Does NCT Equate the Old Covenant with the Old Testament Scriptures? (Questions, Part 5)

Does NCT Equate the Old Covenant with the Old Testament Scriptures? NCT is criticized at times for purportedly equating the Old Covenant with the Old Testament Scriptures. Any such criticism results from a faulty assessment of NCT’s view of both the Old Covenant and the Old Testament Scriptures. NCT defines the Old Covenant as the conditional (Exod. 19:5-6) treaty which God established with the ethnic descendants of Jacob at Mount Sinai – a covenant which formed the nation of Israel as a geopolitical entity, the sign of which was the Sabbath (Exod. 31:15-17), which was temporary in terms of its purpose and duration (Heb. 8:7-13), and which was superseded by the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-33). However, NCT defines the Old Testament Scriptures as the first thirty-nine books of the Bible (Genesis to Malachi), which together with the New Testament Scriptures[1], comprise the wholly inspired, wholly infallible, and wholly inerrant Word of God, which is the sole authority of faith and practice in the life of a believer. John Reisinger is particularly helpful here: “There is a clear distinction between the Old Testament, meaning the thirty-nine books of the Bible written before Christ came, and the Old Covenant, meaning the legal covenant that God put Israel under at Sinai. These two nouns (testament and covenant) are not synonyms for the same thing, but name two radically and distinctly different things.”[2] Elsewhere, he writes: “Conflating the literary use and the linguistic use of the terms Old Covenant/Old Testament and New Covenant/New Testament creates problems for understanding what the Bible means. The phrases “Old and New Testament” describe a humanly-devised division in our Bible. It is purely a literary term–convenient, but not inspired.”[3] In short, NCT does not equate the Old Covenant with the Old Testament Scriptures.


Notes:

[1]Regarding the New Testament Scriptures, Robert L. Plummer notes: “The New Testament is so named because it is a witness to the fulfillment of God’s promise of a new covenant (Latin: testamentum), instituted and centered on the person of Jesus (Jer. 31:31-34; Luke 22:20). Plummer, 40 Questions about Interpreting the Bible, 161.

[2]John G. Reisinger, Continuity and Discontinuity (Frederick, MD: New Covenant Media, 2011), 4.

[3]Ibid., 23.

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