As we learn the Bible, we learn it’s progression as the unfolding story of redemption. Consider the puzzle as it is comprised of many pieces. Each piece is different, not displaying the full puzzle on it’s own. It may give an idea, but a relatively small one at that. It is vague at best. However, it gradually makes sense when the pieces come together. Upon completion, it is a beautiful masterpiece!
How much more do we see that when Scripture is seen in its fullest ? Every story and every book in the Bible shows continuity and progression. Covenants are unfolded, laws are given, promises are offered, and each points to something greater. Or better yet, Someone Greater. In today’s post, I want to discuss biblical theology and what it entails.
In consideration of biblical of theology, it is imperative to see that Christ is the full picture of Scripture. Christ is the tapestry in which all the puzzle pieces come together. Consider His Words to the Pharisees, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me” (John 5:39). You can read Scripture all you want, but without Christ as the goal , then you’ve missed the point. You can’t read Scripture without Christ, you can’t know Christ apart from Scripture, lest you make misconceptions.
Christ is the focal point binds Old and New Testament together. Although there is a 400 year gap between both Testaments, The Bible maintains the continuity of God’s redemptive work. For instance, there are foreshadows and typologies that point to Christ before His primary advent. Even in the fall’s aftermath, God promised a “seed” that will crush the Serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15). Or how Christ would be the suffering servant in Isaiah 53? Or how post-Resurrection we see what Jesus does to verify Himself, “and beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was written in all the Scriptures about Himself “(Luke 24:27) .Although there are concepts and precepts, one must always ask- “how does it point to Christ?” He is ultimate hermeneutic.
In understanding biblical theology, one can see that Scripture interprets Scripture. Why do you think we have concordances and cross-references? Scripture is a vast treasure through and through, from Genesis to Revelation and biblical theology is Scripture’s snapshot. It works hand in hand with systematic theology despite their distinct roles. Systematic looks at doctrinal matters, while biblical theology looks at progressive revelation in the Bible. One looks at the progression (Biblical theology), while the other looks at the finished work (systematic theology). Therefore, both are necessary to know and grow in our theological pursuit.
Next time, the importance of Christian history will be discussion in continuation of the theology matters series. You can read all my posts in the series here.