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The Drama of Scripture, 3rd Edition

Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story

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The story of the Bible and its account of God's action in the world give meaning to our lives and provide us with the foundation for our actions.

In this bestselling textbook, Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen survey the grand narrative of the Bible, demonstrating how the biblical story forms the foundation of a Christian worldview. In considering the biblical story, the authors emphasize the unity of the whole, viewing the Bible as a drama in six acts: creation, sin, Israel, Christ, church, and new creation. Two overarching themes--covenant in the Old Testament and kingdom in the New Testament--tie the biblical story together. Throughout, the authors suggest, God is revealed through the story and calls us to participate in his drama.

The third edition has been updated and revised throughout. Additional resources for students and professors are available through Textbook eSources.

"I am delighted to see solid scholarship made easily accessible in this splendid fashion."--N. T. Wright, University of St. Andrews; former bishop of Durham

Prologue: The Bible as a Grand Story
Act 1: God Establishes His Kingdom: Creation
Act 2: Rebellion in the Kingdom: Fall
Act 3: The King Chooses Israel: Redemption Initiated
Interlude: A Kingdom Story Waiting for an Ending: The Intertestamental Period
Act 4: The Coming of the King: Redemption Accomplished
Act 5: Spreading the News of the King: The Mission of the Church
Act 6: The Return of the King: Redemption Completed


"Bartholomew and Goheen's Drama of Scripture brought the full story of God into view in new and fresh ways for me as a student. Now as both a professor and pastor I recommend and reference it weekly. It is my honor to commend the third edition of this great work to any who seek to better understand the overarching story of God and our place in it. Especially for teachers and preachers of Scripture, this volume is required reading and will yield immediate fruit in your life and ministry."

Benjamin T. Quinn, associate professor of theology and history of ideas, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and the College at Southeastern

"Christians believe the Bible is God's Word, but we often struggle to make sense of what God is saying to us in the sprawling, diverse collection of texts we find there. The Drama of Scripture opens our eyes to the grand story that weaves through each and every biblical book. This grand narrative announces the good news that our God is rescuing and renewing the cosmos, and it invites us to give our lives to the task of living faithfully within that story. Bartholomew and Goheen have somehow managed to make rigorous scholarship deeply engaging, incredibly accessible, and imminently practical. Churches, pastors, Sunday schools, college classrooms, home groups, and more will all find in these pages the kind of guidance they need to hear Scripture's invitation to take our place within God's cosmic rescue plan."

Michael Rhodes, lecturer in Old Testament, Carey Baptist College

The Authors

  1. Craig G. Bartholomew

    Craig G. Bartholomew

    Craig G. Bartholomew (PhD, University of Bristol) is director of the Kirby Laing Centre for Public Theology in Cambridge, England. He was formerly senior research fellow at the University of Gloucestershire and the H. Evan Runner Professor of...

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  2. Michael W. Goheen

    Michael W. Goheen

    Michael W. Goheen (PhD, University of Utrecht) is professor of missional theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. He is also professor of missional theology and director of theological education at the Missional Training Center, Phoenix. Goheen is...

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