Review: Covenant Theology From Adam to Christ by Nehemiah Coxe and John Owen (2005)

God’s covenant transactions with Abraham and God’s dispensation toward the church for some ages following was such that it required a present intermixture of the promises….spiritual blessings in the shade of temporal, and of a spiritual seed in a natural.

Covenant Theology: From Adam to Christ by Nehemiah Coxe and John Owen

By Nehemiah Coxe and John Owen


Nehemiah Coxe, was a grandson of a bishop; and though only a shoemaker was an eminent scholar. He was tried at the Bedford Assizes for preaching, and pleaded first in Greek and then in Hebrew. The judge was astounded, and called for the indictment. In that Coxe was styled a cordwainer. The judge told him that none of the lawyers could answer him. Coxe, however, claimed his right to plead in whatever language he pleased; this was conceded, and he was released. It is said that the judge enjoyed the discomfiture of the lawyers, and said to them, as Coxe left the court, “Well, gentlemen, this cordwainer has wound you all up.”

“So we may say that man has not at any time entered into covenant with God but God has entered into covenant with man.”

Product description

This is a reprint of Nehemiah Coxe, probably the co-editor of the London Baptist Confession of Faith (1677/89), on “A Discourse of the Covenants that God made with men before the law” and John Owen’s “An Exposition of Hebrews 8:6-13, wherein the nature and differences between the Old and New Covenants is discovered.” It contains an Introduction by James M. Renihan, “Why is this reprint important?” and an appendix by Richard C. Barcellos, “John Owen and New Covenant Theology: Owen on the Old and New Covenants and the Functions of the Decalogue in Redemptive History in Historical and Contemporary Perspective.” Coxe was a leading Particular Baptist theologian in his day. He intended to write on the Mosaic and New Covenants but when Owen’s Hebrews commentary came out, Coxe directed his readers to Owen. Coxe covers the covenant of works, the covenant with Noah, and the covenant(s) with Abraham. Owen focuses on the Mosaic (Old) and New Covenants.

376 pages (hardback)
Published 2005

If you are interested in covenant theology and the theological formulation of an important seventeenth-century Particular Baptist, this book is for you. It is a must read for anyone who wants to know the theological background of the statements concerning God’s covenant in the London Baptist Confession.

“The best interpreter of the O.T. is the Holy Spirit speaking to us in the new”

“[Coxe] understood revelation to be progressive and Christoclimatic. Christ, for Coxe, was the scopus of Scripture.”

Product endorsements

This volume brings together wonderful insights from two faithful church leaders of an earlier generation with helpful analyses from competent teachers of today. The result is a valuable resource for students, academics, and pastors.

Thomas K. Ascol, Ph.D.
Editor, Founders Journal

More times than I can count…I have heard Reformed theology defined in such a way that it excludes those who hold to believer’s baptism. This valuable work will help set the record straight.

Michael A. G. Haykin, Th.D.
Author of Kiffin, Knollys and Keach–Rediscovering our English Baptist Heritage

Nehemiah Coxe’s work on the covenant is an important piece of writing by a significant seventeenth-century Particular Baptist theologian. Its republication is long overdue. This work is an important resource for twenty-first-century Reformed Baptists.

Robert W. Oliver, Ph.D.
Author of History of the English Calvinistic Baptists 1791-1892

About the authors

Nehemiah Coxe was a leading Particular Baptist pastor and theologian of the seventeenth century. He was probably the co-editor of the London Baptist Confession of Faith (1677/89).

John Owen, a leading Congregational paedobaptist of the seventeenth century, is well-known for being the ‘Prince of the Puritans.’ J. I. Packer says, “In his own day he was seen as England’s foremost bastion and champion of Reformed evangelical orthodoxy.”

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