The Bible’s Sum and Substance

The sum and substance of the message of the Bible can be summarised in an argument (or syllogism) such as this:

Major Premise: The true Messiah shall be both God and man, from the seed of David.  He shall be born of his heavenly Father’s bosom.  He shall satisfy the law.  He shall offer himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the faithful.  He shall conquer death by dying and rising again.  He shall ascend into heaven.  In due time he shall return for judgment.

Minor Premise: Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Mary, meets all of these requirements.

Conclusion: Therefore Jesus is the true Messiah.

In this syllogism the major premise is the scope or principal burden of the writings of all the prophets.  The minor premise is contained in the writings of the evangelists and apostles.

William Perkins, The Art of Prophesying (originally, 1592), 11.

I love Perkins’ messianic reading of the Bible, understanding the books of the Bible to be strictly and ultimately messianic documents.  I would only add to Perkins’ conclusion that Jesus must, therefore, be wholly believed upon or, as Paul puts it, “(God) commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17.30), on the basis of Christ’s person and work.


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