After an opening chapter canvassing the history of biblical theology, the next three chapters discuss the various issues, methodologies, and themes arising from the discipline, and a final chapter describes the prospects for the future of biblical theology. Ollenburger, Ben C. Old Testament Theology: Flowering and Future. Sources for Biblical and Theological Study 1.
Winona Lake, Ind. This volume introduces the variety of approaches to Old Testament theology by offering excerpts from key thinkers in the field from to the time of publication. After a few introductory essays in Part 1, Parts 2—4 proceed roughly chronologically, covering the changing landscape of Old Testament theology in the twentieth century, while Part 5 contains more recent writings that have significantly reshaped the conversation. Perdue, Leo G. Sommer, eds. Biblical Theology: Introducing the Conversation.
Library of Biblical Theology. Nashville: Abingdon, Rather than defining or promoting a particular approach to biblical theology, in four chapters the authors introduce the scholars who have shaped the conversation about biblical theology. Watson, Francis. Text and Truth: Redefining Biblical Theology. Part two explores Christian ways of interpreting the Old Testament. Alexander, T. Nottingham: InterVarsity, Bartholomew, Craig G. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, The book encourages readers to make the biblical story their story and consider the part they are called to play in that drama.
This is a great read for those who are trying to make sense of how the Bible fits together or how it is relevant for our lives today. Roberts, Vaughan. Along with a concise and very helpful opening discussion of kingdom as a central theme in the Bible, each chapter concludes with a helpful set of study questions, making the book ideal for a small group study. Gladd, Benjamin L. According to Gladd and Harmon, the Bible defines the church as the end-time people of God in the inaugurated new creation, and further, that Christians are to live in light of this biblical identity.
The first chapter, written by G. Goldingay, John. Goldingay follows up his immense Old Testament Theology see below with a Biblical Theology that reflects his considerable theological insight and characteristically accessible style. Although Goldingay sees the fundamental unity of the Scriptures as a single story, he also acknowledges tensions in the biblical text and is reticent to harmonize them.
Goldsworthy traces the theme of the gospel of the kingdom, showing how it unifies the narrative of the Old and New Testaments. The work begins with a short discussion of method and how to do biblical theology, which is followed by a presentation of the theme of kingdom traced through the narrative of Scripture. He has also written a more focused book on method and defining biblical theology as a discipline, called Christ-Centered Biblical Theology see above.
Kaiser, Walter C. In this volume Kaiser develops his earlier work in Toward an Old Testament Theology see below into a whole-Bible theology. Kaiser traces this promise-plan through both Testaments, following a chronological rather than a canonical order and giving significant attention to resolving interpretive difficulties. Pate, C. Marvin, J. Scott Duvall, J. Daniel Hays, E. Randolph Richards, W. Dennis Tucker Jr. Grounding that story in Deuteronomistic theology, the authors summarize it as a recurring narrative of sin—exile—restoration.
They then trace that story through each major section of the biblical canon, giving greater emphasis to the New Testament and also showing how Second Temple Jewish literature forms a bridge between the Testaments. Scobie, Charles H. Scobie aims to make the academic study of the Bible useful for the church. It also goes beyond many biblical theologies in offering brief but thoughtful reflections on how the Bible might address contemporary ethical issues, such as abortion and euthanasia.
VanGemeren, Willem. The guiding focus of the work is to show how God, through Christ, works out the restoration of all things from the Fall to the New Jerusalem. It provides a good example of connecting grammatical-historical analysis of individual passages to understanding passages and books within the context of Scripture as a whole.
- The Sovereignty of God in Salvation: Biblical Essays: E. Earle Ellis: T&T Clark.
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Williams, Michael D. Phillipsburg, N. Rather than starting his account of the progression of the covenants with creation, Williams begins with the resurrection, moves to the exodus, and then considers creation. This represents a view of biblical theology from a Reformed theological perspective. Childs, Brevard S. Some of the introductory material summarizing the history of biblical theology and outlining his own approach has been republished as Biblical Theology: A Proposal Facets; Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, Gentry, Peter J. Rather than systematically accounting for every biblical-theological theme running through Scripture, Gentry and Wellum attempt to erect the scaffolding needed to guide the reader through the storyline of the Bible.
Through the succession of the covenants, God works to establish his kingdom, his glorious reign over all of creation. In the heart of the book Hamilton works his way through the Bible canonically following the Hebrew canon in the Old Testament before ending by addressing various critiques of his view and showing how it affects contemporary ministry. Schreiner, Thomas R. Schreiner has demonstrated his biblical-theological range in writing a Pauline theology, a New Testament theology see below , and here a whole-Bible biblical theology, which systematically works through each book of the Bible, describing its main theological themes.
Giving the entire work an overarching structure, Schreiner organizes his biblical theology into nine parts. Vos, Geerhardus. Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments. His treatment of the New Testament focuses on the birth and ministry of Jesus. Wright, Christopher J. Wright presents a missional hermeneutic as a foundation for holistic missions today, arguing that the mission of God is the center of the Bible. Dumbrell, William J. Milton Keynes, UK: Paternoster, Dumbrell structures his book around the covenants, which he sees as subsets of one primary covenant.
House, Paul R. Old Testament Theology. Following the order of the Hebrew canon, House provides historical details about the background and writing of each book of the Old Testament in general following a conservative evangelical approach as well as a series of canonical syntheses related to that book. Martens, Elmer A. Eugene, Ore. Martens centers his study of the Old Testament on Exodus — and the theme of building the kingdom of God.
Boda, Mark. Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology. Boda also traces these creedal expressions into the New Testament and offers fruitful reflection on how they might challenge the contemporary church. Dempster, Stephen G. New Studies in Biblical Theology Since Dempster bases his treatment of the Old Testament on a Hebrew canonical order with Chronicles at the end , the book begins with an overview of canonical issues. He also resolves the problem of how the Old Testament can be viewed as one book if it consists of many books by reading the non-narrative books as commentary on the narrative storyline.
Goldingay overcomes some of the limitations of other Old Testament theologies by approaching the subject from three different angles in his monumental but quite accessible multivolume work. Toward an Old Testament Theology. This classic work of evangelical Old Testament theology proposes that promise is the central theme in the Old Testament especially as found in the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants.
Rather than working his way through the Old Testament canonically or topically, the heart of the book discusses material in a chronological fashion with non-historical works placed in the timeline according to their traditional authors. Kessler, John. Waco: Baylor University Press, Each chapter looks at the ancient Near Eastern background and textual development of the theme while also offering theological reflections and connections with the New Testament. Moberly, R. For example, his study of manna examines the story in Exodus 16, references to it in Deuteronomy 8, the theological significance of manna, and how it affects daily living for Christians.
Routledge, Robin. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity, Routledge seeks to discern the theological principles underlying the Old Testament text so that they may then be translated and applied to the situation of the modern church. The book is structured around key Old Testament themes, all centered on relationship to God. Walton, John H. Walton identifies the presence of God as the primary theme of the Bible, but rather than tracing that theme through the Old Testament, he instead surveys how the Old Testament addresses a variety of topics, such as God, humanity, covenant, Torah, sin, and salvation.
The most distinctive feature of his approach is his emphasis on understanding the Old Testament in light of its ancient Near Eastern background. Zuck, Roy B. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody, This volume was written entirely by professors from Dallas Theological Seminary, and so reflects the views taught at that school.
The book divides the Old Testament into eleven different groups of books and discusses the theology of each of those groups. The strength of the book is its attention to individual books and sections of the Old Testament. Brueggemann, Walter. Perhaps the most prominent Old Testament scholar of this generation, Brueggemann offers a unique approach to Old Testament Theology rooted in the metaphor of a trial.
Old Testament Theology in a Canonical Context. Minneapolis: Fortress, In this volume Childs pioneers a canonical approach to Old Testament theology. Although he sometimes uses historical criticism, he focuses primarily on understanding the theological significance of the final canonical form of the biblical text. He also reads the Old Testament as Christian Scripture, often observing how the New Testament uses the Old Testament and engaging with interpreters throughout the history of the Church. Eichrodt, Walther. Theology of the Old Testament.https://wrinatcupxilong.tk/pentecostal-psycho.php
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Translated by J. Old Testament Library. Philadelphia: Westminster, , This classic study of Old Testament theology sees covenant as the center of the Old Testament. Gerstenberger, Erhard S. Theologies in the Old Testament. Translated by John Bowden. As noted in the title, Gerstenberger focuses on the diversity of the Old Testament by attributing different theologies to various social settings.
The heart of the book looks at theology in the context of the family, the village, the tribe, the kingdom, and the exile from a historical-critical perspective. He suggests that the main question in modern times is the connection between individual and global theology neither of which is addressed in detail in the Old Testament and contends that we should view God in radically new ways that cohere better with contemporary cultures. Kalimi, Isaac, ed. While many scholars both Jewish and Christian believe that biblical theology is a distinctly Christian interest, based on Jesus and the relationship between the Old and New Testaments, recent decades have seen an increasing interest in Jewish biblical theology.
This collection of essays provides not only a survey of the history of Jewish biblical theology but also several good examples of biblical theology from a Jewish perspective that struggle with many of the same difficulties found in Christian biblical theology such as the roles of history, canon, and later commonly accepted interpretation. Merrill, Eugene H.
Rather unusually for a recent Old Testament theology, Merrill arranges his conservative evangelical work topically according to categories of systematic theology: God, mankind, and kingdom which he sees as the central theme of the Old Testament. The sections on God and mankind provide discussions similar to systematic theologies though more closely based on the Old Testament text , but the section devoted to kingdom half of the book spends more time working its way through views of the kingdom in various sections of the Old Testament.
Overtures to Biblical Theology. In both, he describes and evaluates various approaches to Old Testament theology that have emerged in the last several decades since history has lost its dominance. Reconstructing Old Testament Theology highlights the approaches of history of religion, liberation theology, feminist interpretation, Jewish scholarship, postmodernist interpretation, and postcolonial theology, illustrating each in application to the book of Jeremiah. Perdue ultimately calls for greater dialogue among proponents of these different methods as well as increased interaction with the history of interpretation and systematic theology.
Preuss, Horst Dietrich. Translated by Leo G. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, — Working from a historical-critical methodology, he arranges his book topically. Rendtorff, Rolf. Translated by D. Tools for Biblical Study 7. Leiden: Deo, The bulk of the work consists of two main parts. In the first Rendtorff offers an insightful theological reading of the Old Testament following the order of the Hebrew canon. Van Pelt, Miles V. It follows the order of the Hebrew canon, arguing that this order provides a parallel with the New Testament, with the Law matching the Gospels covenant , the Prophets matching Acts covenant history , and the Writings matching the letters covenant life.
The entire structure places Genesis covenant prologue and Revelation covenant epilogue as bookends. Each chapter looks at background issues, structure and outline, message and theology, and connections with the New Testament. Von Rad, Gerhard. Waltke, Bruce K. Wright, George Ernest. Studies in Biblical Theology 8. London: SCM, Since God revealed himself through history, his nature must be inferred from his actions, particularly in electing and delivering Israel.
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Wright also highlights the close relationship between the Old and New Testaments, focusing especially on typological connections. Morris, Leon. New Testament Theology. This is an introduction to New Testament theology that attempts to speak to the non-specialist while moving beyond a surface treatment.
Rather than taking the New Testament books in their canonical order, Morris arranges them chronologically, though he does note the difficulty in precisely dating each New Testament text. His work is divided into four parts: the Pauline writings, the synoptic Gospels and Acts, the Johannine writings which includes Revelation , and the General Epistles.
Each individual chapter is characterized by analysis of theological themes running through the particular text. Scott, J. Julius Jr. Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament. For Wright, reading the Old Testament as a modern believer offers a common link with Jesus because in it we find the words he himself read, the stories he knew, and the songs he sang in worship. This is a very accessible book that shows through careful exegesis how Jesus is revealed through the Old Testament. Caird, G. Oxford: Clarendon, Dunn, James D. New Testament Theology: An Introduction.
Dunn represents a unique approach, in which he considers how the early church produced the New Testament documents, taking the Old Testament and preaching of Jesus as their starting points. Emerson, Matthew Y. After two introductory chapters outlining a canonical approach to New Testament theology, Emerson moves through the texts of the New Testament in the next three chapters. This means that Jewish ancestry and obedience to the Law have no value Galatians This teaching created great controversy in first century Judaism. Jews accused Paul of teaching that God had broken his covenant with Israel and chosen Gentiles instead.
Rather, God chose them simply because He wanted to. He chose Israel to be His covenant people, and if He wants to extend His covenant to include Gentiles, He has every right to do so. Why did God choose Jacob over Esau? God chose Jacob Israel simply because He wanted to. If He wants to choose Gentiles in the same way, He can do so. Paul is not concerned with the issue of whether Isaac or Jacob are saved.
To interpret the text this way is to miss the point. Paul is concerned here with God choosing groups of people to be His covenant people and accomplish His purposes — the children of Israel first, but now also the Gentiles. God choosing Isaac and Jacob has little or nothing to do with them as individuals. The Calvinist interpretation — that God predetermines ahead of time which individuals will be saved — completely misses the point of what Paul is saying.
Paul is talking about entire nations here, not individuals. Paul is talking about God choosing one nation to be His people, and one nation not to be His people. What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?
According to Calvinism, God predetermines who will be saved. This interpretation is problematic for two reasons. The second problem with this interpretation is that it fails to understand the Old Testament origin of the potter and clay illustration. The image of the potter and the clay is a direct reference to Jeremiah , which paints a picture very different from what the Calvinist would expect.
The Books of Solomon
God uses this illustration to describe His relationship to Israel. God wants to shape Israel a certain way. But if they refuse to cooperate, God can choose shape them into something else instead. This illustration from Jeremiah is the exact opposite of the Calvinist interpretation of Romans 9. According to the Calvinist interpretation, God is a stubborn potter who molds the clay relentlessly until he forces it to be shaped the way he wants.
In a surprising twist to the story, the potter does not get what he originally wants! And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. Just as a potter acts in response to the clay, God acts in response to our choices.
If a nation chooses to repent, God responds by relenting of the disaster He intended for it this is exactly what happens to Ninevah in the Book of Jonah. Likewise, if a nation chooses to do evil, God can relent of the blessings He intended for it this serves as a stark warning for our nation today. God can declare blessing or disaster, but He is willing to relent of either in response to our own decisions. The Calvinist interpretation of Romans 9 fails to adequately explain this verse. And why, if God desires all people to be saved 1 Timothy , 2 Peter would God ever make someone disobedient in the first place?
The Calvinist interpretation simply falls short of fully explaining the text. God has a plan to one day fully eradicate all sin and evil. But for the present moment, God patiently endures sinners in order to give them a chance to repent. The picture of God as a potter who patiently endures misshapen clay vessels reminds us of the parable of the barren fig tree in Luke In this parable, a tree is about to be cut down because it is not bearing fruit. But the farmer chooses to give it a little more time. He lovingly cares for the tree by digging around it and fertilizing it.
Then he waits to see if it will bear fruit or not. Instead of immediately destroying sinners, God is patient and loving. In His love, He holds back His anger and gives sinners time to repent. He patiently waits, ready to change His anger into mercy the moment a sinner chooses repentance. Once again the Calvinist interpretation is simply not capable of explaining the biblical text.
Why would the farmer fertilize the tree and wait, hoping it will bear fruit, if the farmer is the one who made the tree barren in the first place? This interpretation is way off the mark, and completely misses the point of the parable. This verse is not saying that God chooses to have mercy on people regardless of their free will choices. As we saw with the story of the potter and the clay, the Old Testament verses Paul quotes can only be properly understood from their original Hebrew context. Exodus comes directly after the episode of the golden calf. The Israelites had sinned by choosing to worship an idol while Moses was on Mt.
Sinai receiving the Law. In response to their decision, God chose to destroy the Israelites Exodus But Moses interceded on their behalf and pleaded with God to stop and give the Israelites a chance to repent v. In response, God relented and spared the Israelites v. This beautiful narrative is in perfect harmony with the parable of the barren fig tree, as well as the potter and the clay. Once again we see that the potter is not intent on forcing his will no matter what. The potter might begin shaping the clay one way, but end shaping it another way.
This is exactly what we see in Exodus. Immediately after this episode, Moses asks God to reveal His glory. God responds by allowing Moses to behold a small fraction of His glory from the cleft of a rock, after God had passed by. The lesson from this passage is clear: God has mercy on people of faith like Moses, but He casts judgment on people of unbelief like the idol-worshipping Israelites. Nevertheless His mercy and His judgment are not set in stone.
God changes the way He relates to us in response to our free will decisions. Like the flexible potter who is willing to reshape the clay into a different vessel, God changes His judgment into mercy if the unfaithful repent. But He can also change His mercy into judgment if the believing become unfaithful. Therefore, each individual person chooses for himself whether he will be a vessel of mercy or a vessel of wrath prepared for destruction Romans Faith is what God requires of human beings.
The Jews pursued the external things of the law but failed to have faith Mathew 23 and ultimately rejected the Messiah. Otherwise you too will be cut off. If we choose unbelief, God responds with severity. If we choose faith, God responds with kindness, provided we keep our faith. This is very clear in Romans Likewise, Jews who were cut off because of unbelief can still be grafted in if they choose faith In both cases God is a flexible potter! Rather, God grafts him in because he has faith. Likewise, a person does not have unbelief because God breaks him off.
Rather, God breaks him off because he has unbelief. A straightforward reading of Romans makes clear the role of free will in this process. The Calvinist interpretation, on the other hand, tries to read the text backwards. Consider the parable of the wedding feast in Matthew Although the parable does not tell us exactly who he invites, we can assume he probably invites everyone you would expect a king to invite — the elite, the noble, the rich, etc. Unfortunately, all of the people he invites decline his invitation for one reason or another.
These people accept the invitation and come to the wedding. God called Israel, and for the most part, Israel rejected the call. Anyone who accepts the invitation is chosen! This is what Ephesians 1 and Romans are all about. From the foundation of the world, God decided — He predestined — that He is going to have a holy and blameless people blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places Ephesians In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
From the beginning, God predestined that anyone who is in Christ is chosen to be holy and blameless, adopted as sons, blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. God chose from the foundation of the world to have a special people for Himself. He knew from the beginning that we were going to sin.
But from the very beginning, He always had a plan to eternally solve the problem of sin and ultimately rid the world of evil. And the question for us is: Are we willing to be a part of it? In conclusion, the Calvinist interpretations of Romans , Romans 9, and Ephesians 1 are both unbiblical and tragic. Unbiblical for the reasons explained above, tragic because they replace the God of love revealed in the Bible for a god foreign to scripture. The Calvinist interpretation sees God as creating certain people to be vessels of wrath, then condemning them for being the way He made them, with no moral explanation.
God has mercy on whoever he wants, and He hardens whoever He wants Romans God chooses to extend mercy in response to faith, and He chooses hardening in response to unbelief. God works with us with perfect wisdom and acts in loving response to our free will decisions. Matt Isaiah 56 totally disputes this claim. Hebrews 4 states the same gospel was preached to the Israelites so there is nothing new under the sun. While the breaking off of the branches does allow for the Grafting of wild branches these wild branches are those of exiled Israel who were called gentiles and lost their identity within the Gentiles.
I think you might misunderstand me. This was fulfilled through Jesus Christ. So yes, from a biblical perspective, Paul was not teaching anything new. But up until the time of Christ, there was still a major dividing line between Jew and Gentile. God chose Jews, and He can choose Gentiles. This is the basic message of Romans Matt Yes the word orthodox is the problem but unfortunately it has been labeled that. Yes Paul departed from following the rabbinical law which was known as the oral torah. The oral torah had created subcategories for every law in the torah like making it unlawful to heal on the Sabbath, strict regulations on how food and drink are prepared and stored, on appearances and regulations on the means of gentiles entering the Covenants and temple worship.
I would not say more non-Israelites did not enter the Covenant till after Christ but would definitely say multitudes that were called Gentiles but were exiles from the commonwealth of Israel and were blind to their identity. Like I said the OT provided for non Israelites and the new continued it the same except they would use the New Covenant way to enter just as the returning of the exiles would.
Matt, Both this article and the previous one about the erroneous doctrine of total depravity are wonderful examples of how Biblical thinking can correct the misleading and debilitating influences of Calvinism. I have one recommendation for this article if you reprint it or develop it again, just in correcting a detail. Ishmael was the father of 12 Arab nations, not of Moab descended from Lot — Genesis Thank you for this refreshing reminder of the responsibility of knowing that Yahweh has given us free will!
Ken Calvin as a gentile who never entered a true relationship with God through the new Priesthood Covenant could only understand a mixture of Grace of all humanity with the reward of true Israel which came from obedience to the commands God gave Israel to live by and to be identified by which made Grace somehow limited. While Grace is the most important gift from God it is not limited but is not the purpose of the NT church other then to let all humanity know they have received Grace fully and equally.
Most of the NT is about the continuance of the promises made to Abraham passed on to Israel and the New Priesthood Covenant which provides for the methods and means of entering and maintaining a relationship with their God. The New Priesthood Covenant is very very important in the process of regathering the exiles of Israel who were scattered amongst the gentiles ,called gentiles.
The Old Priesthood Covenant which centered in Jerusalem required pilgrimage back every year to the land was faulty as a means because traveling would have been impossible plus the Priesthood and the sacrifice were also faulty. Jesus became the High Priest and the sacrifice for this reason allowing for the exiles in the farthest places they were scattered the ability to enter and maintain the relationship God promised to Israel.
Calvin denying the Torah had no other option to explain his mixture of the gospel as a predestined calling which somehow included himself. Great article again. I read your article that refuted total depravity. This one does not disappoint either. I had similar thoughts and you said them gracefully and powerfully.
I had one more thought. The book of Job has God convincing Satan about Job. If Satan had no free will then God would not be trying to convince him of something. If Job had no free will, then God would just be showing that He could make Job not deny Him in spite of the persecutions. These would be persecutions that were done just because. It makes much more sense if Satan was trying to prove that Satan and his angels were not so much in the wrong if a human also with free will would deny God. Also, the Book of Life itself when studied from its first mention Exo has the statement that some were to be blotted from the book.
Later it is said that those who will be saved have been written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world. This implies that everyone who ever lived was written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world. Only when it became apparent that the person would not use their free will to accept Christ would the person be blotted from the Book of Life. This puts a different light to Jesus saying that the disciples were to rejoice that their names were [still] written in the Book of Life. Luke Furthermore in Rev Jesus says that overcomers will never have their names blotted out of the Book of Life.
Finally, 1 John Says that who are the overcomers, but those who believe in Jesus Christ. The Calvinist view would have the elect written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, but this does not fit when those blotted out are considered. Why would some need to be blotted out? Did God make some mistakes in regards to salvations… I think not- I know it is not so. I will be reading the rest of your articles with great interest. You again have hit the nail on the head with all these straight forward arguments.
One more thing. God made the circumstances and the opportunity for Pharoah to make his decisions. Just wanted to clarify. This was also not a salvation case, but a case of God bringing up and bringing down rulers to accomplish His purposes. Similar to what you are saying, faith is not an object. Faith is a conscious thought that something is worthy. You can have faith that a chair is worthy to be considered solid enough to hold you up.
Faith does not exist in a vacuum. Some one cannot be given faith without being able to control their thoughts. God can do anything He wants, but He is not going to do something against His character. Thank you for sharing this inartmfoion with me. I am starting in a new ministry with very little to work with, but I know that God will provide as he is doing.
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