The Fascinating Nature of God's Revelation

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The Fascinating Nature of God's Revelation

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Men and women were created "in the image of God" (Genesis 1:27). Within these words is an indication of the astonishing plan, purpose and relationship He desires with all humanity. Imagine all the abilities and potentialities that being created in God's image confers on us—all the duties and responsibilities, all the magnificence and varied gifts to be used in His service.

What we can know is that God has employed "various ways" at "various times" (Hebrews 1:1), not only to preserve His Word but to convey it to mankind. The Bible includes a wealth of literary forms and expressions: law, poetry, proverbs, prophecies, histories, the four Gospels, a history of the Church, personal and general letters, an apocalyptic message and more. We human beings have an appetite for variety, and God has seen to it that the wonders of His Word did not come down to us in the form of a dull outline or a list of dos and don'ts.

The Bible is the story of people and events spanning several thousand years. Jesus and the apostles testified to the accuracy and divine inspiration of the Hebrew Scriptures. They supported its laws and promises and based their teaching on its foundational principles. They continued to uphold its pattern of living.

Did Jesus Christ acknowledge that the message of the Hebrew Bible is conveyed in more than one basic form of general literary expression?

"And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He [Jesus Christ] expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself" (Luke 24:27-44). Jesus recognized a threefold division in the Old Testament: the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. The Psalms constitute the leading book of that section of the Bible called the Writings. The Law constitutes the first five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy—all written by Moses.

Did Christ refer to the time frame of the Hebrew Bible?

". . . From the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah . . ." (Matthew 23:35; compare Luke 11:51).

Time in the Bible is sometimes measured in terms of the lives of its dominant personalities. For instance, the apostle Paul wrote of the period "from Adam to Moses" (Romans 5:14). Abel was the first righteous man to be martyred. Zechariah's murder was the last one mentioned in the historical Jewish arrangement of the books of the Hebrew Bible.

Did Christ believe in and support the Genesis account of the creation of the earth?

"For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be" (Mark 13:19).

Did Christ confirm other historical accounts described in the book of Genesis?

"And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They [lived] ... until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all" (Luke 17:26-27).

Clearly, Christ accepted the creation and flood accounts at face value as historical events. He believed in and publicly confirmed the statements found in the book of Genesis.

What did Christ say about the principal figures in Hebrew history?

"For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" (John 5:46-47).

". . . [You will] see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God . . ." (Luke 13:28).

"But He [Jesus] said to them, 'Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry . . . ?'" (Mark 2:25).

Christ acknowledged and validated the historicity of the leading characters and events of the Old Testament (compare Matthew 11:22-24; Matthew 12:41-42; etc.). He authenticated the Hebrew Bible by accepting biblical history and citing it in His teaching.

The apostles did the same. Read Hebrews 11, which is known as the "faith chapter" of the Bible.

It is a brief compendium of the early Church's belief in the leading people and the main events of the Old Testament.