The study of the Bible is made in small steps, verse by verse, passage by passage. Even because of the volume, there is no other way. But over time, more and more of the puzzle pieces start to fit together and the bigger picture emerges; the logic according to which each element finds its place is becoming clearer and clearer. As the title suggests, in this lecture I will not deal with the interpretation of individual verses or issues. Yes, I will refer to them, but not as a source of doctrines, but on the contrary: as a result of the overriding logic from which the smaller elements emerge. For while in the process of interpretation we derive the bigger picture from the smaller elements, in fact the order is the opposite: reality has its own larger structure from which individual events emerge. My purpose in this lecture is to show how I view this greater world order and how it shapes the essentials of Bible teaching.
As a starting point, I would like to take two theses that will be the leitmotif of the lecture, and which in the following part of my considerations I will call the basic principle in order to maintain the precision of thoughts and conciseness of statements:
- Reality has two components: dynamic and static.
- The dynamic component shapes the static component.
Later in the lecture I will want to show how the above-mentioned components shape the meaning of the basic teachings of the Bible, incl. justification by faith, sacrifice of Jesus Christ, begettal of the spirit, the concepts of truth and law. Therefore, we are talking about principles that have universal application; according to which processes take place on various planes. The first area shown in the Bible where the basic principle operates is the creation of the material world. We read in the first words of the Bible: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Gen. 1:1,2 OHIB). So we have a dynamic element that the Bible calls spirit from the beginning, and a static component: the matter from which God's spirit shapes the earth. It is difficult to clearly define the spirit. It certainly includes energy as the causative component and consciousness as the component that guides the action of energy.
These two qualities - energy and consciousness - are, however, closely related to the basic quality, which is the dynamism of action. Jesus emphasizes this aspect of the spirit in his conversation with Nicodemus: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (8) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit" (Jn. 3:6-8 OGIB). This is a very significant characteristic: the wind does not have a specific form in itself, but has the power to influence matter and a specific direction of action. Similarly, spirit has no form but has the power to define and shape form in matter. It is therefore a creative force capable of manifesting itself in a certain form (taking a form that can be read by the recipient as a material form - the body) and shaping material reality.
|dynamic component||spirit (energy/ consciousness)|
The existence of life in any, even the most primitive, form requires "cooperation" between spirit and matter. We read in the Psalm: "Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. (30) Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth" (Ps. 104:29,30 OHIB). From this it follows that every form of life is endowed with consciousness. Of course, its level varies in different forms. The consciousness of unicellular organisms comes down to responding to specific chemical or physical stimuli. Human consciousness includes thinking in the past and future, drawing conclusions, planning, creating theories, etc. The essence of consciousness is the ability to dynamically interact. In its most primitive form, consciousness is limited to being able to respond to stimuli; in the most developed one - that is, the one we do not currently have - it is the ability to shape matter. When Jesus speaks of faith that moves mountains, He describes this highest form of consciousness (Mt. 21:21).
We read about the creation of man in Gen. 2:7 - "And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (OHIB). The human being therefore includes a static component (the dust of the earth) and a dynamic component: suffice it to note that the breath of life that God breathed into Adam's nostrils corresponds to the description of the spirit given by Jesus in Jn. 3:3-8. However, it is necessary to return to the earlier thought: the spirit is the potential that brings order (form) out of chaos, but it is not a form in itself. This does not mean that the newborn is a blank slate. This idea of John Locke collapsed the moment we realized the existence of primal instincts programmed into the body from the very beginning. However, a child is not born with a mental content (beliefs, understanding cause-effect relationships, knowledge of history, etc.). It is born with ready-made natural software, but the mind will work as it learns the language.
|dynamic component||spirit (energy/ consciousness)||spirit (consciousness/ mind)|
The spirit of God organizes material reality into form, gives it shape. The human spirit does the same job. The sense data that we perceive with our senses do not contain ready-made meanings. In their raw form, they provide information only to the extent that the senses operate: what color is the object, how it tastes, how it sounds, how it smells, what it feels like to touch. Meanwhile, our knowledge of the world goes far beyond this range. This is because the human spirit subjects sensory information to analysis and interpretation. We process data in two basic ways: deductively or inductively. Deduction consists in gathering as much information as possible in order to derive one solution from it. Induction on the contrary: on the basis of one data we derive many solutions. Deduction requires a logic that is the domain of the brain's left hemisphere; induction requires creativity, which is the domain of the right hemisphere. In both cases, however, we are talking about processes that go beyond the capabilities of the body and as such are the domain of the spirit (mind).
The above is directly related to the concept of truth. In essence, it describes an objectively existing factual state. Since the shape of our reality is the work of God's spirit to give it form, the Bible speaks of the spirit of truth (Jn. 14:17,26). Man, however, does not have direct access to this truth. Even sense data are already a transformed form of what we actually perceive. In fact, we perceive electromagnetic waves, which the brain interprets according to the wavelength. For example, the retina of the eye responds to a wavelength of 380 to 780 nanometers [nm], where for example we see 400 nm as violet, 550 nm as green, and 700 nm as red. Thus, sense data is a processed form of truth, while data resulting from the activity of the spirit (induction and deduction) is a "processed form of a processed form."
The spirit of man therefore does the same work that the spirit of God does: it organizes the chaos of the world into a meaningful form. However, I wrote earlier that consciousness (spirit) operates on different levels, from the most primitive consciousness of protozoa to the most developed consciousness of beings in the divine nature. Man in the Edenic state was made "little lower than the angels" (Ps. 8:5 OHIB), which means that the power of Adam's consciousness was close to that of the lowest orders of spiritual beings. The effect of Adam's fall (which will be discussed in more detail later in this lecture) was reduction of the power of consciousness. Salvation, in turn, consists in giving man the spirit to raise our mental faculties to a level that allows unadulterated interpretation of reality. Hence Jesus' promise: "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come" (Jn. 16:13 OGIB).
|dynamic component||spirit (energy/ consciousness)||spirit (consciousness/ mind)||picture of reality; work of the human spirit|
|static component||matter||body||reality; work of the spirit of God|
A derivative of the concept of truth is the concept of law. Above I have defined the truth as the product of God's spirit in the form of the structured reality. This product, however, includes two elements: 1) the result of the action of spirit in matter, and 2) the procedure for obtaining the above-mentioned result. The truth, therefore, includes an objectively existing material result (e.g. the nail must be harder than the material into which it is driven) and the procedural result (e.g. hammering a nail always requires the use of a suitably hard and heavy object at the correct angle). Both aspects of truth can also be defined in terms of law: in this context, the material result corresponds to the regulation, the procedural result corresponds to the principle. The material result is always related to a specific object or condition, therefore its application is individual. The procedural result is general in nature and can be used to achieve different material results (regulations). The distinction between regulation and principle is critical to understanding the difference between the Old and New Testaments.
For example, the indissolubility of marriage is a regulation because it determines a certain desired state in this particular relationship, i.e. it only applies to the marital relationship, but not to a friendly, business or social relationship. The realization of this regulation is achieved by applying principles such as the golden rule given by Jesus: "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them" (Mt. 7:12 OGIB). Jesus' sentence is a principle because it can be applied to any type of relationship: marital, but also friendly, business and social. A marriage, then, will be permanent when both parties obey the principles; it will be the result of their application. The Mosaic Law was to make the Jew realize that the desired state (regulation) is not achieved without applying the principles. In this sense, the Law was an educator leading to Christ (Gal. 3:24). The Jew who sees the insufficiency of the law is ready to accept the one who comes to fulfill the law: to indicate the realization of principles as a necessary condition for the exercise of the law (Mt. 5:17-20).
Jesus illustrates this truth in the parable of the two houses (Mt. 7:24-27). Every house - every material result - must have a solid foundation. If this base is missing (or as labile as sand), then everything falls apart in effect of the first crisis encountered. I go back to the example of marriage. Ensuring its durability by following the rules will mean the implementation of the regulation. However, doing it without principles may, for example, mean enduring a lifetime in a violent relationship; imprisonment in a situation where one person hurts another (or people hurt each other) in the name of obeying God's law. Such action, however, is not the fulfillment of God's law, but its monstrous perversion. Making it appear that everything is as it should be when there is everything inside but love and respect. This is exactly what Jesus points out when he calls the Pharisees whitewashed tombs. The appearance of obeying the law from the outside looks beautiful, "but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness" (Mt. 23:23-28 OGIB).
|dynamic component||spirit (consciousness/ mind)||picture of reality; work of the human spirit||principle (general application)|
|static component||body||reality; work of the spirit of God||regulation (particular application)|
The sin is another concept related to the basic principle. According to the principle, the dynamic component (spirit) gives shape to the static component (body). This means two things: 1) the spirit shapes reality according to the principles of truth, 2) the spirit is superior to the body. The original sin meant a reversal of values in each of these areas. Adam stretches out his hand for the forbidden fruit because 1) he acts on error instead of truth and 2) he puts the body first at the expense of the spirit. He is wrong because he draws the wrong conclusion. God announced him to be one flesh with his wife (Gen. 2:24). So when he sees Eve with the forbidden fruit, he wrongly concludes that he, too, is under the death sentence. At this point, our natural self-preservation instinct dictates to our forefather preservation of life. The fact that he himself is reaching for the fruit (and thus he is self-speaking against the spirit) is irrelevant to him in view of the fact that his life has just ended. Hence, he first hides from God, and when this has no effect, he places the blame for the crime on Eve and on God himself (Gen. 3:8-12).
|dynamic component||picture of reality; work of the human spirit||principle (general application)||error instead of the truth|
|static component||reality; work of the spirit of God||regulation (particular application)||priority given to saving material existence|
In this way, the story of Adam and Eve illustrates the fact that the two main engines of sin are ignorance of the truth and fear of death. The Old Testament emphasizes the latter problem especially. The experiences of the patriarchs, and then of the nation of Israel, are a continuous training of trust in God: to remain in faith despite the price of offering mortal life on its altar. The apostle Paul devotes much space to this topic in the 11th chapter of his letter to the Hebrews. Noah, who devoted himself to building the ark, relying only on the word of God's warning; Abraham, who spent his whole life in tents because of God's promise; the same Abraham, who almost sacrificed his only son on the basis of the resurrection hope; Moses, who chose to travel with the chosen people over the joys of Egypt; Israel who crossed the sea on their way to the promised land. The 40-year wandering in the desert was a continual training in faith. In conditions where there was naturally no water or food, Israel had to rely on God every day.
In Jn. 10:17 Jesus utters very significant words in this context: "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again" (OGIB). The essence of faith is therefore consent to cross the border between life and death. Devotion to God - as Old Testament believers did and our Lord did. But the experience of Jesus was more than the sacrifices of the ancient believers - therefore it was the perfect sacrifice that no one else could make. The essence of his sacrifice is "appropriateness". The Greek antilytron, which we translate as ransom, means an equivalent price. Paul writes about this correspondence: "Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life. (19) For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous" (Rom. 5:18,19 OGIB).
The apostle therefore contrasts Jesus righteous deed with Adam's unrighteous deed, and Jesus' obedience with Adam's disobedience. Such a juxtaposition emphasizes the equivalence of Jesus' sacrifice to Adam's sin - equivalence that none of the Old Testament faithful achieved. We learn, moreover, that the Savior's sacrifice is satisfaction in both the deed and obedience. This is not a simple repetition. Earlier, I wrote that Adam's fall concerned two essential elements: a lack of understanding of the truth and a lack of trust in God resulting in a desperate but unsuccessful attempt to save mortal life. In the element of truth, no one before Christ could make a suitable sacrifice because the Law did not express the fullness of the truth. Elsewhere, Paul will write that the law had "a shadow of good things to come, [and] not the very image of the things (Heb. 10:1 OGIB). That is why Jesus came to fulfill the Law (Mt. 5:17-20) and that is why John writes that grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (Jn. 1:17 OGIB).
Our Lord fulfilled the sacrifice for the truth by sacrificing His life for it. Not only did he have the fullness of the spirit that was bestowed on him by the Father in baptism (Jn. 3:34), but he also made the truth the object of his ministry: "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth" (Jn. 18:37 OGIB). His ministry also fulfilled the second element because he voluntarily gave his life. Here, however, there is an additional element that made his sacrifice equivalent, namely, Adam committed the crime in knowing that he had lost his life forever. There is a moment when the Lord, while hanging on the cross, feels abandoned by God (Mt. 27:46 OGIB). And if abandoned, he must have failed. The Jews who cry out for him to come down from the cross and save himself if he is Christ do not make this experience easier for him. Jesus, however, remains on the chosen course of obedience and commits his life to God (Lk. 23:46). At this point, which is also the moment of his death, Jesus' sacrifice of redemption becomes complete.
|dynamic component||principle (general application)||error instead of the truth||ministry and obedience to the truth|
|static component||regulation (particular application)||priority given to saving material existence||sacrifice of life|
The sacrifice that the Lord thus accomplished on the cross was the only perfect sacrifice that has the power to save. Not because God required someone to give Him a perfect life in return of Adam's wasted life. In the lecture on The sacrifice of Jesus Christ I objected with all my might to this kind of understanding of redemption, and I still hold this view. The sacrifice of the Lord, also in the aspect of sacrificing his life, is part of the testimony to the truth. It is true that in order to bring people closer to God, a sacrifice is necessary - a sacrifice of life, the dramatic expression of which is the Savior's body suspended on the cross. Such a sacrifice is the highest form of faith - trust in God who can raise the dead. With such faith our Lord gives his life: "I lay down my life, that I might take it again" (Jn. 10:17 OGIB). With such faith, Abraham almost sacrificed his only promised son, "Accounting that God [was] able to raise [him] up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure" (Heb. 11:19 OGIB). That is why he was called the father of faith (Rom. 4:11).
The sacrifice of Jesus is therefore an example for believers who, by making their own sacrifice in imitation of the Lord, come closer to God and gain the prospect of eternal life. Jesus himself expressed this truth beautifully: "And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (24) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it" (Lk. 9:23,24 OGIB). Taking up my cross and following Jesus, I make a sacrifice like his sacrifice. The sacrifice of the Church also includes the double element I wrote about earlier. It is not only a sacrifice of life, but also a sacrifice for the truth. Jesus emphasizes the need to take into account not only the sacrifice, but also its proper purpose: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. (54) Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day" (Jn. 6:53,54 OGIB).
During the Lord's Supper Jesus extends this metaphor: "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake [it], and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. (20) Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup [is] the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you" (Lk. 22:19.20 OGIB). So the bread represents the Lord's body, and the wine represents his blood. However, since flesh and blood are themselves symbols of the twofold experience of the sacrifice, it is important to consider their Biblically valid connection. The bread in the Bible represents a maturity in understanding the truth (Mt. 4:4; Heb. 5:14-17). Thus, our eating bread represents receiving the Master's teachings and service for the Word of God. The cup is in the Bible a symbol of experience (Mt. 20:22, 26:39; Jn. 18:11). The blood represents life (Gen. 9:5,6). Drinking from the chalice is therefore a symbolic expression of faith taking up the sacrifice of life with the hope for resurrection.
|original sin||redemption||Lord's Supper|
|dynamic component||error instead of the truth||ministry and obedience to the truth||body - bread - truth|
|element statyczny||priority given to saving material existence||sacrifice of life||blood - chalice - sacrifice of life|
There is an interesting and very significant element in the above-described symbolic structure to which I would like to refer more broadly. Namely: the link between blood and life is logical - after all, we live because blood flows in our veins. The connection between body and truth is not so obvious. The concept of truth belongs to the realm of the spirit and as such is a dynamic element. The body is material and static, even compared to the accompanying blood symbol. Although the juxtaposition of the truth with the body seems to be somewhat inconsistent, it is nevertheless completely consistent with point 2 of the basic principle: the dynamic component shapes the static component. The truth shapes the body. This again may sound a bit puzzling, so I come back to the concept of the soul. The soul (creature) includes the spirit and the body. In the lecture Spirit, soul and body in the Bible, however, I wrote, that the body in the Bible has two meanings: 1) material body, 2) metaphysical body (character). The notion of the soul, which encompasses the spirit and the body of character, describes therefore not the creature as a whole, but a complete personality.
|Lord's Supper||soul (creature)||soul (personality)|
|dynamic component||body - bread - truth||spirit (consciousness/ mind)||spirit (consciousness/ mind)|
|element statyczny||blood - chalice - sacrifice of life||material body||body of character|
The basic fact that both the Bible and modern science talk about is that the personality (soul) of a person consists of two elements: static and dynamic. A static element, or what we commonly call the character, refers to behavioral characteristics that remain more or less constant over time. We don't consciously control these reactions - we just activate them on a stimulus-response basis. Since we execute these scripts out of the direct control of conscious thought, psychology speaks about the subconscious. The Bible, on the other hand, calls this aspect of behavior the body (or law of the flesh) because these are behavioral mechanisms programmed into our nervous system - our body. Their important feature is the fact that they operate here and now. The law of the body does not cover the past or the future, nor does it take into account arguments or points of view. The law of the body triggers a reaction when a corresponding stimulus occurs.
While the body operates on a 1-to-1 (action-reaction) principle, the spirit works on a x-to-1 basis. Consciousness has the tools to make decisions based on a lot of information, and not just the present. The past and the future also provide us with guidance on how to proceed - based on the projection of future events, we can now choose the direction that will be the most favorable. The amount of data the spirit can work on to make a decision is virtually limitless. But it comes at a cost. Firstly, consciousness can perform several operations in a second, which means that it is much slower and more energy-consuming than the subconscious, which will perform several thousand operations at the same time. This, in turn, makes the operation of consciousness reserved for new, difficult situations. For economic reasons, in known and repetitive situations, our behavior is determined by the subconscious, i.e. the body. According to research, 95 percent of our behavior is the result of the subconscious.
We are therefore locked in a situation in which the tool that organizes reality according to the principles of truth (spirit/ mind) is responsible only for 5 percent of our behavior. The remaining 95 percent is a script automatically uploaded, largely biologically inherited or shaped in contact with the environment without the participation of conscious will. So there is a real probability that the actions taken on the basis of such a shaped script will not be in accordance with the spirit of the truth. Were the spirit without influence on the body, we would be lost in the eyes of God, who judges conduct more than declarations. "What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? (15) If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food (16) And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit? (17) Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" (James 2:14-17 OGIB; Jn. 15:1-10).
Spirit is not helpless against the body, however. Character, although it contains a set of traits more or less constant over time, is itself shaped in contact with a repetitive stimulus. Developing a specific trait in character therefore requires the self-control of the spirit that will consciously initiate the desired behavior in certain circumstances and repeat it over and over again. With time, it will become easier and easier because the reflex fixed in the subconscious will be initiated involuntarily. This is precisely the mechanism described by James: "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves (23) For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24) For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. (25) But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed" (James 1:22-25 OGIB).
The character of a person that does not function practically is like a mirror in which no trace remains. Meanwhile, the essence of justification is to form the body of character according to the principles of justice; leave a permanent image of truth in the mirror. This in turn can be done by action, therefore the "doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed" (James 1:25). In the case of the spirit that acts and thus changes the structure of the body of character, the Bible uses the term seal. A seal contains a pattern that is transferred to a plastic material; similarly, the spirit carries a pattern of truth that is transferred to our neuroplastic brain (2 Cor. 1:21,22). In the light of Biblical teaching, not all have a truth-oriented spirit. Hence the teaching regarding God's choice and gathering of spiritual Israel. For just as fleshly Israel has the DNA pattern of their ancestor Abraham in the flesh, the members of spiritual Israel have the pattern of the truth of their heavenly Father in the body of character.
The Jew prided himself on the status of a child of Abraham because in his material body he was related to the patriarch. Through faith in Christ, we in turn become children of God because we have a relationship with God in the body of character. The process by which we become children of God is analogous to the process by which we become children of men. In the natural process, a new life is initiated in the act of begettal, and then the body develops for nine months before a fully formed human is ready to begin an independent existence at birth. Likewise in the spiritual life: it begins in the mind by being impregnated with the word of the Gospel, but the development of the body of character requires work, regularly working out new traits of behavior (1 Cor. 9:27; Col. 3:10; James 1:22-25). The achievement of this stage of development will mean for the elect being born of the spirit - a state in which both mind and character have been formed in the foundations of truth.
|soul (creature)||soul (personality)||children of God|
|dynamic element||spirit (consciousness/ mind)||spirit (consciousness/ mind)||begattal of the spirit of truth|
|static element||material body||body of character||birth of the spirit of truth|
There are a number of terms associated with the spirit/ body dynamics that appear in the New Testament. For example, the earnest of the holy spirit is the love of truth which is poured into the symbolic hearts of the elect (Eph. 1:13,14; Rom. 5:5); the Body of Christ and the inner man describe the character of believers shaped in the image of the Lord's character (Rom. 7:22, 12:4,5); baptism of the spirit is an immersion of character into the knowledge of God's Word (1 Cor. 12:12,13); baptism into death refers to repentance - subjecting character to the reform of the spirit that eliminates what the Bible calls the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21); the new creation is the mind of the elect influenced by the love of truth (2 Cor. 5:17); baptism in the spirit and anointing with the spirit mean immersing the mind deeply into the understanding of the Word God (Acts 1:5; 2 Cor. 1:21,22). The following graphic is a concise illustration of the application of New Testament terminology to the static and dynamic aspect of human personality:
[the graphic displays only in desktop screen version, download as PDF]
The above opens the way to the interpretation of the Old Testament types. If spiritual Israel includes spirit-begotten, spirit-born and anointed with the spirit, then we see that these three groups correspond to the division of natural Israel into people, Levites and priests. The tabernacle and its furnishings symbolize various aspects of the service of the antitypical Levites and priests. The animal sacrifice offered by the priest represents faith making the sacrifice of mortality. The Law Covenant is a type of the New Covenant. So a whole new area of Bible study opens up. It is not my aim at this point to open an area of study which goes beyond the scope of the lecture. It should be emphasized, however, that the interpretation of the Bible is a process in which successive levels of understanding are built on the foundation of the basic ones. A mistake at an early stage will lead to a mistake in every subsequent one.
My goal in this lecture was to show what the foundation of the exegesis presented in the Bible Commentary is. In my opinion, what I called the basic principle does indeed correspond to the most elementary structure of reality. From this principle arises the understanding of key concepts for the interpretation of both the Old and New Testaments: the concepts of spirit, law, truth, soul, justification, begettal of the spirit, etc. discussed in the course of the lecture. I trust that this outlook can make some constructive contribution to the spiritual work of the Readers of the Commentary. On the other hand, the content of the lecture is information for the reader about what one may encounter in other texts published on the website. The commentary includes dozens of lectures and expanded commentaries, and as many basic commentaries to individual passages of the Bible. All these texts focus on individual elements of doctrine. The lecture "What is the Bible all about?" shows a general outline of the Biblical teaching and in this sense is a necessary supplement to the views presented here.