Storied Salvation - Part IV

The Solution

Old Testament Context – how was salvation used and defined.
The Story – the biggest telling of the salvation of God’s people was through story.

In the telling of Story, the result of hearing and responding with action resulted in a natural theology.
This was done extensively in latter rabbinic tradition (including Jesus) through parable.

A reformation in our thinking regarding this crucial subject is needed. This can only happen when:

·         God is placed at the center of the salvation message which is where Jesus always placed him.

·         It is defined in the proper biblical context which places it at the center and the goal of God’s soteriological project for humanity, culminating in the restoration of sound government on earth under the leadership of the God appointed Davidic King along with the saints.

“When God is the source of ‘salvation’ in the Hebrew Bible the meaning is overwhelmingly physical rather than spiritual, and in this life rather than in some afterlife (Exod. 14. go; 2 Sam. 8.6; Ps 44.8; 144.10; Isa. 59.16; Zeph. 8.17). It is difficult to stress this too much, since Christian readers of the Bible especially have understandably read back into the Hebrew Bible the spiritual and eschatological nuances of the concept of salvation found in the New Testament. Despite the fact that in a great majority of the occurrences of the root yš in the Hebrew Bible God is the agent of ‘salvation,’ it rarely if ever has an unambiguously spiritual nuance. An eschatological sense is of course present in such passages as Ezekiel 84.22 and throughout Second Isaiah, but the ‘salvation’ prophesied is the restoration of Israel in its land, not some other-worldly bliss. Even in the New Testament salvation can be physical and this-worldly.”[1]

A message that is confined only to Jesus’ death for sins has replaced his comprehensive message of the Gospel of the Kingdom.


[1] Samuel A. Meier and Bruce M. Metzger, “Salvation,” The Oxford Companion to the Bible (Oxford University Press, 1993), 669-70.

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