The End of the Royal Arc

Pilgrim’s Pensieve #32

My recent realisation of an underlying royal narrative is an important milestone in my journey exploring Scripture. The name of this blog is a reference to John Bunyan’s story because Christianity for me has been an exciting journey of a pilgrim seeking understanding. So this blog has been somewhat of a travelogue in my expeditions into understanding Scripture.

It was only about five or six years ago when the Bible started to really make sense to me even though I had been reading it all my life. It started with pondering what the gospel actually meant since it was presented differently in the gospels from the epistles. To answer this question I read Mark, which said the gospel was about the “kingdom of God.” I soon realised that this was also another thing I thought I knew but I really didn’t. So I thought long and hard about the kingdom of God, studying how the phrase was used in the synoptic gospels, then I had an epiphany: “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.” The kingdom of God is God’s rule over everything.

Another light bulb went off in my head as I realised the theme of kingdom was present in Genesis 1 since God rules over his creation. From there I began to see how the theme of God’s rule ran through all of scripture giving it a sense of unity. From there I slowly learnt much more about biblical theology.

It was about a year after that initial revelation, that I first heard someone give what I now recognise as a biblical theology of the kingdom. That person was NT Wright so it is quite fitting that his PhD student Haley Goranson Jacob, should bring the royal arc to a close through her book adapted from her PhD thesis. It is her exposition of the narrative of glory in Romans which I expanded and developed as the royal narrative. So I have returned to the concept that kicked it all off with greater clarity and new possibilities for better understanding the Bible.


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