Cocceius’s contributions to covenant theology simultaneously sparked theological controversies and further fruitful dialogue for understanding the progressive nature of salvation history. The Doctrine of the Covenant and Testament of God describes the entire biblical history as a series of events by which an original covenant of works is gradually annulled, bringing new phases in the history of the covenant of grace. He shows that God’s standard way of relating to mankind is through covenant, which, at its heart, is friendship with God.
Casey Carmichael’s translation of Cocceius’s book is monumental, providing the first English edition of a work that helped shape Reformed theology for centuries. Historical theologians have long noted Cocceius’s work as a crucial text in the development of federal theology, and now this translation will open access to a wider range of readers and is sure to spur further interest and research in Reformed expositions of covenantal thought. The introduction by Willem J. van Asselt, the world’s leading scholar on Coccieus’s life and theology, provides the historical context for understanding the importance of the book and a summary of the significant contributions it made to Reformed theology.
Table of Contents
Introduction by Willem J. van Asselt
- The Covenant of God in General
- The Covenant of Works
- The First Abrogation of the Covenant of Works by Sin
- The Second Abrogation of the Covenant of Works by the Covenant of Grace
- A Fuller Explanation of What Was Set Out in Advance
- The Application of the Testament and also the Sanction and Confirmation of the Covenant of Grace
- The Ability to Receive in the Covenant of Grace and Its Inducement
- The Constancy of the Covenant of Grace
- The End of the Covenant of Grace
- The Third Abrogation of the Covenant of Works by the Promulgation of the New Testament in the Type of the Old Economy
- The Differences between the Former Period and the Later in the Economy of the Covenant of Grace
- The Benefits of the New Testament
- The Sacraments of the New Testament
- The Office of Bishop under the New Testament and the Government of the Church
- The Fourth Abrogation of the Covenant of Works by Death of the Body
- The Fifth Abrogation of the Covenant of Works by the Resurrection of the Body
Johannes Cocceius (1603-1669) was prominent Bible scholar who taught at the universities of Bremen, Franeker, and Leiden. As a gifted linguist, he produced a Hebrew lexicon, commentary related to every book of the Bible, and several theological treatises.
Casey Carmichael (PhD, University of Geneva) is a scholar specializing in the History of Christianity and is author of B.B. Warfield the Churchman: Defender of the Reformed Confession in PCUSA Controversies, 1889-1906 (2018) and A Continental View: Johannes Cocceius’s Federal Theology of the Sabbath (2018).
“One of the leading Reformed theologians in the seventeenth century, Johannes Cocceius made an enduring contribution to the development of covenantal theology in the Summa Doctrinae de Foedere et Testimento Dei. The treatise represents a classic statement of federal theology and one of its most influential treatments in the development of Reformed thought. This elegant and nuanced edition by Casey Carmichael and Willem van Asselt is the first English translation of Cocceius’s most important work and should become a standard text for students interested in the history of Reformed theology.”
– Charles H. Parker, Professor of History, St. Louis University
“Johannes Cocceius was one of the seventeenth century’s most influential and controversial Reformed theologians, yet today he is little known and less well understood. Casey Carmichael has done all interested in the thought of that era an enormous service by making Cocceius’s Summa Doctrinae de Foedere et Testamento Dei available in English for the first time.”
– Philip Benedict, Professor Emeritus, University of Geneva‘s Institute for Reformation History
“Johannes Cocceius was one of the foremost figures in the so-called Dutch Further Reformation. He taught that doctrine alone could not save anyone, but that the truth must accord with godliness. The Doctrine of the Covenant and Testament of God represents the first English translation of his most famous (and partly infamous) book. This book is important because it provides English-speaking readers a glimpse into the development of Reformed covenant theology at its height. This translation of Cocceius’ Covenant and Testament of God is an important benchmark in historical studies. This book helps reveal a vital part of a vast treasure of classic Reformed literature. This is a heritage that is worth recovering.”
– Ryan McGraw, Morton H. Smith Professor of Systematic Theology, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary