Jeremiah 31:34, new covenant membership, and baptism

Locatell, Christian (2015)

CITATION: Locatell, C. 2015. Jeremiah 31:34, new covenant membership, and baptism. Scriptura, 114(1):1-14, doi:10.7833/114-0-1134.

The original publication is available at

Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.


The promise of Jeremiah 31:34 that "all of them will know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," has been of crucial importance for the paedo – vs. credobaptism debate. However, there has been little discussion of what the quantifier means based on Jeremiah’s repeated and thematically linked uses. Throughout his prophecy, Jeremiah consistently uses this quantifier in reference to a group about which something is pervasively, though not exhaustively, true. Therefore, the quantifier in Jeremiah 31:34 should not be understood as presenting subjective knowledge of the Lord as the necessary condition of New Covenant membership to the exclusion of infant membership in that community and infant baptism as the sign of membership.

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