The Biblical story

God has a long-term plan, well underway

To better understand today we need to better understand yesterday.

Late 20th century developments in archaeology and Biblical research have improved our understanding of the 1st century.  With these developments we can better understand the Biblical story and the tension of God’s covenant faithfulness in the 1st century.

What is the Biblical story?

The Biblical story is broad and multifaceted.  Yet there are some key moments we can focus on to better understand the tension of God’s covenant faithfulness in the 1st century.

For example, why did God call Abraham in Genesis 12?  The answer to this question requires understanding the prior story of Adam and Eve.  In brief, God called Abraham to undo the sin of Adam and Eve.

Some key moments and themes in the Biblical story include:

  • Adam and eve.
  • The call of Abraham.
  • God’s pattern of selectivity.  (For example, Isaac not Ishmael, Jacob not Esau.)
  • Moses and the Torah.
  • Blessings or curses.  (For example, see Deuteronomy 28.)
  • The “golden age” of King David.
  • David’s radical sin.
  • Exile and the murder of the prophets.

Understanding these key moments helps to lead to the tension of God’s covenant faithfulness in the 1st century.

The tension of God’s covenant faithfulness

In summary, the tension was that God had made promises to the Jewish people (including as noted in Genesis 12), yet the Jewish people were now oppressed and subject to the nations.

The Jewish people had wanted God to act to defeat evil.  However, the Jewish people had been part of the problem.

So what was God to do?

Jesus’ ministry took place in this tension.

The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John describe the time of Jesus’ ministry and the time of God’s answer to the tension.

Conversation in theology

The story of Israel prior to Jesus’ ministry helps us to better understand the tension of God’s covenant faithfulness in the 1st century.

Through conversation on the Biblical story of Israel, David helps to build this tension.  This enables us to consider Jesus’ ministry in terms of the tension.  In Jesus ministry and in his death, burial and bodily resurrection, we can see God’s answer.

The book of Acts continues the story, and in Romans St Paul declares that through the gospel, God’s covenant faithfulness is revealed.

 

As we better understand yesterday, we can better understand today:

God has a long-term plan, well underway

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash