Diatheke - Testament, Covenant or Administration

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Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
As I understand it the covenant of grace has two administrations, in the Old Testament era and the New Testament era.

When Jesus speaks of the New Covenant (or New Testament AV)He is really talking about the New Testament era "administration" of the covenant of grace. What was administered through the sacrificial system is not administered through faith in Jesus.

I know the New Testament word DIATHEKE (G1242)has several shades of meaning. It just seems odd that the Reformers used "covenant" to encompass both the OT administration of the Covenant of Grace and the NT administration of the Covenant of Grace.

This theological perspective would mean Jesus is speaking about the change of administration.

Luk 22:20 LikewiseG5615 alsoG2532 theG3588 cupG4221 after supper,G1172 saying,G3004 ThisG5124 cup isG4221 theG3588 newG2537 testamentG1242 inG1722 myG3450 blood,G129 which is shedG1632 forG5228 you.G5216
 

Michael Doyle

Puritan Board Junior
Here is a quote from the book, Introducing Covenant Theology by Michael Horton,
“One of the easiest ways of explaining the difference between conditional (suzerainty) and promissory (grant) covenants has been to treat the Old and New Testaments in terms of former and latter, respectively. If the New Testament writers wanted to retain the idea of “covenant,” they would have used the Greek word, syntheke rather than diatheke, since the former refers to a bilateral agreement. The New Testament writers jettisoned the Old Testament berit(covenant) altogether: diatheke is not actually a translation of berit, but an entirely different concept. A bilateral contract is made between two living parties, while a last will and testament is simply granted to the heirs upon the benefactors death.”
He goes on to give three reasons for this distinction that I will abbreviate:
“First, we should note that the scribes who translated the Hebrew scriptures into Greek(Septuagint) already translated berit as diatheke before the appearance of Christ, and it is unlikely that they felt any great burden to surrender the idea of a bilateral covenant to a foreign concept associated not with the international treaties but with the disposition of property upon one`s death…Secondly, it is important to identify the covenants not in terms of mere appearance of the word (berit/diatheke), but in terms of the action taking place and the context on which is administered. A third contention is that the prophets themselves identify the fulfillment of God`s ancient promises as a “new covenant” (Isa. 59:21; Jer. 31:31-33; 32:40; 50:5; Ezek. 16:60, 62; 20:37; 34:25; 37:26; Hos. 2:18) and that is the understanding of the New Testament writers (1 Cor. 11:25; 2 Cor. 3:6; Gal. 4:24; Heb. 7:22; 9:15)”

I hope that helps
 

JTB

Puritan Board Freshman
I don't think the distinction between conditional and promissory can be maintained for either OT or NT. It seems to me that both OT and NT contains conditions for covenant rewards and promises not necessarily tied to those conditions.
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
Here is a quote from the book, Introducing Covenant Theology by Michael Horton,
“... A third contention is that the prophets themselves identify the fulfillment of God`s ancient promises as a “new covenant” (Isa. 59:21; Jer. 31:31-33; 32:40; 50:5; Ezek. 16:60, 62; 20:37; 34:25; 37:26; Hos. 2:18) and that is the understanding of the New Testament writers (1 Cor. 11:25; 2 Cor. 3:6; Gal. 4:24; Heb. 7:22; 9:15)”

I hope that helps

Yup, I can understand the New Testament covenant in this sense. Although Paul (?)argues :
Heb 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of a new covenant, that a death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they that have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Heb 9:16 For where a testament is, there must of necessity be the death of him that made it.
Heb 9:17 For a testament is of force where there hath been death: for it doth never avail while he that made it liveth.
Heb 9:18 Wherefore even the first covenant hath not been dedicated without blood.
Heb 9:19 For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses unto all the people according to the law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,
Heb 9:20 saying, This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded to you-ward.
Heb 9:21 Moreover the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry he sprinkled in like manner with the blood.
Heb 9:22 And according to the law, I may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission

It would seem that the word has many meanings each of which sheds some spiritual truth on the "New Covenant".
 
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