The Christian historical metanarrative is the consistent and broad story across the many books of the Bible:
from Genesis, the fall, the call of Abraham, the kingdom of David and through to the prophets…

Understanding the key moments and themes of the story of Israel BC,
leads to the historical tension of God’s covenant faithfulness in the 1st century.

The tension of God’s covenant faithfulness

God called Abraham to undo the sin of Adam, and had made substantial promises of inheritance and blessing to him.  Yet in the 1st century, God’s people were oppressed and subject to the nations.

The Jewish people wanted God to act.
But the Jewish people had been part of the problem.
What was God up to?

The book of Habakkuk was set amid this tension.

   “Look at the nations, and see!
      Be astonished! Be astounded!
   For a work is being done in your days
      that you would not believe if you were told…”
(Habakkuk 1:5 NRSV)

Jesus’ ministry took place centuries after Habakkuk,
in a period of great historical tension.

Jesus Christ

In Jesus ministry, and in his death, burial and bodily resurrection, we can see God’s answer.

The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are set in this time.

The book, The New Testament in Its World (2019)
by N.T. Wright and Michael F. Bird
has a general introduction to some of these themes above.

See also, Resources.

Yesterday, and today

As we better understand Jesus and the first century, we can better understand today.

See also, David’s Research.

The long history of the church, animated by Holy Spirit over hundreds and hundreds of years, matters.

Properly understood, we can better perceive God’s long-term plan, well-underway…


Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash