Covenant Theology And Dispensational Theology Compared*

Dispensational Theology

Covenant Theology

Stresses "literal" interpretation of the Bible

Accepts both literal and figurative interpretation of the Bible

"Israel" always means only the literal, physical descendants of Jacob

"Israel" may mean either physical descendants of Jacob, or spiritual Israel, depending on context

"Israel of God" in Galatians 6:16 means physical Israel alone

"Israel of God" in Galatians 6:16 means spiritual Israel, parallel to Gal. 3:29; Rom. 2:28-29; 9:6; Phil. 3:3.

God has 2 peoples with 2 separate destinies: Israel (earthly) and the Church (heavenly).

God has one covenant people. Those in this age have become a part of God's continuing covenant people.

All Old Testament prophecies for "Israel" are only for the physical nation of Israel, not for the Church

Some Old Testament prophecies are for national Israel, others for spiritual Israel

The Church is a parenthesis in God's program for the ages

The Church is the culmination of God's saving purpose for the ages

The main heir to Abraham's covenant was Isaac and literal Israel

The main heir to Abraham's covenant was Christ, the Seed, and spiritual Israel which is "in Christ"

Jesus made an offer of the literal Kingdom to Israel; since Israel rejected it, it is postponed

Jesus made only an offer of the Spiritual Kingdom, which was rejected by literal Israel but has gradually been accepted by spiritual Israel

Teaches that the Millennium is the Kingdom of God. They are always Premillennial, usually Pre-tribulation

The Church is the Kingdom of God. This can be interpreted both within the Premillennial, Post Millennial or Amillennial framework.

The Old Testament animal sacrifices will be restored in the Millennium, as a memorial only

The Old Testament sacrifices were fulfilled and forever abolished in Christ

* Based on a chart by John Stevenson (