Covenant Relationship in Biblical Theology – Part I
What follows is an imposed set of questions in order to convey some of the key content in Scott Hafemann’s essay/chapter “The Covenant Relationship” in Central Themes in Biblical Theology. All answers are direct quotes.
What is biblical theology? At its most fundamental level, the subject matter of biblical theology is the Bible’s understanding of God’s character and purposes. This ‘theology’ is displayed in the developing relationship between God and his people (Israel and the Church) and, through them, in God’s relationship with the world…history, not the heart, is the locus of divine revelation. Moreover, since biblical history focuses on God’s rescue of humanity from its rebellion against its creator and sustainer, it can be called the ‘history of redemption’ or ‘salvation history’.
What is the “covenant relationship”? It is the dynamic, historical arena within which God reveals himself. As such, it provides the interpretive lens for understanding who God is, who his people are and how they relate to one another.
What is the role of the covenant in the Bible? This does not mean that the ‘covenant relationship’ is the one, central theme of the Bible…More appropriately, the concept of the covenant relationship provides the structure that serves to integrate the interrelated themes developed throughout the history of redemption delineated in the Scriptures.