Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What is the character of the Mosaic Covenant in the theology of Paul?

This is a a re-post from 9.14.09 since this book is now available at Westminster Bookstore and is 34% off for only $13.19.

One of the things I use this blog for is for storing items that I find interesting online. There is a very interesting book that has just been published by Jason Meyer, The End of the Law: Mosaic Covenant in Pauline Theology that explores the relationship of Pauline theology and the Mosaic Covenant. Two of the questions Meyer considers are 1) What does Paul mean by calling the Mosaic covenant old; and 2) What does Paul mean by referring to the new covenant as new.

There is a short, 3 question interview that Justin Taylor has done with Meyer about the book that you can read at Justin's blog, Between Two Worlds. Of particular interest to me is Meyer's purposeful use of Geerhardus Vos' redemptive-historical and eschatological theological method to explain the difference between "old" and "new":
[Vos] says that “the comprehensive antithesis of the First Adam and the Last Adam, sin and righteousness, the flesh and the Spirit, law and faith” are “precisely the historic reflections of the one great transcendental antithesis between this world and the world-to-come.” Paul contrasts the old and the new because the new age has come. This invasion of the age to come into the present evil age creates eschatological contrasts, (emphasis mine).
In the Introduction, which can be seen here along with the "Table of Contents," Meyer clearly sets forth his thesis,
Paul conceives of the Mosaic (old) covenant as fundamentally non-eschatological in contrast to the eschatological nature of the new covenant.
He goes on to say that,
Paul declares that the Mosaic covenant is now old because it belongs to the old age, whereas the new covenant is new because it belongs to the new eschatological age. . . . As the eschatological covenant, the new covenant consists of what one could call "eschatological intervention," while the old covenant does not. God intervenes through his Holy Spirit in the new eschatological age in order to create what he calls for in the new covenant. The Mosaic covenant lacked this power to produce what it commanded.
This book is Meyer's doctoral dissertation under Tom Schreiner at Southern Seminary. Given what I know from studying under Schreiner at Southern, this book should be top notch.

It interests me to see how Meyer as a Baptist will develop this thesis that hinges on a Vossian reading of the text, as it was my own Vossian reading of the text while at Southern that lead me to embrace infant baptism and shift from being a Baptist to being Presbyterian.


  1. I wonder whether the book will turn out to advocate a version of NCT.

  2. i have not read the book,but the differences between old and new.

    the new stresses:

    1. that the triune god lives in each believer. (one of the reasons christ needed to die.)

    2. it is not enough that the believer, speak prophecies and caste out spirits, but that he have an intimate relationship with christ thru faith(i never knew you)

    3.the new covenant is without regulation (unchallengable laws.)

    4. all the law of the new covenant is summed in the second commandment(there is no other law).

    5.believers are led by the spirit thru faith, in an intimate relationship with christ.(do not have a relationship to god thru regulation)

    6. whatever believers receive is received thru grace, if it is not received thru grace then it is not received.

    7. the standard of the new covenant is more fully stressed that it is love(anything without love is nothing and gains nothing).

    8. believers are called to test everything.(so that believers will know more fully god's perfect will.)

    9.one's neighbor is everybody else.

    10.we receive GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS thru grace thru faith in christ.

  3. David, I'd love to hear your analysis of this book when you read it. Please post to my FB page if you do ever write a review.