Scott McKnight presents on his blog Jesus Creed a few considerations on NT Wright’s latest book, Scripture and the Authority of God: How to Read the Bible Today,which is, says McKnight, ‘both a revision and an expansion of his former book The Last Word’.
For an exemplification of Tom Wright’s dealing with the biblical text and the theology it contains, here is how McKnight summarises his understanding of the doctrine of Sabbath:
Tom provides an exceptional illustration of how both to read Sabbath in its OT setting, what Jesus and Paul “did” to that teaching, how the Jubilee principle extends the Sabbath principle, and how Jesus is the transition to a new kind of time — death and resurrection and new creation, and thus how the Sabbath principle finds fulfillment in Jesus himself, and then he probes how to live that Sabbath principle out in our world. Here are some highlights:
1. In the OT Sabbath was a strong commandment, it was the day YHWH took up abode in the temple of creation (here he chimes in with John Walton) and asked image-bearers to enjoy that same rest.
2. Sabbath shows that history is going somewhere, it is a temporal sign that creation is headed toward that final rest, and it is sacred time.
3. Sabbath has to be connected to Jubilee, and therefore to justice and compassion for the poor, and that means Sabbath and Jubilee point us toward the restoration of creation.
4. Jesus thought the entire Sabbath principle pointed toward himself. Time was fulfilled in him; a new kind of time begins with him. Paul does not seem to care about Sabbath, and he observes its absence in Romans 13:9; Col 2:14-16; Rom 14:5-6. I have to be brief: it’s about time’s fulfillment. Sacred time finds its way to Jesus Christ and new creation.
5. To continue celebrating sabbaths is to focus on the signposts when we have already arrived. Thus, “Come to me and I will give you rest.” You don’t need the alarm clock when the sun is flooding the room with its light.
6. The early Christians didn’t transfer Sabbath to Sunday.
7. We don’t need to back up into a Sabbatarianism.
8. We “celebrate” instead of “rest” — a kind of celebration rest. We reserve this day for new creation life. Music, the meal, family, service, peace, justice, love — these are the notes of Sunday for those who see the fulfillment of Sabbath in Jesus.
We live in a perpetual sabbath.
I would say, absolutely splendid.
Read the whole blog post HERE.