BEST Conference on The Covenant

30 & 31 March, 2017

In Dutch theology, it has long been quiet around the theme of the covenant. This is remarkable, because in the past this theme evoked heated discussions, without agreement being reached. It seems that North American theologians have taken over the subject, because they publish one book after another on it. There is enough material for that: new insights from Biblical Studies and Systematic Theology deserve to be processed, also in Europe. Themes that are clearly linked to covenant theology, such as infant baptism, the relationship between the individual and the community, the value of relationships, and the position of Israel and the Church, are currently even more relevant than before.

There is therefore more than enough reason to put covenant theology back on the agenda. The best Research Group of the Theological Universities in Apeldoorn and Kampen aims to do this at an international conference in Apeldoorn on 30 and 31 March this year. Besides aspects from Biblical Studies and Systematic Theology also the historical inquiry into the development of Reformed covenant theology will be discussed. Both members of the research group from Apeldoorn and Kampen and theologians from home and abroad will contribute. The language of the conference is English.

Date: 30 March, 10:00 to 20:30; 31 March 9:00 to 16:00.

Cost: €95,- for two days (including two lunches and one dinner). Cost for one day: €50,-.

Reduced fee for students (full registration): €50,-.

Registration: registration[at]

Participants are advised to book their hotel room with Fletcher Hotel Apeldoorn. Please refer to the conference to receive a discount.

If desired, a certificate can be supplied as proof of attending this conference as part of continuing education for pastors.


Thursday 30 March

10.00     Welcome with coffee

10.30    Opening

10.45     Lecture 1 prof. dr. Gert Kwakkel, ‘Berith and Covenants in the Old Testament: A Contribution to a Fruitful Cooperation of Exegesis and Systematic Theology.’

11.30     Lecture 2 prof. dr. Donald Cobb, ‘Is the Covenant an important concept for the New Testament? Galatians 4.21-31 as a Test Case.’

12.15     Lunch

13.30    Short paper sessions  1

14.10    Short paper sessions 2

14.50     Tea break

15.20     Lecture 3 dr. Daniël Timmerman, ‘Reformed covenant theology and the Zurich tradition: Outlines and fresh perspectives following the works of Heinrich Bullinger (1504–1575).’

16.05     Lecture 4 dr. Hans Burger, ‘The structure of the reformed doctrine of covenant and the covenant of works.’

16.50    Short paper sessions 3

17.30     Drinks and dinner

19.00     Lecture 5 prof. dr. Arnold Huijgen, ‘Trinity and Covenant: Methodological and Theological Considerations.’

19.45     Lecture 6 prof. dr. Jaap Dekker, ‘What Has David to Do With It? The Promise of a New Covenant in the Book of Isaiah.’

20.30     Closure


Friday 31 March

9.00       Welcome with coffee

9.30       Opening

9.45       Lecture 7 dr. Koert van Bekkum, ‘Biblical Covenants and Treaties in Ancient Near Eastern Context; Methodological, Historical and Theological Reflections.’

10.30     Lecture 8 dr. Michael Mulder, ‘God’s Covenant with Israel in Romans 10: An Intertextual Approach to the Dynamics of Covenant, Responsibility and Election.’

11.15     Break

11.45     Short paper sessions  4

12.30     Lunch

13.30    Short paper sessions  5

14.10     Lecture 9 prof. dr. Rob van Houwelingen, ‘Renewal of the Covenant at the Last Supper.’

14.50     Tea break

15.15     Concluding reflections:

16.00     Closure of the conference