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

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 16:1 (Summer 2007)
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

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 was La Teologia del Nuovo Patto: Elementi Fondamentali della Teologia del Nuovo Testamento. This is the third of nine parts.

Chapter 3
The Origin of New Testament Theology, Part 1

Who was the founder of the classical era of Greek philosophy? Without hesitation, almost everyone would answer “Socrates,” despite the fact that Socrates left nothing in writing. Our knowledge of his innovative thought comes to us chiefly through his disciple, Plato. In a similar way, Jesus of Nazareth, considered by his contemporaries as the prophet like Moses (John 6:14), established the guidelines of what became known as apostolic doctrine. As in the case of Socrates, Jesus left no writing but was the mentor of a group of men whom he later appointed to pass his teaching on to others (Matt. 28:20; Mark 3:13–19; Luke 6:40).

The Priority of Jesus and the Four Gospels

The relationship of Jesus to the origin of New Testament theology can be seen not only in his contribution as a teacher but also in a series of events which Luke describes as “the things that have been fulfilled among us” (Luke 1:1). Jesus linked these events with the manifestation of the kingdom of God (Matt. 12:28; Mark 9:1; Acts 1:1–3). He also provided guidelines for understanding what the

expected advent of the Spirit and the inauguration of the new covenant would imply for his disciples (Luke 22:19–20; 24:44–49; John 1316).

Though all of this may appear quite straightforward, not a few contemporary scholars would want to attribute theological statements like those contained in the Upper Room discourses of John 1316, not to the historical Jesus, but rather to the “Christ of Christian faith,” believing the latter to be a construct with lit...

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