The aim of this book is to provide an account of the unfolding of the mind of God in history, through the successive agents of his special revelation. Vos handles this under three main divisions: the Mosaic epoch of revelation, the prophetic epoch of revelation, and the New Testament.
Such a historical approach is not meant to supplant the work of the systematic theologian; nevertheless, the Christian gospel is inextricably bound up with history, and the biblical theologian thus seeks to highlight uniqueness of each biblical document in that succession. The rich variety of Scripture is discovered anew as the progressive development of biblical themes is explicated.
To read these pages—the fruit of Vos’ 39 years of teaching biblical theology at Princeton—is to appreciate the late John Murray’s suggestion that Geerhardus Vos was the most incisive exegete in the English-speaking world of the twentieth century.
“The most important function of Special Revelation, however, under the regime of sin, does not lie in the correction and renewal of the faculty of perception of natural verities; it consists in the introduction of an altogether new world of truth, that relating to the redemption of man.” (Page 20)
“Yet the nature of an intensified and concentrated probation required that man should be made acquainted with the fact of the probation and its terms. Hence the necessity of a Special Revelation providing for this.” (Page 23)
“The chief end for which Israel had been created was not to teach the world lessons in political economy, but in the midst of a world of paganism to teach true religion, even at the sacrifice of much secular propaganda and advantage.” (Page 125)
“Reception of truth on the authority of God is an eminently religious act” (Page 9)
“Sin proves powerful enough to prostitute the gifts of God’s common grace in the sphere of nature for purposes of evil.” (Page 46)
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