Martin J. Palmer The Covenant Concept

ISBN 13: 9780966507607

The Covenant Concept

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9780966507607: The Covenant Concept

This book defines the nature of covenants in a religious/historical setting. In Part 1, "Introduction to the Covenant Concept," the term "covenant" is defined and an attempt is made to amplify our understanding of the covenant concept by examining the ideas of covenant ratification and renewal. Part 2 opens up the idea of Dispensationalism, and shows the relationship between the covenant concept and the early gospel dispensations of Adam, Enoch, and Noah. Part 3 is devoted to a comprehensive examination of the Covenant of Abraham. Part 4, "Moses and the Two Covenants at Sinai," brings us squarely within the purview of Old Testament history. Part 5 deals with the covenant concept in the New Testament era. Finally, Part 6, "The Covenant Concept in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times," completes the picture, brings us up to date, and makes the whole study relevant to our lives today.

The sources used were deliberately limited to those reference books which should be easily accessible to the Latter-day Saint reader. The primary sources and guides were the standard works of the Church; they are quoted freely and liberally and in sufficient length to identify and maintain the context. The book also includes numerous yet carefully selected quotations, mostly from prophets and apostles, to clarify and amplify and give authority to this work.

This work may thus be viewed as an approach to gospel study and may offer a new perspective and a fresh interpretation of familiar concepts and principles. It can be an effective aid in personal study, a resource for family and group discussions, and a guide for those struggling to understand exactly what our Heavenly Father expects of his children today.

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From the Publisher:

A brilliantly cut diamond, when held and slowly twirled in the light, is a thing of exquisite beauty. Light is reflected by some of the facets and absorbed by others, and the gleam of its surfaces combines with its fiery interior to present the viewer with an ever-changing yet always fascinating image. Many different people might look at such a gem, yet each would perceive it a little differently.

So it is with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It too is a thing of exquisite beauty, and it too presents its viewers with a multitude of facets, some reflecting light and some absorbing light, never projecting quite the same image, never static, always appearing to change. Yet it is not the Gospel which is changing, but ourselves, for we are always moving, always changing our position, and always capable of seeing familiar things in a new light. It is this relationship between ourselves and the Gospel which makes it possible for us to study it for a lifetime and yet see it anew every day, always gleaning new kernels of knowledge from fields harvested long ago.

One such facet, and to my mind one of the more significant features of the gospel diamond, is what is herein called the "covenant concept." If someone was asked, "What is a covenant?" the response would come quickly and easily, perhaps automatically: "A covenant is a two-way promise." This indeed is true as far as it goes, but it does not go very far. We might ask ourselves: Who makes these promises, and under what conditions? What happens if the promises are kept? What happens if they are broken? Are there different types of covenants? What determines whether a covenant has been broken, or is totally lost? Can a broken covenant be renewed? What is the difference between a covenant and a commandment? Perhaps most importantly: Are covenants relevant today, and if so, in what way? These are some of the questions that are addressed in this volume.

From the Author:

Covenants and covenant-making have been an integral part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ since the days of Adam. Specific covenants, especially the covenant of baptism, the oath and covenant of the priesthood, and the new and everlasting covenant of marriage have been common to every true gospel dispensation from the beginning. Any church claiming to identify with or descend from earlier dispensations must offer these same covenants to their adherents today.

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Martin J. Palmer
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