I must momentarily pause and allow the person in the back over there to ask their question. I see that they are a Christian, just like me (the WWJD bracelet is obvious), and I must momentarily allow it. Throughout this series I’ve been treating the Bible as any other book, maybe a great book, but just a book nevertheless. The rest of the readers likely haven’t seen the Christians shifting uncomfortably at their seat the whole time:
“Rey you speak so candidly about the writers of books and so forth, but have you forgotten the ultimate Author of the Good Book? What about God’s designs in His Bible? Isn’t the point of God’s Message Christ?”
The Christian is making an excellent point that we believe that all Scripture finds its ultimate authorship behind the authors. The author of Hebrews (Heb 1:1) put’s it this way: “God who in different forms and different ways spoke through the prophets has in these recent days spoken through His Son whom He’s appointed heir of all things.” In other words, the writer is saying that all that stuff that was spoken and written down before (the Old Testament) was God speaking in those formats and then in these recent days (around the days of the writer of the Hebrews) spoke through His Son (who is Jesus).
The Old Testament set the precedence. Ex 19:6 and Deut 5:31 has God telling Moses the words he is to tell the people; Exodus 25:1 speaks about God’s written testimony being placed in the Ark of the Covenant; Jer 1:9 has Jeremiah receiving the words of God directly in his mouth.
The New Testament notices that and would say in 2 Timothy 3:16 that all of Scripture is God breathed—that is inspired by God—and is profitable for various things that edify people ultimately in righteousness. Christ Himself says that the message of God are the Scriptures (John 10:35) but in all of these cases they spoke about the writings of the Old Testament. Paul though, taking the precedence that the message of the Lord is in fact the Gospel (1 Cor 14) elevates that speaking-forth from God as the most necessary gifting in the Church. So much so that these gifted can only be evaluated by a group of the Prophet-Class (which is the same group that is to examine Paul’s letter to the church, acknowledge it as correct lest they deny it and prove that they are in fact not approved). Paul states that the things he wrote in that letter were in fact the message of the Lord.
St. Peter first says that all the scriptures came from a divine source (2 Pet. 1:21 ) is incredibly bold when he describes all the Old Testament as spoken by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord via the apostles and then decides to include Paul’s writings in all of this (2 Pet. 3:2 – 15).
All the writers and speakers are saying (back to our Hebrews 1:1 passage) that God’s message came, was heard and written and finally revealed in God’s Son . The writers of the New Testament, thinking about these things and not technically expecting that they were to write Scripture wind up explaining what happened by looking back at the Old Testament and seeing how things connect with Christ’s self-revelation. If anything the writers of the New Testament saw their letters as commentary on What Happened (though authoritative commentary as the verses I cited above dictate).
But the point of all this is to say that yes, there is an Author behind the authors and His designs were all tied to Christ. But the way is tied to Christ is not in a fashion that blurs out the details of what he originally said through the first author.
So this is equally important: God’s message in history was meant to be understood in history—no matter what occurs later. He wouldn’t have a prophet recording that a young lady would conceive if He didn’t mean that a young lady was to conceive (Is 7:14)…even if ultimately he wanted folk to understand not merely a young lady, but a young virgin. He wouldn’t give a prophetic word through his people to be recorded in Scripture regarding the scepter not departing from Judah (Gen 49:10) if He wasn’t planning to ensure that the scepter passed to Judah (2 Samuel 2) and eventually remained there forever (Rev 5:5).
In other words, the original meaning for the original intended audience winds up applying across all time finding its ultimate fulfillment through Christ—even if that fulfillment is in tighter detail. The Scepter wasn’t removed from Judah and given to Israel or to the Gentiles—it remained with the tribe of Judah and handed (if you will) to Christ who is eternal, forever and ever the only wise God. The young lady did conceive but she had never had sex with a man so the conception was even more dramatic a sign than anything Ahaz could have asked for.
So in the end, I have not forgotten the message of the Big Author (who is God). His signature is what results in all of it making sense. He spoke and the message was recorded and meant to be understood by the original audience in a direct and specific way which will resonate tightly with any later fulfillment.
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