Have you ever thought about how the Bible is a Missional Book? If your are a regular visitor to this blog hopefully you have, but what about the actual unity of the canon itself, in its composition, compilation and its organisation? Dan Beeby in his little book Canon and Mission looks at this specific theme with great insight. Amongst other things, he questions the reason why the Old Testament ordering is different from that of the original Hebrew Bible. He notes on page 32,
They took out the center part of the Hebrew scriptures and put it at the end. The prophets were taken from the middle, from between the Torah and the writings, and put at the end because the prophets were read in the church as prophecies of Jesus Christ and so would have to be put nearest the Gospels. So we have our Old Testament ending with the forward-looking conclusion of Malachi, and then you come immediately to the Gospels and the coming of Jesus Christ.
So what is the missional significance of this? This is about seeing the big picture of the Bible. Often when we come to read or study the Bible we categorise, atomise and dissect it into chapter and verse or even into specific word studies. While this is by no means a wrong or ineffective way of studying, do we miss something? How often do we just read it to remind ourselves of the very fact that we have an inspired book that screams “God can be found and wants to be known”. The inspired men from centuries past brought together independently written books with their individual agenda’s in such a way that the very flow of the library that is the Bible shows us that God has a mission; he desires to be known.