Salvation History, An Overview

Kelly Salbato

Covenantal Salvation History as it leads to the new covenant is theCatholic Church
God established a series of Covenants down through the ages that climax with the New Covenant of Jesus Christ with the Catholic Church.

Overview of Salvation History

The first Old Testament Covenant that God Established was with Adam.
This was a Marital Covenant.

The second Old Testament Covenant was with Noah and his family
This was a Family/household Covenant.

The third Old Testament Covenant was with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Abraham fathered Isaac who fathered Jacob who had twelve sons.
Jacobs name was changed by God to Israel.
These twelve sons had large families who became the twelve tribes of Israel.
This was a tribal covenant.

The fourth Old Testament Covenant was with Moses (and the Israelites) at Mt. Sinai.
This was a nation and a national covenant. God made a covenant with Moses to make the Israelites his people.

The fifth Covenant was with King David and his son Solomon
King David rules over other nations thus forming a kingdom. The Covenant with David was with many nations.

The Last covenant was and is a worldwide covenant, The New Covenant with Jesus Christ

Things to remember about Godís Salvation History Plan

What is the meaning of "Covenant?"

Covenant can be properly understood, to be a sacred family bond. It is very different from a contract because contractual relations exchange property, goods and services but covenantal relations exchange persons. So when people enter into a covenant, they say: "I am yours and you are mine."
Furthermore, the Hebrew word, the verb, "to swear a covenant" is literally built upon the Hebrew term, "to seven oneself" (remember that when looking at Genesis 1)

What is the Catholic Churchís position regarding Sacred Scripture

The Catholic Church has always taught that the Bible is inspired by God. And in addition to the human authors which God used as instrumental authors of the various books. God is the principle author of the Bible. Itís inspired and comes from the Holy Spirit and according to the Churchís teaching, Scripture contains "whatsoever God wanted and nothing more."

Therefore, because God is truth, Scripture does not err, once itís properly understood as itís handled and interpreted in a responsible way. Scripture teaches truth and, Divino Afflanti Spiritu, one of the most important documents in the 20th century from the Church about the Bible tells us that the errorlessness of the Bible is not just directed to things that pertain to our salvation, but, that inerrancy or infallibility also extends out to the history that is taught. But we must remember that Scripture gives us religious history, and it uses a lot of symbols, figures and different literary types and forms that we have to understand if we are going to accurately interpret the Bible.
The Church insists that Genesis 1 through 11 give us history, but in an ancient Hebrew sense, not in a modern Western sense; and this challenges us to understand how they wrote history back then.

What does it mean to be created man, male and female, in the image and likeness of God?

First of all we see in Genesis 1:26 and 27 that it means that we are created in the "image of God" . But in the Hebrew narrative of Genesis, the image of God is a phrase that suggests even more. For instance, in Genesis, chapter 5, verse 3, "When Adam had lived 130 years he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image and he named him Seth". That is the very next time "image and likeness" are used as a phrase. Here we see that it means to father a son. So when God the creator creates man in his image and likeness, He is actually fathering us in the act of making us. He is creating us to enter into a father-son relationship so that we are the children of God. So from the moment of our historical existence, when God first created us, He gave to us His grace; so that Elohim, God the Creator, becomes Yahweh, the covenant Lord, the family God who calls us into His own home, His own family life. For us to be His children and He our Father.