Monday, February 20, 2012

The Word of God as the Conceptual and Historical Pivot of the Bible

If the major theme of Gen 1 is the enlightening, ordering, and life-giving power of the word of God (see my post “The Generation of Light, Order, and the Fullness of Life through God’s Word”), then this suggests that the Bible is concerned in large part with the word of God. The Bible, which is the word of God, is concerned to testify about the word of God as revealed to Adam, the patriarchs, Israel, and ultimately the word of God as it was and is being revealed to all the nations of the world through Jesus, who is in himself the ultimate expression of the word of God.

This concern with the word of God in Gen 1 suggests that the concept of the word of God can be thought of as being the fulcrum around which the storyline of the Bible pivots. The Old Testament is concerned to record the predominantly negative response of Adam and the people of Israel to the word of God that was revealed to them, whereas the New Testament is concerned to record the beginnings of the predominantly positive response of all of the nations of the world to the supreme expression of the word of God as revealed through Jesus.

The fact that the word of God is the conceptual pivot of the Bible also helps us to see how Jesus is the historical pivot of the Bible. Jesus’ ministry on earth marked the point of transition in human history from the primarily negative human response of disobedience to the word of God recorded in the Old Testament, to the primarily positive human response of faith in the supreme expression of the word of God as revealed in Jesus, which the New Testament is concerned to proclaim.

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