Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Deuteronomy: Desultory Musings

Deuteronomy: Desultory musings in the on-going efforts against neglect and indifference, modern Montanism (think Costals), functional Marcionism (think abbreviated lectionaries and Sunday readings crowded out by Costalists' music-marathons of enthusiasms), non-covenantalists and more, including our own neglects and incompetences:


1. Deuteronomy’s own testimony is Mosaic authorship (1.1, 5; 31.22)

2. Affirmed elsewhere in the Old Testament, e.g. 2 Kings 14.6, variously (perhaps some day will tell the story of a good discussion with an "Orthodox Rabbi" about German 19th-20th century liberalism, but that's for another day)

3. Affirmed in Jewish sources, e.g. Josephus inter alia

4. Affirmed in the New Testament repeatedly

5. Or, denied compliments of 19th-20th century rationalists

6. Chapter 34, an addendum, widely viewed by classicists as authored by Joshua

A. Same was done with the end of Joshua, supplied the author of Judges (Judg. 2.7-9; Josh. 24. 29-31)

B. Likewise, the first verses of Ezra were copied and appended to Chronicles

C. Way of linking and showing linkage with ancient scrolls

7. Essential Mosaicity of the Pentateuch


1. In the 19th century, it became fashionable to date Deuteronomy in 620 B.C. in connection with King Josiah’s reforms

2. The 20th century has finessed and modified that view, some dating Deuteronomy to Samuel’s era

3. “Elasticity” of “subjectivity” and “speculation” continues to prevail without evidence besides presumptions and suggestions

Occasion of the Writing:

1. Moses in near the end of life

2. Only Moses, Aaron and Joshua are mentioned

3. If Josianic, why is there no mention of Kingship or Solomonic Temple? Jeremiah mentioned the Temple and Jerusalem over 100 times.

4. Why are the “12 tribes” treated as “1 nation” for Moses when, during Josiah’s time, the nation had split into Israel and Judah? And Israel had been vanquished by Assyria in 722 B.C.? De nada, zippo.

5. Why no use of Babylonian or Persian loan words?

6. And why the conformity to mid-2nd millenium covenant treaty forms contemporaneous with a pre-1406 date for Moses? Odd.

Speaking of which, the ancient covenant treaty form:

1. Preamble, identifying the inaugural covenant meditator (1.1-5)

2. History (1.6-4.40)

3. Stipulations of the covenant (4.44-11.32; 12—26)

4. Sanctions of the covenant (27—30)

5. Estate planning, as it were, for the successors (31—34)

Notable characteristics:

1. The New Testament uses Deuteronomy about 50 times (surpassed only by Isaiah and the Psalms)

2. Legal material (14—26)

3. Law, history, speechs, and liturgical/written songs

4. Opening Address (1.5—4.40): historical review, Exodus, divine provisions, defeat at Kadesh Barnea, varied events from Numbers, 40 year of wandering, Edom and to Jordan’s edge

5. 2nd Address: (4.44—11.32): Exhortation, 10 commandmentss, theophany and obedience, Shema, and “teach, believe, remember, and obey”

6. Laws (12—26): worship, foods, slaves, debts, feasts, judges, cities of refuge, matters of conduct

7. 3rd Address (27—30): Powerful exhortation to earnest covenantal fidelity with prescribed covenant ceremony atop Mt. Gebal and Mt. Gerizim (carried out by Joshua, Josh. 8.30-35)

8. Final Sections (31—34): installation of Joshua, liturgical son, song of blessing, and death addendum (estate planning, as it were)

Christ in the Pentateuch more largely, as noted elsewhere, but here too:

1. Passover Lamb (16.1ff.) and the Feasts (23)

2. Coming Prophet (18.15-19)

3. Moses, the Old Covenant Mediator, and Jesus as the New Covenant Mediator (various)

4. Substance of the covenant the same though the administration differs as capably summarized by the Westminster divines as called by the Church of England and both Houses of Parliament.

Chapter VII
Of God's Covenant with Man

I. The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto Him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of Him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which He has been pleased to express by way of covenant.[1]

II. The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works,[2] wherein life was promised to Adam; and in him to his posterity,[3] upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.[4]

III. Man, by his fall, having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second,[5] commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein He freely offers unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved,[6] and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life His Holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to believe.[7]

IV. This covenant of grace is frequently set forth in scripture by the name of a testament, in reference to the death of Jesus Christ the Testator, and to the everlasting inheritance, with all things belonging to it, therein bequeathed.[8]

V. This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the Gospel:[9] under the law it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all fore-signifying Christ to come;[10] which were, for that time, sufficient and efficacious, through the operation of the Spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah,[11] by whom they had full remission of sins, and eternal salvation; and is called the Old Testament.[12]

VI. Under the Gospel, when Christ, the substance,[13] was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper:[14] which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity, and less outward glory, yet, in them, it is held forth in more fullness, evidence, and spiritual efficacy,[15] to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles;[16] and is called the New Testament.[17] There are not therefore two covenants of grace, differing in substance, but one and the same, under various dispensations.[18]

No comments: