The prophet Jeremiah spoke of a day when the law would be written in the hearts of men and that the people of Israel would obey their God faithfully. The New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31-34 is the crucial foundation to many theological debates. For instance, those who deny covenant baptism, generally use this passage to prove that God no longer makes covenantal promises to parents and their offspring, ((See Genesis 17:7)) since the text indicates that only those who understand can be in covenant with God.
The first observation is that Jeremiah 31 is not the only text dealing with the New Covenant. There are others, but this passage most clearly projects the New Covenant. For this purpose, it is not necessary to prove the point of my thesis by dealing with all passages together (though this would be ideal).
In the next four days I will be posting a series of posts from a paper written some time ago for Professor Tremper Longman III, who taught at RTS/Orlando for a week long class on Jeremiah and Daniel. My paper in some cases disagrees with some of his premises, nevertheless, it will prove helpful to those who are not yet familiar with the text or topic at hand.
The New Covenant God makes with the house of Israel and Judah is an eternal covenant; a non-breaking covenant. For this reason, it is diametrically opposed to the Old Covenant; but how different is it? Is the manifestation of this New Covenant a reality to be seen only in the New Heavens and New Earth as some suggest? Is it only applied to ethnic Israel or is the New Covenant applied to both Jews and Gentiles? These questions will be answered in my presentation. The consequences of how one understands this text will play a role in his understanding of many New Covenant texts. There are many questions raised, though not all are exhaustively answered, but it should lead the inquisitive reader to pursue the subject in a more detailed fashion.
Note: The first post will be made available tomorrow. At the end of the series I will post a link to a word format copy of the entire paper for those interested.