Jesus’ seven last “words” from the cross follow the pattern of Creation. Why? Because He was making all things new.
While we must avoid extracting verses from Paul’s epistles as if they were theological fortune cookies, an analysis of his systematic reasoning without reference to Covenant-literary structure is still prone to missing much of the meaning, beauty and wit.
Jacob’s sons would contemptuously combine two acts of bloodshed – a mercy commanded by God and a vengeance abhorred by God – for the sake of their own honor. There would be no animal substitute for the firstborn of believing Hamor.
To avoid another global judgment, the Lord established a substitutionary, sacrificial “creation” in Abram, a man who bore the Edenic curses upon land and womb and overcame them by faith.
The seduction of Dinah and the retaliation by her brothers is given to us as a five act play. Through this structure, the author cleverly links these tragic events to their greater significance within the “fivefold” Abrahamic Covenant.
The Covenant-literary shape of Psalm 8 allows David to make allusions to some surprising parts of the Torah as well as predicting the Temple of Solomon and even a crucial event in the ministry of Jesus.
There are no redundant details in the Bible. Every word is there for a reason. So what is the significance of the fact that the great red dragon in Revelation 12 “stands” rather than “stood”?
The twelfth and final cycle of 1 John brings us to Succession, where the overall theme is the inheritance of the faithful – eternal life. But union with Christ also entails the responsibilities of the saints as New Covenant elohim.
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Taken at face value, the New Testament appears to warn its first readers about coming events which were not only momentous but also imminent. This means that there is a great discrepancy between the sacred texts and the things which modern Christians are actually taught.
The eleventh cycle brings us to Atonement, where the theme is the “Covenant Oath” of Israel. However, since Jesus was entirely faithful to the Mosaic Oath as our High Priest, John turns this theme inside-out and calls upon other witnesses to testify to that faithfulness.