Moffatt: writings about the new covenant
Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
—Jeremiah 31:31-34 (ESV)
In the communities of the faithful, men had to impress upon themselves and upon others what Jesus said and did, for the more convinced they were that he was neither a Jewish pretender nor an unsubstantial deity like one of the deities of the cults, the more urgent it was for them to recall that his words were the rule of their life, and that his actions in history had created their position in the world; they had to think out their faith, to state it against outside criticism, and to teach it within their own circle, instead of being content with it as a mere emotion; they had also to refresh their courage by anticipating the future, which they believed was in the hands of their Lord... The common basis of their life was the conviction that they enjoyed a new relationship with God, for which they were indebted to Jesus. The technical term for this relationship was “covenant,” and “covenant” became eventually in their vocabulary “testament.” Hence the later name for these writings of the church, when gathered into a sacred collection, was “The New Testament”—New because the older relationship of God to his people, which had obtained under Judaism with its Old Testament, was superseded by the faith and fellowship which Jesus Christ his Son had inaugurated. It was the consciousness of this that inspired the early Christians to live, and to write about the origin and applications of this new life. They wrote for their own age, without a thought of posterity, and they did not write in unison but in harmony.
... James Moffatt (1870-1944), A New Translation of the Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1935, New York: Harper, 1935, Introduction, p. xxii (see the book)
See also Jer. 31:31-34; 32:40; Rom. 8:2-4; 11:27; 2 Cor. 3:3; Heb. 8:10; 10:16
Quiet time reflection:
Lord, I thank You for sending Your word to Your people.
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