Thursday, January 3, 2013

What Is Biblical Theology?

What is biblical theology? As many have pointed out, well, it depends on who's answering the question. There are a variety of ways biblical theology has been defined.

In his Sealed with an Oath: Covenant in God's Unfolding Purpose, Paul R. Williamson proffers a helpful and faithful way of thinking about biblical theology:
Biblical theology is arguably best thought of as a holistic enterprise tracing unfolding theological trajectories throughout Scripture and exploring no biblical concept, theme, or book in isolation from the whole. Rather, each concept, theme, or book is considered ultimately in terms of how it contributes to and advances the Bible's meta-narrative . . . (17).
But if one accepts this, one must move from the common tendency in academia toward atomistic handling of texts. Which many are unwilling to do. I suggest that not only should we be willing to move away from this tendency, but we must be willing. Indeed, faithfulness to the way Scripture intends itself to be understood requires this of us.

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