E.P. Sanders on the New Covenant

“We must grant that there is a good deal to be said for the view that Christianity is a new covenant which, once established does function somewhat as does the old: for those in it there is salvation; for those outside condemnation and death, while remaining in it requires obedience, and disobedience leads to expulsion and condemnation…Thus one can already see in Paul how it is that Christianity is going to become a new form of covenantal nomism, a covenantal religion which one enters by baptism, membership in which provides salvation, which has a specific set of commandments, obedience to which keeps one in covenantal relationship, while repeated or heinous transgression removes one from membership.”

EP Sanders, Paul and Palestinian Judaism, p. 513