Biblical Theology

Biblical Theology is not a different theology from Systematic Theology or Historical Theology, but rather is simply God’s revealed theology as organized and expounded by surveying the unfolding history of redemption through the books of the Bible, as opposed to systematizing it according to fundamental principles or viewing it as it has developed historically through Church history.

As such, Biblical Theology often brings out insights and treatments of topics not typically found in Systematic and Historical theologies, which sometimes brings with it a different emphasis.  Different facets of the diamond of the Revelation of God are often brought out more prominently depending on the angle from which one views it, all of which angles that shed light upon the beauty of God’s Word, the true Christian will cherish.

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Subsections

Old Testament Theology  8+
New Testament Theology  11+

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Outline

Treatises of Biblical Theology on the Whole Bible  10+
On the Discipline of Biblical Theology  4

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Treatises of Biblical Theology on the Whole Bible  10+

1600’s, Reformed

Owen, John – Biblical Theology: the History of Theology from Adam to Christ  Buy  856 pp.

This work is not in Owen’s 16 volume Works, nor in his Hebrews commentary, but muct be purchased as a separate volume, it being only recently translated out of the Latin.

Edwards, John – Polpoikilos Sophia, A Complete History or Survey of all the Dispensations and Methods of Religion, from the beginning of the world to the consummation of all things, as represented in the Old and New Testament showing the several reasons and designs of those different administrations, and the wisdom and goodness of God in the government of His church, through all the ages of it  1699  84 pp.

John Edwards (1637–1716) was a reformed, Anglican divine.

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1700’s, Reformed

Edwards, Jonathan – A History of the Work of Redemption, comprising an Outline of Church History  Re-Typset PDF  450 pp.

Edwards gives a history of redemption (the preminent thing God is concerned about) from the Fall to the End of the World, including an interpretation of post-Apostolic Church history through the lens of a historicist eschatology.

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1800’s

Reformed

Whytock, George – Chs. 1-8 of Twelve Essays on the Church  1843  120 pp.  ed. Thomas M’Crie the younger

Whytock (1750-1805)  was an Old Light, Anti-Burgher Secession minister.

Robinson, Stuart – Discourses on Redemption: as Revealed at ‘Sundry Times and in Divers Manners’, designed both as Biblical Expositions for the People and Hints to Theological Students  1866  500 pp.

Robinson was an American Southern Presbyterian.

Bannerman, David Douglas – The Scripture Doctrine of the Church: Historically and Exegetically Considered  1887  620 pp.

D. Douglas Bannerman was of the Free Church of Scotland, the son of the more well known Free Church Professor James Bannerman (known for his works on Justification and The Church of Christ).

This work traces the history and teachings about the Church, and the unfolding thereof from the time of Abraham through the Acts and the Epistles.  James Bannerman had written the classic systematic exposition of the doctrine of the Church in two volumes; this work is an attempt to cover the same topic from a Biblical-Historical methodology.  It is very good, though Douglas is weaker on the purity of worship than his father was.

Non-Reformed

Storr, Gottlob Christian – An Elementary Course of Biblical Theology, vol. 1, 2  1826

Storr (17476-1805) was a German Protestant theologian and professor of philosophy and theology at Tubingen and Stuttgart.  He was an outspoken advocate of Biblical supranaturalism, and founder of Ältere Tübinger Schule (a conservative Tübingen school of theologians).  His conservative orthodox views in theology placed him at odds with proponents of the Enlightenment, rationalism and Kantian philosophy. 

Storr was the first to propose that the New Testament book of Mark was written prior to the other Gospels (Markan priority), an assertion that opposed the traditional view that the book of Matthew was the earliest Gospel written.

This work is laid out like a systematic theology, but as his method is very exegetical through the history of Scripture, like a Biblical theology, it is placed here.  Storr represents a transitional phase during the 1700’s from traditional dogmatics to Biblical theologies.

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1900’s, Reformed

Vos, Geerhardus

Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments  Buy  1948  402 pp.

Vos (1862-1949) was one of the last conservative theologians at Old Princeton, and is known as the father of reformed Biblical Theology.

Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation: The Shorter Writings of Geerhardus Vos  Buy  ed. R. Gaffin  1980  560 pp.

Robertson, O. Palmer – The Christ of the Covenants  Buy  1980  300 pp.

Robertson (1937-).  This work is one of the best, detailed, contemporary arguments for Covenant Theology.  Robertson comes from a 2-Covenant perspective (not holding to a distinct Covenant of Redemption).

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1900’s – 2000’s Broadly Evangelical

ed. Bauer, Johannes B. – Encyclopedia of Biblical Theology, vol. 1 (A-H), 2 (Hu-R), 3 (S-W) 1970

Hafemann, Scott – Biblical Theology: Retrospect and Prospect  Buy  2002  286 pp.

Goldsworthy, Graeme

According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible  1991

Goldsworthy (b. 1934) is an Anglican who is a popular writer in Biblical theology.

The Goldsworthy Trilogy: The Gospel and the Kingdom, The Gospel and Wisdom, The Gospel and Revelation  2001

The first work views Christ in the Pentateuch and the O.T. historical books, the second views Christ in the O.T. wisdom literature, and the third is about the purpose and contemporary relevance of the Book of Revelation.

Kaiser, Walter – The Promise-Plan of God: a Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments  Buy  2008

Kaiser (b. 1933) is an evangelical Old Testament scholar who has been a professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts.

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On the Discipline of Biblical Theology

Articles

Gabler, Johann Philipp – ‘On the Proper Distinction Between Biblical and Dogmatic Theology’  1787  10 pp.  An address.  Excerpted from John Sandys-Wunsch & Laurence Eldredge, ‘J. P. Gabler and the Distinction between Biblical and Dogmatic Theology: Translation, Commentary, and Discussion of His Originality,” Scottish Journal of Theology 33 (1980) 133-44

Gabler (1753–1826) was the first to clearly and consciously define Biblical theology as its own distinct discipline.  Gabler was a German Protestant Christian theologian of the school of Griesbach and Eichhorn.  “…the ideas he expressed were those of eighteenth-century Enlightenment theology.” – Translator’s Introduction

Muller, Richard – ‘Biblical Theology’  in The Study of Theology (Zondervan, 1991), ch. 2, pp. 85-96

Poythress, Vern S. – ‘Biblical Studies: Kinds of Biblical Theology’  Westminster Theological Journal  70 (2008): 129-42

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Book

Hafemann, Scott – Biblical Theology: Retrospect and Prospect  Buy  2002  286 pp.

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Related Pages

Old Testament Theology

New Testament Theology

Bible Background, Survey & Introduction

Whole Bible Commentaries

Systematic Theologies