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Tuesday
Oct142014

Theological Term of the Week

Biblical Theology
The theological discipline that “seeks to discover what the biblical writers, under divine guidance, believed, described, and taught in the context of their own times,”1 in order to mark out “the message of the books of the Bible in their historical setting”;2 the study of “the progressive unfolding of God’s special revelation throughout history.”3

    Biblical Theology finds its starting-point in the diversity and variety of Scripture.  …

    There can be no denying the variety. Not only were the scriptures written at ‘sundry times’: they were also written in ‘diverse ways’ (Heb. 1:1). This was partly a function of their long historical time-line. They were written over a period of at least a thousand years and some of the oral and written traditions which they used may well go back a good deal further. They inevitably reflect, then, a wide variety of social, cultural and political settings: and, corresponding to this, a wide variety of forms of revelation.

    The result is that instead of a Bible in monochrome we have a Bible of varied landscapes, myriad voices and ever-changing colour: a wide variety of literary genres, ranging from narrative to poetry to law to parables to highly didactic epistles and even to fables (Judges 9:8-15); and, even more important, a wide variety of individual authors each with his own experience, gifts, temperament, vocabulary, favourite concepts, unique style and unique life-setting.

    The task of Biblical Theology is to highlight the distinctiveness of the various contributions … .  

Learn more:

  1. GotQuestions.org: What is biblical theology?
  2. Theopedia: Biblical theology
  3. Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology: Biblical Theology
  4. Monergism.com: What is the difference between Biblical Theology and Systematic Theology?
  5. Donald Macleod: Biblical versus Systematic Theology?; Biblical and Systematic Theology: Speaking from Different Premises

Related terms:

Filed under Theology

1Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology

2George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament, page 20.

3Monergism.com

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on Theological Terms in the navigation bar above will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.

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