Biblical Theology

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Subsections

Biblical Theology Series on Each Book of the Bible

Old Testament Theology

New Testament Theology

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Order of Contents

About
Whole Bible  10+
Discipline of Biblical Theology  4+
Relation of Biblical Theology to Systematic Theology
Dictionary & Encylopedia
Video Series


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About Biblical Theology  What is it?

Biblical Theology is not a different theology from Systematic Theology or Historical Theology, but rather is simply God’s revealed theology as organized, viewed 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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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  (1661; SDG, 2012)  856 pp.

Owen (1616–1683) was an English, puritan, non-conformist, congregationalist, minister and theologian.  He was also an academic administrator at the University of Oxford.

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

The volume was not originally intended to treat of ‘Biblical Theology’ as such (which is a bit more modern than Owen), but rather of theology itself, the revelation of God, as divided into natural and supernatural theology, as the latter was progressively, historically revealed through Scripture.

Edwards, John – Polpoikilos Sophia, A Complete History or Survey of All the Dispensations & Methods of Religion, from the Beginning of the World to the Consummation of All Things, as Represented in the Old & New Testament, showing the Several Reasons & Designs of those Different Administrations & the Wisdom & Goodness of God in the Government of His Church through All the Ages of it  (London, 1699)  774 pp.  ToC 1, 2

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  (NY: American Tract Society, 1816)  450 pp.  ToC  PDF

Edwards (1703–1758) 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 A Short Vindication of Presbytery: with Twelve Essays on the Church  (Edinburgh: W.P. Kennedy, 1843)  120 pp.  ed. Thomas M’Crie the younger

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

Robinson, Stuart – Discourses on Redemption: as Revealed at ‘Sundry Times & in Diverse Manners’, Designed both as Biblical Expositions for the People and Hints to Theological Students  3rd American ed.  (Richmond, VA: Presbyterian Committee of Publication, 1866)  500 pp.  ToC

Robinson was an American Southern Presbyterian.

Bannerman, David Douglas – The Scripture Doctrine of the Church: Historically & Exegetically Considered  (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1887)  620 pp.  ToC

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.

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Non-Reformed

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

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.

Weidner, Revere Franklin

Biblical Theology of the Old Testament, based on Oehler  (Fleming H. Revell, 1896)  365 pp.  ToC

Weidner (1851-1915) was a Lutheran pastor, professor of theology and a prolific writer.

“Weidner was formative of early American Lutheran Theology from a Confessional perspective…  These books [on OT & NT theology] serve as broad theological overviews of Scripture, emphasizing redemptive history.  Weidner’s work on this subject predates that of Geerhardus Vos who is often credited with bringing that discipline into the conservative evangelical church.” – Jordan Cooper

Oehler (1812-1872) was a conservative, German, Lutheran, pastor and Old Testament scholar.  His work is at a scholarly level.

“He admitted the composite authorship of the Pentateuch and the Book of Isaiah, and did much to counteract the antipathy against the Old Testament that had been fostered by Schleiermacher…  He opposed the union of the Lutheran and Reformed churches, and while declaring in favor of confessional Lutheranism, he held aloof from the old Lutheran party.” – Wikipedia

Biblical Theology of the New Testament, vol. 1 (Teaching of Jesus & Peter), 2  (Felming H. Revell)  ToC 1, 2

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1900’s, Reformed

Vos, Geerhardus

Biblical Theology: Old & New Testaments  (Eerdmans, 1948)  450 pp.  ToC

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 & Biblical Interpretation: The Shorter Writings of Geerhardus Vos  ed. Richard Gaffin  Buy  (P&R, 1980)  560 pp.

Robertson, O. Palmer – The Christ of the Covenants  Buy  (P&R, 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

Hafemann, Scott – Biblical Theology: Retrospect & Prospect  Buy  (IVP Academic, 2002)  286 pp.

Hafemann has been a professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in MA.  He was formerly a professor of New Testament Greek & Exegesis at Wheaton College.

Goldsworthy, Graeme

According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible  Buy  (IVP Academic, 1991)  251 pp.

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

The Goldsworthy Trilogy: The Gospel & the Kingdom, The Gospel & Wisdom, The Gospel & Revelation  Buy  (Paternoster, 2001)  575 pp.

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 & New Testaments  Buy  (Zondervan, 2008)  432 pp.

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

1700’s

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 & the Distinction between Biblical & Dogmatic Theology: Translation, Commentary, and Discussion of His Originality,” Scottish Journal of Theology 33 (1980), pp. 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

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1800’s

‘The Idea of Biblical Theology as a Science & as a Theological Discipline: Inaugural Address’  in Inauguration of the Rev. Geerhardus Vos as Professor of Biblical Theology  (NY: Anson D.F. Randolph, 1894), pp. 1-40

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

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1900’s

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

Muller (b. 1948) is a historian of reformed theology.  In this volume, he fundmantally posits the objective witness of the Scriptures in history.

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2000’s

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

Poythress (b. 1946)

Barcellos, Richard – ‘Is Biblical Theology Older than Many Think?’  15 paragraphs  at RBAP.net  Calvinistic baptist

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Book

Hafemann, Scott – Biblical Theology: Retrospect & Prospect  Buy  (IVP Academic, 2002)  286 pp.  Broadly evangelical

Hafemann has been a professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in MA.  He was formerly a professor of New Testament Greek & Exegesis at Wheaton College.


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On the Relation of Biblical Theology to Systematic Theology

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W.G.T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, Pt. 1, Ch. 2

“Systematic theology should balance and correct biblical theology, rather than vice versa, for the following reasons.  First, because biblical theology is a deduction from only a part of Scripture. Its method is fractional…  Science is a survey of the whole, not of a part. True theological science is to be found in the long series of dogmatic systems extending from Augustine’s City of God to the present day. To confine the theologian to the fragmentary and incomplete view given in biblical theology would be the destruction of theology as a science.”


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Dictionary

Collegeville Pastoral Dictionary of Biblical Theology  ed. Carroll Stuhlmueller  (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1996)  1,180 pp.  The publisher is Romanist.

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Encyclopedia

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

Bauer (1927-2008) was a Roman Catholic theologian, patristic scientist, biblical scholar and ecumenist.  He was a pioneer of lay theology.


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Video Series

McCurley, Rob – Biblical Theology  (John Knox Institute)  30 Lectures, about 30 min. each, designed for teens and older

McCurley gives introductory lectures through the history of redemption, emphasizing the main message and themes of Scripture.  This series was especially created for Hudson Taylor Ministries and their evangelistic efforts in China in order to educate Christian pastors, especially in seeing the unity of the teaching of the Bible.

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Related Pages

Old Testament Theology

New Testament Theology

Bible Background, Survey & Introduction

Whole Bible Commentaries

Systematic Theologies