One of my great interests is the biblical metanarrative, that is how the biblical canon tells one overarching story. The reason I am so interested in it is because it is what unites and explains the biblical texts. Ever since I learnt about it a couple of years ago it has absolutely revolutionised the way I read the Bible and understand Christianity. One of the challenges of the metanarrative is determining what stories fundamentally constitute it. In the article Relating all the Stories within the Grand Biblical Story, Jackson Wu does a wonderful job at doing this at the right resolution. His schema is not overly detailed yet it is not overly broad such that we miss significant details. He writes that in summary he is showing “how to present the entire biblical narrative in a way that reflects its inherent structure or plot, which enables us to discern how the Bible prioritizes its various sub-stories.”
Wu suggests that: by identifying “the basic literary contours of the grand biblical narrative” we can then “set aside the desire to stress certain theological doctrines” and rather focus on “those fundamental movements in the Story.” Wu hits right at the heart of what I think biblical theology means. The term “biblical theology” often has different meanings but it must mean in some way the theology of the Bible. However, this means more than the Bible’s own theology. While not ignoring the nuances of systematic theology, biblical theology should mean the Bible itself setting the overarching theological agenda and discussion. Christian theology is fundamentally biblical theology therefore I think the Bible itself should primarily determine the topics of theological discourse.