The Bible is composed of disparate pieces, each with their own author, audience, and purpose. It can be hard to come to full understanding of Scripture when we focus on each piece separately. Only when we step back to see the wider context can we begin to understand the mosaic of Scripture.
What happens, though, when we encounter a passage that doesn’t fit into our understanding of the full picture of the Bible? Dr. Michael Heiser helps us understand these difficult or troublesome passages in his new book, The Unseen Realm.
Uncovering our eyes
The usual knee jerk reaction to passages that fall outside of our comfort zone is to pass over them, or worse, try and fit them into our theological systems, ignoring the original context. When we read a passage in the Bible, it gets processed through whatever theological system we might subscribe to. We filter information in this way to ensure it fits into our scheme of thinking.
Modern Bible readers read right past the fascinating ways the supernatural world is present in many of the most familiar events in the Bible. But our modern interpretations of these passages miss the ancient context of the biblical authors and audiences. Without a grasp on how an ancient Hebrew might understand the supernatural realm, we miss key information that they would immediately pick up on. By revealing the supernatural worldview of the ancient readers and authors, we’re able to see how these passages fit into the mosaic of the Bible.
“On earth, as it is in heaven”
We’re all familiar with the saying, “on earth, as it is in heaven”; it’s part of the Lord’s Prayer (Matt 6:9–15). We often focus on how God interacts with the earthly realm but he’s concerned with the supernatural realm as well. He reigns over all of his creation. This forms the backbone of Michael Heiser’s thesis in The Unseen Realm.
Here’s how Dr. Heiser puts it: “The story of the Bible is about God’s will for, and rule of, the realms he has created, visible and invisible, through the imagers he has created, human and nonhuman. This divine agenda is played out in both realms, in deliberate tandem.” The Unseen Realm unpacks this story from before creation, through the New Testament, completely changing the way we read the Bible.
Challenge your worldview
As the ancient worldview of the supernatural is revealed, our understanding of the strange and wonderful passages in the Bible where the invisible and the visible intersect grows deeper. We’re able to clearly see the connections the biblical authors were making for their audiences and illuminates God’s mission on earth.
Open your eyes to the supernatural—get The Unseen Realm today!