Introduction by WIllem J. van Asselt
Johannes Cocceius (1603–1669) was a 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.
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 Covenantand 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.
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Introduction by Willem J. van Asselt
Cocceius’ The Doctrine of the Covenant and Testament of God is the third volume of the Classic Reformed Theology series, edited by Dr. R. Scott Clark. This series seeks to produce and provide critical English translations of some of the more important but generally neglected texts of the orthodox period.
“This is an important project that promises to make available in good editions and translations a series of eminent works of Reformed theology from the era of orthodoxy. These volumes will offer students of the Reformed tradition an invaluable resource and will hopefully stimulate interest in the carefully defined and highly refined thought of an era that was formative of the Reformed faith and that assured its intellectual and spiritual vitality for later generations.” – Richard A. Muller, Calvin Theological Seminary
“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, Saint 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