in His dealings with humanity- the
    concept of a unifying covenant of grace serves to
    blur the distinctions between the various Old
    Testament covenants. The distinct meaning and
    promise of each separate covenant is lost.
  • t

137
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • Furthermore, the specific revelation of the Old
    Testament is washed over or changed by New
    Testament revelation.
  • A unifying covenant of grace blurs the
    distinction the New Testaments teaching on the
    nature of the church.

138
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • A third distinction of Covenant Theology is
    states that covenant theologians see the church
    as the continuing covenanted community of God's
    people throughout history.1 Furthermore, they
    believe that the New Testament Church has
    replaced the nation of Israel in Gods
    covenants.2
  • 1Showers, 23
  • 2Ibid.

139
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • Since covenant theologians see all Old Testament
    prophecies as ultimately fulfilled in either
    Christ or the church and since they see Gods
    unconditional Old Testament covenants to be
    merely different administrative forms of a
    covenant of grace (that has as its substance
    salvation by faith in Christ) they do not
    recognize the clear biblical distinctions between
    Israel and the Church.

140
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • They believe that Old Testament saints are part
    of the Church.1 Most of them see the Church
    beginning in Genesis with the inauguration of the
    Abrahamic Covenant.2
  • 1Duncan, Dispensationalism A Reformed
    Evaluation
  • 2Showers, 13

141
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • The fourth essential element of Covenant theology
    is the belief that Gods overarching purpose for
    history is the redemption of his elect.1 While
    covenant theologians admit that God ultimately
    gets glory in all things, they are convinced that
    Gods redemption of the elect should be a theme
    looked for in virtually every passage of
    Scripture.2 1Ibid., 20-21
  • 2O Palmer Robertson, Old Testament Biblical
    Theology, http//www.angelfire.com/nt2/paulasteven
    son/BT01.html accessed 4/9/06

142
What Is Covenant Theology?
  • This biases their hermeneutic. Covenant
    theologian Roderick Campbell admits this when he
    states Everything in history and life is
    subservient to spiritual redemption.1
  • 1Roderick Campbell, Israel and the New
    Covenant, (Phillipsburg, New Jersey Presbyterian
    and Reformed Publishing Company, 1954), 14

143
The Major Biblical Covenants
  • Though not totally foreign to present-day
    vocabulary, the English term covenant is seldom
    used. Outside of legal documents and marriage
    ceremonies, the word is absent from normal
    conversation.
  • Webster defines it as a binding and solemn
    agreement made by two or more individuals or
    parties to do or keep from doing a specified
    thing a compact.
  • The term derives from the Latin covenire, meaning
    to convene, meet together, to assemble for a
    common purpose.

144
The Major Biblical Covenants
  • The Hebrew word translated covenant in the Old
    Testament is berit.
  • The English word covenant may not be the best
    word to convey what is happening between God and
    man in the Old Testament covenants.
  • All but one of the major Old Testament covenants
    lacks any kind of mutual agreement.

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The Major Biblical Covenants
  • In the Noahic Covenant- God promises never again
    to destroy the earth with water and gives the
    rainbow as a sign. God places no conditions on
    Noah or humanity.
  • In the Abrahamic Covenant, God places no
    conditions on Abram.
  • In the Davidic Covenant, no responsibilities are
    placed upon David. To keep the covenant in force.

146
The Major Biblical Covenants
  • Likewise, humans are not expected to fulfill any
    obligations to ensure that God will keep the New
    Covenant.
  • For this reason, some theologians have suggested
    it would be more accurate to think of these
    covenants as grants. God is simply committing
    Himself to bless in a certain way.

147
The Major Biblical Covenants
  • In the Mosaic or Sinai Covenant, God places
    demands upon the nation of Israel. They must keep
    His laws
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