Sunset - Larnaca

Sunset - Larnaca

Saturday, 2 May 2015

The New Covenant - Jeremiah 31




According to the biblical scholar Bernhard Duhm, the New Covenant, mentioned in Jeremiah 31, offers no new Law or understanding of religion, and promises the individual no more than Deuteronomy does, however most scholars reject this approach. The New Covenant does conform to a series of covenant renewals found in the Deuteronomic history (comes at a crisis, and ushers in a new era in Yahweh’s relationship with his people), but now the ability to observe the Law is placed in the heart of man. This is what makes the Covenant ‘new’. There is an argument that this passage is the oldest text to refer to the New Covenant and that other texts follow it thematically. The law is no longer mediated by scribes and the elite, but is intended for everyone.

Bernard P. Robinson argues that this New Covenant has to come from Jeremiah's writing, as no other author would attempt such a bold revision of the covenant within the Hebrew Bible. There are ‘new’ images to be found in the Book of Consolation – for example Israel portrayed as a new Miriam dancing and playing drums.

Yahweh is now revealed, and portrayed by Jeremiah as a parent to His people. “I will write it on their hearts” confirming this; the fatherly relationship God Has with His children. The New Covenant introduces an innate and fuller knowledge of God, in the heart of the human being, highlighting Yahweh's true nature, able to renew, give new life and meaning; offering forgiveness of our many iniquities.
The Christian interpretation highlights that when the passage mentions ‘after those days’ , it is of course referring to after the incarnation of the Word - the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

' And they shall be my people, and I will be their God...that I will not turn away from doing good to them..' 

The Lord, through this passage of Jeremiah, ensures His faithful followers that He will not abandon His people ( even though they have transgressed, breaking His commandments), but forgive us and through the New Covenant, through our Saviour Jesus Christ, will bring them new and eternal life.

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