Counting Stars With Abraham And The Prophets: New Covenant Ecclesiology In OT Perspective -- By: Jason S. Derouchie

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 58:3 (Sep 2015)
Article: Counting Stars With Abraham And The Prophets: New Covenant Ecclesiology In OT Perspective
Author: Jason S. Derouchie


Counting Stars With Abraham And The Prophets: New Covenant Ecclesiology In OT Perspective

Jason S. DeRouchie*

* Jason DeRouchie is associate professor of OT and Biblical Theology at Bethlehem College and Seminary, 720 13th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55415. Author’s Note: A condensed version of this paper titled “Father of a Multitude of Nations: New Covenant Ecclesiology in OT Perspective” is forthcoming in Progressive Covenantalism: Charting a Course Between Dispensational and Covenant Theologies (ed. Stephen J. Wellum and Brent E. Parker; Nashville: B&H, 2016). Sections I, IV, V.2, VII, VIII in the present paper correspond generally to sections 1-5 in the shorter study. I am grateful to the respective editors for granting the opportunity to publish both the shorter and longer versions.

I. Jews And Gentiles As “The Seed Of Abraham”

Paul refers to both Jews and Gentiles in Christ as Abraham’s “seed” [σπέρμα].1 This is clear in Gal 3:28-29 where he asserts: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”2 This echoes his stress in 3:8-9 that all “those who are of faith [whether Jews or Gentiles] are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.”

Similarly, with a citation of Gen 17:5, Paul affirms in Rom 4:16-17 that the promised inheritance “depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all the offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, ‘I have made you the father of many nations.’” In the next verse, Paul again alludes to the same text and links Abraham’s fatherhood of the nations with the promise in Gen 15:5 that the patriarch’s “seed” would be as numerous as the stars: “who in hope against hope believed that he would become a father of many nations, according to what he was told: ‘So shall your offspring be’” (Rom 4:18; cf. 3:28-30). The apostle views the Gentile Christian participation in the new covenant community as fulfilling OT promises regarding the “seed” of Abraham.

Turning back to the ...

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