A recognition of the clear correspondence, both formal and functional, between the Old Testament covenant rite of circumcision and the ratification ceremonies of ancient Near Eastern treaties, and subsequently a persuasion that here, too, was the cultural context in which the New Testament rite of baptism must be reinterpreted, let to the preparation of an article on this theme several years ago. It soon became evident, however, that such a study would better follow upon a broader, introductory analysis of the nature of the divine covenants of Scripture. The result was two articles published in The Westminster Theological Journal, the first called “Law and Covenant” (XXVII, 1 [ Nov., 1964], 1–20) and the second “Oath and Ordeal Signs” (XXVII, 2 [ May, 1965], 115–139 and XXVIII, 1 [ Nov., 1965], 1–37). The present publication is a revised version of those articles, and for the privilege of the use here made of them I would express my appreciation to the editors of that journal. – Meredith Kline, from the Preface.