Nature Begins, Scripture Completes image

Nature Begins, Scripture Completes

Frederick Dale Bruner points out that the Magi are led to Bethlehem by creation (the star), and then by Scripture (the prophet Micah), before encountering Christ. "Nature begins," he writes, "Scripture completes." It is a principle that goes beyond the story of Matthew 2, and prompts a thoughtful comment on the doctrine of revelation:

(1) The star (“revelation by creation”) leads the Magi to (2) Israel’s Scripture in Jerusalem (“revelation by Scripture”), which in turn leads them to (3) the Child in Bethlehem (“revelation by Christ”). It is interesting that the star (of creation) does not lead the Magi directly to Christ. There is an intermediate stop in Jerusalem in the Israelite church where Scripture is opened; and only then is focus finally given to the star’s light and so direction to the Magi’s search. The star brings us to Jerusalem; only Scripture brings us to Bethlehem. Creation can bring us to the church; the church’s Bible brings us to Christ. To be sure, the star reappears, but, significantly, only after the Scriptures say “Bethlehem!” (2:4-9). God’s revelation in creation raises the questions and begins the quest; God’s revelation in Scripture gives a preliminary answer and directs the quest towards the goal. Finally, God’s revelation in Christ satisfies the quest. Creation’s revelation can bring human beings only halfway; scriptural revelation has the power to bring us home - to Christ. God in his goodness is the author of both revelations and uses both.

- Bruner, Matthew 1-12, 59 (emphasis both original and plentiful)

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