Contrast Between Covenant Theology And Dispensationalism Concerning Prophecy

by Steve Doan*

Covenant Theology

Accepts a basic unity between the O.T. and N.T.


Believes in a strong separation between the O.T. and N.T.

Assumes that the promises, the relationship with God and the truth of the O.T. remains the same unless God modifies or fulfills it in the N.T.

Assumes that the promises, the relationship with God and the truth of the O.T. do not carry over to the N.T. unless they are specifically restated in the N.T.

One people of God (The church is the new, spiritual Israel.)

Two peoples of God (The church and Israel are two distinct and separate peoples of God.)

The church is not a parenthesis period in God's plan for history (The church fulfills Israel.  The church is engrafted to Israel.  The church is built upon the foundation of the O.T.)

The church is a parenthesis period in the plan of God for Israel.

The covenant promises to Israel are fulfilled in Christ and his church and then fully in the new heavens and new earth.

The covenant promises to Israel are yet to be fulfilled in the nation of Israel.

God may or may not be through with Israel, but like all others his work with them is through a spiritual revival bringing them into the church.  The O.T. system is permanently fulfilled in Christ and the church as described in the book of Hebrews.

God is not through with Israel but renews his work with them by re-establishing the O.T. system with the rebuilding of the temple, re-instituting sacrifices, renewing national Israel as the people of God.

All believers are raptured out without distinction between the Church and Israel.

As a separate people, the church is raptured out while Israel, as the people of God, is re-instituted.

One return of Christ - the Second coming of Christ

Two returns of Christ:
1.  The rapture of the church
2.  The second coming of Christ

One purpose of God - to save His people

Two purposes of God:
1.  One with an earthly people & objective involving the Jews
2.  One with a heavenly people & objectives involving Christians

* From an article at