dictionaryword02I received the following question:

Nathan, you make a distinction between “the” new covenant as opposed to “a” new covenant, but II Cor. 3:6 says “the” new covenant.  It would be difficult to convince a covenant theology guy that at least when this was written, this is not “the” new covenant of Jer. 31.

The phrase “the new covenant” in II Corinthians 3:6 is inaccurate. In Luke 22:20, the phrase is he kaine diatheke, “the new covenant.” The same is true in I Corinthians 11:25, he kaine diatheke, “the new covenant.” In II Corinthians 3:6, it is kaines diathekes, “(a) new covenant.” There is no “the” in the text. It is like Hebrews 8:8, diatheken kainen, “(a) covenant new.” Hebrews 9:15 is the same, diathekes kaines, “(a) covenant new.” Hebrews 12:24 is different, diathekes neas, “(a) covenant new.” Only the Lord uses the emphatic “THE new covenant.”

The idea is of a new agreement. Since the Lord is the Mediator of THE new covenant of Jeremiah 31, it is difficult to say that the apostles were also mediators of it. The fact that the agreement they were mediating was not that of Jeremiah 31 is clear from the fact that none of the truths of the covenant of Jeremiah 31 came to be in the Acts period.