NEW COVENANT, NEW IDENTITY: A SOCIAL-SCIENTIFIC READING OF JEREMIAH 31:31-34
J. Coleman Baker
Interpretations of Jeremiah’s New Covenant passage have tended toward its use in Christianity. In light of the work that asserts ancient Israel was a tribal coalition, Social Identity Theory can be a useful heuristic tool in understanding how this oracle may have been heard by those who first encountered it. This social-scientific model, first developed by Henry Tajfel and modified by John Turner, is summarised and demonstrated to be a beneficial method for understanding group identity in the Ancient Near East. Against this backdrop, Jeremiah’s New Covenant passage is examined and thereby understood as the prophet’s attempt to create a new common in-group identity for the post-exilic Israelite community.
covenant; Jeremiah 31:31-34