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Kinship by Covenant: A Canonical Approach to the Fulfillment of God's Saving Promises (Anchor Yale Bible Reference) (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library) Hardcover – 2 Jun 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (2 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300140975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300140972
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 4 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 277,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Both well-written and exhaustive, this impressive work will fascinate readers with New Testament truths about God's unyielding covenant with his chosen, fallible people."-David Noel Freedman -- David Noel Freedman "Scott Hahn opens new vistas, chases down old haunts, and leads us to a fuller, deeper, and more penetrating understanding of covenant. Until we get 'covenant' right, we simply don't understand the Bible. When I think of the word 'covenant,' I think of Kinship by Covenant. When I have any questions about 'covenant,' this is the first book I will turn to for ever and a day."-Scot McKnight, North Park University -- Scot McKnight "At last Scott Hahn's Kinship by Covenant is published! Maintaining a masterful command of the data on biblical and ancient near eastern covenants, the work exposes how, for over a century, biblical scholarship lost sight of the covenant as a kinship-forging ritual. Richly documented, theologically profound, the book will prove an invaluable resource in Old and New Testament study."- Gregory Yuri Glazov, Seton Hall University, Immaculate Conception Seminary -- Gregory Glazov "Kinship by Covenant is thoroughly researched and lucidly argued. Those with a serious interest in a biblical theology of covenants will not want to miss Hahn's contribution."-Brandon D. Crowe, Westminster Theological Journal -- Brandon D. Crowe Westminster Theological Journal "Learned and well-written."-Jon D. Levenson, Journal of Religion -- Jon D. Levenson Journal of Religion

About the Author

Scott Hahn is Pope Benedict XVI Chair of Biblical Theology, St. Vincent Seminary, and professor of scripture and theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also founder and president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. Among his many best-selling books is 'The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth'.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K. L. Barragan on 5 Aug. 2009
Format: Hardcover
No-one who listens to Scott Hahn - a well-known Catholic speaker and author who teaches at Franciscan University of Steubenville - or reads one of his many popular books can fail to notice his emphasis on the importance of "covenant" as an over-arching Biblical theme. This book lays out the scholarly basis for Hahn's conviction.

"Kinship by Covenant" started life as the thesis for Hahn's doctorate which he completed at Marquette University in 1995. This edition - published as part of the Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library - is thoroughly rewritten and incorporates the fruits of Hahn's more recent scholarly work.

In a helpful introduction, he summarizes the existing literature on covenant. Far from a mere conventional preliminary, this summary is an invaluable initiation into the scholarly conversation about Biblical covenants for those who have not studied this area before.

The first two-thirds of the book contain a thorough study of covenant in the Old Testament. Hahn emphasizes a number of essential features of a covenant. In particular, the relationship created by a covenant is more than merely legal: covenants create kinship bonds. Drawing on a range of sources, he shows that the obligations imposed by the covenant are distributed in different ways: in a "kinship" covenant, both parties accept obligations; in a "treaty-type" covenant, the superior party imposes obligations on the inferior; and in a "grant-type" covenant, the superior party freely accepts obligations towards the inferior party. Hahn uses these categories to describe the divine covenants of the Old Testament and offer a thorough analysis in which he argues that they form part of God's consistent fatherly plan for Israel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. C. Williams on 11 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lots of people want to know what the Bible is all about but so few actually investigate the fundamental message of the scriptures - Covenant. Dr Hahn has proved himself very capable of teaching on this topic and this book is the fruit of some of his research. It is very well laid out and well written, though it may take a while to get into it. You have to want to go for it.
The book is (from what I understand) his Doctorial Thesis on Covenants. Consequently there is a bit of a scholarly approach which is going to be difficult for those who don't do 'scholarly'. I used to be like that but can mix and match. i also like Hahn so I was willing to go through the pain barrier.
He looks at ancient covenants, the various types, and compares them with the various Biblical covenants (Noah, Abraham, etc). He spends considerable time examining the person of Melchisedek which is very fascinating and insightful. In his usual style he also includes many quotes from Church Fathers. It is hugely fascinating and well worth a read.
For those who want covenant teaching that is simpler visit my website and get yourself a workbook. [...]
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Profound; A scholar examines the meaning of covenant 26 July 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Scott's book began as his doctoral thesis. Over a decade later, he has now written this exhaustive and superb book on the meaning of covenant.

Oddly, there has been a "dearth of scholarship...on...covenant research in the Old Testament" (p 17) connected to the research on the historical Jesus. Yet covenant is one of the overarching themes of the bible. "The study of God's covenant in history will consist largely of a series of thematic connections and conceptual links, all of which are related to kinship" (p 21).

There are three kinds of covenant in the bible--kinship, treaty, and grant. Throughout the bible, familial terminology like father, husband, and son are used in connection to covenant.

Scott argues that covenant was a sacred oath which could never be shattered. The penalty for breaking covenant was death (sin). Israel's "identity and mission can be defined in terms of divine sonship (p 91), but Israel was only to be the 'firstborn' son, indicating there would be more.

Indeed, each covenant in Israel's history anticipates and finds fulfillment in the subsequent covenant. As, for example, Abraham's willingness to sacrifice Isaac foreshadows God's willingness to sacrifice his own son. Or as Melchizedek's bringing bread and wine foreshadows Jesus' bread and wine later.

The golden calf episode, in which Israel rejects God and worships an idol instead, is the pivotal event, the 'hinge' as Scott explains, (p 151) which jeopardizes their covenant. It ends the covenant of perpetual priesthood and begins the Levitical covenant which lasts until 70 AD (p159-66).

"The Levitical covenant points to the future hope that God will raise up the Davidic prince messiah to be his firstborn son and thereby reacquire the birthright of the royal priesthood which God will give him by covenant oath" (p 175).

Many mysterious promises are tied to this future Davidic prince messiah. He will reunite the 12 tribes--seemingly impossible, since many of the tribes were forcibly intermarried with gentiles. And it will be an international reign, as attested to even in the Qumran document 4Q504.

With this background information the New Testament is revealed in a new light.

Jesus fulfills all the Davidic promises (p 218-9). And his words are rich with covenantal terminology, as in Luke 22 "I covenant to you, as my Father covenanted to me, a kingdom".

Scott has two chapters on covenant meaning in Galatians and Hebrews, but this review is already too long. Suffice to add that "father-son relationship and its attendant imagery and terminology were consistently present in the portrayal of the divine covenant between God and Israel, in all literary traditions and historical periods" (p 333) and that the meaning of those varied covenant finds fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Scott Hahn's exposition of Covenantal Realism 17 Sept. 2009
By Taylor Marshall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Scott Hahn's Kinship by Covenant is a revised and updated version of his 1995 doctoral dissertation Kinship by Covenant: A Biblical Theological Study of the Covenant Types and Texts in the Old and New Testaments published for the Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library.

The great biblical scholar, David Noel Freedman (d. 2008), recognized that Scott Hahn's Kinship by Covenant "adapts Dual Covenant Hypothesis: namely, the apparent contradiction between God's covenant with Abraham and the covenant with Moses on Sinai" (book's preface). Hahn reassesses how the New Covenant authors contrast the various covenants established at Moriah (Abraham and Isaac), Sinai (Law), Moab (Deuteronomy), and Zion/Moriah (New Covenant). Accordingly, the New Covenant does not "supercede" the Mosaic Law--rather the New Covenant, in a sense, "precedes" the Mosaic Covenant by a return to and expansion of the covenant made with Abraham.

Hahn shows appreciation for E.P. Sanders' scholarship regarding covenantal nomism, but he also supplies a subtle criticism of Sanders for not maintaining the "tensions and discontinuity" between Scripture's covenantal relationships (pp. 239-41). Kinship by Covenant also complements the work of N.T. Wright by showing how the Deuteronomic curses relate to the magnanimous conditions of the New Covenant (p. 252 ff).

Hahn expands the work of covenantal scholars Meredith Kline (Reformed) and D.J. McCarthy (Catholic), by demonstrating that the divine economy often begins with a Kinship Covenant (divine promises), moves to a Treaty Covenant (divine law), and then ends in a Grant Covenant (divine oath). This pattern can be mapped as "Adam as created" > "Adam being tested (and failing)" > "Adam receiving promise of redemption" (Gen 3:15). With regard to Abraham, the pattern is Gen 15 (kinship) > Gen 17 (probation) > Gen 22 (grant oath). If we apply it to salvation history: Abraham > Moses > Christ. This pattern follows the natural unfolding of human life that begins with childhood (kinship), moves into adolescence (probation-law), and finally the reception of the father's promise (inheritance-oath-grant).

In sum, Hahn demonstrates that covenantal realism leads to a soteriology based on the divine Sonship of Christ, hence the book's emphasis on Luke 22, Galatians 3-4, and Hebrews. By emphasizing the familial dimension of law and covenant, Hahn establishes the Catholic conviction that a strictly forensic depiction of justification falls short of the language of Scripture. Moreover, the social/familial aspect of salvation highlights the role of the Church as a soteriological category--something that recent Protestant scholarship is beginning to realize.

Kinship by Covenant brings together so many biblical concepts that one finishes the book with two new conclusions: First, Sacred Scripture is much more inner-connected than we previously assumed. Secondly, many of our biblical "gut intuitions" have been confirmed by Hahn's insightful account of covenantal realism.

Reading Kinship by Covenant was very much like reading N.T. Wright's Resurrection of the Son of God. Each is thick and takes time to consume--but that is also true of a fine steak. Kinship by Covenant leaves you wanting more: "Oh no! There are only 50 pages left!"
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
WOW!!! 30 July 2010
By Christopher C. Longbine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the kind of scholarship we need more of. This book is well researched and laid out and written in a way that is easy to follow and easy to understand. Sometimes the author assumes more scholarship on the readers part than is probably actually afforded (such as the New Perspective on Paul) but it is easy to render for yourself these days with internet and lay-friendly books available on Amazon. Other than the few times I had to stop and look something up the book was thick with meaning and deep with theology that was not over my head. I am not a Catholic, the author is, but I found nothing overtly Catholic about this book (I have read some negative comments about this author and his Catholicism). In fact it was informative and "true to scripture" (I am not trying to make that mean more than it is as plainly written). I applaud Dr Hahn for his work and look forward to perusing other books he has authored. May God richly bless our journey for truth.

I would absolutely recommend this book to ANYONE who has an interest in covenants, covenant theology, or simply in understanding the Bible better.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An extrodinary insight into God's Convenants 25 Oct. 2013
By James Daffron - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is extremely well researched, well documented and well written. It has pulled together many of my suspicions and added to them is an easier to read and well thought out approach.

While the material is deep, it can be understood by most Bible students and will add greatly to their understanding. Even a one time through read would create a depth of understanding of God's love and His Covenants with His people that will open up a greater and deeper understanding of the Scriptures. An in-depth study, by a serious student will greatly bless and enhance the study.

Be prepared to have a new awareness and a new openness to Covenant Theology.

James Daffron, PhD
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding Contribution to the Study of Covenants 1 Feb. 2014
By Thomas B. Clarke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book because I was convinced that the Mosaic Covenant should be divided into two covenants: one at Sinai and the other at Moab. Kinship by Covenant added phenomenal value and research to take me from this two covenant thinking to a much more complete understanding of covenants as a whole, both from the Old and New Testament perspective. Hahn is one of the few Biblical thinkers that recognize the multiple covenant approach that Moses was given. If pursued correctly, it should take our modern Church into a new level of understanding.

That is not to say that I always agreed with Hahn; there were some areas where I think he might have approached the text differently. In my opinion, good scholarly study of the Bible should challenge your thinking so that you can examine the Scriptures for yourself. I consistently asked myself, "So why was Leviticus written?" or "What was really happening at Sinai?" or "Why did Moses change his approach at Moab?" It is the pursuit of these and many other questions that Hahn provided a great deal of insight, to which I contribute my own theological understanding. That is the sign of excellent Biblical scholarship.

As a result of this book, I have begun my own independent study of the Pentateuch. I want to see the whole picture for myself, without the lens of Dr. Hahn. I have this book to credit for leading me to begin that in-depth analysis.

Tom Clarke, author of Joshua's Spiritual Warfare: Understanding the Chiasms of Joshua
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