Oceans of ink have been spilled in man’s effort to understand and explain an ancient collection of writings that largely shaped the development of Western civilization. We are, of course, speaking of the Bible, comprised of Old and New Testaments. However, we are not really dealing with ‘a book’ when we consider the Bible. . .
We are dealing with ancient Near Eastern library of polemic, law, genealogy, epics, poetry, prophecy, historiography, narrative, wisdom literature, letters, hymns, songs, gospels, homilies, apocalyptic works, and more. Further, the Bible speaks in the voice, vernacular, experience, and context of ancient peoples separated from most of Christendom by two to three thousand years, thousands of miles, and at least three Near Eastern languages that think, experience, and communicate in perspectives utterly different than almost everyone in Modern Christendom, particularly in the Western Hemisphere.
Because of these facts, we have been compelled for generations to try and make sense of this collection of ancient Jewish writings, and both Jews and Christians have developed numerous ways of doing so. With hundreds of years and millions of words spoken and written in the effort to rightly explain the most minute details of Scripture, why after all this time would anyone suggest that we just telling the ‘Bible Story’ would accomplish something, or anything that the great theological thinkers of millennia have not?
There is a rising tide in biblical scholarship to recognize that the biblical text is not a mash-up of a couple thousand years worth of history, poetry, morals, theological maxims, laws and commands; rather, within the composite of all of these exists a complete and coherent narrative – a story. Every event, book, character, command, law, prophecy, poem, and proverb contributes to the highest story humanity has ever known – that of its own fall and redemption.