Has God given us essential revelation or exhaustive revelation?
Exhaustive revelation is the idea that the Bible speaks to an issue completely and provides every facet of that issue. Essential revelation means that God gave us everything we need to know him and walk with him.
If these are the definitions that this question refers to, God gave us essential revelation. From time to time in the Bible we receive revelation about things that don’t have to do directly with his mission to be our God and for us to be his people.
The metanarrative (larger picture) of the Bible is that God wants relationship with his fallen creation. He sent Jesus within the framework of a sacrificial death on the cross, that of an innocent person as the ultimate and perfect sacrifice that God accepts.
From that sinless death on the cross, he took the place of those who trust in that sacrifice as God’s forgiveness for their sins. This is how God restores his relationship with his fallen creation. Those who believe are no longer fallen anymore. They have a restored and reconcile relationship with God.
Essential revelation tells us that everything we need to know about this story and how God restores us is what the Bible talks about. It includes facts about science, anthropology, philosophy, history, and other subjects. We must remember that these are the most current understandings of the subjects from that time and culture. It doesn’t mean they knew what we know today.
In that sense, the Bible does not give us exhaustive revelation about every subject that it touches. We must read the Bible as God’s revelation for the people of the time that he communicated and also to us because of the timeless truths essential revelation expresses.