The Bible And God’s Revelation In History -- By: Ismael E. Amaya

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 14:2 (Spring 1971)
Article: The Bible And God’s Revelation In History
Author: Ismael E. Amaya

The Bible And God’s Revelation In History

Ismael E. Amaya


The subject of God’s revelation is of primary importance for Christian theology. It is important first, because from the point of view of logic it proceeds any other Christian doctrine. That is to say that the doctrine of God’s revelation is the foundation upon which the whole structure of Christian doctrines rests. Remove that foundation and the whole system collapses.

It is of primary importance for Christian theology, second, because it is closely related to God’s existence. To deny God’s revelation, is to deny His capacity to reveal Himself, and to deny His capacity to reveal Himself, means to limit His power, and to limit His power means in the last analysis to deny His existence. This leads to the premise that the concept of God’s self-revelation is the basic presupposition of Christian theology, after God’s existence itself.

Third, the doctrine of God’s revelation is part of the essence of Christianity. For the Christian, God’s self-revelation is not a mere hypothesis, a theory or a supposition. To believe in God’s self-revelation is part of being a Christian. This also leads to this other premise, that a person cannot be a Christian and at the same time deny the revelation of God.

The Idea Of Revelation

Our verb “to reveal” comes from the Latin revelare, which means to show, to discover something which is hidden. The noun “revelation” indicates the act and effect of revealing, that, is the process of making something known. The terms gala from the Hebrew and apokalypto from the Greek which have been translated into our English Bibles by the verb “to reveal” and the noun “revelation” convey basically the same idea—to reveal or discover something which was hidden in order to be known by its own nature. Besides apokalypto and apokalypsis, in the New Testament we also find other terms which express the idea of

*Ismael E. Amaya is professor of Spanish and Religion at Pasadena Nazarene College, Pasadena, Cal. He holds the B.A. from Pasadena College; the B.D. from Nazarene Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Mo. At present he is doing graduate studies at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, Cal. Professor Amaya is the author of nine books.

revelation, like phaneroo (to manifest, to make clear); epiphaino and deiknuo ( to show); and exegeomai ( to make known).

The term “revelation” and its synonyms “to show,” “to declare,” “to make clear,” “to make known,” etc., used in this sense is a vocabulary ex...

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