Covenant, Old & New

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Matthew 5:17-18

In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. Hebrews 8:13

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days. Colossians 2:14-16

For the Lord speaks thus to Moses: "Moses go down quickly; for the people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt have transgressed." And Moses understood [the meaning of God], and cast the two tables out of his hands; and their covenant was broken, in order that the covenant of the beloved Jesus might be sealed upon our heart, in the hope which flows from believing in Him. Barnabas (A.D. 70-130) ch.4

Now, law placed against law has abrogated that which is before it, and a covenant which comes after in like manner has put an end to the previous one; and an eternal and final law--namely, Christ--has been given to us, and the covenant is trustworthy, after which there shall be no law, no commandment, no ordinance. Justin Martyr (A.D. 160) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.200

If, therefore, God proclaimed a new covenant which was to be instituted, and this for a light of the nations, we see and are persuaded that men approach God…Moreover, by the works and by the attendant miracles, it is possible for all to understand that He is the new law, and the new covenant, and the expectation of those who out of every people wait for the good things of God. Justin Martyr (A.D. 160) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.200

For this reason were four principal covenants given to the human race: one, prior to the deluge, under Adam; the second, that after the deluge, under Noah; the third, the giving of the law, under Moses; the fourth, that which renovates man, and sums up all things in itself by means of the Gospel, raising and bearing men upon its wings into the heavenly kingdom. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.429

Since, then, the law originated with Moses, it terminated with John as a necessary consequence. Christ had come to fulfill it: wherefore "the law and the prophets were" with them "until John." And therefore Jerusalem, taking its commencement from David, and fulfilling its own times, must have an end of legislation when the new covenant was revealed. For God does all things by measure and in order. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 466

The Lord says to the disciples, "Therefore every scribe, which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven, is like unto a man that is an householder, which brings forth out of his treasure things new and old." … For the Lord is the good man of the house, who rules the house of His Father; and who delivers a law suited both for slaves and those who are as yet undisciplined; and gives fitting precepts to those that are free, and have been justified by faith, as well as throws His own inheritance open to those that are sons. And He called His disciples "scribes" and "teachers of the kingdom of heaven;" of whom also He elsewhere says to the Jews: "Behold, I send unto you wise men, and scribes, and teachers; and some of them you shall kill, and persecute from city to city." Now, without contradiction, He means by those things which are brought forth from the treasure new and old, the two covenants; the old, that giving of the law which took place formerly; and He points out as the new, that manner of life required by the Gospel. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.472

The same Lord granted, by means of His advent, a greater gift of grace to those of a later period, than what He had granted to those under the Old Testament dispensation. For they indeed used to hear, by means of [His] servants, that the King would come, and they rejoiced to a certain extent, inasmuch as they hoped for His coming; but those who have beheld Him actually present, and have obtained liberty, and been made partakers of His gifts, do possess a greater amount of grace, and a higher degree of exultation, rejoicing because of the King's arrival. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg. 474

No new covenant was given, but they used the Mosaic law until the coming of the Lord; but from the Lord's advent, the new covenant which brings back peace, and the law which gives life, has gone forth over the whole earth, as the prophets said: "For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem; and He shall rebuke many people; and they shall break down their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks, and they shall no longer learn to fight."… the law of liberty… caused such a change in the state of things, that these [nations] did form the swords and war-lances into ploughshares, and changed them into pruning-hooks for reaping the corn, [that is], into instruments used for peaceful purposes, and that they are now unaccustomed to fighting, but when smitten, offer also the other cheek. Irenaeus (A.D. 180) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.512

"Behold, I make with you a new covenant, not as I made with your fathers in Mount Horeb." He made a new covenant with us; for what belonged to the Greeks and Jews is old. But we, who worship Him in a new way, in the third form, are Christians. For clearly, as I think, he showed that the one and only God was known by the Greeks in a Gentile way, by the Jews Judicially, and in a new and spiritual way by us. And further, that the same God that furnished both the Covenants was the giver of Greek philosophy to the Greeks, by which the Almighty is glorified among the Greeks, he shows. And it is clear from this. Accordingly, then, from the Hellenic training, and also from that of the law are gathered into the one race of the saved people those who accept faith: not that the three peoples are separated by time, so that one might suppose three natures, but trained in different Covenants of the one Lord, by the word of the one Lord. Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg.489-490

And perhaps the two tables themselves may be the prophecy of the two covenants. They were accordingly mystically renewed, as ignorance along with sin abounded. The commandments are written, then, doubly, as appears, for twofold spirits, the ruling and the subject. "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh." …The commandment, then, "You shall not lust," says, you shall not serve the carnal spirit, but shall rule over it; "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit," and excites to disorderly conduct against nature; "and the Spirit against the flesh" exercises sway, in order that the conduct of the man may be according to nature. Is not man, then, rightly said "to have been made in the image of God?" -- not in the form of his [corporeal] structure; but inasmuch as God creates all things by the Word and the man who has become a knowledgeable performs good actions by the faculty of reason, properly therefore the two tables are also said to mean the commandments that were given to the twofold spirits. Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 195) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.2 pg.511-512