Quill and writing

Greg Bahnsen – What Changes were entailed from Old Covenant to New Covenant?

GB05 – How has the Old Covenant been CHANGED now by the New Covenant?


      1. GB305


Bible Readings

Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: we have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore, it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbour, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. [Heb Ch8]

For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.   [Heb 10:1]


Is there a DISTINCTIVE ‘Christian’ outlook in ALL areas of consideration?

Concerning Ethics as revealed in Scripture, ‘Has God changed His mind?’

May/Should we presume that OT standing laws continue to be binding in NT?

What false criticism (Straw Man) is most often lodged against the Theonomic perspective?

Who alone may determine if & how the Old Covenant has changed?

Is Redemptive revelation ‘progressive’?  Does Theonomy allow for this?

Does Theonomy recognise the fulfilment of OT shadows & types in the New Covenant economy?

What was Meredith Kline’s key criticism of Theonomy? Is it fair?

Does Theonomy recognise the FIGURATIVE & ILLUSTRATIVE character of many OT commandments?

How does Bahnsen use the parable of the Good Samaritan to illustrate his point?

How does the OT law regarding the erection of a ‘roof parapet’ apply today?

Does the OT teach a separation between Church & State?

Were the particular commands issued to Israel regarding the destruction of the Canaanites ‘standing laws’ – i.e. of contemporary application?

Is the Levirate marriage commandment binding today?

Is Theonomic Ethics easily reducible to a list of do’s & don’t’s?


How is the Old Testament ‘old’?  How does the discontinuity between Old/New manifest itself?

What is meant by ‘testament’?

Was the Old Covenant ‘glorious’?

What does the New Covenant assure/grant that the Old could not?

What could Old Covenant law, being written on stone tablets, NOT energise?  What did this typify for Paul?

Does the Holy Spirit teach a NEW law/life-style for new covenant believers?

Does Theonomy teach that Christ redeemed His people from the curse of the law?

How does the new covenant SURPASS/EXCEED the old covenant?

What two features of OT sacrifices indicated their relative powerlessness & temporality?

How was the ministry of the OT high priest indicative of old covenant ‘weakness’?

What did the ‘tearing’ of the veil of the temple signify?

How does the New Covenant impact our ‘motivation’ to keep God’s Law?

What, according to Jeremiah 31, has now been written on the heart of the New Covenant believer?

What was wrong with the Old Covenant?

Do the changes (between Old & New testament) (a) take away or (b) establish ancient moral duties?

What was Jesus’ key concern in the Sermon on the Mount?

How does Jesus’ own life help us comprehend the true character of God’s Law?

How does the ‘finality’ of NT revelation impact the obedience of saints? (see 2Tim 3:16)

How does all this impact Christian responsibility?  (Lk 12:48)

What has happened to all OT shadows of God’s Law?

What is meant by ‘the passing away of the Old Covenant’? (Heb 8:13)

What according to Hebrews 9 is the difference between Moses’ and Jesus’ priesthood?

Given that the Old Covenant was ‘shadows’ compared with New Covenant ‘reality’, are we any less obliged to follow the PRESENT ‘reality’?

Contrast the OT community of saints with the NT community of saints.  Where now is the Israel of God?

How does the passing away of Canaan as the location of God’s kingdom affect OT Law land references?

What has happened to OT laws pertaining to the separation of Jew & Gentile (separation of seeds, fibres, meats, dietary, etc) with the advent of the NT economy?

Once more, what then are we to say of the allegation that ‘Theonomy makes no distinction between Old & New Testament Law’?