Understanding the Bible in its various chapters and verses requires that we first understand the story as a whole. (Hard to make sense of the details when you don’t know much about the big picture.)
So for the next 40 weeks or so, I will do my best to trace the outline of the biblical story, the narrative arc that stretches from Genesis to Revelation. It is a story with many complexities and comprising a wide variety of literary genres (historial narrative, poetry, letters, aphorisms…); but all are tied to a fundamental story of God’s project of setting creation whole.
In this first installment, we set the stage. First and foremost we see that this drama is set in our world (not some mythic alternative reality); the Bible is a story about here and now. Likewise meet the central characters: God and humanity; and we get a first look at the relationship between them (love!). The tone of the story both joyful and peaceful. And we have good reason to believe that while there may (and will!) be many hardships as the narrative unfolds, this is a story that ends with a “…happily ever after.”