The Covenant
140 Pages
English

The Covenant

-

140 Pages
English

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Buchanan has unlocked an interesting conflict that took place in Scripture and has important ethical implications that continue until today. There are only two passages in Scripture that report something that God reckoned to anyone as righteousness. One of these is the covenant made with Abraham that included the promises of prosperity, posterity, and the land if the people obeyed, but curses of famine, disease, wild beasts, and the sword, if they disobeyed. The other covenant was made with Phineas. It also expected to receive the promises but demanded different behavior. It was designed to repudiate the covenant made with Abraham. Buchanan has traced the results of these covenants as they were followed by the parties to the contracts from Abraham to Jesus, Paul, and Marcion in antiquity, and as far as Martin Luther King today. Originally these conflicts were played out within the borders of Palestine and according to the character of life that the contracts directed and the righteousness associated with their fulfillment.

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Published 23 July 2012
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EAN13 9781725247574
Language English
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The Covenant
The Covenant Its Replacement and Renewal in Judaism and in Christianity George Wesley Buchanan WIPF&STOCKEugene, Oregon
THE COVENANTIts Replacement and Renewal in Judaism and in Christianity Copyright © 2012 George Wesley Buchanan. All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations in critical publications or reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced in any manner without prior written permission from the publisher. Write: Permissions, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 199 W. 8th Ave., Suite 3,Eugene, OR 97401. Wipf & Stock AnImprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers 199 W. 8th Ave., Suite 3 Eugene, OR 97401 www.wipfandstock.com ISBN13: 978-1-62032-273-4 Manufactured in the U.S.A.
To my darling HARLENE
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Books do not emerge from the sole production of the author. I have received many benefits from supporters who have enabled me to write. The good schoolsSimpson College, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Northwestern University, and Drew Universityhave all made important contributions. There were also extra benefits. I spent a wonderful three-year period, studying languages intensely, with the benefit of interfaith fellowships from Hebrew Union CollegeJewish Institute of Religion (HUC). This study involved Modern Hebrew, Rabbinic Hebrew, and Biblical Hebrew as well as Aramaic, and Syriac. These languages were learned together with Rabbinic Literature and the Dead Sea Scrolls in their original languages. Across the road I attended the Cincinnati Graduate University in classical Greek. The training I received at HUC enabled me to search out the depths of my faith and religious origins. I not only learned about Judaism but also about Christianity and the extent to which both Judaism and Christianity are bound together. This was also extended by two Sabbatical years spent in Israel and the neighboring Arab countries. The academic time spent in Israel was very important and beneficial, but the time spend in Arab countries, beginning in 1957, before any Arab country had become westernized, was irreplaceable. There I spoke with local people in Arabic and grasped the thoughtforms, practices, hospitality, ethics, and attitudes that were the same as biblical parallels had been 3,000 years earlier. I could never have had this opportunity at a later time. This was necessary for understanding the biblical meaning of my heritage. I also benefited from western culture by working eight hours each day during the entire summer of 1968 closed into theMagazineof Goetingen’s city library in Germany. This study sharpened my German and enabled me to translate and publish an eighteenth century German document. I appreciate all of these opportunities very much. My personal acknowledgements include my good friend and former student, the Reverend Tom Will Gregory. He is not only a good preacher and pastor, but also a specialized counselor who has spent many years in the continental USA, Canada, and Alaska, helping universities and business institutions to resolve their conflict problems. When I obtained my first computer, in 1980, I soon learned that he is also a computer expert. He has taught me almost everything I know about computers. This involves the use of many foreign languages, special formatting, use of maps and diagrams, and many other technicalities that are foreign to most computer experts. I would have a difficult time writing the books and articles that demand my attention without his helpful support. I am very grateful to him. My first book wasThe Consequences of the Covenant (Brill, 1970). That was published the same year that Harlene and I affirmed our marriage covenant, and that was the first book that Harlene proof read for me. She has since proof read and assisted with the indices for 16 more books and about 50 academic articles as well as general articles and sermons. Our mid-life marriage did not allow us to produce more children, but we produced books and articles instead. Since we had a late start in marriage we have chosen to celebrate our covenant every month, rather than every year. Harlene not only corrects my typos and spelling mistakes in English, but also in German, Hebrew, and Greek. She might paraphrase Elizabeth Browning’s lovepoem to her mid-life husband, as follows: “How can I love thee? Let me count the books.” Of course I am grateful to her for her intellect and many talents, but I appreciate still more her companionship and affection. Since she proof read my first book on covenant, it is appropriate for me to dedicate to her my last book on covenant. It is an honor for me to do this to celebrate our two hundred, sixtieth happy reminder of our marriage covenant on July 10, 2012.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS ` CHAPTER ONE—ABRAHAM’S COVENANT:  ITS REPLACEMENT AND RENEWAL Legal Dimension of Covenant.................................................................................. 1 Sixteenth and Twenty-first Centuries....................................................................... 1 Formation of Contracts............................................................................................. 3  Written and Unwritten Contracts ............................................................................................... 3  The Contract at Shechem ........................................................................................................... 4 Divine Authority……………………………………………………………………………5The Contract at Sinai ................................................................................................ 5 The Court and the Covenant..................................................................................... 6  Making and Breaking Covenants............................................................................................... 7  Love and Loyalty........................................................................................................................ 9  Corporations ............................................................................................................................... 9  Signs of the Covenant .............................................................................................................. 10 The Primitivenesss of the Covenant....................................................................... 10  Corporation Structure ............................................................................................................... 10  The Liturgy of Adoption .......................................................................................................... 11 Marriage Contracts ................................................................................................. 13  Marriage Patterns ..................................................................................................................... 13  Divine Contracts....................................................................................................................... 14 The Terms of the Contract...................................................................................... 14  Unfaithfulness........................................................................................................................... 14  The Day of Atonement............................................................................................................. 14 Contract in Exile ..................................................................................................... 15  Divorce ..................................................................................................................................... 15  The New Contract .................................................................................................................... 16 Contracts in the Second Temple Period ................................................................. 18  The Second Temple.................................................................................................................. 18  Contracts and Hanukkah .......................................................................................................... 19  Sectarian Contracts................................................................................................................... 19 CONCLUSIONS…………………………………………………….20CHAPTER TWO....................... 21LIFE UNDER THE CONTRACT Life after Death....................................................................................................... 21  Analysis and Definition............................................................................................................ 21  Life in Continuity .................................................................................................................... 23
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The Book of Life.....................................................................................................28  Community Membership.........................................................................................................28  Court Record............................................................................................................................29 TheLandofLife.....................................................................................................29 First Testament Testimony ......................................................................................................29  Later Interpretation ..................................................................................................................31  The Suffering Servant and the Land.........................................................................................32 CONCLUSIONS ................................................................................... 34 CHAPTER THREEREAL ESTATE AND  THE PROMISED LAND................................................................. 35 ThePromiseandtheLand......................................................................................35Specifications ..........................................................................................................35  From Dan to Beersheba ...........................................................................................................36 FromRivertoRiver...........................................................................................37 The Great River ........................................................................................................................37  Specific Sites.............................................................................................................................40  Topography..............................................................................................................................42 The Kingdoms.........................................................................................................43  The Reliability of the Insight....................................................................................................44  Dominion over the Promised Land ..........................................................................................44 CONCLUSIONS…………………………………………………….45CHAPTER FOUR...................... 47THE REST AND THE FUTURE The Sabbath Tradition.............................................................................................47  Sabbath Implications ...............................................................................................................47  The God of Armies ...................................................................................................................47  The Consequences of Crime.....................................................................................................48 Sabbath Rules..........................................................................................................49  The Sabbath Tradition .............................................................................................................49  The National Debt ....................................................................................................................50  The National Jubilee.................................................................................................................50 Later Eschatology ...................................................................................................51 SabbathRelease........................................................................................................................51 Ages, Generations, and Jubilees...............................................................................................54 CyclesofTime........................................................................................................56Certainties and Conjectures...........................................................................................................57 Almanacs and Satellites.................................................................................................................57 Cycles of Time...............................................................................................................................58 Daniel Cycle ..................................................................................................................................58
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CONCLUSIONS……………………………………………………59CHAPTER FIVE........................... 61TERMS OF THE CONTRACT The Contract with Abraham ................................................................................... 61  Hospitality ................................................................................................................................ 61  Prophetic Interpretation............................................................................................................ 63  Babylonian Exiles..................................................................................................................... 63  Terms of Contract..................................................................................................................... 64  Marriage and Divorce............................................................................................................... 65  Promise and Fulfillment ........................................................................................................... 65  Sanders and Merits ................................................................................................................... 66  Tannaitic Literature .................................................................................................................. 67 Passivity and Politics .............................................................................................. 68  The Influence of Cyrus............................................................................................................. 68  Cyrus and Apharteid................................................................................................................. 70  Prophecy and Reality ............................................................................................................... 71  The Reality of the Return ......................................................................................................... 71 CONCLUSIONS…………………………………………………….72CHAPTER SIXABRAHAM’S CONTRACT DISTORTED......... 73 The First Contract ................................................................................................... 73 Abraham’s Experience........................................................................................................... 73  The Wilderness Distortion ....................................................................................................... 73 The Logical Fallacy ................................................................................................ 73 The Nation and the Kingdom ................................................................................. 76  Entrance into Canaan ............................................................................................................... 76  The Theology of Holy War ...................................................................................................... 76  Theology in Action................................................................................................................... 76  Conquest and Captivity ............................................................................................................ 78  Ashes to Ashes ......................................................................................................................... 79  Dust to Dust.............................................................................................................................. 82  Modern Interpretation............................................................................................................... 84 God’s Kingdom and God’s Son in the First Testament........................................................... 85 Reimarus’ Thesis...................................................................................................................... 87  Modern Interpretations ............................................................................................................. 87  First Testimony Evidence......................................................................................................... 88  Insights from the Dead Sea Scrolls .......................................................................................... 89 CONCLUSIONS…………………………………………………….90
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CHAPTER SEVENTHE LAND REMAINS CENTRAL............... 91 New Testament Methodology ................................................................................91  A Continuation .........................................................................................................................91  The Good News of the Kingdom .............................................................................................91  The Conflict before the Conquest ............................................................................................92 The Promises of the Contract……………………………………………………………..93 New Heaven, Earth, and Jerusalem..........................................................................................95  You Have Come to Zion ..........................................................................................................96  Kingdom and Community........................................................................................................96  Before the Jubilee .....................................................................................................................98  The Kingdom and the Diaspora .............................................................................................100  The Position in the Kingdom..................................................................................................102 CONCLUSIONS…………………………………………………...104CHAPTER EIGHTTHE CONTRACT RENEWED ..................... 105 Back to the Beginning...........................................................................................105  Abraham’s Contract Reaffirmed ............................................................................................105 Jesus’ Temptations.................................................................................................................105  Some Probable Facts of History.............................................................................................105  John the Baptist and Jesus ......................................................................................................106  New Decisions........................................................................................................................107  The Guidance of the Fig Tree.................................................................................................107  The Tears of Gethsemane.......................................................................................................109  The New Contract at the Last Supper ....................................................................................111  The Legal Liturgy of Seisin....................................................................................................111 GENERAL CONCLUSIONS............................................................. 114 A Reexamination of Scripture ..............................................................................114 Introduction..................................................................................................................................114 Followers of Phineas in History ..................................................................................................114 Followers of Abraham and Jesus..........................................................................114  1) John Wesley .......................................................................................................................115  2) Mahatma Ghandi................................................................................................................115  3).Samuel de Champlain .......................................................................................................115  4).Martin Luther King ............................................................................................................116 World Eschatology ......................................................................................................................116