Those of us living in twenty-first century America find ourselves in a culture obsessed with the heroic. The popularity of the current spate of superhero movies, which shows no sign of going away any time soon, is perhaps the most flamboyant manifestation. But the issue is even more pervasive, extending to heroes of all kinds: sports heroes, war heroes, even the “everyday” heroes featured at the ends of newscasts.
The next chapter in our Bibles is called the “General Epistles.” This is the traditional designation given to the eight New Testament letters that were not written by the Apostle Paul.
The Apostle Paul was not only a zealous missionary, a successful church planter, and a strong preacher. He was also a prolific writer! During the course of his missionary travels Paul wrote 13 of the 27 New Testament books. The writings of Paul are the next great chapter in the story of the Bible.
The next chapter in the story of the Bible brings us to the New Covenant, better known as the New Testament. This title is derived from God’s promise through the prophet Jeremiah that He would make a “new covenant” with His people to replace the covenant which they had broken. Speaking to His disciples in the Upper Room, Jesus presented the Passover cup saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:20).
The biblical term “prophet” refers to one who speaks for another. The term is used for Aaron who spoke for Moses (Exod. 7:1-2). Most frequently it is used in the Bible for those who speak for God. The prophets in ancient Israel interpreted and expounded God’s instruction, what is called the Mosaic Law. They also predicted God’s judgment on those who broke their covenant agreement with God and proclaimed God’s blessings on those who were faithful to the covenant obligations.