Redemption History and Hermeneutics

I have come to understand that there is not one passage of Scripture, Old or New Testament, that makes any sense unless it is seen in the light of Jesus Christ. I might be able to unpack and explain a passage in Ruth, but unless I see it’s connection to the gospel I will fail to understand it fully or have the power to live it out in daily life.

With that said, I find myself enjoying the Gospel Transformation Bible. Here is an excerpt from the introduction (viii)…

Gospel Transformation Bible

It is important to remember that the ‘redemption’ component of biblical history begins unfolding long before the crucifixion narrative in the Gospels. The Bible reveals the dawning light of redemption near the very beginning. Immediately after Adam’s and Eve’s sin, God says to the one who tempted them, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen 3:15). Bible scholars refer to this verse as the “first gospel.” It is God’s first promise to redeem his world and people-broken by Adam’s sin-by the divine provision of One who would come through a human source to defeat Satan while also suffering an awful attack from him.

This early verse in Genesis sets the stage for all that follows in the Bible. The rest of human history will be played out on this stage. Thus, every piece of Scripture that follows has a redemptive context. Our goal as Bible readers who are interpreting as God intends is not to try to make Jesus magically appear in every text, but to show where every text properly stands on this redemptive stage. Jesus is the chief and culminating figure on this stage. The stage is set for him; all that transpires on the stage relates to him; and we do not fully understand anything on the stage until we have identified its relation to him.

It should be emphasized that placing every text in the redemptive context does not mean that every text mentions Jesus. Rather, every text relates some apsect of God’s redeeming grace that finds it’s fullest expression in Christ. Ultimately, we understand who he is and what he does by how he “fleshes out” the message of redemption that unfolds throughout the Bible.

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