Monday, August 30, 2010

The Bible is not about us, it's about Jesus

Good, pithy job.

HT: Reepicheep

The only thing that I'd want to beef up is that Jesus is not merely revealed in the people in the Bible, he's also revealed in the law. We often miss that.

For example, we read Gn 2.24 as pertaining primarily to human marriage rather than to Christ. I.e., we read it as applying first to the type rather than to the antitype. But Paul doesn't read it this way:

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall be come one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”

The first application is to the antitype – Christ and the church. The second application is the type, i.e., human marriage. (So, too, cf., 1 Co 6.15-20, although it’s a bit more blended there. Still, the focus is on the implication for our union with Christ.)

I'd suggest that the first application of the adultery laws in the OT is to Christ's relationship with the church.

After all, in the OT, there is far more extended discussion of idolatry as spiritual adultery than there is discussion of human adultery. But, still, we read the sex laws in the Law of Moses almost exclusively anthrocentrically rather than Christocentrically (or Yahwehcentrically, as the case may be).

This despite the fact that Christians know that the law reveals Christ first, as the speaker points out (Lk 24.27, 44). This means that the law on polygamy, the law on taking interest, the laws and theft and murder and etc., first reveal Christ – and I mean that it reveals to us the person of Christ directly (and his relationship with his people), not just stuff about the ethics for his people.

And don’t we see this explicitly in Moses as well? E.g., Exodus turns at the Golden Calf incident. But isn’t the bitter waters test in Nm 5 a development of the rite that Moses implemented in Ex 32.20-21ff?

To be sure, this doesn't at all mean that the Bible doesn't apply to us. It certainly does. But the Bible is radically Christocentric, and we miss a lot of that by the way we read the Bible looking for "life lessons" for us.

We also miss the way that, e.g., the parables reveal Christ to us. We read them anthrocentrically rather than Christocentrically. I dicuss the parables here.


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