Each book is taken in its canonical order with some notable exceptions in the New Testament: Giving the entire work an overarching structure, Schreiner organizes his biblical theology into nine parts. Old and New Testaments. His divides the Old Testament into two parts: His treatment of the New Testament focuses on the birth and ministry of Jesus.
The Mission of God: Wright presents a missional hermeneutic as a foundation for holistic missions today, arguing that the mission of God is the center of the Bible. The heart of the book has three main sections: Zondervan, addresses similar issues. An Old Testament Covenant Theology. Dumbrell structures his book around the covenants, which he sees as subsets of one primary covenant.
Following the order of the Hebrew canon, House provides historical details about the background and writing of each book of the Old Testament in general following a conservative evangelical approach as well as a series of canonical syntheses related to that book. He employs monotheism as a central theme, highlighting a particular divine activity in each book: A Focus on Old Testament Theology. Martens centers his study of the Old Testament on Exodus 5: The Heartbeat of Old Testament Theology: Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology.
Boda also traces these creedal expressions into the New Testament and offers fruitful reflection on how they might challenge the contemporary church. A Theology of the Hebrew Bible. New Studies in Biblical Theology Since Dempster bases his treatment of the Old Testament on a Hebrew canonical order with Chronicles at the end , the book begins with an overview of canonical issues. He also resolves the problem of how the Old Testament can be viewed as one book if it consists of many books by reading the non-narrative books as commentary on the narrative storyline. Goldingay overcomes some of the limitations of other Old Testament theologies by approaching the subject from three different angles in his monumental but quite accessible multivolume work.
Toward an Old Testament Theology. This classic work of evangelical Old Testament theology proposes that promise is the central theme in the Old Testament especially as found in the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants. Rather than working his way through the Old Testament canonically or topically, the heart of the book discusses material in a chronological fashion with non-historical works placed in the timeline according to their traditional authors.
Divine Call and Human Response. Baylor University Press, Kessler seeks to deal seriously with theological diversity in the Old Testament by looking at the divine-human relationship in six different streams: Each chapter looks at the ancient Near Eastern background and textual development of the theme while also offering theological reflections and connections with the New Testament.
Reading the Hebrew Bible as Christian Scripture. For example, his study of manna examines the story in Exodus 16, references to it in Deuteronomy 8, the theological significance of manna, and how it affects daily living for Christians. Routledge seeks to discern the theological principles underlying the Old Testament text so that they may then be translated and applied to the situation of the modern church.
The book is structured around key Old Testament themes, all centered on relationship to God. Old Testament Theology for Christians: From Ancient Context to Enduring Belief. Walton identifies the presence of God as the primary theme of the Bible, but rather than tracing that theme through the Old Testament, he instead surveys how the Old Testament addresses a variety of topics, such as God, humanity, covenant, Torah, sin, and salvation.
The most distinctive feature of his approach is his emphasis on understanding the Old Testament in light of its ancient Near Eastern background. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. This volume was written entirely by professors from Dallas Theological Seminary, and so reflects the views taught at that school. The book divides the Old Testament into eleven different groups of books and discusses the theology of each of those groups. The strength of the book is its attention to individual books and sections of the Old Testament.
Theology of the Old Testament: Perhaps the most prominent Old Testament scholar of this generation, Brueggemann offers a unique approach to Old Testament Theology rooted in the metaphor of a trial. In a later work, Old Testament Theology: Abingdon, , Brueggemann presents a briefer overview of how the Old Testament describes God, Israel, and the future hope. Old Testament Theology in a Canonical Context.
In this volume Childs pioneers a canonical approach to Old Testament theology. Although he sometimes uses historical criticism, he focuses primarily on understanding the theological significance of the final canonical form of the biblical text. He also reads the Old Testament as Christian Scripture, often observing how the New Testament uses the Old Testament and engaging with interpreters throughout the history of the Church.
Theology of the Old Testament. This classic study of Old Testament theology sees covenant as the center of the Old Testament. Writing from a historical-critical perspective, Eichrodt structures his first volume around various topics related to covenant: Theologies in the Old Testament. Translated by John Bowden. As noted in the title, Gerstenberger focuses on the diversity of the Old Testament by attributing different theologies to various social settings.
The heart of the book looks at theology in the context of the family, the village, the tribe, the kingdom, and the exile from a historical-critical perspective. He suggests that the main question in modern times is the connection between individual and global theology neither of which is addressed in detail in the Old Testament and contends that we should view God in radically new ways that cohere better with contemporary cultures.
Living the Christian Tension: Keller and VanDrunen on Christian Cultural Engagement
Perspectives and Case Studies. While many scholars both Jewish and Christian believe that biblical theology is a distinctly Christian interest, based on Jesus and the relationship between the Old and New Testaments, recent decades have seen an increasing interest in Jewish biblical theology. This collection of essays provides not only a survey of the history of Jewish biblical theology but also several good examples of biblical theology from a Jewish perspective that struggle with many of the same difficulties found in Christian biblical theology such as the roles of history, canon, and later commonly accepted interpretation.
A Theology of the Old Testament. Rather unusually for a recent Old Testament theology, Merrill arranges his conservative evangelical work topically according to categories of systematic theology: God, mankind, and kingdom which he sees as the central theme of the Old Testament. The sections on God and mankind provide discussions similar to systematic theologies though more closely based on the Old Testament text , but the section devoted to kingdom half of the book spends more time working its way through views of the kingdom in various sections of the Old Testament.
Reconstructing Old Testament Theology: After the Collapse of History. Overtures to Biblical Theology. In both, he describes and evaluates various approaches to Old Testament theology that have emerged in the last several decades since history has lost its dominance. Reconstructing Old Testament Theology highlights the approaches of history of religion, liberation theology, feminist interpretation, Jewish scholarship, postmodernist interpretation, and postcolonial theology, illustrating each in application to the book of Jeremiah.
Perdue ultimately calls for greater dialogue among proponents of these different methods as well as increased interaction with the history of interpretation and systematic theology. Translated by Leo G. Westminster John Knox, — Working from a historical-critical methodology, he arranges his book topically. The Canonical Hebrew Bible: Tools for Biblical Study 7. The bulk of the work consists of two main parts. In the first Rendtorff offers an insightful theological reading of the Old Testament following the order of the Hebrew canon.
Van Pelt, Miles V. It follows the order of the Hebrew canon, arguing that this order provides a parallel with the New Testament, with the Law matching the Gospels covenant , the Prophets matching Acts covenant history , and the Writings matching the letters covenant life. The entire structure places Genesis covenant prologue and Revelation covenant epilogue as bookends. Each chapter looks at background issues, structure and outline, message and theology, and connections with the New Testament. An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic Approach.
Biblical Theology as Recital. Studies in Biblical Theology 8. Since God revealed himself through history, his nature must be inferred from his actions, particularly in electing and delivering Israel. Wright also highlights the close relationship between the Old and New Testaments, focusing especially on typological connections. This is an introduction to New Testament theology that attempts to speak to the non-specialist while moving beyond a surface treatment.
Rather than taking the New Testament books in their canonical order, Morris arranges them chronologically, though he does note the difficulty in precisely dating each New Testament text. His work is divided into four parts: Each individual chapter is characterized by analysis of theological themes running through the particular text. Fearn by Tain, UK: Thematically, he leads readers through the New Testament by unfolding seven central questions: Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament.
Living in Tension: A Theology of Ministry, 2 Volume Set
For Wright, reading the Old Testament as a modern believer offers a common link with Jesus because in it we find the words he himself read, the stories he knew, and the songs he sang in worship. This is a very accessible book that shows through careful exegesis how Jesus is revealed through the Old Testament. Rather than move sequentially through each New Testament text, Dunn divides his work into six sections: Dunn represents a unique approach, in which he considers how the early church produced the New Testament documents, taking the Old Testament and preaching of Jesus as their starting points.
Christ and the New Creation: Wipf and Stock, After two introductory chapters outlining a canonical approach to New Testament theology, Emerson moves through the texts of the New Testament in the next three chapters. Guthrie takes a thematic approach to the theology of the New Testament, focusing on topics shaped by systematic theology, for example: He traces each theme through the various sections of the New Testament, which on one hand, helps the reader appreciate the development of the particular theme. A Theology of the New Testament. This is a classic work composed by a pioneer in the field of New Testament theology.
The work is divided into six sections: The section on the primitive church considers the critical issues of the resurrection and preaching about the second coming of Christ. Many Witnesses, One Gospel. Another key theme he finds useful in understanding the unity of the New Testament is that of mission. Magnifying God in Christ. Though a lengthy book, Schreiner writes primarily for pastors and students, attempting to allow the New Testament writers to speak for themselves.
Rather than a book-by-book approach, he takes a thematic approach, emphasizing two main concerns that unify the New Testament: Theology of the New Testament: A Canonical and Synthetic Approach. Though the subtitle mentions a canonical approach, in many cases the canonical order of the texts is not followed. A Biblical Theology of the New Testament. Each chapter describes the theological themes of particular books of the New Testament. The final three chapters focus on Hebrews, James, and Peter and Jude. The focus is on describing the theology of each book of the New Testament without any real attempt at a synthesis of New Testament theology.
A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New. He begins by tracing the theology of the Old Testament storyline from creation through the Second Temple period, which provides the key themes taken up in the New Testament. Crucial for Beale is how these themes are taken up by the historical authors of the New Testament as they used specific texts from the Old Testament in their proclamation of the gospel.
Throughout, he stresses the fulfillment of the Old Testament in the New, which results in continuity and redemptive-historical development. Theology of the New Testament. Translated by Kendrick Grobel. His two-volume Theology of the New Testament progresses in four parts: Here Bultmann does not think the historical Jesus is the starting point for New Testament theology, but rather the earliest kerygma concerning him.
An Outline of the Theology of the New Testament. As the English title suggests, Conzelmann aims at providing a sketch or basic map of New Testament theology for students. He traces early Christian creeds in the New Testament through the use of redaction criticism, yet his perspective is that they are only the beliefs of the early church and are not authoritative for today.
This last point, Conzelmann takes further than Bultmann and largely sketches his approach without reference to the historical Jesus. The Primitive Christian Conception of Time.
Direction: Family Ministry and a Theology of the Family: A Personal Journey
Translated by Floyd V. The Apostolic Preaching and Its Developments: Three Lectures with an Appendix on Eschatology and History. Specifically, Dodd demonstrates that when two New Testament authors quoted the same Old Testament text, this indicates the use of a common tradition, where the New Testament author expects the reader to know or fill in the broader literary context of the Old Testament passage cited. In general, this has influenced biblical theology by demonstrating the historical and literary connections between the two Testaments.
Unity and Diversity in the New Testament: An Inquiry into the Character of Earliest Christianity.
In this classic work, Dunn explores the possible unifying strand which brought together the earliest Christianity as represented in the New Testament. In the first part of the study chs. The second part chs. Translated by John E. The Ministry of Jesus in its Theological Significance. Biblical Theology of the New Testament. Translated and edited by Daniel P. His work follows a tradition-historical development from the Old into the New Testament, unlike a reception-historical approach looking back to the Old Testament from the New.
After considering the task of writing a New Testament theology, the first volume of the German edition studies the Christian proclamation of the gospel through the New Testament texts, while the second volume examines the development of the biblical canon and its significance. The City of God and the Goal of Creation. Short Studies in Biblical Theology. The Kingdom of God and the Glory of the Cross. Part one focuses on the Old Testament, following the development of kingdom through the Law, Prophets and Writings, while part two looks at the New Testament, walking the theme through the Gospels, Acts and the epistles, and finally, the book of Revelation.
Then the rest of the book works through each of the biblical covenants Creation, Noah, Abraham, Israel, David, and New , showing how each fits within the unified narrative of the Bible. The book takes a redemptive-historical approach, which leads Schreiner to focus on how these covenants development toward Christ. In general, the book takes an exegetical and descriptive, rather than an overtly theological, approach. Neither Poverty nor Riches: A Biblical Theology of Possessions. New Studies in Biblical Theology 7. Blomberg examines the topic of material possessions through two chapters on the Old Testament, one on the intertestamental period, and four on the New Testament.
God and World in the Old Testament: A Relational Theology of Creation. Old Testament theologies often focus on salvation history and neglect the significant role played by creation. Countering this trend, Fretheim traces the theme of creation from Genesis 1—2 through the Torah, the Prophets, and the wisdom literature and points out descriptions of nature offering praise to God.
Central Themes in Biblical Theology: Mapping Unity in Diversity. Naturally we want to know as much about them as we can. So it is with Jesus Christ, the Word was made flesh. Because we respect his humanity, we want to know as much as we can about his historical career. In the same way, we respect the human reality of the biblical witnesses and pay close attention to how they express themselves. They were scriptural positivists as it were in relation to the past meanings of texts. They were not sensitive to the fact that the reason we engage the narratives of Scripture is not just to refresh our memories, but also because the history of salvation of which such narratives speak is not finished and we anticipate even greater actualisations of the promises of God.
Tom Wright offers a nice analogy. Suppose we discovered a Shakespearian play he suggests whose fifth act has been lost. The four extant acts contain a wealth of characterizations and dynamics of plot and so the work cries out to be performed. What would we do? Wright suggests that we would not try to write a fifth act in a detached, scholarly way, but rather commit the text to experienced Shakespearian actors who, having immersed themselves in the four acts, would work out what the fifth act might reasonably be like, had the Bard himself written it.
Based, as it were, on the authority of the first four acts, the drama could be brought to completion in an appropriate manner. Living as we do after Acts chapter 28, it is our responsibility to fill in details of our faith and practice out of a watching and waiting on God. The event of Jesus Christ, which is the centerpiece of Scripture, cannot fully be understood apart from the future that it has put into motion. It is not a story to be read with nostalgia for Bible times. To read it properly, we have to go beyond the historical descriptions and consider the extension of the story into the present and the future.
We need to read the Bible both historically and with prayerful sensitivity to the directions in which it is moving us. The full significance of the Christian message was not actualized in the life of the early church. The need for Christians, individually and corporately, to grow as hearers of the word of God remains, because interpretation is an unfinished task. Even if revelation were mainly a deposit of propositions essential to faith which it is not , we would still be in the position of having more to learn about God and his kingdom than we presently know.
Our best knowledge, as St Paul says, is like seeing things in a mirror dimly. At the same time, our knowledge, limited though it is, anticipates a fuller understanding toward which God is leading us. Theology is a venture in hope and always capable of enrichment and reform.
The meaning of the Bible is not static and locked up in the past but something living and active. There is untapped potentiality of meaning in these texts, a surplus which can be actualised by succeeding generations of disciples in their situations.
The Bible is more than a collection of facts requiring analysis-it has a potentiality of meaning which is waiting to break forth as it operates in relation to actual life situations by the Spirit. The existence of this potentiality of meaning waiting to be realized is due I think to a number of factors.
Let me enumerate those that come to my mind. No doubt there are others. One is the nature of divine revelation as seen in the gracious self-disclosure of God both in the history of Israel and in the life and ministry of Jesus. Revelation, while including the rational and propositional, goes beyond that, being a form of inter-personal communication which cannot be totally pinned down conceptually. Such revelation therefore is always open to deeper penetration.
This may be glimpsed in the way in which Old Testament texts are said to be fulfilled in the New Testament, being often surprising fulfilments that go beyond the terms of the original propositions. This phenomenon shows God moving forward and expanding the scope of his own promises as he responds to new situations in unprecedented ways, giving humankind even more than was actually promised. They refused to accept that God was free and sovereign to decide how his kingdom project should be worked out. A second factor that fosters the retrieval of future meanings arises from the nature of Scripture as a grand or meta-narrative.
Scripture gives us access to Jesus, the Word of God, and the light that shone on his face gets transmitted to us through the prism of the biblical witnesses. Thus it is its character as story that opens the text to future meanings. Often people think of the Bible in a Koran-like way, as a book of rules to obey and doctrines to believe. This intellectualizing approach can be a legacy of the Enlightenment and helps to explain why many Christians cannot get very far with future meanings. In that case, something more than intellectual assent is required-because like all great stories, it draws us into its own world, engages us imaginatively, and calls us to grow up into Christ from within it.
In terms of interpretation, the story character of the Bible gives it a flexibility with regard to future meanings which the Bible viewed as a collection of abstract truths would not. Consider the way in which the Koran binds people to ancient Arab culture and hinders the ability of Islam to contextualize itself in the modern world. The results have been cataclysmic for these nations. By way of contrast, the nature of the Bible as story makes it flexible when it comes to adapting its message to changing circumstances and yielding future meanings.
In a variety of ways, such Scriptures bring us into a relationship with God in Jesus Christ and thus with others and with the whole creation. Nicholas Wolterstorff uses speech-act theory to illuminate how God speaks to us through the Bible. Classic texts he rightly says not only say something but also do something.
They do not merely communicate content but, through the Spirit, propel readers into a confrontation with God. They transform readers by getting into touch with the depth of our selves. Through Word and Spirit, the revelatory activity of God is kept open. The process of ever fresh interpretation can go on. A third factor which I think keeps the meaning of the text open for the future is paradoxically its ambiguity and variety.
Texts normally have several possible interpretations which require us to discern how to take them. For example, does Paul teach double predestination or not in Romans 9? John Piper says yes-John Ziesler says no. Both cannot be right. But the ambiguity takes us back to root metaphors, to systematic considerations, and to issues of discernment.
- Paul and his Theology.
- Gentile Culture!
- The Role of Suffering in the Mission of Paul and the Mission of the Church!
- Family Ministry and a Theology of the Family: A Personal Journey!
- Biblical Texts-Past and Future Meanings.
- Riddles in the night (Naagha Book 1)!
- Vertical Gardening for Beginners.
It forces one to ask why we read texts the way we do and to become more self-conscious about issues of social location, etc. Often texts open up different paths that could be followed and the resulting communal reflection can be rich and beneficial. Diversity can have the same kind of effect on us. Different answers are given in the Bible to similar sorts of issues because the text itself has been contextualized in different ways.
This leaves room for us to decide about future meanings and applications. Sometimes there are even trajectories developing within the Bible, as Richard N. A fourth and momentous factor which opens up future meanings is the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit. Having inspired the text and guided the people of God to a canon, the Spirit continues to open up its meaning to us. Jesus gave the Spirit so that there might be a fuller understanding of his life and ministry by disciples in the future.
We look to the Spirit for unfolding meaning because of the divine presence with and alongside the text, making it a truly living word. The Spirit, being at work in the contexts of our lives, helps us to grasp the divine intent of Scripture for our time. What is given is not I think the communication of new information but a deeper understanding of the truth that is already there.
Because Scripture is spiritual, it has to be spiritually appraised cf. But more often than not what first appears to the sense of the text may not at all be the meaning that the Spirit of God is trying to impress on us through this text. It is not enough to know the words of the text: There are valid concerns surrounding this idea of illumination, of course. We all fear uncontrolled subjectivity that might simply displace biblical authority.
In the evangelical family, the scholastic tendency would be more alarmed about this than the pietistic because the latter makes more room for experience. However, there is another danger to be aware of- the danger of placing a fence around the Word and excluding the Spirit from the work of its interpretation. After all, God gives gifts of wisdom and knowledge to help the community with its interpretation and we must respect them alongside the exegetes.
The relative and oft-noted silence about illumination on the part of evangelicals is suggestive of a certain rationalism among them. We have to learn to trust the Spirit-empowered Word more and not be so afraid to do so. Theology is more than rational discourse, for it equally includes the kinds of truth that genres like parables, hymns, and stories convey. Illumination, even when room is made for it in evangelical interpretation, is often narrowly conceived of in relation to issues of individual piety. In the work of J. Packer for example , illumination mainly serves to confirm truths of Scripture to the individual elect believer concerning his or her own salvation, but is not particularly thought of as applying to the larger and urgent issues of mission in our day.
Members of the community need to grow and mature as hearers of the Word of God, not approaching the Bible as a magical answer book, but as an inspired witness to the love of God and the kingdom of God breaking through. The authority of the Bible is important, but equally important is the decision as to what kind of text it is and how to make use of it.
It does not generally operate on a rationalistic plane, but in the context of relationship and lived experience. Bloesch speaks of Scripture as a sacrament of our encounter with God in the present day.