The CSER Structure: An Overview of the Bible

For those without a thorough familiarity of the Bible, this optional study provides an overview of the Old Testament (OT), the four hundred-year intertestamental period, and the New Testament (NT). I recommend completing it prior to reading the methodology section and beginning Chapter 1.

Redemptive history is the gradual unfolding of God’s sovereign plan to redeem his people and restore them to be who they were meant to be: those who act on the Lord’s behalf to advance his kingdom throughout all of creation. The over-arching themes of the Bible fall under the pattern of Creation/Covenant, Sin, Exile, and Resurrection/ Restoration, with Israel’s history embedded into this arrangement of all humanity.[1]

Knowing how a specific passage fits within God’s eternal plan aids our interpretation. Jesus came not only as the new Adam, the perfect representative of all of humanity, but also as the new Israel, succeeding where that nation failed (Rom 5:15).[2]

By examining the Old Testament in relation to the new covenant, we can better comprehend our role in God’s plan of salvation as his kingdom expands to fill the earth.

Creation in the CSER Structure

Sin in the CSER Structure

Covenant in the CSER Structure

Exile in the CSER Structure Part 1

Intertestamental History

Exile in the CSER Structure Part 2

Resurrection/Restoration Begins in the CSER Structure

Restoration Complete in the CSER Structure

CSER structure diagram


[1]Ciampa, “The History of Redemption,” 257.  I remain indebted to Dr. Roy Ciampa for his permission to incorporate his CSER Structure into this study.

[2] Carson, The Gospel According to John, 164.

Thanks to Bethann Atamian for formatting the CSER Structure diagram.