DIASPORA (διασπορά, diaspora). The dispersion of Jewish people or communities outside the land of Israel. A theme especially in Second Temple Judaism (fifth century BC—AD 70) and the New Testament.
COVENANT (בְּרִית, berith; διαθήκη, diathēkē). A sacred kinship bond between two parties, ratified by swearing an oath. Covenant making was a widespread custom throughout the ancient Near East and Graeco-Roman culture, serving as a means to forge sociopolitical bonds between individuals or groups. God’s covenants are prominent in every period of salvation history. Divine covenants reveal the saving plan of God for establishing communion with Israel and the nations, ultimately fulfilled by the death and resurrection of Christ.
An inadequate rendering of “covenant” as “testament” may obscure the theological meaning of the division of salvation history—and the biblical canon—into the old and new covenants. Covenant language is more prominent in the Old Testament, which reflects its futuristic character as “a story in search of an ending.” The language of divine kinship (e.g., “father,” “son”) emerges in the New Testament, because Christ’s fulfillment of the Old Covenant forges familial bonds of divine communion with all humanity.
6 “You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you. 7 You are the LORD, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham. 8 You found his heart faithful before you, and made with him the covenant to give to his offspring the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite. And you have kept your promise, for you are righteous.