Editorial -- By: Richard L. Mayhue

Journal: Masters Seminary Journal
Volume: TMSJ 18:2 (Fall 2007)
Article: Editorial
Author: Richard L. Mayhue


Richard L. Mayhue

The recently released New Geneva Study Bible, which champions the theological school of “covenantalism,” proposes that “God. .. revealed His covenant of grace by promising a Savior (Gen. 3:1 5).. .. The covenant o f Sinai. .. was a continuation of the covenant of grace (Ex. 3:15; Deut. 7:7, 8; 9:5, 6).. .. As Heb. 7–10 explains. .. God inaugurated a better version of His one eternal covenant with sinners (Heb. 13:20).. . .”1 But, does the phrase διαθήκη αἰωνίου (diathēkē. aĭniou, “eternal covenant”) in Heb. 13:20 actually refer to “one eternal covenant”?2


Reformed commentators of another era—e.g., Gouge3 (1587–165 3), Henry4

(1662–1714), Owen5 (1616–1683), and Poole6 (1624–1679)Cequated Hebrews 13:20 with the alleged “covenant of grace,” as did theologian Dabny7 (1820–1898). In contrast, John Calvin (1509–1564) spoke of this text in conjunction with the New Covenant,8 although one might have guessed he would have linked this text to the covenant(s) of redemption/grace if pressed for a more thorough explanation.

More recent commentators uniformly relate Heb 13:20 to the New Covenant without mentioning the covenant of grace—Ce.g., Brown,9 Bruce,10 Cranfield,11 Ellingsworth,12 Hughes,13 Kistemaker,

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