Bible Reading Week 3 (Jan 17-23, 2022)

Week 1

Week 2

Old Testament (Genesis 17-23)

1. Genesis 17:1-23: What is the significance of the covenant of circumcision? Does it not constitute works righteousness and if not, why not? And why circumcision as a sign of the covenant?  

Since that’s not one question but three, let’s take each in turn. 

Genesis 17 refers to the giving (Hebrew: ntn) or confirming of the covenant. This covenant ratification follows on from the covenant inauguration (or “cutting of the covenant”) in Genesis 15. The cutting of the covenant, with its strange ceremony with fire and divided animals stresses the chronological priority of God’s action which takes priority and pre-eminence over man’s. Genesis 17 majors on man’s response which ratifies and confirms the covenant already made by God’s divine initiative. 

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