Jewish Writers on the Two Covenant Theory
Today, many Jewish people widely believe in two separate covenants. In The Mission of the Jewish People in History and in the Modern World, Arthur Gilbert states:
Judaism allows for religious pluralism and does not consider it scandalous. …We do not believe that God’s plan for salvation requires your conversion to Judaism nor mine to Christianity. But it does require our cooperation, our concern for, our joint effort to repair the world.
Former associate director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Department of Interfaith Affairs, Leon Klenicki, expands on this in an essay discussing Jewish-Christian dialogue:
The dialogue involves a process of meeting and recognition between two faith communities, two experiences of God: Christianity and Judaism. It is an encounter of subjects, not faith, not objects of contempt, two equal testimonies to God. For each partner it means the recognition of the other as a constituent in God’s design, the acceptance of a different approach to the Eternal, a different though not conflicting spirituality.
In The Resurrection of Jesus, Orthodox Rabbi Pinchas Lapide summarizes the view of co-existing, co-equal, and complementary faiths:
We Jews and Christians are joined in brotherhood at the deepest level. …We are brothers in a manifold ‘elective affinity.’
Christians and the Two-Covenant Theory
There are also many Christians that believe in a two-covenant theology. These views generally extend from certain mainline denominations. None of which have retained a full belief in the inerrancy and authority of Scripture. For example in The Resurrection in Jewish-Christian Dialogue, Lutheran theologian Carl Braaten writes:
Christianity is the Judaizing of the pagans. The task of Christianity is to preach the gospel among the Gentiles. …The task of Judaism meanwhile is to remind Christianity of its original biblical roots.
Similarly, a number of Roman Catholic theologians have taken the pronouncements of Vatican II and Pope John Paul II’s 1991 Redemptoris Missio to their logical conclusion, namely, that religious dialogue with members of other religions is to replace actual missionary efforts:
Former Christian considerations of Judaism (as well as of other religions) encouraged proselytism. That is, Christians believed it not only legitimate but praiseworthy to exert economic, psychological, or spiritual pressure on non-Christians in order to gain new members for the Church. The dialogical position, however, is one in which the parties accept one another as mutually equal partners.
Christians who accept and believe in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God are increasingly being found to accept the two-covenant theology. To illustrate, at the time George Sheridan was the East Coast Regional Director for the Southern Baptist department of Interfaith Witness, he asserted in Critique of the Two-Covenant Theory that God’s bond with the Jewish people was never superseded by the first coming of Jesus:
The Jews of today, as ever, receive salvation through their having been chosen by God in covenant with Abraham, Moses, and the prophets. …My position is that the Jews do not require evangelization.
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