Overview of the Big Story of the Bible

The following was created for use at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission as a resource for the men in the New Journey recovery program. Download a PDF version here.

Creation (Genesis 1-2) – God creates the world. In this we see what God intended for his creation: God’s people (Adam and Eve), in God’s place (the Garden of Eden), under his loving rule, experiencing his presence.

The fall (Genesis 3-6:8) – Adam and Eve sin, and humanity enters into a state of rebellion. They experience God’s curse of judgment and death. God’s original intent for creation is lost.

The flood | Noahic Covenant (Genesis 6:9-11:26) – God judges the world with a flood, but saves Noah and his family. God makes a covenant[1] with Noah and creation that, despite humanity’s rebellion, he will not ultimately destroy his creation. This anticipates that God must have a rescue mission planned for his creation.

The patriarchs | Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 11:27-50:26) – Here we start to see the details of God’s rescue mission.

God chooses Abraham and makes a covenant with him. In this covenant, God promises to remake his creation: a new people (Abraham’s offspring, a new humanity), in a new place (the Promised Land, a new “Garden of Eden”), under his loving rule, experiencing his presence.

These promises are passed down to Abraham’s son, Isaac, and then Isaac’s son, Jacob (or Israel).

The Exodus (Exodus 1-18) – Abraham’s descendants find themselves in Egypt after God uses Jacob’s son, Joseph, to save the world from a famine.However, after some time, a new Pharaoh takes the throne and starts oppressing and enslaving Abraham’s people. God’s promises to Abraham feel far from true. But God acts on his promises to Abraham by raising up Moses, delivering his people from Egypt, and judging their enemies.

However, after some time, a new Pharaoh takes the throne and starts oppressing and enslaving Abraham’s people. God’s promises to Abraham feel far from true. But God acts on his promises to Abraham by raising up Moses, delivering his people from Egypt, and judging their enemies.

Here we see that God’s rescue mission to remake his creation involves deliverance from things that oppose it.

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Abstract: In the Exodus, God delivered his people from slavery in order that they might rest securely with him in his special Promised Land. In order to preserve and reinforce this work of redemption (liberation), God instituted the year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:8-55), also known as the “year of liberation.” Every fifty years, this Jubilee was proclaimed throughout the land. Those who had been forced to sell themselves into slavery due to economic hardship were freed; and, likewise, land that was sold was returned to its family. The year of Jubilee both reveals God’s immense compassion for the downtrodden and points us forward in anticipation to the ultimate Jubilee that is achieved for us by Jesus (Isaiah 61:1-4; Luke 4:16-21).

The Jubilee (Lev 25:8-55; cf. 27:16-24; Num 36:4; Jer 34:8-22), also known as a “year of liberty” (Ezek 46:17), was a special institution given by God to preserve and reinforce his work of redemption on behalf of his people.

In the Exodus, God had liberated his people from the bondage of slavery under the Egyptians. He did so in order that he might claim them as his special people and cause them to dwell securely (rest) in his special place (the Promised Land) (e.g., Ex 3:8; Lev 25:38). In so doing, God was recovering his purpose for creation — God’s people dwelling securely with him (resting) in God’s special place.

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Redemptive-Historical Survey: 12 | Return from Exile (LDBC Recap 4/17/16 Pt. 2)


logo-lake-drive-baptist-churchOn Sunday, January 24th, 2016, I began a Core Seminar on Redemptive History & Biblical Theology at my church, Lake Drive Baptist Church. During the course of this series I’ll be sending out emails recapping lessons and directing recipients to resources for further study.

Rather than just share these recaps with my church family, I’ve decided to share them here on the blog for anyone else who might be interested. I will be posting them occasionally over the next couple of months on a weekly basis or so.

See previous posts:


We complete this week’s recap by surveying the role of the return from exile in redemptive history.

Overview of Biblical material

Ezra, Nehemiah

  • Judah returns from exile in three waves:
    • 70 years after Judah’s exile, the Persian (recall that Persia overtook Babylon) King Cyrus sent some exiles, led by Zerubbabel, back to Jerusalem. (538 BC)
    • With Ezra in 458 BC.
    • With Nehemiah in 445 BC.

See Isa 44:28 and Jer 29:10-14.

  • Despite opposition from the non-Jewish inhabitants of Judea, the wall and temple were rebuilt under Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah.

Cf. Esther (the events in Esther occur during this time, but relate to life in exile) as well as the post-exilic prophets—Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

Role within redemptive history

We summarized the role of the return from exile in redemptive history as follows: God brings many of his people back from exile. However, this is clearly not the ultimate realization of the new-creational kingdom of which the New Covenant spoke.

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In Pursuit of Something More than an Analogical Interpretation

There has been some talk within dispensational circles lately about “Biblical theology[1] without typology” (see “Warrant for the Analogical Interpretation of Select Scriptures, Part I” and “Part II” by Mark Snoeberger). The following is a response to Snoeberger’s position.

For those unfamiliar to these issues, we might provide the follow basic definitions of analogical and typological interpretation. Analogical interpretation occurs when a biblical writer draws an analogy between and compares (or maybe contrasts?) a reality from previous revelation to a current reality. Typological interpretation is the interpretation of historical events, institutions, persons, things (type) recorded in previous revelation in terms of their prophetic correspodence to later realites (antitype). So for example, the Old Testament sacrifices anticipated and served as a type which was ultimately fulfilled in Christ, the ultimate sacrifice, the antitype.

Attempting to pinpoint the issue of debate

In fairness to Snoeberger, I want to represent his articles’ purpose accurately. It would seem that Snoeberger’s goal in these articles is to demonstrate that typology is not the only viable basis for valid biblical theology.[2] And he attempts to do so by demonstrating the warrant for an analogical New Testament (NT) use of the Old Testament (OT).[3]

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