This post is a re-blog of my post at Rolfing Unshelved.
This post is part of a series entitled Key Bible and Theological Reference Tools. This series seeks to provide one with an introduction to some key Biblical and theological reference tools. In this series one will find basic explanations, significant examples, and other information about these reference tools.
Basic Description of Greek NT Eclectic Texts
The main Greek New Testament texts used in New Testament studies are eclectic. That is, their ‘finalized’ forms are compositions of various readings from a variety of manuscripts as opposed to being equivalent to one complete New Testament manuscript. Because the texts of various manuscripts differ at points (these differences are known as ‘varients’), methods are used to conclude which reading is most likely the original one. (This process of determining the most likely reading is known as ‘text criticism’).
The Old Testament (OT) anticipates Christ and is an unfinished story without Him. Christ fulfills the hopes of the OT, which is another way of saying that the OT is about Christ (Lk 24:25-27, 44-45; Jn 5:39-40). Therefore, when the realization (i.e., Christ) of what was anticipated in the OT arrives, it actually illuminates and clarifies the expectation. In other words, Christ’s person and work specify what was anticipated in previous revelation. As such, the revelation of Jesus is a revelation on previous revelation (cf. Heb 1:1-2). Only in this sense is all previous revelation understood with all its implications, in its fullest meaning. In light of progressive revelation culminating in Christ, the significance of OT passages develop, they undergo an organic expansion, and they receive a fuller, but not contradictory, meaning. And as Christians who affirm the centrality of Christ in scripture and desire to read scripture in context, including its ultimate canonical context, we must read the OT in light of its consummation in Christ.
Understanding the Big Picture of the Bible: A Guide to Reading the Bible Well
See a list of and information about the editors and contributors here.
I’ll have to be honest. As I began to read this book, I was initially disappointed. The title of the book, especially the “Big Picture” part, gave me the impression that this book was a introductory Biblical theology of sorts. I was expecting this book to help its readers see how the various parts of scripture (e.g., the Pentateuch, historical books, wisdom literature, etc.) all fit together in the overarching “storyline” of scripture.