Biblical and Theological Themes in Heinrich Bullinger’s "De Testamento" (1534)
Keywords:Heinrich Bullinger, Covenant, Biblical Theology, Salvation History
De testamento is a both theological and a historically biblical treatise in which Bullinger discusses themes such as, for example, justification by faith, God’s accommodation to mankind, the covenant as the subject or focus of all Scripture, the covenant with Adam, the unity of the Old and New Testaments, the seed of Abraham, the covenant and right living, the Holy Spirit and covenant, the Law and covenant, the conditions of covenant, the ceremonies of covenant and the sacrament of the covenant. Far from being a work that only focuses on the covenant De testamento reveals Bullinger as a biblical theologian who is committed to challenge the elect to live integer before the sovereign El Shaddai. An examination of the Latin terms for "covenant" (foedus, testamentum and pactum) reveals that, for Bullinger, the terms are interchangeable. However, he avoids using pactum lest pactum theology be read into his work. His use of the terms are more consistent than that of Zwingli which indicates a measure of independence from Zwingli in his understanding of the covenant.