Question from SW on 2/18/2008:
Many times while reading scripture I read of both the new and the old covenant. I am unclear as to what the difference is between the two covenants, and what they mean for us as Catholics?
Answer by Fr. John Echert on 2/19/2008:
The principal purpose of the Old Covenant was to prepare for the coming of Christ and the New Covenant. The Old Testament and New Testament divisions in the Bible are temporal but also qualitative, that is, all the former covenants are transcended and superceded by the New Covenant in Christ. In two ways the Old prepared for the New:
Through prophecy, as we read in the prophets
Through typology, that is, people, events, circumstances which prefigure some aspect of the New.
Once one is accustomed to look for these, it enriches the reading of both Old and New. Also see that the Old was a timeline of salvation leading up to Christ.