The Applicability of the Exodus (Kostenberger/Patterson)

Andreas Kostenberger and Richard Patterson’s Invitation to Biblical Interpretation is a pretty thorough resource on the topic. At over 850 pages, it covers all the areas of interpretation: historical context, literary context, canon, genre, grammar, linguistics, and figures of speech – just to name a few! I haven’t read the whole book, but what I have read has been helpful. I appreciate these kinds of books because they help us interpret Scripture better. In their discussion of the OT canon, the authors highlight the exodus and its central place in the story of Israel. Below is the section on applying the exodus:

The initial exodus event bore witness to God’s redemptive power. During the exodus, God, Israel’s Redeemer, brought his people to himself. What was experienced nationally was also true of a great many of God’s faithful believers such as Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb. Indeed, the exodus bore testimony to both God’s sovereignty and his redemption. Theologically, the exodus symbolized the truth of God’s redeeming grace. This truth has theological implications not only for the exodus motif but for our perspective on the law. For, as we noted previously, the law was designed specifically for God’s redeemed people. Moreover, because the exodus finds its culmination in the new covenant, the availability of God’s redemption now takes on universal proportions. As wedded to the new covenant, it prepares the readers of Scripture for the New Testament message of redemption by which all people may experience an exodus from the realm of sin and darkness in order to enter the realm of light and God’s saving grace (cf. Col 1:12-14). As F. F. Bruce points out, ‘the Exodus provides for the rest of the biblical record a form of language and imagery for communicating the message of salvation.”

The exodus message of hope finds its ultimate reality in the inauguration of the new covenant mediated by Jesus Christ (Matt. 26:27-29; 2 Cor. 3:6; Hebrews 8). As we will see in the following chapter, the motif of the exodus will be reflected in many of the messages of the New Testament. It will only reach its final goal in the eschatological era as reflected in the imagery and symbolism of the Apocalypse (e.g., Rev. 14:1-5).

Andreas Kostenberger and Richard Patterson, Invitation to Biblical Interpretation, p.172-173.

Shane Lems
From Oviedo, FL