Tag Archives: Scripture

“This pattern is a primal one” by Jeremy M. Kimble and Ched Spellman

“With the explicit reference to the promise to Abraham, Moses indicates that this hope for the future worship and obedience of the people is not a generic hope.

Rather, it is tied to specific promises that we find at strategic places in the story of the Pentateuch. In other words, we can ask:

Where does this hope originate? Where can we find out more information about the content of this hope?

As we see from the story of the Pentateuch, the ability of the people to follow the law and maintain obedience from a willing heart is an insufficient place to put our hope.

In fact, this is the theme explicitly articulated by a pessimistic Moses at the climax of the Pentateuch. In his book-length closing speech, Moses argues that the Mosaic covenant has failed to bring about the obedience that the Lord requires in the hearts of the people.

What hope is there for the second generation? For the reader of the Pentateuch?

Reading and rereading the story of the Pentateuch as a whole highlights that the pattern that Moses identifies on the plains of Moab began in Eden.

This pattern is a primal one. So too, the hope that Moses anticipates has its roots in that same garden.

The forward momentum of this narrative progression is a primary way that the Pentateuch functions. Throughout this sweeping narrative storyline, though, there are strategically placed poetic sections that provide reflective commentary on the story.

These carefully arranged and strategically composed poems function like windows into the meaning of the Pentateuch’s purpose and also offer a glimpse into the author’s meaning.

Within these poems, we find a cluster of images that profile the promises that bind the major themes of the Pentateuch together.

Within these poetic compositions, an individual is described who will one day defeat God’s enemies and bring about blessing for the people rather than despair.

A future hope is promised, and the proof is in the poetry. A brief survey of these textual locations can orient us to this aspect of the story and the message of the Pentateuch.”

–Jeremy M. Kimble and Ched Spellman, Invitation to Biblical Theology: Exploring the Shape, Storyline, and Themes of Scripture, Invitation to Theological Studies Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2020), 133-134.

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“Taking a canonical line to the cross” by Jeremy M. Kimble and Ched Spellman

“For the biblical theologian, the role of the reader is never to make a path to Christ, but always to follow the path to Christ that the biblical authors have laid down. This route requires patience, but only the patience necessary to get you to the text.

Once you are there, your journey awaits. There you will find the biblical author waiting, by the Spirit revealing God in Christ to you. The grand storyline of the Bible and its network of covenant promises and expectations find their end in Christ.

This path is long and winding, but will lead you to your destination. This line is not as the crow flies, but is the one where the cross lies. Taking a canonical line to the cross may not be straight or fast, but it’s true.

The discipline of biblical theology aims to navigate this balance of unity and diversity. The gospel of Jesus Christ is to be proclaimed from all of the Scriptures.

The gospel according to Genesis will have a different shape, tone, and feel than the gospel according to Galatians.

This sensitivity to the details of the biblical texts, the theological developments of the biblical storyline, and the unity of God’s work in the divine plan of redemption will ably equip us to reckon with the gospel wherever we might find ourselves in our travels to and fro across the literary landscape of the biblical canon.”

–Jeremy M. Kimble and Ched Spellman, Invitation to Biblical Theology: Exploring the Shape, Storyline, and Themes of Scripture, Invitation to Theological Studies Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2020), 101–102.

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“An infallible interpretation” by Richard Barcellos

“Let us consider Genesis 1:2 once again.

While Genesis 1:2 says, ‘And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters,’ Psalm 104:24 says, ‘O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions–‘ and in Ps. 104:30 we read, ‘You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth.’

In Job 26:13 we read, ‘By His Spirit He adorned the heavens.’

These texts (and there are others) outside of Genesis echo it and further explain it to and for us. These are instances of inner-biblical exegesis within the Old Testament.

When the Bible exegetes the Bible, therefore, we have an infallible interpretation because of the divine author of Scripture.

Scripture not only records the acts of God, it also interprets them. If we are going to explain the acts of God in creation, God’s initial economy, with any hope of accurately accounting for those acts, we must first know something of the triune God who acts.

And the only written source of infallible knowledge of the triune God who acts is the Bible and the Bible alone.”

–Richard C. Barcellos, Trinity and Creation: A Scriptural and Confessional Account (Eugene, OR: Resource Publications, 2020), 23.

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“The Lord desires us to know Him” by Nate Pickowicz

“When speaking to the Pharisees, Jesus rebuked them for their hard-heartedness, saying, ‘You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me’ (John 5:39).

It is not the Scriptures themselves that have the power of life, but rather the Person whose Word is recorded. In other words, it is the incarnate Word who gives life (John 1:1-14).

Yet wrapped up in His comments about the purpose of the Scriptures is the truth that they are ultimately about Jesus Himself. Elsewhere, in Luke 24:27, Jesus encounters two disciples on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection and instructs them ‘beginning with Moses and with all the prophets’ (the Old Testament), explaining to them ‘the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.’

In short, the Bible is all about Jesus.

It is in the Scriptures that we are taught about Jesus Christ’s eternality (Heb. 13:8), deity (Titus 2:13), transcendence (Col. 1:15-18), incarnation (John 1:14), virgin birth (Matt. 1:23), humanity (Heb. 2:14-18), sinlessness (Heb. 4:15), righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30-31), obedience (Rom. 5:19), humility (Phil. 2:5-8), sacrificial death (John 3:16), vicarious atonement (1 John 2:2), death (John 19:30), burial (John 19:38-42), resurrection (Luke 24:6-7), ascension (Acts 1:9), intercession (1 Tim. 2:5), and glorious future return (Rev. 19:11-16).

All that we come to know and love about our Savior is taught to us in the Word of God. And the Lord desires us to know Him (John 17:3) so we might be saved by Him and conformed to His image (1 Tim. 2:4; Rom. 8:29).”

–Nate Pickowicz, How to Eat Your Bible: A Simple Approach to Learning and Loving the Word of God (Chicago: Moody, 2021), 105.

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“The whole Bible comes to us in red letters” by Joel Beeke

“The Bible has many human authors, but one divine Author speaks through them all: the triune God who draws near to us in the Mediator. Though Paul wrote his letters, he insists, ‘Christ is speaking in me’ (2 Cor. 13:3), and, ‘The things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord’ (1 Cor. 14:37).

Therefore, in the Bible, we continue to hear the voice of Christ today. In a manner of speaking, the whole Bible comes to us in red letters.

This makes reading the Bible and hearing it preached a wonderfully personal encounter with Christ. Christ said that the Good Shepherd calls His sheep, and ‘the sheep hear his voice… and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice’ (John 10:3-4).

Christ did not refer here merely to His earthly ministry to Israel, when people literally did hear His human voice. He included the calling of Gentiles: ‘Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd’ (John 10:16).

This is the assurance of Christ’s people: ‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand (John 10:27-28).

Whenever we prepare to read or hear God’s Word, we should say to ourselves, ‘I am about to hear the voice of Jesus.’ Calvin said, ‘When the pure doctrine of the gospel is preached, it is just as if He Himself spoke to us and were living among us.'”

–Joel R. Beeke and Paul M. Smalley, Reformed Systematic Theology, Volume 2: Man and Christ (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2020), 2: 963-964.

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“An endless well” by L. Michael Morales

“Every biblical theology is incomplete, a drawn-up bucket out of an endless well.”

–L. Michael Morales, Exodus Old and New: A Biblical Theology of Redemption (Essential Studies in Biblical Theology; Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2020), xii.

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“Jesus Christ is both the content of Scripture and the interpreter of Scripture” by Craig Carter

“Only the slain Lamb who is now alive is able to open the scroll.

Jesus Christ is both the content of Scripture and the interpreter of Scripture.”

–Craig A. Carter, Interpreting Scripture with the Great Tradition: Recovering the Genius of Premodern Exegesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2018), 215.

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