Old Testament Theology

Note that ‘Old Testament Theology’ is not different than the theology found in the whole of Scripture, but rather it emphasizes those characteristics of theological teaching that are prominent in the writings of the Old Testament.

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“Almost without exception the whole teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ was founded on Old Testament declarations.”

John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan

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Order of Contents

Old Testament Theologies  7
History of the Kingdom of God in the O.T.  3
Article  1
The Theology of the Prophets  1

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Old Testament Theologies

Simple

Young, E.J. – The Study of Old Testament Theology Today  Buy  1959  112 pp.

Young was one of the great, early, Westminster Seminary scholars.  This is an intro level sketch, organized around four lectures given at London Bible College.

De Graaf, S.G. – Promise and Deliverance, vol. 1 (From Creation to the Conquest), 2 (The Failure of Israel’s Theocracy)

“De Graaf studies the Old Testament with an eye on the covenant and the kingdom of God.  The book is written in an easy-to-undrstand style.” – Tremper Longman III, 4 out of 5 stars

Intermediate

Mid-1900’s

Vos, Geerhardus – The Eschatology of the Old Testament  Buy 

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

Payne, J. Barton – The Theology of the Older Testament  Buy  1962  536 pp.

Professor John Murray, in speaking to Payne in 1948, had ‘suggested an organization of Old Testament theology around the theme of the testament.’  This medium-in-depth book is the result.

“An impressive work in the field of Biblical theology.  Written from a thoroughly Reformed point of view.” – Cyril J. Barber

More Recent

Robertson, O. Palmer – The Christ of the Covenants  Buy  1981  308 pp.

This is the modern classic on the progressive unfolding of Covenant Theology, which also happens to be a, if not the, major theme of the Old Testament.

“Robertson gives an accurate and incredibly clear account of the concept and development of the covenant idea through the Old Testament and into the New.  This treatment is the best description of this important biblical concept that a reader can buy.”  – Tremper Longman III, 5 out of 5 stars

ed. Van Pelt, Miles – A Biblical-Theological Introduction to the Old Testament: the Gospel Promised  Buy  Preview  2016

This volume done by a number of Reformed Theological Seminary professors is an attempt to do Old Testament Introduction through the lens of Biblical Theology.  That is, they answer the regular questions on each book of who, what, when, where & why, while giving a Biblial theology on each book of the O.T.

The work is done well, and it is reformed and conservative in outlook (see a review here and the Preview linked above), though do note that Biblical Theology is much more expansive than simply Biblical theologies of each book of the Bible, and hence this volume by no means exhausts its subject.

Advanced

Older

Oehler, Gustav F. – The Theology of the Old Testament  1873  569 pp.

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

“A classic study.” – Cyril J. Barber

“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

More Recent

Gamble, Richard – The Whole Counsel of God: God’s Mighty Acts in the Old Testament, vol. 1  Buy  2009  864 pp.  This is intended to be part of a forthcoming 3 vol. set.

Gamble attempts to give a Systematic Theology through the methodology and layout of a Biblical Theology.  The coherence of the result is not ideal, and is precisely the reason why Biblical Theology and Systematic Theology are different genres.  See Dr. Ryan McGraw’s review.

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Liberal

Davidson, A.B. – Theology of the Old Testament  1910  592

Davidson (1831–1902).  This work is not recommended, but is here for historical interest, for those who may be interested in seing a specimen of liberal theology from the horse’s own mouth.  Notwithstanding, there are some good things that can be gleaned from the work. 

“A moderately liberal work which can be consulted with profit.” – Cyril J. Barber

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History of the Kingdom of God in the Old Testament

There were numerous histories of the Kingdom of God in the Old Testament written in the late-1800’s which served as Old Testament theologies, as they saw the progressive develpment of the Kingdom of God to be the central, uniting principle through Biblical revelation.  See Delitzsch, Hengstenberg and especially Edersheim, as well as the 1900’s De Graaf:

On the Historical Passages of the Old Testament

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Article

Young, E.J. – “What is Old Testament Biblical Theology?”  1959  6 pp.  in The Evangelical Quarterly 31.3 (1959): 136-142

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The Theology of the Prophets

Many of the above works include a section on Prophetism also.

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Robertson, O. Palmer – The Christ of the Prophets  Buy  2004  502 pp.

Robertson (1937-)

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Related Pages

Biblical Theology

Whole Old Testament Commentaries

Old Testament Background, Survey, Authenticity & Introduction

New Testament Theology

Systematic Theologies