Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary

65 New Testament


The religious institution of Jesus Christ, says Mr. Campbell, is frequently denominated and almost always rendered the New Testament: yet the word by itself, is generally translated covenant. It is the Greek word, whereby the Seventy have uniformly translated the Hebrew word Berith, which our translators have invariably translated covenant. That the Hebrew term corresponds much better to the English word covenant than to testament, there can be no question; yet the word in classical use is more frequently rendered Testament. The proper Greek word for covenant is not found in the New Testament, and occurs only thrice in the Septuagint, where it is never employed for rendering the word Berith.

The term New is added to distinguish it from the Old Covenant, that it, the dispensation of Moses. The two covenants are always in Scripture the two dispensations: that under Moses is the old, that under the Messiah is the new. In the latitude wherein the term is used in holy writ, the command under the sanction of death, which God gave to Adam, may, with sufficient propriety, be termed a Covenant; but it is never so called in Scripture; and when mention is made of the two covenants, the old and the new, or the first and the second, there appears to be no reference to any thing that related to Adam. In all such places, Moses and Jesus are contrasted.–the Jewish economy, and the Christian: mount Sinai, in Arabia, where the law was promulgated; and mount Sion in Jerusalem, where the Gospel was first published.

These terms, from signifying the two dispensations, came soon to denote the books wherein they were written, the sacred writings of the Jews being called the Old Testament; and the writings superadded by the apostles and evangelists, the New Testament. An example of the use of the former application we have in 2 Cor 3:14. “Until this day remaineth the veil untaken away, in the reading of the Old Testament.”

Charles Buck (1771-1815) was an English Independent minister, best known for the publication of his “Theological Dictionary”. According to the “Dictionary of National Biography”, a Particular Baptist minister named John C. Ryland (1723-1792) assisted Buck by writing many of the articles for the aforementioned publication. One may conclude, based not only Buck’s admiration for his friend Ryland, but also on the entries in his Theological Dictionary, that he stood head and shoulders with the High-Calvinists of his day.

Charles Buck on the Biblical Covenants (Complete)
Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary