Paul, the Mosaic Covenant, and redemptive history
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This dissertation examines the character of the Mosaic covenant in Paul. I argue that Paul conceives of the Mosaic covenant as a non-eschatological covenant in contrast to the eschatological new covenant. This eschatological contrast creates a distinction between the transitory/ineffectual nature of the old and the permanent/effectual nature of the new. Chapter 1 surveys the history of research and lays out a methodology for the study. Chapter 2 looks at the Mosaic covenant from a transhistorical perspective through the plural form of [Special characters omitted.]<math> <f> <g>d</g><g>i</g><g>a</g><g>q</g><a><ac><g>h</g></ac><ac>&d12;</ac></a> <g>k</g><g>h</g></f> </math> (Rom 9:4; Eph 2:12). I argue that the plural conveys a progressive series of covenants linked with God's promise. Chapter 3 analyzes the old/new antithesis lexically, exegetically, and structurally and demonstrates that something is "old" if it belongs to the old age and "new" if it belongs to the new eschatological age. Chapter 4 argues that 2 Corinthians 3-4 portrays the new covenant as a life-giving covenant because of the intrinsic presence of the Spirit, while the old covenant consists of letter and thus is a covenant that kills. Chapter 5 highlights Paul's metaphorical contrasts between the two covenants. The Sinai covenant begets children of slavery in the power of the flesh, while the new covenant begets children of freedom in the power of Spirit through the promise. Chapter 6 highlights the effectual nature of the new covenant in Romans 9-11 through the eschatological intervention of Christ's return and the salvation of "all Israel." The absence of a remnant in the new covenant reinforces its effectual nature. Chapter 7 establishes that the old and the new covenants have similar demands for its members (like a circumcised heart). The old covenant, however, did not have the power to effect the demand, while the new covenant has the power to create that for which it calls by the Spirit. Chapter 8 synthesizes the evidence for my thesis.