As one of the most prominent themes in Scripture, the covenant is crucial to all Christian theological systems, from dispensationalism to covenant theology to theonomy to liberation theology. One would think that by now all controversies have been exhausted, but an issue of this magnitude can never finally be laid to rest. Because disagreements persist, there is room for yet another attempt to study the covenant and improve our understanding of it. This book proposes that the path toward an evangelical consensus is not to be found in building another modified systematic theology, but in a biblical theology approach. Grounded in this approach, John Walton's perspective is that while the covenant is characteristically redemptive, formulated along the lines of ancient treaties, and ultimately soteric, it is essentially revelatory. This view in turn has implications regarding the continuity or discontinuity of the covenant phases, the conditionality of the covenant, and our understanding of the people of God. And this ultimately affects the way the Old Testament is preached and taught. Walton's thesis is an important contribution to the discussion of the covenant and the attempts to find common ground among evangelicals of diverse theological traditions.
John H. Walton (PhD, Hebrew Union College) is professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Chronological and Background Charts of the Old Testament; Ancient Israelite Literature in Its Cultural Context; Covenant: God's Purpose, God's Plan; The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament; and A Survey of the Old Testament.