A Theology Of The New Covenant: The Foundations Of New Testament Theology -- By: Ronald E. Diprose

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 15:2 (Winter 2006)
Article: A Theology Of The New Covenant: The Foundations Of New Testament Theology
Author: Ronald E. Diprose


A Theology Of The New Covenant: The Foundations Of New Testament Theology

Ronald E. Diprose

Chapter 2 The Holy Spirit, Prophecy, And Canon

Ron Diprose is the academic dean at Istituto Biblico Evangelico Italiano. This work was published in Italian by I.B.E.I. edizioni, as a Lux Biblica monograph, in 2002. The original title wasLa Teologia del Nuovo Patto: Elementi Fondamentali della Teologia del Nuovo Testamento. This is the second of nine chapters.

Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, “was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied” at the moment of his son’s birth (Luke 1:67). So began a new wave of prophetic activity, energized by the Holy Spirit, which terminated with the revelations received by John the apostle on the Isle of Patmos who was “in the Spirit” on the Lord’s Day (Rev. 1:9–10). In this chapter I argue that the revival of the prophetic gift under the impulse of the Holy Spirit is a key factor in understanding how there came into being what we call a New Testament canon. According to F. F. Bruce, “Each of these covenants—the ancient covenant of Sinai and the new covenant inaugurated by Jesus—launched a great spiritual movement. Each of these movements gave rise to a special body of literature, and these bodies of literature came to be known in the Christian church as ‘the books of the ancient covenant’ and ‘the books of the new covenant.’”1

One of the major contributions of John the Baptist was the way in which he linked Jesus’ earthly ministry with the expected advent of the Spirit. “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mark 1:7–8). That John understood the connection between what Jesus was to accomplish and the coming of the Spirit is remarkable

(cf. Matt. 11:11). Immediately before and immediately following the institution of the new covenant by his death and resurrection, Jesus made it clear that the role of the Spirit would be crucial to the success of the apostles’ mission (John 14:15–17; 15:26–27; 16:7–15; cf. 7:37–39; Luke 24:44–49;

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