Hebrews 9:15-17 speaks of the New Covenant in terms of a last will and testament, pointing to the necessity of the death of the one who made it.
When the Jewish rabbis translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek roughly 200 years before Jesus, they had two Greek words (ÏƒÏ…Î½Î¸Î®ÎºÎ·, _suntheke_, and Î´Î¹Î±Î¸Î®ÎºÎ·,_diatheke_) from which to choose in translating the Hebrew word for covenant, ×‘Ö°Ö¼×¨Ö´×™×ª, _briyth_.
_Suntheke_ implies a negotiation; whereas, _diatheke_ points to non-negotiated terms, sovereignly imposed, which is why it can refer to a person's last will and TESTAMENT.
Î”Î¹Î±Î¸Î®ÎºÎ·, _Diatheke_ is the word the rabbis chose for ×‘Ö°Ö¼×¨Ö´×™×ª, _briyth_.
Luke 22 uses both of these Greek words in their verbal form.
In Luke 22:5, the haggling negotiation between Judas and the Temple leadership is rightly referred to as "They . . . covenanted to give him money," using the verbal form of _suntheke_.
But in Luke 22:29, the verbal form of _diatheke_ is used twice and should be translated: "And I covenant to you a kingdom, as my Father has covenanted to me."
The Father's covenant with the Son takes place in eternity, but it points in time first to God's having made a covenant with Abram in Genesis 15:18, where God called down damnation on his own head if the promise to Abram failed (Genesis 15:8-17 with Jeremiah 34:18-20).
Genesis 15 takes us to the Cross and the Lord's Supper. The Supper is a tangible confirmation of God's promise to forgive and bless us.
After serving Grace Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, Louisiana, Bob was honorably retired on Sunday, September 27, 2015, and given the title "Pastor Emeritus." This was forty years to the day after he became their pastor. He now works for the Presbytery of the Gulf South as...