Tomorrow night, our church, Calvary Baptist in Seymour, Indiana, will begin its Wednesday night journey through the Bible. We will begin by looking at the Bible as a whole. While preparing for our time, I came across this statement about the unity of the Bible from the ESV Study Bible. It is a succinct and compelling word about the wisdom of God in Scripture, telling one harmonious story with a plethora of divergent voices.
Scripture is no ragbag of religious bits and pieces, unrelated to each other; rather, it is a tapestry in which all the complexities of the weave display a single pattern of judgment and mercy, promise and fulfillment. The Bible consists of two separate collections: the OT, written over a period of about 1,000 years, and the NT, written within a generation several centuries after the OT was completed. Within such a composite array one would expect to find some crossed wires or incoherence, but none are found here. While there are parallel narratives, repetitions, and some borrowings from book to book, the Bible as a whole tells a single, straightforward story. God the Creator is at the center throughout; his people, his covenant, his kingdom, and its coming king are the themes unfolded by the historical narratives, while the realities of redemption from sin and of godly living (faith, repentance, obedience, prayer, adoration, hope, joy, and love) become steadily clearer. Jesus Christ, as fulfiller of OT prophecies, hopes, promises, and dreams, links the two Testaments together in an unbreakable bond. Aware that at the deepest level the whole Bible is the product of a single mind, the mind of God, believers reading it theologically always look for the inner links that bind the books together. And they are there to be found.
As you read your Bible, ask God to show you the unity and diversity of this rich tapestry of his redemptive history and revelation.
Soli Deo Gloria, dss