Covenantal Reality: Biblical Foundations

Covenantal Reality: Biblical Foundations

JPI 715
3 Credits

Covenant is at the heart of God’s relationship to his people. This course will examine the numerous covenants within the Scriptures, their constitutive structure, and the relationship they have to each other. Within the Old Testament, the meaning of covenant, its development within the canon, its relationship to its ancient Near Eastern context, and the trajectory it takes within the prophetic and messianic texts will be explored. Fundamental here are the critical questions of creation as a covenant and the role of human response and freedom. The experience of divine revelation and of covenant profoundly affected Israel’s view of the human person, marriage, and family. As the covenant is fulfilled in Christ, at the heart of our study will be how the Paschal mystery effects a re-constitution of the covenant such that it becomes “new.” Here, we will examine the Marian, Eucharistic, and somatic dimensions of the Christological form of the covenant. Critical to our study is the complex question of how the Old and New Covenants are related. Key Pauline texts will be studied and will include a critique of the modern proposal of covenantal nomism.

Selected Texts


Joseph Atkinson portrait

Joseph C. Atkinson

Associate Professor of Sacred Scripture
S.T.L. and S.T.D. Program Advisor

Dr. Atkinson’s work has included foundational research in developing the biblical and theological foundation of the family. He is a primary authority on the concept of the Domestic Church, which explores the ecclesial structure and meaning of the family. He teaches on the biblical structure and meaning of marriage and the family, on the Jewish background of the family, and on the nature and role of covenant.

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