To the Jew First: A Biblical Analysis of the ‘Two-Covenant’ Theory of the Atonement

Book Title: To the Jew First: A Biblical Analysis of the ‘Two-Covenant’ Theory of the Atonement
Author: Joseph P. Gudel
Date Published: July-September 1998
Reviewer: Rich Robinson

The two-covenant theory has circulated for some years among non-evangelicals and even among some conservative Christians. If you’ve ever been told that Jews don’t need Jesus because they “already have a covenant with God,” then you are hearing this theory of salvation, which was developed by Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig early in this century. Gudel, a Lutheran pastor, summarizes the history of the theory and briefly surveys what Jewish and Christian proponents have written. Then he delves into a biblical analysis with an examination of passages such as Romans 1:16, 2:9, and Acts 13:46. He traces the missionary core of Christianity through Jesus, the apostles, and Paul. Gudel then suggests provocatively that promotion of the two-covenant theory is anti-Semitic. This article is lively and well-written, especially helpful if you’ve not heard of the two-covenant theory before now. If you can’t find the journal it appeared in, it’s available as a free PDF download from The Apple of His Eye Mission Society.

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Rich Robinson | San Francisco

Scholar in Residence, Missionary

Rich Robinson is a veteran missionary and senior researcher at the San Francisco headquarters of Jews for Jesus. Rich has written several books on Jewishness and Jesus, and he received his Ph.D. in biblical studies and hermeneutics from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1993.

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Have Questions?

Connect with Jews for Jesus. No matter where you are on the journey of life, whether you’re Jewish or non-Jewish, a believer in Jesus or not – we want to hear from you. Chat with someone online or connect via our contact page below.  
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