Critical Review by:

Marie Powers, Reader

"I came away from reading Beyond Creation Science with a new and wonderful awareness of the absolute continuity of the Bible.  It truly is “one story” from beginning to end.  Many of us have become convinced that the “end” of the Bible is totally covenant related and we call it “Covenant Eschatology.” It is most amazing to me that we have missed the simple truth that “the end” is the end of “the beginning,” which then must necessarily be based on covenant as well. The story of the Bible is about covenant all the way through. Timothy Martin and Jeffrey Vaughn do a great job of making this clear.  

'Covenant Creation' is a term we must give full audience to if we are going to understand the Bible. Breaking it down further, we must have a deeper understanding of covenant and how it was integral in the Hebrew mindset from their beginning.  Not only so, once the language of Genesis is understood, it becomes obvious that covenant was a present understanding of the culture from the very beginning of the record. 

J. E. Leonard, author of 2 very scholarly and well documented books about covenant in the earliest days makes this highly relevant comment that gives further weight to the thesis of Covenant Creation: 

The making of covenants was common to all ancient peoples.  There is evidence that the custom was known to the American Indians, and distinct remnants of it appear in the cultures of African tribal people of the twentieth century.  Indeed, it is still practiced among the Bedouin and other tribal people in our world.  The Bible has much to say about the concept of covenant—much more, in fact, than a casual reading would suggest.  In order not to miss its many references to this fascinating subject, it is important first of all to determine exactly what a covenant is, discover its purpose, and recognize its identifiable characteristics.  

Occasionally, when a Scripture passage is written in narrative, the reader is informed explicitly that a covenant is being made.  At other times a word or series of terms will provide a clue that the concept of covenant underlies what is being written.  In the case of covenants contracted between God and Israel, although the original covenant ceremony may be clearly described, later references to it are sometimes oblique and can be easily missed.  In addition, as we shall point out, the story of creation, with which the whole of Scripture begins and upon which it rests, is filled with covenant references which go largely unrecognized.  Explaining these allusions was apparently not thought necessary when these stories and teachings were first recorded; Biblical authors seem to assume on the part of their readers a familiarity with the whole idea of covenant, since it was an integral part of their own frame of reference.  A culture without a thorough understanding of covenants would have been incomprehensible to them.” (I Will Be Their God, pp. 17,18)

One may not agree with every point that Martin and Vaughn make in their very comprehensive book but the understanding they bring to the essential thread all the way through the Bible is more than worth reading everything they have to say about it.

 

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