Hebrews 8 and Paedo-Baptism?

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Jash Comstock

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm having some trouble interpreting Hebrews 8 in light of Paedo-baptism. It has raised several questions. I would really appreciate some help/answers.
1. If the Old Covenant was physically based, and the New Covenant is spiritually based; why is the circumcision of the New Covenant physical; i.e, baptism? Old Covenant promises=Land, Family, God's physical presence. New Covenant promises= Spiritual land, spiritual family, God's Spirit. Shouldn't the circumcision also be spiritual?
2. If Hebrews 8:11 states that "they shall all know me", saying that all New Covenant members will know God truly, why should we assume that infants who have been baptized, who do not truly know God yet are Covenant members?
3. If the Old Covenant symbols, seals, and signs were "copies and shadows" of heavenly things (Hebrews 8:5) was not circumcision a copy and type of a heavenly thing, namely heart circumcision?

Help with these questions would be greatly appreciated.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
Jash, what is the "first covenant" in Hebrews 8 referring to (be specific as possible by looking at the details given in the chapter describing both covenants)? Same: what is the second/new covenant?

With these questions, I'd also go into chapter 9 and 10 for further description.


I'd need your answers to these questions before I can 'help'. :)
 

Jash Comstock

Puritan Board Freshman
Jash, what is the "first covenant" in Hebrews 8 referring to (be specific as possible by looking at the details given in the chapter describing both covenants)? Same: what is the second/new covenant?

With these questions, I'd also go into chapter 9 and 10 for further description.


I'd need your answers to these questions before I can 'help'. :)

In Hebrews 8, The "first covenant" referred to is the Covenant of the Law. The writer is establishing Jesus as a new High Priest of a better Covenant. A Covenant founded on better promises.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
Jash, what is the "first covenant" in Hebrews 8 referring to (be specific as possible by looking at the details given in the chapter describing both covenants)? Same: what is the second/new covenant?

With these questions, I'd also go into chapter 9 and 10 for further description.


I'd need your answers to these questions before I can 'help'. :)

In Hebrews 8, The "first covenant" referred to is the Covenant of the Law. The writer is establishing Jesus as a new High Priest of a better Covenant. A Covenant founded on better promises.

What law (of the old testament)?
 

Jash Comstock

Puritan Board Freshman
Jash, what is the "first covenant" in Hebrews 8 referring to (be specific as possible by looking at the details given in the chapter describing both covenants)? Same: what is the second/new covenant?

With these questions, I'd also go into chapter 9 and 10 for further description.


I'd need your answers to these questions before I can 'help'. :)

In Hebrews 8, The "first covenant" referred to is the Covenant of the Law. The writer is establishing Jesus as a new High Priest of a better Covenant. A Covenant founded on better promises.

What law (of the old testament)?

The Covenant of Moses.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
What I was getting at is the different types of law under the covenant of Moses.

You can see them described in the Westminster Confession:

I. God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which He bound him and all his posterity, to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience, promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it, and endued him with power and ability to keep it.

II. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness; and, as such, was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables: the first four commandments containing our duty towards God; and the other six, our duty to man.

III. Besides this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, His graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly, holding forth divers instructions of moral duties. All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated, under the New Testament.

IV. To them also, as a body politic, He gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the State of that people; not obliging under any now, further than the general equity thereof may require.

V. The moral law does forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof; and that, not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator, who gave it. Neither does Christ, in the Gospel, any way dissolve, but much strengthen this obligation.

Hebrews 8 is describing the ceremonial laws that are abrogated (8:13).

---------- Post added at 04:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:49 PM ----------

Circumcision is specifically a sign of the covenant made with Abraham and his descendants (Abraham had faith and his children who had no faith were circumcised). They received the sign of the covenant, where only Abraham received the promises by faith. So I am not seeing how this is any different than credo-baptism compared to paedo-baptism. Either way circumcision is a sign (physical sign) of the covenant with Abraham (spiritual promises). The covenant is not abrogated in Christ (it is an eternal covenant).

The Lord's Supper is a sign (physical sign) of the covenant (spiritual promises) as well.

Also, I don't see where you get that the Old Covenant is not spiritual based. What I am saying is that if you go back you see it is spiritually based, even though there are many physical laws. Again, example of Abraham, he had faith and it was credited to him as righteousness.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Jash
1. New Covenant promises= Spiritual land, spiritual family, God's Spirit. Shouldn't the circumcision also be spiritual?

Remember that they aren't only spiritual promises. Everything material that we have is of God's grace. We will also be raised from the dead and inhabit a New Heavens and a New Earth.

2. If Hebrews 8:11 states that "they shall all know me", saying that all New Covenant members will know God truly, why should we assume that infants who have been baptized, who do not truly know God yet are Covenant members?
This refers to all of God's true people in the New Covenant being prophets, whereas the OT office of prophet is no more.

3.If the Old Covenant symbols, seals, and signs were "copies and shadows" of heavenly things (Hebrews 8:5) was not circumcision a copy and type of a heavenly thing, namely heart circumcision?
If that's the case we shouldn't have paedo or credo baptism. The New Testament teaches us that circumcision and the passover are fulfilled in inner and outer ways, unlike other aspects of the Old order. Besides, circumcision was established long before Moses/the Old Covenant.

The New Covenant is the final phase/administration of the Abrahamic Covenant and will last until the end of time.
 

Logan Almy

Puritan Board Freshman
There are physical signs that represent and seal spiritual realities in the old covenant and the new covenant. In the old covenant there is circumcision and the Passover; in the new covenant there is baptism and the Lord's Supper. The reason the physical sign is applied to children in the old covenant and the new covenant is because the spiritual reality is promised to them in the old covenant and new covenant: Deut. 30:6, Acts 2:39, etc.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Jash, As was indicated above, the "circumcision" of the NT is not physical but spiritual. Water baptism is an outward sign of an inward reality. Meaning, that the Spirit of Christ circumcised the heart before the person presented themselves for baptism.

This is also called "the circumcision of Christ" (Col 2:11). Is not the promise of the Old Covenant the same as that of the New?

And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. (Deut 30:6)​

This thread also goes into the subject: http://www.puritanboard.com/f57/john-1-12-13-baptism-revisited-38633/
 
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