How should the future of the scholarly study of the New Testament look like? In this study, Bird examines the problem of balancing the historical and theological components of New Testament theology. The article offers a critique of both Biblical Theology and the historical study of Christian Origins.
According to Bird, the central issue in current discussions with regard to the doctrine of justification is the topic of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ. Bird wants to, in dialogue with the main protagonists, seek a solution that corresponds with the biblical evidence. He first offers a short history of the doctrine of imputed righteousness since the Reformation.