Introducing Biblical Frameworks

By Sean Finnegan

In this session, you'll learn the objectives for this class. You'll also see how the three major parts of this class fit together, including (1) biblical frameworks, (2) biblical covenants, and (3) new covenant theology.

Introducing Biblical Frameworks


  1. to make sense of the Bible overall
  2. to understand how God used covenants to move forward His plan of redemption
  3. to clarify what the new covenant entails

Three Parts

1-6 Biblical Frameworks
7-11 Biblical Covenants
12-22 New Covenant Theology

In the first part we will consider dispensationalism, covenant theology, and progressive covenantalism. In the second part we will work through the covenants God made with Noah, Abraham, Israel, and David to see how God used covenants to move forward and build His plan of redemption.  In the final and most substantial part, we will explain what the new covenant is, how it relates to previous covenants (especially the Mosaic covenant), how Christ exemplified and inaugurated the new covenant, and how the new covenant affects our ultimate kingdom hope.

Biblical Frameworks

  1. Flat
  2. Marcionite
  3. Cafeteria
  4. Covenant Theology
  5. Dispensationalism
  6. Progressive Covenantalism

“[T]he progression of the covenants forms the backbone of the Scripture’s metanarrative, the relational reality that moves history forward according to God’s design and final plan for humanity and all creation, and unless we ‘put together’ the covenants correctly, we will not discern accurately ‘the whole counsel of God’ (Acts 20.27).”[1]

Approaches to Studying Scripture

  1. dogmatic (perfect sidewalk)
  2. critical (pile of disjointed pieces)
  3. organic (stepping stones)

2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work.

Metanarrative: the overarching narrative (story structure) of Scripture.

Our Approach

  • The covenants God made form the backbone of the Bible’s overarching structure.
  • Recognizing how God moves forward His program of redemption through covenants honors the Bible’s own organic structure rather than imposing an external
    artificial framework.
  • The covenants point to and find fulfillment in the new covenant.
  • God’s initial desire to have a people in relationship with Him in a functional world (kingdom) motivates Him from creation right through to each of the covenants, culminating in new creation when He finally gets what he always wanted.
[1] Peter J. Gentry, Stephen J. Wellum, Kingdom through Covenant, 2nd ed. (Wheaton: Crossway, 2018), p. 31

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