Which Are The New Covenant Passages In The Old Testament? Part Two -- By: David Fredrickson

Journal: Journal of Ministry and Theology
Volume: JMAT 14:2 (Fall 2010)
Article: Which Are The New Covenant Passages In The Old Testament? Part Two
Author: David Fredrickson


Which Are The New Covenant Passages In The Old Testament? Part Two

David Fredrickson

Site Director and Academic Coordinator
Assistant Professor of Theology
Western Seminary Sacramento
Sacramento, California

Extended Models For Establishing Old Testament New Covenant Passages

Evangelicals studying the New Covenant (NC) as presented in the OT have labored in the past with a deficiency in regards to the studies in print. Often these analyses draw varying conclusions from various plausible NC passages without defending the selection of passages and certainly without gaining a consensus regarding the proper list of passages to be studied. This situation calls to mind the allegory of the blind men examining different parts of the elephant and inevitably drawing different conclusions.

Therefore, it is helpful for current students of the NC that in recent decades some scholars have given extended attention to the task of delineating the OT passages from which data regarding the NC can properly be drawn. Part one of this study evaluates five brief models for identifying NC passages in the OT. Part two reviews first a model published in 1968 by a French higher criticism proponent, and then a model offered in 1998 by an American evangelical who sought to collate the elements of the former higher-critical model with Kaiser’s implied model.

The Model Of Pierre Buis

In 1968 French OT scholar Pierre Buis offered an article in Vetus Testamentum delineating his model for determining the NC passages in the OT.1 Buis began by studying a small number of strategic NC passages in order to surface the definitive elements of the NC, which for him constitute a NC “form.” Once he had circumscribed the form and content of the NC by this approach, Buis argued that he was able to identify the NC passages in the OT based upon their degree of adherence to his NC form. The conclusion of Buis’s study is that the OT (with Apocrypha) has offered a formal covenant which Jeremiah and Deuteronomy first introduced contemporaneously; and then Ezekiel, Baruch, and Zechariah reasserted, involving ten passages in all.

Buis begins his presentation by labeling three passages, Jeremiah 32:37-41, Ezekiel 37:21-28, and Baruch 2:25-31, as the “better known” NC passages and observes that all three passages present the same five covenantal elements.2 For Buis, the formulaic nature of the five elements is indicated by two

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