My academic writing project on “The Knowledge of God” made me realize both what a HUGE topic this was and why, as a Christian I needed to dive deeply into the Scriptures for grounding and meaning of a truly biblical perspective. After months of research (and 85 written pages later!), I set out to summary the findings, which are presented here for your consideration—and in hopes of encouraging you to “know God”—in the ways the Bible itself describes.
Knowledge of God as understood in the New Testament is highly reflective of Old Testament conceptions yet also expansive with reference to the centrality of Jesus. Both Testaments represent theological knowledge as based on divine self-revelation—a gift of the Spirit. This divine disclosing is seen in a myriad of ways and is intended to lead human beings to an acknowledgement of the sovereignty and power of God.
As a whole, Scripture affirms the primacy of relationship-fellowship with the true and living God. Whether in the Old Testament or New Testament, whether in the Name of Yahweh or the Name of Jesus, the personal and communal nature of human relations with God is a major biblical theme. In addition, both Testaments anticipate proper wisdom and obedience from recipients of this privileged theological knowledge. Even equating such right behavior as an aspect of knowing God.
Tradition, in both the history of Israel and in the ancient Church context, is viewed by Scripture as integral to knowledge of God. These traditions demonstrate divine speaking and acting among the people of God, resulting not only in various expressions within the oral tradition, but even more concretely in the Holy Spirit inspired written form of God’s Word among these particular faith communities.
The more complete revelation of the New Testament places greater emphasis on the salvific (saving) aspect of theological knowledge, and makes clear that a Person is the centerpiece of the knowledge of God—Jesus the Christ, the divine Logos and Wisdom made flesh and the image of the invisible God. To know Jesus is to know God, for Jesus is the One who knows God the Father in a matchless way, and makes the knowledge of God particularly accessible through him.
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