Even though the term "Biblical Theology" is widely used today, there is not a generally accepted definition of its purpose and scope. The approach of J. P. Gabler is examined in this article. An alternative approach is offered that seeks to define Biblical Theology in relation to the Christian tradition rather than over against it. The merits of these two approaches are assessed in the light of the history of Biblical Theology over the past two hundred years.
This article discusses the renewal of theological interpretation of Scripture. The article first mentions the strength of objections to theological interpretation in the 19th century, the time when the paradigm of historical criticism was established. This is followed by a consideration of the problem of conceptualizing revelation within the Old Testament, as done by Preuss in the 20th century.
Jobes underlines the importance of Bible translation. She reflects on Bible translation through her outline of a biblical theology of language. She also explores relevance theory as it bears on the question of translation. Jobes works toward conclusions on what characteristics a translation must have to be faithful.
In this chapter Hamilton considers what Biblical Theology is. For Hamilton it is the “interpretive perspective reflected in the way the biblical authors have presented their understanding of earlier Scripture, redemptive history, and the events they are describing, recounting, celebrating, or addressing.”
Hamilton argues that the centre in Biblical Theology is God, who is both merciful and just. The central theme of Scripture, according to Hamilton, is the glory of God in salvation through judgment. In Chapter 1 he first considers whether there is a centre in Scripture that holds everything in Scripture together.
Why is biblical theology needed? Biblical theology is principally concerned with the overall theological message of the whole Bible. This article explains why you need to incorporate biblical theology into your personal study, your church ministry, your theological formulation, and your personal evangelism and disciple-making.
In Chapter 1 Vos puts forward his understanding of biblical theology as a theological discipline. He emphasizes the historical character of biblical revelation. The Bible was for Vos far from a series of isolated proof texts; it was for him an organism with a rich diversity that gives unanimous expression to its message of redemption.
The idea of covenant is fundamental to the message of the Bible. The purpose of Chapter 1 is to demonstrate just how central the covenants are. Correctly relating the different covenants is central to doing good theology. The authors deliberately distance themselves from classic Reformed covenantal theology. For them “kingdom through covenant” is the central message of the story of the Bible.
One of the areas of Biblical Theology where theologians would disagree among themselves is what if anything constitutes the center (German Mitte) of Biblical Theology. Kaiser reflects on what it is that gives the Bible its unity. He explains how the unity of the Bible is built around the central plan of God.
In this essay Gaffin concentrates on the inherent vigour of Reformed systematic theology and how best to preserve and nurture its strengths. He first addresses the matter of Reformed systematic theology’s use of its own exegetical tradition given in the discipline of biblical theology as developed by Geerhardus Vos. His emphasis is on the task of all exegesis of Scripture to be redemptive-historical.
This survey of the state of Old Testament studies was written in 1975. It was a transitional period filled with uncertainties of direction. Kaiser wants to promote solid and substantial biblical scholarship. Specific areas surveyed include biblical theology, and the relation of the Old Testament to the New Testament.